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Video: Steve Golson's postmortem of the classic Ms. Pac-Man

January 18, 2017 | By Staff

“I’m Steve Golson, and you’re all here to hear about Ms. Pac-Man.

With that matter-of-fact opening, game design veteran Steve Golson delivered a fascinating hour-long session at GDC 2016 about the development of an arcade classic: how Ms. Pac-Man grew out of a Pac-Man upgrade kit tentatively titled "Crazy Otto," for example, and how -- 20 years after Ms. Pac-Man was released -- Golson and his collaborators had to reverse-engineer their own code to show usage during legal wrangling over royalties for modern versions of the game.

“I know this is supposed to be a postmortem, but...postmortem means somebody died. So maybe it’s a postpartum,” said Golson, in closing. “Ms. Pac-Man lives on.”

It was a really great talk, especially if you have an interest in the history of Pac-Man and arcade games in general. If you missed it last year, no worries -- you can now watch the entire postmortem for free on the official GDC YouTube channel!

About the GDC Vault

In addition to this presentation, the GDC Vault and its new YouTube channel offers numerous other free videos, audio recordings, and slides from many of the recent Game Developers Conference events, and the service offers even more members-only content for GDC Vault subscribers.

Those who purchased All Access passes to recent events like GDC, GDC Europe, and GDC Next already have full access to GDC Vault, and interested parties can apply for the individual subscription via a GDC Vault subscription page. 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 by contacting staff via the GDC Vault group subscription page. Finally, current subscribers with access issues can contact GDC Vault technical support.

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