[The latest issue of Game Developer magazine from our colleagues just debuted, and it sports a completely awesome Deadly Premonition cover and postmortem, possibly the first ever mag cover for the game, I think - info below.]

The August 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.

This issue's exclusive postmortem goes behind the scenes of Access Games' cult hit Deadly Premonition. Written by director SWERY with contributions from the Access Games staff, the postmortem explores the game's many design and technical challenges:

"A realistic setting was also completely necessary for bringing this story to life. To build it, I posited three "reals:" "real time," "real scale," and "real life." Implementing these with our limited budget and resources proved to be extremely difficult, but despite a great deal of resistance (even from within the team!), I felt these three concepts were essential."

Also featured in this issue is an interview with Another World creator Eric Chahi who discusses the influence of volcano exploration on the design of his in-progress Project DUST:

"I talk about tsunamis and volcanoes, but it’s not just for show. It’s deeper than this because it’s a game about the purity of nature and the ambivalence between the beauty of very powerful things and the capacity of destruction that nature has, and how nature is blind, which is also why it’s beautiful … And so there’s no judgment. There’s a volcano, and sure, lava sometimes can be really dangerous, but it can be really good to have lava to extend land and to make the earth fertile."

In addition, Zynga's director of engineering Amitt Mahajan outlines a set of best practices for rapidly developing social games and keeping them running once they are released:

"Social games are services, not boxed products. Shipping a game is the starting point for a social game’s life cycle, and that’s when the team is truly tested. Games are meant to evolve and grow with the user base and players have come to expect consistent updates to keep their interest."

Also included in this edition is an article from Twisted Pixel's Josh Bear that examines some of the technical and artistic elements that go into creating appealing video game characters.

In addition, our regular columnists and special guests including Steve Theodore, Damion Schubert, Jesse Harlin and Matthew Wasteland contribute detailed and important pieces on various areas of game development.

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 August 2010's magazine as a single issue.