The best of Develop 2015

Catch up on some of our most read articles of the year
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At Develop, we strive to bring you the best content to help inspire and educate developers both established and aspiring.

In addition to the usual news and events coverage, we try to source as much original content for the magazine and the website: interviews with leading and inspirational developers, case studies and success stories that could help other studios succeed, guides to the best development tools and so on.

This has continued throughout 2015, and below are just some of our most read articles of the year. Why not take a look and see if there's anything you missed?

1. The Develop Tutorials section

Back in May, we lifted the lid on something we've been trying to add to the site for years: a tutorial section where devs can find hands-on guides to development written by experts, as well as top tips for various aspects of game design. 

As a taster in the run-up to the launch, we ran two articles offering tips on how to get the most out of the most popular game engines. So here are 10 things you didn't know you could do with Unity and with Unreal Engine 4.

2. Twelve alternative game engines

GDC is always abuzz with the latest additions and upgrades to the three big engines: Unity, Unreal and Crytek. But there are plenty of alternative toolsets that devs might not be as familiar with.

Often these engines are tailored specifically towards certain development needs, making them ideal for developers with a keen focus on certain genres and mechanics. So we provided a guide to 12 alternative game engines devs might want to consider.

3. Meet the voice behind Destiny's Eris Morn

Destiny has been huge news in the world of gaming over the past year as Bungie ventured into new territory for the triple-A space: an ongoing title with significant updates and events to keep gamers engaged throughout the year.

Perhaps the biggest event was the launch of the first expansion, The Dark Below, which introduced a new series of quests offered by the mysterious Eris Morn. We caught up with voice actress Morla Gorrondona to find out how she brought the character to life.

4. Avengers reassembled: How Gazillion rescued the struggling Marvel Herroes MMO

The MMO space has become increasingly difficult to achieve ongoing succes in, and titles that fail to meet expectations at launch are often viewed as a lost cause, unable to redeem themselves from a shaky start.

Gazillion Entertainment refused to believe this with its free-to-play title Marvel Heroes. We spoke to the firm's CEO David Brevik to find out how consumer feedback, close ties with Marvel and a complete relaunch helped revitalise the game.

5. The future of game graphics

The latest generation of consoles, plus the ever-evolving PC, has raised the bar for in-game visuals yet again but how far can this trend continue?

Develop spoke to experts from AMD, Geomerics, Havok, Faceware and RealtimeUK about the constant push for photorealism and the implications for virtual reality.

6. Steam Machines: Console killer or vanity project

With Valve's ambitious new devices finally on shelves, we have a new games platform offering an alternative route into the living room – but one that requires more work and full Linux compatibility.

We spoke to Valve's Gabe Newell and top PC games developers about the full potential of the Steam Machines and whether rival devices should be concerned.

7. Life after Prey 2: How Human Head recovered from cancellation

Human Head Studios poured years of work into the ever-elusive Prey 2 before the project was officially cancelled by Bethesda. Such a cancellation would spell doom for many studios, but Human Head endured.

We spoke to project director Chris Rhinehart and project lead Norm Nazaroff about the studio's next step and how it recovered to the point where it could develop new combat-and-crafting title Minimum.

8. Is Star Citizen a crowdfunding black hole?

With $100m in the bank and version 2.0 of the Alpha build now on its way to backers, there seems to be no end in the support for Cloud Imperium's massive-scale space exploration game.

We spoke to CEO Chris Roberts about the cynicsim around the game's crowdfunding efforts, as well as the need to communicate the challenges of games development to backers.

9. 'Peter Molyneux was a broken man': Meet the new CEO that plans to fix him

22cans had a rough start to the year when controversy arose surrounding the still-in-development Godus, the allegedly unfulfilled promises to backers and the God that was forgotten. In the months that followed, Peter Molyneux stepped down to a creative role and hired a new CEO.

We managed to track down that CEO, Simon Phillips, at Develop Brighton and spoke to him about his plans to get 22cans back on track, to help Peter Molyneux achieve his vision and to appease a Godus community that was rapidly running out of patience.

10. From blindness to the migrant crisis: Why everything is fair game for developers

There is a growing number of developers shying away from the typical video games fare in favour of titles that tackle far more serious and sensitive topics, be they medical, social or political.

We spoke to the teams behind such ambitious games as Hellblade, The Town of Light, Beyond Eyes and Passengers about how they ensure their projects will inform not offend and discuss whether devs should even be looking into these issues.

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