Dev Diaries

Frozen Endzone dev diary: Better Late Than Never

Paul Taylor at

Mode 7 Games, creators of our Strategy Game of the Year in 2011, share an update on their progress with Frozen Endzone.

After our appearance at Eurogamer Expo, the Mode 7 team knuckled down to get the Frozen Endzone beta into shape for release.

Frozen Endzone dev diary: Exposition

Paul Taylor at

Mode 7 Games, creators of our Strategy Game of the Year in 2011, share an update on their progress with Frozen Endzone.

Frozen Endzone had its first public unveiling at London’s Eurogamer Expo earlier this month.

Exposing a game to the wider world is always stressful: not only did we have to cope with a barrage of unfettered opinion but also with managing the torrent of gamers, journalists, children and passive-aggressive bears (yes really) which threatened to swamp our humble creation.

Frozen Endzone dev diary: Origin Story

Paul Taylor at

Mode 7 Games, creators of our Strategy Game of the Year in 2011, share an update on their progress with Frozen Endzone.

Welcome to the first in the series of this behind-the-scenes look at Frozen Endzone. Although it’s our third game, Endzone feels a lot like a difficult second album. Our previous title Frozen Synapse had an amazing critical reception, winning awards and exceeding all of our expectations. Following something like that that is a pretty torturous soul-searching process as you try to find the needle of an intelligent decision in the haystack of random gibbering that accumulates in 4 years of making a single game.

City of Heroes Dev Diary: Balancing story and combat in Bloody Bay

PC Gamer at

PC Gamer routinely features Developer Diaries: tales of what goes on behind-the-scenes in the development studios making your favorite games. In this entry, City of Heroes' World Designer Cord “Think Tank” Carney talks about their design goals of the Drowning in Blood trial, and how they tried to balance story and combat inside. Let us know what you’d like to see developers discuss in future diaries in the comments.

City of Heroes Dev Diary: Designing Dilemma Diabolique

PC Gamer at

PC Gamer routinely features Developer Diaries: tales of what goes on behind-the-scenes in the development studios making your favorite games. In this entry, City of Heroes' Senior Designer Chris “Baryonyx” Behrens talks about the five main mandates that've shaped Paragon Studio's design of the game's new endgame Incarnate Trials. Let us know what you’d like to see developers discuss in future diaries in the comments.

With the addition of the Incarnate system in Issue 20: Incarnates, we introduced a complete end-game experience to City of Heroes. Fundamental to this experience is the Incarnate Trial. Since last April, we've introduced six Incarnate Trials to City of Heroes, and the upcoming Issue 22: Death Incarnate will bring the seventh, Dilemma Diabolique.

Mass Effect 3 trailer kills all the sunflowers, massive space war ensues

Tom Senior at

This is the full length version of the CGI Mass Effect 3 trailer EA teased last week, in which we learn what happens to those sunflowers. They ... don't make it. The little girl is also toast. This means WAR. Which means SPACESHIPS and LASERS and POSING with GUNS.

Not a bad trailer, but will the game be able to deliver that sense of a huge galactic struggle? Will it really feel like we're part of a massive space war, dictating the future of humanity and its alien allies? We'll find out in less than three weeks when the game is finally released.

An extended cut of the trailer is set to be released tomorrow, which will be the third version of the video released within a week. Mass Effect 3 is also due to be launched gently into space pretty shortly to give orbiting aliens an early look, the lucky buggers.


Dev Man Talking: PopCap's Jeff Green on the little things in game development

PC Gamer at

Each Month, Dev Man Talking invites a prominent developer to share their thoughts on a particular aspect of the games industry they're passionate about. This month Jeff Green, PopCap's Director of Editorial and Social Media, explains how tiny mistakes can massively change the course of game development and how great developers know what their game is and isn't. Want more Green? He can be found ranting on Twitter as @Greenspeak.

City of Heroes Dev Diary: Rogues gallery

PC Gamer at

In the last installment of the City of Heroes dev diary, we got a look at the massive monsters of the First Ward zone, which demand a entire super-team of players to take down. But what about the mobs you'll face throughout the area on your own? Here's Gilbert Martinez, CoH's art lead, with the inside scoop on the new villain groups of the First Ward, complete with mutated psychic-tumor women and freaky, masked carnies.

City of Heroes Dev Diary: Giant monsters

PC Gamer at

PC Gamer routinely features Developer Diaries: tales of what goes on behind-the-scenes in the development studios making your favorite games. In this entry, City of Heroes' Art Lead Gilbert Martinez explains the concepts behind the artistic design of the three giant monsters that players will have to battle in the upcoming "Issue 21: Convergence" update. Let us know what you’d like to see developers discuss in future diaries in the comments.

