- Gonna do this week's round up from big sister site Gamasutra and other Think Services sites all at once this time - partly cos it's been so darn busy we didn't get to do a midweek update, yay.

Notable in here - a very neat roundtable with the abstract shooter kings, some ninja game design theory, the visual/design creation of BioShock (pictured), the gaming history of the Atari 8-bits, Xbox Live Community Games detailed, and lots more.

Gamasutra Features

Quelling The Rage: Carmack and Willits Speak Out
"What's the story behind new id IP RAGE? In this in-depth Gamasutra interview, John Carmack and Tim Willits discuss the state of the Doom/Quake developer, signing the game with EA, and why they're trying to "do something different.""

A History of Gaming Platforms: Atari 8-Bit Computers
"Gamasutra's acclaimed game history series continues, following entries for the Commodore 64, Vectrex, Apple II, Atari 2600, and Mattel Intellivision, with a look at the Atari 400, 800 and beyond, from Fractalus through Dandy."

Analyze This: What To Make of the Industry's Urge to Merge?
"With the Activision/Vivendi deal concluded and EA/Take-Two still in play, Gamasutra asks analysts from Screen Digest, Wedbush Morgan and EEDAR - why so much consolidation, and more importantly, who's next?"

Emotion Engineering: A Scientific Approach For Understanding Game Appeal by St├ęphane Bura
"Is there a defining theory for game design? Kalisto and 10tacle designer Bura tries to create a 'periodic table of elements' for creating games - from surprise through dread and beyond."

The Indie Shooter Roundtable: Mak, Cho, And Omega Fire At Will
"The renaissance of the shoot-em-up has brought new perspectives to the genre - and Gamasutra sits down with the creators of Everyday Shooter, Blast Works, and Every Extend for a cross-cultural state of the union."

Gamasutra News Originals

In-Depth: Xbox Live Community Games - Multerer Tells All
"Microsoft is debuting XNA Community Games for Xbox 360 this fall - but what's the story behind it? XNA general manager Boyd Multerer discusses the royalty specifics, professional game developers using XNA, and why he'd like to see big-budget retail games releasing companion mini-games via XNA Community Games."

Develop: Media Molecule On The Power Of Constraints
"At the Develop Conference in the UK, Media Molecule's Alex Evans has been giving a 'semi-post mortem' of LittleBigPlanet for PlayStation 3, even within its completion crunch, suggesting that "arbitrary constraints" are the key to making both great games and enabling great user-generated content."

Epic's Capps Defends Unreal Engine 3's Flexibility
"Epic Games president Mike Capps has been commenting on the flexibility of Unreal Engine 3 for developing more diverse genres of games, referencing the Gears Of War/Unreal Tournament series by suggesting that while UE3 is "made to be modified and extensible... I like to say that it's ready to go to make a game, if you're making our game.""

Gamefest: Designing Rapture To Make Sense In BioShock
"How do you create a believable space for an entirely unreal location? Gamasutra was at Microsoft's Gamefest event, where 2K Marin's lead environmental artist Hogarth de la Plante and lead level designer Jean-Paul LeBreton looked back at the creation of BioShock's city of Rapture."

Interview: Creative Assembly's Sutherns Talks Total War Franchise
"Sega-owned developer Creative Assembly is continuing its noted Total War strategy series on PC with Empire: Total War - and Gamasutra recently sat down with the company's Mark Sutherns, who discussed AI, piracy, pathfinding, and expanding the genre outside the 'hardcore' PC gamer."

Casual Connect: Wildtangent CEO On The Fall Of Console Gaming
"Drawing from his experiences as CEO of Wildtangent, Alex St. John offered Casual Connect Seattle attendees a vision of what the games industry would look like in the year 2020, with predictions of everything from the 'death of the console' to the rise of the online gaming market."