"The fundamental constraint holding back game design [is] the lack of people."-- Legendary game designer Chris Crawford (Balance of Power, Eastern Front (1941)) reflects on how games are still merely about things and not people, which he first observed in 1982 and which he felt still held true during his GDC 2011 talk. Crawford's appearance at the 25th anniversary of GDC was particularly special, as he was the founder of the original event, then called the Computer Game Developers Conference. In this talk, titled "In Days of Yore," he revisits the computers of the time (including the Altair 8800, Atari 2600, and Commodore 64), and discusses both the technical and interpersonal resources professionals have gained to make games, and the diversity that he feels modern games have lost. During the 20-minute Q&A session, Crawford shares his observations between the DIY developers of the 1980s and the rising indie scene. The two differences he spots are how the diversity of games isn't as great from indies, which he believes is because "their minds have already been diluted by what's already out there...people's imaginations weren't bound by past history [then] because there was no tradition at all." He also notes that there is now a much lower signal-to-noise ratio, with many more indies making it "really hard to find those few gems in it."
3 min read
Video: The good ol' days of games, according to Chris Crawford
Legendary game dev and CGDC founder Chris Crawford examines the technical and interpersonal resources developers have gained over the past 25 years, and the diversity modern games may have lost.