Develop hits 100: 51 to 100

Develop hits 100: 51 to 100

By Ed Fear

December 16th 2009 at 8:30AM

A guide to the latest 50 issues of Develop

In the second part of our Develop retrospective we look at the highlights of issues 51 to 100.

Click here to see issues 1 to 50.

Issue 51 - June 2005


It was the biggest E3 ever – Microsoft revealed the sleek concave curves on the Xbox 360, and, er, Sony revealed that boomerang PS3 controller – and we spoke to a bunch of developers to see what they thought of the new systems.

Issue 52 - July 2005


Tim Christian told us all about buying Dundee dev Visual Science. This issue’s tiny stories were far more interesting, though: we took a peek behind the curtain of Dare to be Digital, Telltale and Steve Ince talked about starting small, and Blitz focused on quality of life.

Issue 53 - August 2005

Another games development vs. academia battle royale? Nope, just a reasoned discussion of what universities had to – and, in some cases, still have to – address in order to keep up with the rapidly changing game technology field. Good cover, though.

Issue 54 - September 2005


Well, in hindsight it seems quite the cover, but let’s not forget that at the time Sega was actually positive about investing in a racing studio. We couldn’t have known then that they’d have given up at the first bump in the road. We also took a look at .NET’s place in game dev.

Issue 55 - October 2005


David Braben clutches his Development Legend award from the third Develop Awards proudly on the cover, and we go photo crazy within. Design supremos talked about the fallacy of formal design in the Develop Session, and the Heavenly Sword team talked pre-viz.

Issue 56 - Nov/Dec 2005


It’s recruitment time! A mix of happiness and gloom permeates thisseries of articles, with (most likely optimistic) salary guides and recruiter profiles. The usual boring stuff. Elsewhere, Studio Cambridge told us about their harrowing beta period on 24.

Issue 57 - January 2006


In what is most definitely the gayest Develop cover ever – and we once dragged up as Hyacinth Bucket for a Halloween party, so we know gay – Richard Garriott opined that the games industry was still a Wild West ripe for exploitation by canny business pioneers.

Issue 58 - February 2006


We looked at the new global hotspots for game dev, Miles Jacobson espoused the benefits of developers hiring their own PR firms, SCEE told us that procedural content would ‘define the next generation,’ and Intel said multi-threading was the future.

Issue 59 - March 2006


With a cover article about outsourcing, the cool content was relegated to the sidelines: an interview with Crystal Dynamics, usurpers of Lara’s crown; and a discussion on what makes the perfect racing game with bods from Codemasters, Bizarre and EA.

Issue 60 - April 2006

Five years on from his first cover, and Baverstock is back! Well, with looks like that, can you blame us? Also, Sony got serious about digital distribution as its PS3 plans solidify, and we caught up with Pandemic shortly after its BioWare alliance. Plus, Brighton!

Issue 61 - May 2006


Phil Harrison, then still at SCEE, courageously (or is that foolishly?) put himself forward to answer the piercing questions of the Develop readership. Our personal favourite: Andrew Eades’ “Are there any things that the Xbox does better?” The curt reply: “Some things, yes.”

Issue 62 - June 2006


The first human female to grace the cover in over five years – who says that development is largely a bloke’s game? – Fiona Sperry told us all about her plans as the new GM and VP of UK studios at EA, possibly the most acronym-tastic job title ever. Plus: in-game advertising.

Issue 63 - July 2006

We travelled across galaxies far, far away to visit Skywalker Ranch to find out all about LucasArts’ restructure and it’s new relationship with Industrial Light and Magic, plus we looked at what games could learn from Hollywood. Again. As if anyone knows the answer to that question.

Issue 64 - August 2006


Newly minted Development Legend Charles Cecil told us all about going rogue again. Also, we took a look at what went down at the first ever Develop Conference, and caught up with Space Channel 5 god Tetsuya Mizuguchi to find out what makes him so awesome.

Issue 65 - September 2006


The times, they were a-changin’. London Studio detailed how it was using more freelancers and exploiting its Soho location to source creatives outside the games industry, and Microsoft opened up Xbox 360 development to everyone and their collective dogs.

Issue 66 - October 2006


No, don’t run away – yeah, it was a generic middleware cover, but this was at the (relatively) exciting point where middleware became modular, and interoperability opened the true potential for using off-the-shelf solutions. Honestly, it was good. Promise.

