Yikes, it's the end of the weekend already, so time to recap some of the week's top full-length features on Gamasutra, plus a few other notable news and opinion pieces from the site.

Some primo picks here: the Gamasutra 20 for game writers, Ian Bogost on the concept of video game kitsch, the ever-smart NPD analysis, Jesse Schell's excellent game design book reviewed, and lots more.

Here are the top stories:

Gamasutra Features

The Gamasutra 20: Top Game Writers
"Continuing the 'Gamasutra 20' series, we name and profile a score of the world's top game writers and story crafters, from Levine to Schafer and far beyond."

Intelligent Brawling
"How do you make a great third-person brawler? THQ's Smith cross-examines titles from God Of War to Ninja Gaiden and beyond to analyze the hot genre."

Book Review: The Art of Game Design
"What's the big deal with Jesse Schell's new 'Art Of Game Design' book? Writer and designer Daniel Cook takes a look at the Front Line Award winning tome."

Persuasive Games: Video Game Kitsch
"Who is the Thomas Kinkade of video games? Writer and designer Bogost explores how mawkish sentimentality can be lucrative -- and how it applies to games."

NPD: Behind the Numbers, January 2009
"In the industry's most-read NPD analysis, Gamasutra looks at the state of the U.S. game market going into 2009, from Nintendo dominance through Call Of Duty's evolution."

Gamasutra News Originals/Interviews

Interview: Getting Funky With Scratch: The Ultimate DJ
"Genius Products' Mike Rubinelli talks to Gamasutra about Scratch: The Ultimate DJ, 7 Studios' turntable controller-using rhythm game that he says goes beyond the "effectively glorified versions of Simon Says" of existing music titles."

Previewing GDC 2009: Inside The Business & Management Track
"Picking the top GDC 2009 lectures, we check out the Business & Management Track, featuring talks about starting up an independent studio, learning from Flagship's demise, Age Of Booty creator Certain Affinity's rise, and more..."

Interview: ESA's Taylor On Bringing E3's Buzz Back
"After a renowned slimming-down, this June's E3 Expo is bulking up, and ESA SVP Rich Taylor talks to Gamasutra about how publisher feedback drove improvements, and why a "return to a bit of the buzz and excitement" is vital for E3's future."