Gamasutra is a website founded in 1997 that focuses on all aspects of video game development. It is owned and operated by UBM TechWeb (formerly a part of CMP Media), a division of UBM and acts as the online sister publication to the print magazine Game Developer.
Gamasutra has five main sections: the News where daily news is posted, the Features where developers post game postmortems and critical essays, Blogs where users can post their thoughts and views on various topics, Jobs/Resume where users can apply for open positions at various development studios, and Contractors where users can apply for contracted work. The articles can be filtered by either topic (All, Console/PC, Social/Online, Smartphone/Tablet, Independent, Serious) or category (Programming, Art, Audio, Design, Production, Biz/Marketing). There are three additional sections: a Store where books on game design may be purchased, RSS where users may subscribe to RSS feeds of each section of the website, and a section that links to the website's Twitter account.
While it does post news found on typical video game websites, Gamasutra is known for providing online resources to aspiring and professional game developers on the disciplines of games, including design, audio, public relations, and art. Gamasutra encourages professionals to publish blogs in order to share their expertise with other developers. Analysis articles are popular reads as writers spark discussions on game design and the various trends of the industry. The editorial staff also takes part in conducting interviews with developers and hardware designers, such as Dragon Quest creator Yuji Horii, Nintendo 3DS designer Hideiki Anno, and Portal writer Erik Wolpaw.
Project postmortems, articles which developers recount the successful and unsuccessful elements of a specific game's development, are the most celebrated features on the website, as they provide direct insight in all aspects of game design and educate other developers of various risks and important tips. Many postmortems have been published, ranging from independent games such as Okabu and The Path to major studio projects such as Okamiden and BioShock. There are currently over 150 collected post-mortems dating back as far as 1997. There have been unusual post-mortem articles published, including “A Story of GameLayers, Inc.” that reveals the tumultuous development and eventual cancellation of a Firefox toolbar-based MMORPG, and “What Went Wrong? Learning from Past Post-Mortems” that details the most common mistakes that developers make as admitted in the articles.
Gamasutra requires users who wish to publish articles on the website to work with the features director Christian Nutt, whether they have fleshed-out drafts, an outline, or a concept. The editorial staff offers help in shaping, polishing, and editing articles before publication. A broad range of topics can be selected given the audience, which consists of businesspeople, educators, and developers, both professional and aspiring. The articles are required to contain at least 1500 words, though the average length tends to be 2500 to 3500 words. Gamasutra also requires a thirty-day exclusivity period from the date of publication, after which the writer is free to take the article elsewhere and retains ownership.
Users are also allowed to comment on articles, but there is a strict set of rules. Comment guidelines are designed to keep user discussions of a given article on topic and prevent comments from devolving into flame wars (hostile interactions on the Internet), as seen on other community-driven websites where comment regulations are looser. Users are encouraged to post only constructive thoughts that add to the conversation.
GameSetWatch is an alternative video game weblog and sister site of Gamasutra.com. It is dedicated to collecting curious links and media for offbeat and often ignored games from consoles old and new, as well as from the digital download, iOS, and indie spaces.
GameSetWatch was founded by Simon Carless in November 2005. It has been up and running for 6 years until its semi-permanent hiatus in November 2011.The site has stopped as the creators saw an overlap of content with their sister site IndieGames.com and because they felt the mainstream gaming blogs were covering more of the "weirder" and alternative video game news. GameSetWatch has remained up for readers but no new content has been posted since.
Those that contributed to the launch included current IGF chairman Brandon Boyer, GameTrailers stalwart Michael McWhertor, Gamasutra news director Frank Cifaldi, Alice Taylor, as well as Game Developer mag EIC Brandon Sheffield.
The editors at the time Eric Caoili and Danny Cowan have taken different steps to help out at their sister sites. Cowan has gone to blog over at IndieGames.com and Caoili is at Gamasutra.
IndieGames.com started in October 2005. IndieGames.com is Gamasutra's sister site dedicated to reporting on indie games. It became the UBM TechWeb's main method to deliver news about independent games after GameSetWatch closed.
The IndieGames.com Podcast was started by Michael Rose and Tim in September 2010. It is available to listen to online or download on the website or iTunes store.
An episode is released every week with a guest indie developer hosting the podcast in addition to the two creators of the show.
Tim was the independent owner and operator of the Independent Gaming Weblog which was shut down and sold to IndieGames.com in December 2007. Michael Rose is an editor and writer at IndieGames.com.
The show has taken a hiatus since July 2012 and has no news of restarting as of yet.
The interviews section of the site features interviews with indie game creators and developers. The interviewees answer a set of questions posed by the interviewer including questions regarding their inspirations and hardships. The page is also split into three categories; desktop, console and mobile to organize the interviews by platform interests.
The features section of the site consists of posts by the writers and editors of the site. Articles are written on any topic in the indie game sector. It was announced in September 2014 that there will be collaboration with Games We Care About Twitter page to help gamers discover alt.games recommended by developers and peers.
There is also a Best of Features page that highlights some of the more notable freeware and indie games of this and previous years.
The Reviews section of the site is written by Michael Rose starting in February 2009. It features reviews on the games mentioned in the “Best of Features” page to give readers a look into the game before playing it themselves.