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'Tales from the GDC Vault' presents classic EA, Maxis, Namco videos from 1998

Continuing his Tales from the GDC Vault series, GDC historian Jason Scott has digitized and uploaded five notable videos from the 1998 Computer Game Developers Conference, all of which are available online for the first time.

These classic CGDC videos continue to provide us a look back at some of the most challenging issues our industry faced almost 15 years ago. The archives which will be further added to over the next few months give us another chance to both learn from our past and even apply classic game development lessons to today's ever-changing market.

These videos, which feature renowned industry figures such as EA's Richard Hilleman (pictured), Shiny Entertainment founder Dave Perry, and Maxis engineer Paul Pedriana, join a handful of other GDC Vault lectures from 1998. Join us now as we look back at more exciting lectures and presentations from another classic Computer Game Developers Conference:

- Current Electronic Arts chief creative officer Richard Hilleman keynotes the 1998 conference with "Herding Cats: How to Build, Manage and Sustain Successful Teams." The EA veteran expresses that leadership is not enough to make good teams work for product development, but that it is part of a bigger system, discussing who the customers are and how to reach them, leadership characteristics that work for him, and how to build teams effective in the long-term, while adhering to holistic lessons "learned from Mom." He even encourages hiring and nurturing his own replacements, stating that doing so "will set you free." [GDC Vault free video]

- Interestingly, Michael "SAXS" Persson and David Perry (who both worked at Earthworm Jim and MDK studio Shiny Entertainment) walk the crowd through their scalable real-time deformation and tessellation engine in the lecture, "Messiah: What You May or May Not Believe." Persson walks through rendering several Messiah characters, discussing the sophisticated for the time tools and 3D engine used in creating the noted "body swapping" game. [GDC Vault free video.]

- Elsewhere, Maxis software engineer Paul Pedriana (SimCity 3000) expresses that the C++ language has evolved to become "perfectly viable for games" in his lecture, "High Performance Game Programming in C++." Pedriana blazes through 60 slides in 60 minutes, covering dozens of programming topics, while analyzing related code and showing their benchmark results. [GDC Vault free video]

- Former Namco senior developer Gil Colgate shares heaps of mathematics and programming techniques in his lecture, In "Collision Detection in Pac-Man Ghost Zone: Collision Techniques in a 3D Environment for Man and Camera." Recalling his experience with the unreleased PlayStation game, Colgate explains an alternative to programming true physics. These physics rules, he says, aptly put the "fib" in what he calls Fibonacci physics, which helps programming of 3D character actions. [GDC Vault free video]

- Finally, co-creator of the Bentley-Ottmann algorithm and 2004 Dr. Dobbs Excellence in Programming award recipient, Jon Bentley of Bell Labs argues that speed is best built in from the beginning of a project in his lecture, "Blazing Fast Code." Suitable for those who are familiar with the C programming language, Bentley touches on several performance techniques from micro case studies that lead to huge speed increases. [GDC Vault free video]

These free videos join a host of other paid and free lectures available on GDC Vault, which is undertaking a major effort to digitize its back catalog of material for modern audiences for free. Paid subscriptions to thousands of newer GDC lectures are also available, and interested parties can apply for the individual subscription Beta via a GDC Vault inquiry form.

Group subscriptions are also available: game-related schools and development studios who sign up for GDC Vault Studio Subscriptions can receive access for their entire office or company. More information on this option is available via an online demonstration, and interested parties can send an email to Gillian Crowley. In addition, current subscribers with access issues can contact GDC Vault admins.

Be sure to keep an eye on GDC Vault for more free content in the weeks ahead, as GDC organizers will also archive videos, audio, and slides from upcoming 2012 events like GDC Europe, GDC Online, and GDC China. To stay abreast of all the latest updates to GDC Vault, be sure to check out the news feed on the official GDC website, or subscribe to updates via Twitter, Facebook, or RSS.

Tales From The GDC Vault

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