City of Heroes Dev Diary: First Ward concept art

PC Gamer at

PC Gamer routinely features Developer Diaries: tales of what goes on behind-the-scenes in the development studios making your favorite games. In this entry, City of Heroes' Art Lead, Gilbert Martinez, explains the concepts behind some of the zone's art . We hope you enjoy this exclusive look into City of Heroes' art design and let us know what you’d like to see developers discuss in future diaries in the comments.

Sword of the Stars II developer diary 4: Encyclopedia of the Stars

PC Gamer at

PC Gamer routinely features Developer Diaries: tales of what goes on behind-the-scenes in the development studios making your favorite games. In this entry, Sword of the Stars II: Lords of Winter's Lead Writer, Arinn Dembo, details the challenging and rewarding task of fashioning and maintaining the series' vast cosmic narrative. For more information, read the first, second, and third entries, and let us know what you'd like to see developers discuss in future diaries in the comments.

Magicka Dev Diary: PvP is here!

Arrowhead Game Studios at

After weeks of waiting in anticipation, Magicka PvP has finally arrived. Now you can prove your wicked wizard skills by pummeling your friends and enemies alike with the power of the elements. Following last week's entry, the Arrowhead devs are back to thank the dedicated Magicka fans and explain some retuned spell mechanics. Whether you're about to go try some Magicka PvP or just got out of a match, you should definitely check this out.

Magicka Dev Diary: A multitude of modes

Arrowhead Game Studios at

Last time we checked in with the Magicka devs, they were debunking the ancient technique of "water bombing" and the frustrations of losing character control. Come take a seat at the Arrowhead campfire and listen to tales of PvP glory and fights to the death.

Magicka Dev Diary: Water bombing and crowd control

Arrowhead Game Studios at

In the last Magicka Dev Diary, we got insight into the fine art of balancing PvP for a game that gives you so much freedom when it comes to spellcasting. Now, the dev team from Arrowhead tells us what their beef is with crowd control abilities, and why fights in the Magicka arena are never over 'til they're over.

Magicka Dev Diary: Shards, shields, and spam

Arrowhead Game Studios at

Magicka taps into the curiosity in all of us; we can't help but want to know how two elements will react together. But, more importantly, how effective will the result be at killing stuff? Soon, however, enemies won't just include monsters and your "buddy" who always seems to friendly-fire a Meteor Storm right on your head. PvP is finally making its way to Magicka, and the devs from Arrowhead Game Studios want to tell you all about. Come and enjoy a sit-down chat with Arrowhead's Johan Pilestedt. Feel free to brew some tea while you read.

Xenonauts Dev Diary: Exclusive first ground combat screens and walkthrough

Goldhawk Interactive at

When 2K Games announced its reimagining of the classic X-COM franchise (now called XCOM), many fans were disappointed to learn that the new version would abandon the 1994 original's turn-based isometric combat in favor of a first-person real-time style. But one X-COM fan, Chris England, seized the opportunity to announce his already-in-the-works homage to X-COM: UFO Defense/Enemy Unknown, Xenonauts. Developed by England's new independent development studio, Goldhawk Interactive, Xenonauts aims to recapture the glory of defending Earth from alien invaders by downing UFOs, engaging the surviving aliens, and capturing their technology to research and turn against them.

Until now, Goldhawk has shown off only the global management and air combat portions of the game, but today, in his first PC Gamer Developer Diary, England exclusively reveals the meat of Xenonauts: tactical combat, in which your ground troops engage the aliens. Click Read More to get your first look - and read the July issue of PC Gamer US for the exclusive hands-on preview!


Minecraft Dev Diary -- maps, Scrolls music, documentary

Mojang at

Today we bring you another sticker-covered page from the secret diary of Swedish indie dev sensation Mojang, the creators of Minecraft and arbiters of bacon.

Minecraft Dev Diary -- weather, GDC awards, Scrolls

Mojang at

Today we bring you another glitter-covered page from the secret diary of Swedish indie dev sensation Mojang, the creators of Minecraft and arbiters of wonder.

Magic: The Gathering - Tactics developer vlog talks Planeswalkers

Lucas Sullivan at

Don't front: there's a good chance you've played Magic: The Gathering, be it in middle school or yesterday afternoon. And everyone who's ever pivoted a Magic card on their index finger and whispered "You take three damage, coward," has to wonder: how cool would it be if these creatures came to life and decked it out? Okay, well, at least I've wondered that before.

Today, Sony Online Entertainment's strategy game Magic: the Gathering - Tactics shows off its five iconic Planeswalkers, masters of their respective elements, in a vlog by SOE. "...Vlog?" We're using that as a word, now? It sounds like a more painful "flog."


Sword of the Stars II Developer Diary 3: Maturing the style

PC Gamer at

PC Gamer routinely features Developer Diaries: tales of what goes on behind-the-scenes in the development studios making your favorite games. In this entry, Sword of the Stars II: Lords of Winter's Lead Artist, Chris Gerspacher, talks about refining and upgrading a game's art style for a sequel. For more information, read the first and second entries, and let us know what you’d like to see developers discuss in future diaries in the comments.