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Gamasutra Member Blogs: From Silhouettes To Branching Paths

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 - Silhoueet Aesthetics in 2D Games (Bryan Ma) Video game artists have long stressed the importance of readable character silhouettes, and many modern 2D are taking that principle more literally by depicting characters as actual silhouettes. With examples from World of Goo, Feist, Patapon, and more, Bryan Ma examines that style. In another post this week entitled No One Ever Runs!, Ma explores the principle of enemy retreat, and how infrequently it is used in video game AI. For his effort, Bryan will receive a lifetime subscription to Gamasutra sister publication Game Developer magazine. - Gimme Five: The Branching Path of Future Games (Enrique Dryere) Enrique Dryere proposes an in-depth system of game classification, starting by replacing "video games" with the broader "interactive digital entertainment" and drilling down to categories like "digital toys," "practical games," and "social games." - The Future of Education: Video games. (Duh.) (Ryan Straight) Taking issue with a recent Economist piece challenging the use of video games in education, Ryan Straight suggests games may in fact be the ideal educational tool for the modern age, and cites New York's Quest to Learn school as an example. - Examining Geometry Based Anti Aliasing (GAA) (Ofer Rubinstein) As an intriguing alternative to anti-aliasing solutions such as those built in to modern graphics cards, Pompi Pompi's Ofer Rubinstein proposes geometry-based anti-aliasing, including in-game examples as well as pros and cons of the technique. - Design Analysis: Odin Sphere - Small Team, Big Game (Jeremy Kang) With the current growing indie scene, there's a big question as to how to create larger games with smaller teams. Jeremy Kang tackles that issue from a design angle, looking specifically at Vanillaware's Odin Sphere to determine how the 12-person team crafted such an expansive experience.

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