-[Aha, the latest issue of Game Developer has arrived, and we were forced to put the awesome N+ on the cover, tragically enough! Pretty fun issue overall - look for some selected highlights on our sites over the next few weeks.]

The September 2008 issue of Game Developer magazine, the sister print publication to Gamasutra.com and the leading U.S. trade publication for the video game industry, has shipped to print/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 Metanet's downloadable game N+, by co-founders Raigan Burns and Mare Sheppard, offering insight into the ninja-themed platformer's development. The piece is described as follows:

"N+ is the indie success story of the year thus far, with over 100,000 downloads on Xbox Live Arcade. Here, the developers chart their path from the original N to its high definition iteration, contending with TCR problems, networking issues, and cut features along the way."

Another major feature in the new issue is "State of the Industry: Outsourcing" in which industry commentator Paul Hyman takes an in-depth look at the growing trend of outsourcing, including strategies from specific developers and publishers:

"Outsourcing is no longer something game companies are simply 'looking into.' Outsourcing is now a reality of modern game development, both on the large and small scales. This state of the industry report talks to both outsourcers and outsourcees, to determine where this increasingly important sector of game development is going in the near future."

In a practical technical feature, Sensory Sweep senior programmer Eric Brown describes a clever coding trick that many might assume unfeasible: ragdoll physics on Nintendo DS:

"They thought it couldn't be done, but then did it anyway. This article takes you through the steps necessary to implement ragdoll physics on the DS, without eating up your budgets."

In addition, code columnist and Power Of Two Games co-founder Noel Llopis delves into managing data relationships, and art columnist Steve Theodore of Bungie discusses how to cope with crunch time.

Plus, design co-columnist Soren Johnson of Maxis considers in-game economies, and audio columnist Jesse Harlin of LucasArts tackles the difficult problem of providing sound design for dynamically-breakable materials.

Finally, in a special feature, NanaOn-Sha president Masaya Matsuura (PaRappa the Rapper, VibRibbon) expresses his belief that music games are only achieving part of their potential, and that creators should try to look at new design directions beyond competition and negativity.

As always, the issue also contains product reviews and other notable editorial columns, as well as the latest game development news and industry perspectives.

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 2008's magazine as a single issue.