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.
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.
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.