Sunday, January 10, 2010

Game Developer Magazine: Why I Like It!

All the world's a game and we are but players of it.
That's why  I read, enjoy and learn from Game Developer Magazine.

Game design is in large part a exercise in practical psycholoy. Successful games can be fantastically profitable; clunkers are worthless; there is therefore a huge incentive for the development team to understand people in a practical way. GDM's subject matter reflects that concern, with articles exploring subjects such as "What Is Fun?" in a systematic way. If you can figure out what makes people enjoy something enough to do it over and over, pay money for more of the same, and recommend to their friends, the application potential of this knowledge extends far beyond gaming.

This month's issue lead off with an editor's note on Nintendo's Wii, pointing out that its success was due to far more than its technology; primitive motion sensors such as light guns have been around for a while and were never market-crushers. Wii's key advantage may be its appeal to a large, yet under served audience. Wii has little impact on the First-Person Shooter and Real-Time Strategy fans that dominate computer games, but Wii owns the family-friendly market, which includes the last generations' FTS heads who now have kids. This strategic approach, obscured or enabled by tech innovation, also has applications far beyond gaming.

A secondary important GDM feature is a project evaluation in every issue. They ask a lead in a popular and successful product to describe 5 things that went right and 5 that went wrong. These very practical pointers are sometimes pretty technical (after all, the magazine is directed to a particular audience) but never fails to yield about 5 quick anecdotes on project management that (?see the pattern?) has applications beyond gaming.

GDM is ad-supported, which is to say: free to qualified subscribers. If you're willing to accept gamin as a learning experience in whatever field you practice, train and/or educate, consider reading GDM. You won't be bored!

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