The latest issue of Game Developer magazine, the sister print publication to Gamasutra.com, and the leading U.S. trade publication for the video game industry, is in the process of shipping to subscribers and is available from the Game Developer Digital service in both subscription and a new single-issue formats. In addition, limited amounts of the magazine will be available for free at next week's E3 Expo in Los Angeles.
The cover feature for the April 2006 issue is an exclusive postmortem of Konami's PSP title Metal Gear Acid 2. The original Metal Gear Acid turned a beloved series on its ear, bringing it into the realm of card-based strategy. The sequel takes it one step further, by making the game fully playable with 3D goggles. Who says there's no more room to innovate? In the postmortem, game director Shinta Nojiri discusses not only the game's unconventional design, but some alarming conditions of the Eastern game industry?namely, never going home.
Also notable is a technical piece on 'Final Fantasy XI's Patch System Design' by Square Enix Japan's Fumiaki Shiraishi - For persistent games, like MMOGs, the patch creators need to establish reliable and accurate methods that accommodate the player, since patches are likely to ship on a regular basis. Shiraishi shares the technical considerations of these various methods, justifying why, if he had a second chance, he would opt for a hybrid approach.
Also highlighted is a feature on 'The Art Of Self-Promotion' by industry veteran and Treyarch producer Stuart Roch, who maintains that a successful career starts (and ends) with good self-promotion, and shares the major steps game developers can take to make the most of their career painlessly. Elsewhere in the magazine, major features include an interview with Gears Of War lead designer Cliff Bleszinski, who has a bone to pick with usability and an insightful take on simplifying player controls. The issue is rounded out by regular news, code, art, audio, and design columns, as well as product reviews and game art features.
Worldwide paper-based subscriptions to Game Developer magazine are currently available at the official magazine website, and the new Game Developer Digital version of the issue is also now available, with the site offering six months and a year's subscriptions, alongside access to back issues, all for a reduced price. There is now also an opportunity to buy the digital version of May 2006's magazine as a single issue. Newsstand copies of the magazine will also shortly be available at North American outlets including Barnes & Noble and other specialty bookstores.