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In-Depth: Gamasutra's Top Stories Of 2006

Gamasutra looks back at its top ten most popular features for 2006, including fascinating stories on the industry's game development ninjas, hot coffee, PS3s and Wiis, final frontiers, and why World of Warcraft teaches the wrong things - click thro
The launch of two new consoles, E3 undergoing massive change - 2006 was nothing if not a red-letter year for the industry. With a little of that nostalgia in mind, Gamasutra looks back at its top ten most popular features for 2006, including stories on the industry's game development ninjas, hot coffee, PS3s and Wiis, final frontiers, and why World of Warcraft teaches the wrong things. Here, in reverse order, were Gamasutra's top ten most-read features for the year: Wii Reactions: Developers Comment Controversy, much? Coming in at number 10, Gamasutra polled industry veterans including CEO Alex Seropian of Wideload Games (Stubbs The Zombie), High Moon Studios' Meelad Sadat (Darkwatch), and longtime Gamasutra columnist Ernest Adams, among others, on why we will (or will not) want to worship the branding of Nintendo's Wii. Question of the Week: Are Games Industry Professionals Buying PlayStation 3 or Wii? Our ninth most popular feature, from the Question of the Week installment that landed on the eve of November's two major console launches, we asked our readership of game industry professionals whether they'll be buying a PS3, Wii, or both, and why? Tose: Game Development Ninjas In an exclusive interview, and Gamasutra's eighth most visited feature, we quizzed "ninja" developer Tose, one of the largest independent game creators in the world (1,000 employees, 1,100 SKUs created since 1979!), despite the fact that they're almost entirely unknown, apart from Nintendo IP Starfy. The Designer's Notebook: PS3 versus Wii - The Designer's Perspective Game designer and Gamasutra veteran Ernest Adams gave a unique perspective on the next-gen console wars in 2006's final installment of his ongoing "The Designer's Notebook" series. Which console offers more opportunity for a designer, the impressive horsepower of the PS3 or the unique control scheme of the Wii? The answer inside, in our seventh most popular feature. Visual Look Development: Star Trek Online Starships - Pt. 2 In the second part of his exclusive series and Gamasutra's sixth most visited feature, Perpetual's Ian Pieragostini discussed the visual look development for much-awaited MMO Star Trek Online, focusing in on the starships, "one of the most recognizable characters in Star Trek". Hot Coffee's Effects on the Mod Scene Over a year after the infamous "Hot Coffee" incident, author and game designer Brenda Brathwaite explored the tragic aftermath on the GTA mod community - including interviews with "Hot Coffee" creator PatrickW, the ESRB's Patricia Vance, and more in our fifth most-read feature of 2006. Soapbox Responses: World of Warcraft Teaches the Wrong Things Following game designer David Sirlin's extremely widely-disseminated Soapbox on World Of Warcraft's message a large number of game professionals and other respondents took time to write Letters To The Editor commenting on Sirlin's piece, which we reprinted here, and which came in as our fourth most popular feature for the year. 3D Game Textures: Create Professional Game Art Using Photoshop Coming in at number three was a technical feature, in which we provided an excerpt from the first chapter of Luke Ahearn's new book, '3D Game Textures: Create Professional Game Art Using Photoshop,' which touts itself as teaching its readers "how to think like a games artist." Visual Look Development: A Case Study with Star Trek Online In the second most popular Gamasutra feature, and the first part of the series that also came in at number six, Perpetual Entertainment's Ian Pieragostini described some of the pre-production visual development work for Star Trek Online, and explained why and how it is helpful to determine the visual look of a game before you begin production on it. Soapbox: World of Warcraft Teaches the Wrong Things And finally, in our most popular feature of 2006, Backbone designer/producer David Sirlin used his Soapbox to vociferously query how successful MMOG World of Warcraft educates its players, suggesting that the game actually teaches the wrong lessons on a multitude of levels.

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