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2011 Game Developers Conference

More classic game post-mortems announced.

Additional ‘classic postmortems’ include Mark Cerny on Marble Madness and Jordan Mechner on the making of the original Prince of Persia.  Also, David Braben is talking seminal space exploration title Elite, Eric Chahi analyzes Out Of This World/Another World and Ron Gilbert is discussing the making of Maniac Mansion. Finally, David Crane discusses the making of Pitfall!, Jason Kapalka looks at his work on PopCap's Bejeweled, and Peter Molyneux, this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award winner at the Game Developers Choice Awards, presents a lecture on the making of original ‘god game’ Populous.

The special one-off hour long lectures, part of celebrations for the 25th iteration of GDC, will all take place during the Game Developers Conference, held at the Moscone Center in San Francisco February 28-March 4, 2011.  The reveal of the classic postmortems follows the recent announcement of a keynote lecture at GDC 25 to be given by Nintendo president Satoru Iwata, whose talk, “ Video Games Turn 25: A Historical Perspective and Vision for the Future” also commemorates the 25 th  edition of the conference.

As detailed on a special ‘classic postmortems’ webpage on the Game Developers Conference website, (, the following eleven special lectures are now confirmed for GDC 2011:

- Another World/Out Of This World (Eric Chahi)

“Released across more than a dozen platforms since its 1991 debut, Out of This World (a.k.a. Another World) has long been a favorite among critics and sophisticated gamers alike for its cinematic cutscenes and atmospheric presentation. Out Of This World's creator Eric Chahi will reveal his process developing the innovative game and building its memorable scenes.”

- Bejeweled (Jason Kapalka)

“As one of the top most popular puzzle games of all time, Bejeweled and its spin-offs and sequels are everywhere. The man behind the addictive match-three game, PopCap co-founder and chief creative officer Jason Kapalka , will deliver a postmortem talk about designing the franchise that's seen more than 150 million downloads and sold over 25 million copies.”

- Doom (John Romero)

“Few games can match the ubiquity and legacy of Doom, the seminal first-person shooter that ushered in thousands of mods, clones, and successors. Programmer, game designer, level designer and Doom II final boss John Romero will deliver a postmortem on the game showing never-before-seen material, memorializing its immersive but nerve-wracking 3D environments, networked multiplayer deathmatches, Satanic imagery and themes, Barney WADs, exploding barrels, and BFG 9000.”

- Elite (David Braben)

“When it launched over 25 years ago, Elite amazed science fiction fans with its interstellar missions presented with wireframe 3D graphics, eight galaxies to explore, and thousands of procedurally generated planets. Co-creator David Braben, a stalwart in the video game industry and founder/chairman of Frontier Developments, will discuss the genesis of the space-trading sim that went on to inspire titles like EVE Online, Freelancer, Wing Commander: Privateer, and many other sci-fi games.”

- Maniac Mansion (Ron Gilbert)

“Cherished by adventure game fans and reviled by hamsters everywhere, Maniac Mansion was the first adventure game LucasArts developed on its SCUMM (Script Creation Utility for Maniac Mansion) platform – the beloved scripting engine used for subsequent classics like Sam & Max and the Monkey Island series. Ron Gilbert will talk about his work on Maniac Mansion, touching on the game's multiple endings, point-and-click interface and its oddball cast of characters.”

- Marble Madness (Mark Cerny)

“Mark Cerny is a legend in the games industry, working as a consultant, producer, and programmer on hits like Resistance, Ratchet and Clank, Jak and Daxter, Spyro the Dragon, and Sonic the Hedgehog 2. Before building that near-incomparable resume, though, he designed Atari's Marble Madness, the addictive and maddening arcade game that ate scads of quarters as players craved another spin of its trackball. Along with the game's catchy soundtrack and Escher-esque graphics, Cerny will share insights on how he designed the classic title.”

