[Time to debut the latest issue of Game Developer magazine, as masterminded by my colleagues Brandon Sheffield and Jeff Fleming, and this one has both a revealing, developer-authored Saints Row 2 PM and the always much-awaited Salary Survey in it, yay.]

The April 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 Volition Inc.'s open-world action game Saints Row 2. The article offers insight on the challenges and successes experienced by the THQ studio while developing its well-received sequel. The piece is described as follows:

"The Saints Row series is, according to publisher THQ's own statement, second-place in the open world combat genre after GTA, which is not a bad category in which to come in second. Here, producer Greg Donovan works through how the team created in Saints Row 2 a title that was able to distinguish itself from the rest, fighting scope creep, team fatigue, and legacy tool problems from the first title."

The issue also includes the 8th Annual Game Developer Salary Survey, always a popular and useful feature:

"This year was a rough one, with 'these economic times' becoming the new corporate buzzword prefacing layoffs. This year's Game Developer Salary Survey doesn't fully reflect the changes in the climate, although the survey asks about layoffs and post-layoff placement, for the first time. In addition to that, you'll find the usual stats for all major disciplines, from coders through businesspersons, as well as details about who owns homes, and where, and regional stats for within the U.S., Canada, and Europe."

In addition, Rod Green of Intel's Project Offset discusses the crucial area of art pipelines, and offers a different mentality:

"In this artist and tool builder-oriented article Project Offset's Rod Green proposes a shift from the more traditional export-based art pipeline to an import-based one. While this approach won't solve all your art pipeline issues, Green proposes that it'll certainly improve a lot of them."

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 the meaning of "art," Noel Llopis on touch-based interfaces, BioWare Austin's Damion Schubert on the nature of the design space, LucasArts' Jesse Harlin on dynamic scores, 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 April 2009's magazine as a single issue.