[My colleagues at Game Developer magazine continue to crank out the good stuff, and here's initial info on the latest issue, including an exclusive and revealing postmortem of Sucker Punch's Infamous.]

The October 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 Sucker Punch's electrified open-world action game Infamous. The article, crafted by development director Chris Zimmerman, offers insight on the challenges and successes experienced by the independent studio. It is introduced as follows:

"Infamous represents Sucker Punch's departure from the cheerier world of Sly Cooper and into the gritty next-gen world of bald heroes and exploding everything. Lots of good lessons await, particularly proving the old axiom: 'The player is always right.'"

Another major feature of the issue is a rundown of Game Developer's seventh annual Top 20 Publishers report, containing select data: "Our 7th annual report, which empirically ranks the top publishers in the world, showcases a few new faces, while cementing in history the status of the old guard. When the number one video game publisher was founded in 1889, you know you're working in an interesting industry."

In addition, THQ veteran and now Disney Mobile staffer Tom Smith looks at the crucial area of game tutorial design, as the overview explains: "Telling the player what they need to know without telling them what they already know is an achievement. Tutorials can be seamlessly integrated, or maddeningly abrasive, and Tom Smith has both rudimentary reminders and advanced tips to help your information flow like sands through the hourglass."

The issue also includes a detailed technical feature by Juan Manuel Alvarez: "Most designers don't like C++, because they don't understand it. But scripting languages are a lot more like, well, languages. SWIG is an open-source tool that helps you wrap your C++ into languages like Python and LUA, and we've got some tips for how to do it."

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 October 2009's magazine as a single issue.