[Here's info on the latest issue of Game Developer magazine, as lovingly prepared by EIC Brandon Sheffield and production editor Jeff Fleming -- and watch out for an official GDMag 'behind the scenes' blog to launch in the near future, incidentally.]

The September 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 KingsIsle's youth-targeted fantasy MMO Wizard101. The article, crafted by senior producer James Nance, offers insight on the challenges and successes experienced by the independent studio. It is introduced as follows:

"Wizard101 is an MMO with a unique business model. The game not only offers the free-to-play (with microtransactions) model, but also a subscription alongside it. Texas-based KingsIsle shares with us the very honest ups and downs of developing a new MMO, from the boons of free trials to botched UI."

The issue also includes a feature by Bijan Forutanpour examining many different types of alternative rendering geometry techniques, going beyond the tried-and-trusted polygon:

"Polygons rule the game development roost, there's no question of that. But that doesn't mean voxels, NURBS, and other methods of achieving non-polygonal geometry have nothing to offer. This article investigates the state of the art and how you can try to implement non-polygonal 3D into your game, or at least your pipeline."

In addition, Jelle Van Der Beek and Arjan Janssen deliver an in-depth examination of matrix layouts:

"Matrices tend to live in shaders, physics systems, and other time-critical portions of games. These important structures are often difficult to optimize and design, so here the authors show best practices for getting the most out of your matrix operations on modern game systems, both console and PC."

And as usual, our regular columnists contribute detailed and important pieces on numerous areas of game development -- this issue, we include Bungie's Steve Theodore on occlusions, Noel Llopis on data-oriented design, BioWare's Damion Schubert on lasting appeal, Radical's Rob Bridgett on stereo downmixing, 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 September 2009's magazine as a single issue.