The April 2011 issue of Game Developer
magazine, the sister print publication to Gamasutra and the leading U.S. trade publication for the video game industry, has shipped to print subscribers
and digital readers and is available from the Game Developer Digital service
in both subscription and single-issue
In the April issue's exclusive postmortem on the highly-acclaimed indie platformer Super Meat Boy
, the game's creators describe some of their achievements, as well as the hardships they endured as a two-man team -- which Gamasutra has reprinted in full here
"In late August 2010, we got a phone call from our producer at Microsoft, explaining that there was going to be a fall promotion similar to Summer of Arcade. At this point, we were about four months from being done, but in order to release during this promo, we needed to pass certification in two.
The deadline seemed a bit impossible. We were told if we didn’t make it into the fall promo, we would have to push the game back until spring or attempt to launch the game ourselves without much support, and risk a sizable loss. Microsoft explained that all games in the promo would get an exclusive launch week, very high spotlight advertising, reviews by Major Nelson, and face time at PAX and other events. This promotion was going to be called Game Feast.
At this point, both of us were going into the red financially and felt like if we didn’t get into this fall promotion, there was no hope for us. We couldn’t push to spring, and releasing without Microsoft support seemed like suicide, so we went all in and attempted to do what would take any team four months, within two. These two months were easily the worst months of my life.
Because we were so time compressed, we were basically developing features during bug checking, which meant every single time I turned on the computer and checked the bug database, the work I did the night before was pretty much rendered irrelevant. I would work and fix 100 bugs in a night and get it down to 50, then wake up the next morning and have 200 bugs to fix. This lasted for weeks and weeks. I felt sick, angry, and totally stressed. My parents were bringing me dinner because I literally didn’t leave the house for those two months.
You can read the entire postmortem right now on Gamasutra
Mojang's indie hit Minecraft
introduces new possibilities for procedural terrain in games, and in this issue, indie developer Joshua Tippetts provides an in-depth look at some ways to generate similar types of procedural terrain.
"A theoretically infinite Minecraftian world is typically built up of easily managed chunks, and there is no practical limit on the size of the grid of chunks that can be generated on the X/Z plane. That is to say, the world is only maybe 128 layers deep but “infinitely” long and wide, limited by the precision of the machine’s floating point types.
Doing a chunked approach like this enables you to build your world in pieces, and to only build the pieces you currently need to display or interact with in your game. Once generated, a chunk can be saved to a file to be loaded the next time that chunk is needed, rather than being generated from scratch. The world save file would dynamically grow as chunks are visited, taking up only as much disk space as needed to remember the currently visited world. To save disk space, you could save only the parts of a chunk that were modified. Then when loading, you would generate the level from the generator and apply the changes from the file to bring it up to date.
This April issue also features Game Developer
magazine's 10th annual salary survey, which outlines the average salaries of both professional and indie developers across a range of disciplines. In addition, the issue features our regular columnists and special guests from the forefront of the games industry, including Steve Theodore, Damion Schubert, Jesse Harlin, David Edery, and Matthew Wasteland, who all contribute detailed and important pieces on various areas of game development.
Worldwide paper-based subscriptions to Game Developer
magazine are currently available
at the official magazine website
, and the 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 and PDF downloads of all issues, all for a reduced price. There is now also an opportunity to buy the digital version of April 2011's magazine as a single issue