Preserving educational and professional content is hard work that shouldn’t be taken for granted. Here is a huge collection of recorded gamedev-related talks from the 1999 GDC that have been digitized and archived online.
Famous archivist Jason Scott published the collection of the 1999 GDC tapes on the Internet Archive. This was made possible thanks to a donation from an attendee who had the “entire sold tapes for the conference.”
According to Scott’s post on Mastodon, he spent “over two months digitizing 90+ cassettes from the 1999 Game Developers Conference (via a slow-and-steady workflow that got the job done without being too disruptive to any other work I was doing).”
The archive includes recordings of over 70 hours of lectures, keynotes, and panels from prominent game developers. There are talks from:
- Mario and The Legend of Zelda creator Shigeru Miyamoto;
- Earthworm Jim and Disney’s Aladdin co-creator David Perry;
- Modeller and artist Paul Steed, who worked on Quake, Wing Commander, and more;
- Star Wars: DroidWorks creators Collette Michaud and Jonathan Blossom;
- Tetris creator Alexey Pajitnov and famous puzzle game designer Scott Kim;
- Valve engineer Jay Stelly, who was responsible for tweaking the Quake engine to build the framework for the first Half-Life;
- Sound designer and supervisor Scott Gershin, who worked on Pitfall: The Mayan Adventure, MechWarrior 2, Labyrinth of Crete, as well as (in the future) the Devil May Cry, Resident Evil, and Gears of War series;
- BioWare co-founder Ray Muzyka, who at the time had already produced the first Baldur’s Gate.
In addition to the audio tape archive, Jason Scott also shared a link to all the proceedings for the 1999 GDC.
1999 was the year when the Computer Game Developers Conference changed its name to GDC. To this day, the event is held on an annual basis, bringing together thousands of games industry professionals from all over the world.