Days of Yore, GDC 2011

Next week is GDC week.  That’s the Game Developer’s Conference in San Francisco.  This is a truly huge event with about 18,000 people in attendance in each of the past three years.  I went for the first time in San Jose about 20 years ago,  and 300 people attended then.

Back in those days is was Chris Crawford’s event,  having started in his living room.  It was called the CGDC  (computer game developer’s conference).  Some years later the “computer” was dropped since most video game development was happening for non-computers like Gameboys and SNESes.  The weird thing is that the proper name should probably be VGDC (video game developer’s conference)  but then again,  in a few years we might move on to holograms of direct brain manipulations,  so the GDC is ready if and/or when that happens.

The good news is that Chris Crawford will again be at GDC this year.  Here’s an excerpt from Chris’s description:

As part of the special lectures around the 25th GDC show, original CGDC founder and Balance Of Power creator Chris Crawford will present a session called ‘In Days of Yore’  explaining how “the earliest days of computer games were times of technological swashbuckling, shoestring budgets, amateur designers, amateurish products, and wild experimentation. ”

I disagree with that “amateurish” characterization of the products of that time.  We were as professional for the standards of those days. At the same time we were furiously advancing the state of the art,  hence the wild experimentation.  Fortunately the spirit of those Days of Yore is still alive and well 25 years later.


About Franz Lanzinger

Franz Lanzinger is a classic video game developer with video game credits for Atari's coin-op Crystal Castles, Tengen Ms. Pacman, SNES Rampart, and the Gubble series. He has a degree in mathematics, wrote "Classic Game Design", a book about how to make classic video games, and is a professional pianist, accompanist and piano teacher.
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