Even though it's getting closer to Christmas, big sister site Gamasutra and our other delightful websites have been outputting some really interesting articles recently.

In particular, there are interviews with Patapon (pictured) creator Hiroyuki Kotani, the Bionic Commando folks, and the Namco Japan folks behind Pac-Man Championship Edition, as well as design-related articles from Pascal Luban and a really fascinating piece on biometric reactions to first-person shooters.

Here are the highlights:

- A Global Phenomenon: Andersson and Judd on Capcom/GRIN's Bionic Commando
"In a jocular Gamasutra interview, Capcom's Ben Judd and GRIN's Ulf Andersson discuss the companies' key Bionic Commando remake, from reshaping established IP to Japanese/Western contrasts."

- The Rhythm of Creation: Hiroyuki Kotani and Patapon
"Sony's unusual rhythm-strategy Patapon franchise is one of the PSP's critical standouts thus far, and Gamasutra sits down with creator Hiroyuki Kotani to discuss its inspiration and creation."

- The Megatrends of Game Design, Part 3
"Veteran designer Pascal Luban (Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory) continues his series on the "megatrends" of the gaming industry, this time tackling multiplayer - from co-op and griefing to addiction."

- Shoot to Thrill: Bio-Sensory Reactions to 3D Shooting Games
"How can you measure player reaction to games? From Half-Life 2 through Gears Of War, this Gamasutra article compares engagement levels via brain, heartrate, and temperature checks."

- Reawakening The Sleeping Giant: The Pac-Man CE Interview
"Namco's Pac-Man Championship Edition for XBLA is an inspired update of the seminal franchise -- and Gamasutra has a rare interview with the Namco Japan creators behind it and Galaga Legions."

- Results from the Game Design Challenge: Insomnia
"If you were to design a card game on the theme insomnia, would you call it ‘Counting Sheep?' About half the submissions to a recent Game Design Challenge did! But a few of the games stood out from the pack, despite the inauthentic name."