Issue 67 - November 2006


Climax had sold off its Brighton-based racing studio to Disney and lopped a large number of people from its LA office. But Karl Jeffries was more positive than ever – Climax now had the resources to do the stuff it’d always wanted, he said. Providing that was ‘be quieter’.

Issue 68 - Dec ‘06/Jan ‘07


Amusingly, this month’s cover feature laments how Evolution’s close relationship with Sony meant that many people forgot it was independent. Oh well, turns out that really didn’t matter. Also, we caught up with David Braben to talk ambitious next-gen projects.

Issue 69 - February 2007


Keeping up the racing theme (and, indeed, the Sony theme), we looked at what Sony Liverpool could teach the rest of the dev industry about the PS3’s networked future. Consultants were put under the Develop microscope, and we found out more about XNA Game Studio.

Issue 70 - March 2007


Notice anything different? Yep, we did something different with our hair – and, well, all of the rest of us, come to think of it. Almost three years have since passed and, minor tweaks aside, we think we’re still looking pretty fresh. Can’t say the same for our editor-in-chief…

Issue 71 - April 2007


By now, Media Molecule’s super-secret first project had been unveiled, and it quite rightly warranted a cover (one designed by the team themselves, which makes it quite the collector’s edition). Staying in Guildford, we also spoke to Molyneux about Lionhead 2.0.

Issue 72 - May 2007


We go profile crazy in this issue, but with good reason: FreeStyleGames was making its moves to bigger things, Ubisoft Montreal put forward its ambition to be the world’s biggest studio, Kuju Brighton became the delightfully weird Zoë Mode, and Relentless were quizzed.

Issue 73 - June 2007


We cornered Microsoft Games Studios boss Phil Spencer to talk about the publisher’s new focus on European developers, and Blitz gave us a masterclass for Wiimote development while also proclaiming that the ‘next development battlefield was staff training.’

Issue 74 - July 2007


Quantic Dream had just signed up Heavy Rain with SCEE, so we asked them what they thought about the beast. This issue also marks the first appearance of Ed Fear, making his debut with a stunning overview of the localisation sector. He is definitely not the one writing these words.

Issue 75 - August 2007


Rockstar Leeds cleaned up at the Develop Awards thanks to their superlative work on GTA Liberty City Stories, so we pinned down Gordon Hall to find out how they created one of the few must-have PSP games of the time. Also, Warner Bros. made its first move into games.

Issue 76 - September 2007


Its animation tech line-up was finding huge success within the industry, but that wasn’t enough for Oxford-based NaturalMotion – they wanted to get into proper game dev too. We’re still looking forward to BackBreaker, even if we don’t ‘get’ American football.

Issue 77 - OCtober 2007


Disney’s purchase of Climax Racing raised quite a few eyebrows, some of which we helped to lower with our cover story in issue 67. But we wanted to know how Black Rock had slotted into the entertainment empire, and the answer was ‘quite nicely, thanks.’

Issue 78 - November 2007


It was perhaps one of the most surprising stories of the time, and Bungie’s emancipation from Microsoft is still unprecedented. We quizzed studio head Harold Ryan on what it meant for both parties, and how it was making Bungie become responsible once again.

Issue 79 - Dec ‘07/Jan ‘08


After a sustained effort of building up its internal development offices, Codemasters also went and opened a new studio in Guildford – so we snuck in to find out what was going on. We also looked at whether multiplatform development was harder in this gen.

Issue 80 - February 2008


Ah, the trusty list feature. We picked the 25 people that were changing the face of game development, including Satoru Iwata, Bobby Kotick and, er, Howard Tomlinson. Also, we had a typically try-hard interview with Gamecock. Yeah, what a surprise they went bust.

Issue 81 - March 2008


Our recruitment special touched on many separate issues – hiring females into dev roles, the skills shortage, the danger of writing off all games courses, interview techniques and training. We also spoke to Autodesk about getting into the middleware business.

Issue 82 - April 2008


Emote told us all about its plans for social gaming (back before Playfish went and conquered Facebook) and new models for developer funding, while we looked at the audio process for Battlefield Bad Company. A pretty slow month, looking back.

Issue 83 - May 2008


EA’s Guildford studio was renamed EA Bright Light, and we went undercover (read: were invited) to see its new IP Zubo and iterative design process. We also looked at how Dare to be Digital has grown over the years into an international event to be proud of.

