[We've just debuted the bumper GDC issue of Game Developer magazine, which you can pick up at the show next week, and has also shipped to subscribers - lots of goodness in here, and the 'dirty coding tricks' article is particular fun.]

The March 2009 issue of Game Developer magazine, the sister print publication to Gamasutra and the leading U.S. trade publication for the video game industry, has shipped to print and digital subscribers and is available from the Game Developer Digital service in both subscription and single-issue formats.

The cover feature for the issue is an exclusive postmortem of Ubisoft Montreal's open-world first-person shooter Far Cry 2. The article offers insight on the challenges and successes experienced by Ubisoft Montreal while developing the ambitious title. The piece is described as follows:

"Far Cry 2 had extremely lofty goals. The aim was to create a first-person shooter with an engaging and truly dynamic narrative, in a vibrant persistent living world. After three and a half years of development, creative director Clint Hocking shares the hits and misses of this fascinating and rather under-discussed franchise reboot."

Another major feature in the issue is "Dirty Coding Tricks," a compilation of sometimes-shifty shenanigans perpetrated by professional programmers:

"In this tell-all article, eight programmers share harrowing tales of last-minute hacks performed to ship or save game projects. These often humorous anecdotes contain a lot of lessons for programmers, but should also be quite amusing for anyone who's ever worked with one."

In addition, University of Zielona Gora electrical engineering faculty member Korneliusz Warszawski argues for particle effects rather than more traditional deformation when creating terrain:

"Why build general terrain the hard way, when you could have a particle system generate it for you? Korneliusz Warszawski proposes that particle-based terrain generation can save both coders and artists plenty of time."

Finally, David Sirlin delves into the oft-overlooked principles of subtractive design:

"The idea behind subtractive design is to start with the core of what a game should be about, and then cut away everything that doesn't fit as the game progresses. This method, or something like it, is what led the Ico and Portal tames to such critical success."

In addition, our regular columnists contribute detailed and important pieces on numerous areas of game development.

This issue, we include Bungie's Steve Theodore on tiled textures, Noel Llopis on dynamic memory allocation, BioWare Austin's Damion Schubert on focusing innovation, LucasArts' Jesse Harlin talking with female sound designers, and Matthew Wasteland with his monthly humor column.

Worldwide paper-based subscriptions to Game Developer magazine are currently available at the official magazine website, and the Game Developer Digital version of the issue is also now available, with the site offering six months' and a year's subscriptions, alongside access to back issues and PDF downloads of all issues, all for a reduced price. There is now also an opportunity to buy the digital version of March 2009's magazine as a single issue.