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Best Of Member Blogs: From Resident Evil 5 To PAX

Showcasing highlights from Gamasutra's Member Blogs, our weblog writers reflect on the obsessive-compulsive incentives of achievements, and the glory of shared retro gaming.
In our weekly Best of Member Blogs column, we showcase notable pieces of writing from members of the game community who maintain Member Blogs on Gamasutra. Member Blogs can be maintained by any registered Gamasutra user, while invitation-only Expert Blogs -- also highlighted weekly -- are written by selected development professionals. Our favorite blog post of the week will earn its author a lifetime subscription to Gamasutra's sister publication, Game Developer magazine. (All magazine recipients outside of the United States or Canada will receive lifetime electronic subscriptions.) We hope that our blog sections can provide useful and interesting viewpoints on our industry. For more information, check out the official posting guidelines. This Week's Standout Member Blogs - Design Analysis: Resident Evil 5 Times Over (Jeremy Kang) How have achievement systems affected the way we approach playing games? In a post that begins as a reflection on the Resident Evil series, Jeremy Kang considers what drove him to play Resident Evil 5 new fewer than five times to completion -- and it wasn't entirely down to the game's quality. For his effort, Jeremy will receive a lifetime subscription to Gamasutra sister publication Game Developer magazine. - PAX09 Special Report: Console Love-in (Ron Newcomb) The Penny Arcade Expo is arguably the most game culture-focused major consumer convention, and here Ron Newcomb delivers a firsthand report of one of its most unique features: the console free-play room. - When Are Subscriptions Cheaper Than Free? (Simon Ludgate) The concept of "free-to-play" games is, of course, slightly misleading -- they aren't completely free, or nobody would bother funding them. Simon Ludgate examines the business model by way of the recently-made-free-to-play Dungeons & Dragons Online, considering at what point a more traditional subscription-based business model might actually be cheaper, or vice versa. - As timeless as infinity (Josh Bycer) What distinguishes "good" or even "great" from "timeless"? And is it futile to try and make games that appeal to everyone at the expense of trying to make something lasting? Josh Bycer reflects on these questions in the context of classic television series The Twilight Zone. - Finding the right sound engine: Why Wwise is different (David McClurg) Need a good sound engine? In this post (which, as far as I can tell, is not sponsored), Buzz Monkey programmer David McClurg heartily recommends Audiokinetic's Wwise, with supporting examples from the field. Commenters seem to agree.

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