- Pac-Man (Toru Iwatani)

“More than just the man who created and designed Pac-Man, Toru Iwatani revolutionized an arcade industry filled with space shooters and Pong clones, introducing a new kind of game that was both immediately accessible and highly addictive. In this session, Iwatani will share how he created one of the world’s most successful and beloved arcade games around a circle with a wedge sliced off.”

- Pitfall! (David Crane)

“Pitfall! isn't just one of the most successful and cherished releases of the Atari 2600; it's also the game many immediately think of whenever the decades-old console comes up in a conversation. Industry legend David Crane, co-founder of Activision and Absolute Entertainment ( A Boy and His Blob), will reminisce about Pitfall!'s vine-swinging hero Harry and the breakthrough game he famously designed with just a blank sheet of paper and 10 minutes of brainstorming. “

- Populous (Peter Molyneux)

“One of the first god games ever released, Bullfrog's Populous beguiled players with its premise of playing as an all-powerful divine being capable of shaping the earth. Populous' always entertaining designer Peter Molyneux, who went on to found Lionhead Studios, where he helped create the game's spiritual descendant Black & White and popular RPG series Fable, will talk about his work on the ground-breaking (and -raising and -lowering) isometric sim.”

- Prince Of Persia (Jordan Mechner)

“Decades before it was a Hollywood film with tens of millions of dollars and hundreds of workers supporting its production, Prince of Persia was mostly the project of a single man. Jordan Mechner rotoscoped the game's fluid and realistic character animations, designed its difficult puzzles, crafted its thrilling sword-fighting combat, and penned its captivating story. He will present a postmortem discussion on the landmark cinematic platformer.”

- Raid On Bungeling Bay (Will Wright)

“Before he became a household name with gamers, Will Wright created Raid on Bungeling Bay, a helicopter action/strategy title for the Commodore 64, NES, and and MSX. The unassuming game would serve as the inspiration for Wright's much, much, much more popular Sim City series, as it was during his tinkering with Raid on Bungeling Bay's editor that the designer discovered building complex cities was more fun and had more potential than destroying them.”

All of the ‘classic postmortem’ lectures, likely to be extremely popular, will be held in the largest possible lecture halls at GDC 2011 — attendance will be on a first come, first served basis. In addition, the postmortems will all be video recorded for free post-show availability on the conference's GDC Vault online service.

Game Developers Conference 2011 — part of the UBM TechWeb Game Network — takes place from February 28th to March 4th, 2011 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. Early, reduced-price registration is only available until Monday, January 24th at 11.59pm PT, and more information is available on the official GDC website,

About the UBM TechWeb Game Network 

A core provider of essential information to the professional game industry, the  UBM TechWeb Game Network – formerly known as the Think Services Game Group - offers market-defining content, and drives community through its award winning lineup of print, online, event and research products and services. These include the Game Developers Conference®, the Webby Award-winning and network of sites, the Game Advertising Online ad network, the Game Developers Conference® Online, the Game Developers Conference™ Europe, the Game Developers Conference™ China, the Game Developers Conference™ Canada, Game Developer Magazine, Game Developer Research, the Game Career Seminars and, the Independent Games Festival and Summit, and the Game Developers Choice Awards.

About UBM TechWeb, a division of United Business Media

UBM TechWeb, the global leader in technology media and professional information, enables people and organizations to harness the transformative power of technology.  Through its core businesses – media solutions, marketing services and professional information – UBM TechWeb produces the most respected and consumed brands, applications and services in the technology market. More than 14.5 million business and technology professionals (CIOs, IT and IT Support managers, Web & Digital professionals, Software and Game developers, Government decision makers, and Telecom providers) actively participate in UBM TechWeb’s communities. UBM TechWeb brands includes: global face-to-face events such as Interop, Game Developers Conference (GDC), Web 2.0, Black Hat and VoiceCon; large-scale online networks such as InformationWeek,  Light Reading and Gamasutra; research, training, and certification services, including HDI, Pyramid Research, and InformationWeek Analytics; and market-leading magazines such as InformationWeek and Wall Street & Technology.  UBM TechWeb is part of UBM, a global provider of media and information services for professional B2B communities and markets.  

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