In big sister site Gamasutra's weekly Best of Expert Blogs column, we showcase notable pieces of writing from members of the game development community who maintain Expert Blogs on the site.

Member Blogs -- also highlighted weekly -- can be maintained by any registered Gamasutra user, while the invitation-only Expert Blogs are written by development professionals with a wealth of experience to share.

We hope that both sections can provide useful and interesting viewpoints on our industry. For more information about the blogs, check out the official posting guidelines.

This Week's Standout Expert Blogs

The Cost Benefit Analysis and The Sorites Paradox
(Armando Marini)

Ubisoft Montreal creative director Armando Marini says that gamers are constantly conducting cost/benefit analyses when playing games. The “costs” associated with a game don’t necessarily have a monetary value – shoddy controls can be the cost of playing a game.

But in the end, Marini says that game makers have a “great responsibility” to stay true to their promise to entertain audiences, and “breaking the promise is the greatest crime that can be committed in the eye of the user.”

Game Music Postnatal: Nancy Drew Dossier – Lights, Camera, Curses!
(Matt Sayre)

Game composer Matt Sayre has posted his reflections on creating the audio for Her Interactive’s Nancy Drew Dossier series. With links to videos and MP3 files, and clear statements on what went right and what went wrong, Sayre’s recounting is a fun read for both musicians and just anyone remotely interested in how sound can create a game’s mood.

An Endless Choice Of Free Games
(Tadhg Kelly)

Tadhg Kelly, industry veteran and current CCO at social gaming company Simple Lifeforms, has been pondering the effect that free games will have on the industry and the market. To him, video games “have the most to lose and the most to gain” from the emerging free game market. But the customer, who has been trained that games should not be free, may not be ready for the free revolution quite yet.

Designer Postmortem: Porting Marble Blast From XBLA To iPhone
(Joshua Dallman)

Joshua Dallman with Red Thumb Games talks about the challenges he encountered porting Marble Blast to the iPhone. It’s a platform that offers designers a lot of new freedom, but also presents unique challenges. This lengthy, descriptive postmortem explains exactly how the game made it to Apple’s handheld device.

Crunchy And Delicious
(Eric Hardman)

Reacting to a recent Gamasutra article denouncing crunch, Lincoln Interactive’s Eric Hardman has professed his love for crunch in a blog post: “While only production folks have been required to work for ten hours a day, that's still a major win in the man-hours column, with over 900 hours of additional time spent on the product! That's 22.5 extra weeks of polish.”

Maybe crunch isn’t so bad? Some commenters on the blog aren’t convinced.