GDMag
September 2010
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Postmortem - Raven Software's Singularity
By Rob Gee, Brian Raffel, Steve Raffel, Jon Zuk, Dan Vondrak, and Gustavo Rasche

After creating a number of high-profile licensed titles, the developers at Raven Software had an idea for an original shooter with a unique time shifting mechanic. To convince their parent company, the team rapidly built a demo that made judicious use of pre-existing assets and engine technology. This approach paid off over the course of the project by putting the design focus for Singularity squarely on gameplay.

Big Wars
By Lin Luo

Massively multiplayer combat is the new frontier for First-Person Shooters. While there are a number of titles that combine fast-paced, FPS gameplay with a persistent MMO-style world, hosting truly large numbers of players at once remains a technical hurdle. Here, veteran networking engineer Lin Luo proposes a new approach to client-server architecture that uses a central server to coordinate the distribution of data across multiple server systems.

Hot Failure
By Chris Pruett

Large-scale playtesting is usually a luxury that only big studios and publishers can enjoy. While it is a crucial step in tuning gameplay, how can small teams and individual developers gather playtest data? As a one-man Android developer, Chris Pruett approached the problem by building an event-logging system into his game Replica Island that gathered player performance data automatically. After being aggregated and drawn onto a heat map, the resulting metrics quickly showed where gameplay needed to be tweaked in order to provide a smooth user experience.

DEPARTMENTS/COLUMNS

Game Plan
Brandon Sheffield
The Power of Mystery
Heads Up Display
Halo 2600 and Hirokazu Yasuhara's design notebook.
Tool Box
Tom Carroll
CrazyBump 1.101
The Inner Product
Noel Llopis
Data-Oriented Design
Pixel Pusher
Steve Theodore
Big Screen Blues
Design Of The Times
Soren Johnson
The Chick Parabola
Aural Fixation
Vincent Diamante
SFX Frequency Mapping
Good Job!
Brandon Sheffield
Chris Archer Q&A, who went where, and new studios.
Educated Play
Tom Curtis
Dreamside Maroon
Eye On GDC
GDC Online announces new panels and lectures.
Arrested Development
Matthew Wasteland
Consensus Reached
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