Heads up, '90s kids: Game Developers Conference 2018 organizers are thrilled to announce that a game industry veteran will be attending this year's show to present a rare behind-the-scenes look at the making of an arcade classic.
Mark Turmell, a longtime game designer and programmer who's been making games since the '80s, will be at GDC 2018 in San Francisco this March to present a fascinating Classic Game Postmortem of NBA Jam!
Released in 1993, Midway's NBA Jam is among the most influential arcade games of all time. Turmell served as lead designer and programmer on the original arcade game, and in his talk he plans to explain the vision behind the game, its role during the '90s arcade boom, and how the first ridiculously huge dunk changed the course of the game’s design.
Attendees will learn exactly what went into one of the most influential arcade games of the 1990s, and its impact on the market. Expect unusual, little-known facts and anecdotes about this groundbreaking game’s development, many of which is still applicable and relatable to game developers today and ones that Mark continues to use today in his games!
Of course, Turmell's game development credits go back to the early 1980s (starting with Apple II, Atari VCS, and even Hasbro's ISIX platform) but his coin-op titles for Williams and Midway – encompassing Smash TV, NBA Jam, and WWF Wrestlemania – established a new style of play in the game industry. He eventually moved on to Electronic Arts as a senior creative director with the company, and now serves as senior creative director at Zynga.
As always, this Classic Game Postmortem will be an hour-long session, so we figured you might appreciate the heads-up so you can keep this exciting talk on your radar! In the months ahead, conference officials look forward to announcing many more GDC 2018 sessions spanning a diverse array of game industry issues.