Latest issue of Develop out now

Latest issue of Develop out now

By Ed Fear

July 20th 2009 at 9:48AM

Issue 96 with subscribers now; also available as a free download

Looking for a reason to procrastinate at work? Banish all thoughts of reading Things My Girlfriend and I Have Argued About for the fifth time: the latest issue of Develop is out now. And not to worry if you're not a print subscriber: it's also available online, either as a PDF download or in your browser via the magic of Issuu.

And what an issue it is. Our cover feature details Sony's new plans to reinvigorate game development on the PSP, and it goes far beyond just cheaper dev kits. We also talk to some of the developers looking to make their debut on the platform with smaller, more focused digital titles.

Also, we chat to Peter Molyneux shortly after the reveal of Milo, discussing the genesis of the project, the collaboration with Microsoft Research, and Lionhead's history with what it calls 'emotional AI' – creating the illusion of complex behaviour from simple systems.

If you're an Xbox developer, you might know about the Developer Account Managers that Microsoft has in the US - but did you know that it has a UK team too? One of the managers, Ben Board, has penned an article detailing exactly what services they can help you with to make sure you're using them to their utmost, right from the planning stages.

We've also got an interview with Remedy, in which we discuss the protracted development of Alan Wake; our regional focus on the Midlands examines what makes the area a great place for game development and big wigs in the mobile games industry talk mobile development.

In our Build section, we've got an interview with Japanese middleware developer CRI on its push into iPhone middleware - both for traditional areas like video and audio compression and, more intriguingly, middleware to help market apps. We also round up the latest rendering tech, encompassing lightmapping and occlusion culling solutions to give your game that extra visual push. Key Release takes a look at Kodu, Microsoft's (Turing-complete!) attempt to get kids designing and programming games with just a controller, and Testology's Andy Robson writes a piece on how QA and testing firms shouldn't be scared of employees using it the job as a stepping stone to better things, but instead embrace it.

Of course, there's our usual round-up of news, including British union BECTU's response to the Develop Global Quality of Life Survey, and a report from Tiga's NESTA partnership event. Our columnists are on fine form as usual too: Owain Bennallack laments the death of the game character in this post-Rock Band and Natal world; Rick Gibson takes a deeper look at the economics of free-to-play MMOs; Billy Thomson takes a look at the ways developers can discourage pre-owned sales by extending the life of their games; and Black Rock's David Jefferies takes a look at the surprising amount of lag involved with today's wireless controllers and LCD TVs.

So, if anything above has piqued your interest - and if it hasn't, check that you're not dead inside - check it out here.