Aha, once again it is time to pick the best posts of the week from big sister site Gamasutra and elsewhere on our Think Services sites/blogs - headed up by a pair of fine features talking about production and game design.
Firstly, Epic's Rod Fergusson tries to explain how they're ratcheting up things to, uhh, 11 for the Gears Of War sequel, and separately, Ubisoft veteran Pascal Luban takes a look at the 'megatrends' of game design to watch out for now, and quite possibly in the future.
Also in here - more chats with Gas Powered Games' Chris Taylor, plus AIAS' Joseph Olin, some GCG design challenges, and that aforementioned Gamer's Bill Of Rights. Here's links:
New, Better, More: Epic's Approach to Gears of War 2
"The mantra for Epic's Gears Of War 2 team is 'new, better, more'. But how do you actually iterate to achieve that? Gamasutra talks to senior producer Rod Fergusson on the practical steps the team is taking in developing 2008's sequel."
The Megatrends of Game Design, Part 1
"Veteran designer Pascal Luban (Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory) launches a Gamasutra series on the "megatrends" of game design -- from creating a longer shelf life for games through the rise of 'fast gaming'."
Gamasutra News, Other Features
The Gamer's Bill Of Rights: Stardock's Wardell Explains
"In a provocative new move, Galactic Civilizations creator and Impulse digital distributor Stardock has announced a PC-specific 'gamer's bill of rights' - Gamasutra reveals them and talks to the firm's Brad Wardell about the ten commandments, who he wants to sign it, and just what they mean. [UPDATE: Comments added from the PC Gaming Alliance.]"
Research: Wii Has Most Original IP, But Also Most 'Congestion'
"Wii has more software, more exclusives and more original IP than any of its competitors, says Screen Digest, in information released exclusively to Gamasutra -- but as publishers ramp up their releases for the Christmas season, might Wii titles be reaching saturation?"
Demigod's Taylor: 'PC Gaming Is Rediscovering Itself'
"Gas Powered Games' Chris Taylor (Supreme Commander, Demigod) has been talking to Gamasutra on the renaissance of PC gaming, suggesting the sector "...is kind of rediscovering itself" after a "turbulent ten years", thanks to a massively increased, broader install base."
Gears Of War's Fergusson: Epic More Confident To 'Take Some Risks' In Gears 2 Story
"Epic's Rod Fergusson has been speaking to Gamasutra about the story evolution for Gears Of War 2 as part of an in-depth interview, suggesting "we weren't as confident as we should've been" for the first game's story, and revealing the game will be taking "some risks, story-wise" for the sequel."
Results from the Game Design Challenge: Satire
"In a recent GCG game design challenge, you were tasked with developing a game concept that satirized both one theme of your choice and video games in general. Here, we present the three strongest submissions and a handful of inventive pieces of box cover art."
AIAS' Olin: Blu-ray Not Long-Term Advantage For PS3
"How might evolving industry conditions affect the console war? AIAS president Joseph Olin, talking to Gamasutra, has pointed out that Blu-ray is the "obvious short-term differentiator" for Sony over Microsoft, but suggests "if everything goes to digital download -- and over time, it will -- then the Blu-ray device no longer has the same competitive advantage.""
GameCareerGuide.com's Game Design Challenge: The Olympics
"Could you keep players interested in the same game for four years? In the latest GCG Game Design Challenge, we want to hear your ideas for an interactive game that gets (and keeps) players interested in the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London."
[Want to get RSSed-up with all Think Services' game sites? Quick list goes like this: GameSetWatch's RSS (editor.blog), IndieGames' RSS (indie.games), WorldsInMotion's RSS (online.worlds), GamerBytes' RSS (console.downloads), GamesOnDeck's RSS (mobile.games), Gamasutra's RSS (main.site), and GameCareerGuide's RSS (edu.news).]