The November 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 subscribers and is available from the Game Developer Digital service in both subscription and single-issue formats.

This issue's exclusive postmortem looks at the creation of Beenox’s Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions. The studio had traditionally staffed its production teams with recent graduates.

This approach worked well for Beenox when it was working principally on ports, but designing the large scale Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions was often in conflict with the demands of managing a young team, as they explained:

"We had one creative director and one lead game designer managing the creative and artistic vision for the project. The lead game designer was in charge of level design and game design.

When creating more “kid”-oriented titles, this structure was solid, but with the integration of four different universes and a license such as Spider-Man, it was clearly inadequate for a game of this size and scope.

We underestimated the amount of work it would take to get the creative director and lead game designer on the same page about the vision of the game, first of all. From there, this had to translate into overall game design, and then into individual level designs that were in line with that vision.

Due to the time and effort it was taking these two people to manage a young team while also designing the game, we ran into situations where the direction was not always crystal clear to the entire staff. On top of this, we were certainly starting to feel the pressure of our deadlines and the weight of the importance of our high-profile brand."

Also in this issue is Game Developer’s list of the top 50 people who helped advance the game industry in 2010, including notables such as Rockstar San Diego's Christian Cantamessa (Red Dead Redemption), Valve's Jeremy Bennett (Left 4 Dead 2), and many more. A full list of honorees will be posted on Gamasutra in the next few days.

The November issue also features a detailed article by Microsoft’s David Tuft that looks at the top five problems encountered when creating shadows in games and how to deal with them:

"The term Peter Panning derives its name from the famous children’s book character whose shadow became detached and could fly. This artifact makes objects with missing shadows appear to be detached from and to float above the surface.

One technique for removing surface acne is to add some value to pixel position in light space; this is called adding a depth offset. Peter Panning results when the depth offset used is too large. In this case the depth offset causes the depth test to erroneously pass. Like shadow acne, Peter Panning is aggravated when there is insufficient precision in the depth buffer. Calculating tight near planes and far planes also helps avoid Peter Panning.

Creating geometry that works well in shadow maps allows for more flexibility when combating artifacts like Peter Panning and shadow acne. Hard edges are problematic for self-shadowing. The depth disparity near the tip of the edge is very small.

Even a small offset can cause objects to lose their shadows. It might be tempting to model a door or a wall with a single polygon but this will almost certainly cause some Peter Panning near the base of the wall. Narrow objects such as walls should have volume. This will increase the depth disparity."

In addition, Game Developer's regular columnists and special guests including Steve Theodore, Soren Johnson, Jesse Harlin, and Matthew Wasteland contribute detailed and important pieces on various areas of game development, with robust takeaways for those working in the game space

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 November 2010's magazine as a single issue.