Issue 84 - June 2008


The Games Up campaign sought to save Britsoft, and board member Rick Gibson talked us through the initiatives. We also looked at the rise of physics-based games, and featured the magnificent OE-CAKE!, which you should all play. Right now.

Issue 85 - July 2008


It’d been a while since we last looked at the burgeoning Brighton development scene, so you can’t blame us for putting it in focus for our Brighton show guide issue. What you can blame us for, though, is that headline: apparently ‘Brighton Pier’ is rhyming slang.

Issue 86 - August 2008


Rockstar North cleaned up at the Develop Awards, and so it only seemed right to go straight to the top and interview boss Sam Houser – and, amazingly, we did. We also charted Splash Damage’s journey from mod team to triple-A developer.

Issue 87 - September 2008


Singapore, India, China and Korea – four rapidly growing game development super-powers. We spoke to LucasArts Singapore, SCEE and Ubisoft Shanghai to find out what makes it such a great place to create games and innovate new business models.

Issue 88 - October 2008


In this humble writer’s opinion, this image is one of our best ever covers. We visited Japanese music game masters Inis to talk about how Lips was gunning to make the Xbox 360 more appealing to casual gamers. We also gushed about Gitaroo Man. A lot.

Issue 89 - November 2008


It wasn’t the first time we’d looked at Canada’s development scene, but how times had changed since the previous outing: overtaking the UK as the third biggest development country hurt. So we acted all nicey-nicey and profiled the country in a loving feature.

Issue 90 - Dec ‘08/Jan ‘09


PlayStation Home was mere days away from launch, so we visited London Studio and spoke to the director and lead programmer to find out where the whole idea came from, the logistics of building it, and the revenue generation possibilities for savvy developers.

Issue 91 - February 2009


No, wait, this is our best cover. We shamelessly tapped into the decade’s biggest tidal wave of goodwill, but hey, there was a link – it was our recruitment issue and, er, he’d just assumed a new job. If you think that’s bad, you should have seen the Jade Goody cover we cut.

Issue 92 - March 2009


From our best ever cover to one of our most talked about. Many people thought we’d deliberately picked a horrible picture of Peter Molyneux for the cover, but we didn’t – honest. But given that the interview was very warts-and-all, it was extra appropriate.

Issue 93 - April 2009


After releasing Pure in 2008 to much critical success, we drove (ho-ho!) our way down to Black Rock to find out all about its new IP, Hollywood racer Split/Second. Blitz also told us about how it had become a middleware vendor after being so against it in the past.

Issue 94 - May 2009


The results of the first Develop Global Quality of Life Survey were in, and they proved just what everyone suspected: game dev staff were overworked and underpaid. Entirely separate, honest, was London Studio’s look back at the history and progress of SingStar.

Issue 95 - June 2009


Bring up cloud gaming to developers and you’re guaranteed to get a frosty response, so we cornered the bigwigs at OnLive to find out what it really means for developers (and if it’s feasible at all). Telltale, meanwhile, told us how it’s managed to sustain the episodic model.

Issue 96 - July 2009


Sony’s platforms had been somewhat slighted by developers of late, so its answer was simple: revitalise the PSP with a new model and an easier approval pipeline. We spoke to the guys involved at SCEE, plus the indie developers looking to make their mark with Minis.

Issue 97 - August 2009


Media Molecule cleaned up at the Develop Awards (as did everyone who attended, looking at the pictures). Meanwhile, we spoke to Grand Prix award winners Codemasters about its internal and external dev efforts, and profiled Scotland’s developers once again.

Issue 98 - September 2009


Goodness gracious, two women on the cover within one year? Yep, and with good reason: Channel 4 was turning to games in order to fulfil its educational remit, and employing the services of indie developers to do so. We also had an(other) outsourcing spotlight.

Issue 99 - October 2009


Easily one of the biggest development teams in the world, the entire Assassin’s Creed II crew donned our cover as we quizzed them about the logistical nightmares of managing all those people. In stark contrast, we also spoke to Frontier about its 20-person LostWinds team.

Issue 100 - November 2009


This very issue you have in your hands, right now. If you want to know what’s inside it, look at the contents page – I’m not your mother. Here’s to the next 100, which we’ll probably all read on Kindles or something. I pity the sucker who has to write that round-up.