When Klei Entertainment's nearly-completed online project lost its publisher support the studio was abruptly forced back to the drawing board. It was a lean time for the studio but from the set-back came the freedom of independence. Work on Shank began almost immediately, and thanks to a mature toolset the studio was able to deliver the game after only 18 months of work.
Minecraft is an indie dream: Self-funded, largely the result of one person's vision, and an immediate, runaway success. However, behind the scenes, Minecraft's development was struggle to stay ahead of ever increasing user demands, a complete code rewrite, and the studio's explosive growth from a one-man hobby to an ongoing business.
Each month, game creators put their work on the dissecting table so that Game Developer readers can learn what went right and what went wrong during the project. Here, Ara Shirinian looks at the big picture and collects data from past postmortems to identify the common issues affecting the game development process.
The Two-Factor Theory of Emotion describes how emotional states can be modulated by physiological changes. Stressful situations increase engagement and can give rise to often contradictory emotions. It's an idea that has wide implications for game design and goes against the conventional wisdom regarding easy difficulty in games.