GDC dissects the classics

Inimitably influential hits like Pac-Man, Doom, Prince of Persia, Populous, Pitfall to receive postmortems at Game Developers Conference 2011 courtesy of original devs, including Will Wright, Peter Molyneux, Mark Cerny, and more.


In addition to presentations, panels, and roundtables about upcoming games and current trends in the industry, the Game Developers Conference commonly hosts postmortems on recently released titles, often frank assessments from developers into what went right and wrong over the course of a game's creation.

How did the action game Raid on Bungeling Bay lead to Sim City. Will Wright explains at GDC.
How did the action game Raid on Bungeling Bay lead to Sim City. Will Wright explains at GDC.

However, to mark the 25th annual installment of GDC, organizers have lined up some of the most acclaimed developers in the industry to talk about their industry-shaking--and industry-shaping--games. The Classic Game Postmortem Series will include reflective appraisals of 11 different games from key creators.

Fresh off of Fable III, Lionhead Studios founder Peter Molyneux will deliver a postmortem on his original god game, Populous. Meanwhile, Sims creator Will Wright will recap the making of Raid on Bungeling Bay, a Commodore 64 helicopter action game that led him to create Sim City. Pac-Man creator Toru Iwatani will also be on hand to recount the genesis of the iconic yellow pill-popper, while Activision cofounder David Crane will discuss the creation of Pitfall!, a game he designed in just 10 minutes of brainstorming.

Organizers have yet to schedule times and locations for the sessions, but they will take place within the main GDC, which runs March 2-4. The extended show, which includes an extra two days of summits and tutorials, begins February 28 and ends March 4. A complete list of Classic Game Postmortem Series titles and developers follows below:

Another World/Out of This World--Eric Chahi
Bejeweled--Jason Kapalka
Doom--John Romero
Elite--David Braben
Maniac Mansion--Ron Gilbert
Marble Madness--Mark Cerny
Pac-Man--Toru Iwatani
Pitfall!--David Crane
Populous--Peter Molyneux
Prince of Persia--Jordan Mechner
Raid on Bungeling Bay--Will Wright

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