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CLASSIC GAME POSTMORTEMS  

Take a trip behind the scenes with the creators of some of the most innovative games of their time. Discover the lessons learned by the makers of these landmark game titles and find inspiration in understanding what it took to bring these games to life.

2014 CLASSIC STUDIO POSTMORTEM

Classic Studio Postmortem:
Lucasfilm Games
Noah Falstein (Moderator), Ron Gilbert, David Fox, Peter Langston, Steve Arnold, Chip Morningstar
Before there was LucasArts, there was Lucasfilm Games. From a small startup within a medium-sized (and very famous) film company, this group grew from 1982 to 1990 to become one of the most popular game companies of its day, then morphed (a Lucasfilm term!) into LucasArts, which was acquired by Disney and then shut down shortly after GDC 2012. In those early days, the company was known for experimentation, with early multiplayer (Ballblazer), first-person games (Rescue on Fractalus, Koronis Rift), the first MMO, (Habitat/Club Caribe), and of course some well-loved Graphic Adventures (Maniac Mansion, Zak McKracken, The Secret of Monkey Island, Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis and more). This post-mortem asks the questions, "What mix of creative and business forces shaped this early success story?" and "Could this kind of company be duplicated today?"

2014 CLASSIC GAME POSTMORTEMS

Classic Game Postmortem:
Zork
Dave Lebling
Dave Lebling and Marc Blank, co-authors of Zork and co-founders of Infocom, get together to give a postmortem talk on the classic text adventure. Lebling, who currently works as a senior principal engineer at BAE Systems, created the "grue," co-authored Zork I-III and seven other text adventures. Together, they plan to give an hour-long talk explaining, among other things, the creation of both the mainframe and microcomputer versions of Zork, the trials and tribulations of coding a cutting-edge text parser, and what it was like to experiment with self-publishing at a time when most PC games were sold in hand-packed plastic bags.
Classic Game Postmortem:
Shenmue
Yu Suzuki
Yu Suzuki, the influential Japanese game designer famously known for his work at Sega, will be delivering a Classic Game Postmortem on the iconic Dreamcast game Shenmue. Mark Cerny, game designer and lead system architect for PlayStation 4 will be on-hand to translate Suzuki's presentation into English for the audience.

Suzuki, currently president of his own studio YsNet, will talk for the very first time about the creation of the console classic Shenmue. Beginning with the origin of the title as a Virtua Fighter-based RPG on the Sega Saturn, he will take the audience through the long journey of the game that led to its ultimate release in 1999 on the Sega Dreamcast.
Classic Game Postmortem:
Robotron: 2084
Eugene Jarvis
Eugene Jarvis, the influential game designer famously known for his work creating seminal titles like Defender and NARC, will be delivering a classic game postmortem on the iconic arcade game Robotron: 2084 at GDC 2014. Jarvis, currently president of the Raw Thrills arcade game studio, will talk about the creation of the arcade classic Robotron: 2084. Topics will include game design, play mechanics, hardware, software, enemy dynamics and sound synthesis. Drawing from his experiences in the industry, Jarvis will explain how Robotron's revolutionary dual-joystick control scheme was conceived and why the classic top-down shooter's wave-based survival combat remains so appealing more than thirty years after its 1982 release.
 
UBM Tech