- Even though it's the week of Xmas, we happen to believe that people still read websites, so - though on a bit of a reduced schedule - Gamasutra and our sister sites have still been publishing news and original features when they pop up.

In particular, we spooled out some interesting interviews on Gamasutra this week, including an Akira Yamaoka piece that was already trailed on the web, as well as Sony Pictures' Yair Landau and a how-to on programmers and artists making nice and getting on, like the complementary duo they clearly are. Fun! Here's the highlights:

- Heaven's Night: An Interview With Akira Yamaoka
"Konami's Akira Yamaoka is renowned for his Silent Hill music and sound design, and in this extended Game Developer magazine interview, he weighs in on the franchise, the Western-developed Silent Hill 5, and why Japanese game development '...is in trouble.'"

- Producers Of The Roundtable: Getting Coders and Artists to Communicate
"In this new roundtable interview, conducted in association with GameProducer.net, producers from developers including EALA, Bizarre Creations, and Gas Powered Games discuss the best practical ways to get programmers and artists working smoothly together."

- Hollywood & Games: Sony Pictures' Landau Talks Convergence
"Sony Pictures Digital's Yair Landau oversees both Sony Pictures Animation (Surf's Up) and Sony Online Entertainment (EverQuest), and talks to Gamasutra about how convergence is significantly affecting the bond between Hollywood and the game industry, from 300 to The Agency."

- Q&A: EA's Bernstein On Building SimCity Societies
"The latest title in the Sims dynasty, SimCity Societies, recently saw worldwide PC release, and Gamasutra spoke to the game's producer, Electronic Arts' Rachel Bernstein, about the genesis of the Tilted Mill-developed title, the state of the PC market, and leaving real-world brands out of the game."

- 10 Indie, Student Game Competitions: A Shortlist for Your Submissions
"If you’re a budding game developer, these 10 student and independent game competitions should be on your calendar. The rundown (unranked) points to ten events throughout the world in which indie game developers and students can show their works to compete for cash prizes, as well as that first big break in the industry."

- Q&A: Namco Bandai Talks Wii Fitness With Athletic World
"With the Wii's focus on kinetic energy in games, Namco Bandai have seen fit to re-introduce some of the concepts it pioneered with the original NES and its foot-powered Power Pad with Family Trainer: Athletic World. Gamasutra recently spoke with the game's producers to learn more about the game, and the potential for future mat-based titles."