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Best Of Expert Blogs: Engines & Cooking

Showcasing highlights from Gamasutra's new Expert Blogs, we reveal Mark DeLoura's startling game engine survey, Don Daglow on cooking and gaming, and more.
Alongside the redesign of Gamasutra came the debut of Gamasutra Blogs, a new section of the site that showcases a broader and more unfiltered selection of writing from the development community than we are able to present on the front page. Member Blogs -- which we will also be highlighting weekly -- can be maintained by any registered Gamasutra user, while the invitation-only Expert Blogs are written by development professionals with a wealth of experience to share. We hope that both sections can provide useful and interesting viewpoints on our industry. For more information about the blogs, check out the official posting guidelines. This Week's Standout Expert Blogs The Engine Survey: General Results (Mark DeLoura) Setting a high early bar for the Gamasutra Blogs entry, longtime programmer, writer, and consultant Mark DeLoura begins his game engine-focused blog with a developer research survey. The data addresses what systems developers are targeting; their budgets; their awareness, adoption, and opinions of various game engines; and the factors they consider most important in development. With data on a number of the most-used engine solutions currently in use, and supporting data from the developers using them, this is the kind of stuff you don't usually get for free. What I Learned from a Cooking Contest (Don Daglow) In this clever entry, industry veteran and Stormfront Studios founder Don Daglow takes a lighthearted look at common pitfalls of game development, by way of the Food Network gameshow "Chopped" -- then presents a few closing questions intended to help studios improve upon those issues in the future. The 6 Reasons Your Game Development Tools Suck (Dan Goodman) Here, engineer and Robotic Arm Software founder Dan Goodman focuses on an area that affects all game developers immensely but is frequently pushed aside in favor of seemingly more pressing issues: the quality of tools. Goodman identifies six key areas of tools development that should not be overlooked, promising to delve deeper into the issue in further blog posts. Autonomous AI and the First Dinosauria (Andy Schatz) Pocketwatch Games has found an extremely unique niche, succeeding with its Venture series of wildlife- and environment-themed games for PC and Mac. For years, founder Andy Schatz has been refining an idea for a dinosaur-centric game, but various factors -- technological and otherwise -- kept it from coming to fruition. In this blog post, he explains the history of the concept and discusses the factors that have finally led Venture Dinosauria into production. Revenge of the Writer Monkey (Adam Volk) There is perhaps an overabundance of admission that video game writing is frequently poor, but perhaps also not enough useful consideration of how it can be improved. Here, video game writer (Aces Of The Galaxy) and freelance journalist Adam Volk addresses some of the major issues as well as possible solutions.

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