GDC 2013 Reveals Return Of The Classic Game Postmortem Series For Third Consecutive Year Original Creators of Crystal Castles, Myst, Pinball Construction Set and X-COM: UFO Defense to Share War Stories In The Return of the Popular GDC Series

SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 29, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- By popular demand, the Game Developers Conference (GDC) is bringing back the Classic Games Postmortem series for the third consecutive year with sessions taking a close look at four seminal games at GDC 2013. Organizers have revealed that postmortems for Crystal Castles, Myst, Pinball Construction Set and X-COM: UFO Defense are confirmed for this year's conference. Organized by the UBM Tech Game Network, GDC 2013 will take place March 25-29 at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, California.

The Classic Game Postmortems series provides GDC attendees with sessions that examine the development of some of the industry's most influential landmark titles.  The series debuted at GDC 2011 as part of the conference's twenty-fifth anniversary celebration and has returned each year since due to its ever-increasing popularity.  For this reason, the GDC has also begun to introduce Classic Game Postmortem sessions at its other conferences around the world.

This year, the original designer and programmer of Crystal Castles, Franz Lanzinger, will discuss secrets of the classic Atari arcade game; Robyn Miller co-director of Myst, the best-selling PC game of the 1990s, will share how he and his brother created a game that remains relevant more than 20 years later; Bill Budge, father of the seminal Pinball Construction Set will lay out one of the earliest examples of an in-game editor – a title that game developer legend Will Wright has credited as a key influence on the simulation games that launched him to stardom; and Julian Gollop will reveal tactics he deployed in directing, co-designing, co-programming and co-drawing X-COM: UFO Defense.  Additional details for each postmortem are as follows:

  • Celebrating its 30th anniversary this year and notable for being the first arcade action game with an actual ending, Crystal Castles broke ground as a fast paced yet nonviolent 3D isometric game.  The title was Atari's first arcade game with an ingenious secret warp system and impressed designers regardless of not using a traditional "attract" mode. Franz Lanzinger, the original programmer and designer, will share rare documents, sketches, photos, video and actual 6502 code with GDC attendees during his Classic Game Postmortem.
  • Described as being an immersive experience that draws in players and doesn't let them go, Myst is the best-selling PC game of the 1990s and is also often attributed as the game that sold CD-ROM drives since its majestic 3D world was too large for floppy disks. Developed by Cyan and filled with puzzles and mysteries that unraveled in front of players' eyes, Myst could be argued as a title that began the notation of "experiencing" a game and not simply "playing" a game. Since its release in 1993, Myst has been remade and ported to more than 10 platforms, including most recently the Nintendo 3DS and iOS. In his postmortem, Robyn Miller, the original co-creator and sound composer, will discuss the road to making a game that is still relevant to the game community two decades later.
  • Published in 1983 by Electronic Arts, Pinball Construction Set created a new genre in videogames that encouraged user generated content where players could trade personalized content via floppy disk. The game's editor allowed players to construct their own virtual pinball tables, and players could save these tables to disk and trade them with friends. The editor's clean and simple interface even served as inspiration to designs behind SimCity six years later – Sims creator Will Wright cited Pinball Construction Set as his key inspiration while speaking on the GDC 2012 panel "Forgotten Tales Remembered."  Bill Budge, the father of the seminal Pinball entry, will lay out the blueprints for how he created his own game and one of the earliest examples of an in-game editor.
  • Firaxis' and 2K Games' recent X-COM: Enemy Unknown is actually a remake of a series that began twenty years ago. It all started in 1994 with MicroProse's UFO: Enemy Unknown, entitled X-COM: UFO Defense in North America, a real-time base management simulation with turn-based tactical combat and an engaging story of alien invasion. The marriage of its distinct Geoscape and Battlescape views represented the game's strategy and battle modes, respectively; and they provided what felt like two different and compelling games in one. In this postmortem, Julian Gollop will lay out the tactics he deployed in directing, co-designing, co-programming, and even co-drawing the first, and often highest regarded, UFO/X-COM entry.

"Needless to say, we're very excited about this year's Class Game Postmortem series line-up.  The four titles are so diverse and each one helped shape new game genres that are still popular today," said Meggan Scavio, GDC general manager. "It's always fascinating to see original design documents from influential titles resurfaced and to hear from the creators of iconic titles that we grew up with pass on their knowledge to the next generation of game developers."

For more information about the 2012 Game Developers Conference or to register online, visit www.gdconf.com.

About the UBM Tech Game Network 
A core provider of essential information to the professional game industry, the UBM Tech Game Network 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 Gamasutra.com 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, Game Developer Magazine, the Game Career Seminars and GameCareerGuide.com, the Independent Games Festival and Summit, and the Game Developers Choice Awards. Visit: www.jointhegamenetwork.com

About UBM Tech
UBM Tech, the global leader in technology media and professional information, enables people and organizations to harness the transformative power of technology. Through its three core businesses – media solutions, marketing services and paid content – UBM Tech produces the most respected and consumed brands and media applications in the technology market. More than 14.5 million business and technology professionals (CIOs and IT managers, Web & Digital professionals, Software Developers, Government decision makers, and Telecom providers) actively engage in UBM Tech's communities and information resources monthly. UBM Tech brands includes: global face-to-face events such as Interop, Web 2.0, Black Hat and Enterprise Connect; award-winning online resources such as InformationWeek, Light Reading, and Network Computing; and market-leading magazines InformationWeek, Wall Street & Technology, and Advanced Trading. UBM Tech is a UBM plc company, a global provider of news distribution and specialist information services with a market capitalization of more than $2.5 billion.  Visit: tech.ubm.com 

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