As the new year heats up around us, Game Developers Conference 2015 officials are excited to announce that another game industry luminary is coming to the show in March to deliver an informative, insightful postmortem of a seminal game.
Warren Robinett, the veteran programmer, designer and The Learning Company founder known for his groundbreaking game design work at Atari, TLC and NASA, is coming to GDC 2015 to deliver a Classic Game Postmortem on the creation of his hit 1979 game Adventure for the Atari 2600 console.
Adventure is particularly notable for (among other things) being one of the first graphical action-adventure games ever released. Adventure also contained one of the earliest known “Easter eggs” ever hidden in a game by a designer -- in this case, a hidden screen revealing Robinett’s name and authorship at a time when Atari was unwilling to publicly credit game makers for their work. Thus his efforts to create Adventure meaningfully advanced both the practice of game development and the fight for developers to be recognized for their work.
His talk is about the implementation of Adventure. For clarity, the game code has been translated into C (from its original 6502 assembler code). Because memory was extremely expensive in the late '70s, the program for Adventure had to fit into a 4K-byte ROM chip. Therefore the program was very short -- barely a dozen pages of C code!
At GDC in March, Robinett will speak at length about how he managed to create the game, how it was all jammed into 4K of memory, and how he gave in-game creatures "desires" and "fears" at a time when most games were still filled with simplistic AI.
This is an hour-long session that's worth keeping on your radar, so make sure to bookmark the session on the GDC 2015 Session Scheduler.
While you're there, you can check out the growing list of announced talks and begin to plan out your conference week, then later export it to the up-to-the-minute GDC Mobile App (also coming soon!).
In the months ahead, conference officials look forward to announcing many more GDC 2015 sessions spanning a diverse array of game industry issues.
For now, don't miss the opportunity to save money by registering early -- the deadline to register for passes at a discounted rate is this month -- January 21! GDC 2015 itself will take place March 2-6 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.
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