[Here's the full details on the latest issue of Game Developer mag, with an Aion postmortem, Front Line Award specifics, and some particularly interesting columns thanks to some industry-savvy, discipline-specific folks.]

The January 2010 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 NCsoft's fantasy MMO Aion. The article, crafted collaboratively by the game's team, offers insight on the challenges and successes experienced by the internal studio. It is introduced as follows:

"Aion is NCsoft's next big subscription MMORPG, originating from the company's home base in South Korea. In our first-ever Korean postmortem, the team discusses how Aion survived worker fatigue, stock drops, and real money traders, providing budget and demographics information along the way."

Also featured in the issue is Game Developer's 12th annual Front Line Awards for middleware and tools, for which the winners were just revealed -- the full article includes write-ups and explanations from leading developers:

"We're happy to present our 12th annual tools awards, representing the best in game industry software, across engines, middleware, production tools, audio tools, and beyond, as voted by the Game Developer audience."

In addition, Riptide Games founder Brian Robbins explores the relatively new challenges of designing UI for touch-based systems:

"Thinking of making a game for multitouch-based platforms? This article offers a look at the UI considerations when moving to this sort of interface, including specific advice for touch offset, and more."

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 tiling, Jake Cannell on voxel tracing methods, BioWare's Damion Schubert on realism in design, LucasArts' Jesse Harlin on the decline of audio loops, 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 January 2010's magazine as a single issue.