Beginning with the simple concept "Draw your character and play with them," the THQ-published Drawn to Life brought 5th Cell to profitability as a developer, and cured the company's licensed mobile game blues. But as is so often the case, the company wasn't quite prepared for the logistics of a console game. Yes, to some developers 15 people working together on a game is still a lot.
The microtransaction is at the forefront of a new wave of payment options in online games, but the concept comes with serious design concerns. Herein, two veterans of the Korean microtransaction-based game business share history and advice on this very subject.
It would be too simple to say that graphical MMORPGs are simply text-based online MUDs with graphics slapped on, but the roots are certainly visible. Simutronics is the only large company still maintaining text-based MMOs, and is currently porting their ideas into a fully graphical game. Lead designer Stephanie Shaver shares with us some lessons that translate genetically from text games to graphical ones.
Konami’s Akira Yamaoka is best known for his sound work in the Silent Hill series, and we had the chance to quiz him about his past, present, and future—not just his own, but that of the whole industry.