I loved the “Classic Game Post-Mortems,” a series of one-hour talks in which game designers spoke about the making of their early games: Eric Chahi on Another World (aka Out of This World), Peter Molyneux on Populous, John Romero and Tom Hall on Doom, Mark Cerny on Marble Madness, Toru Iwatani on Pac-Man were fascinating, inspiring, and touching to hear. (I gave a talk about making Prince of Persia, and really appreciated the generous response.)
But what really grabbed me was the energy and excitement surrounding indie games, especially on new platforms like mobile phones, iOS, Facebook, XBLA and PSN. More than in any previous year, I was reminded of the Apple II zeitgeist of the early eighties. It feels like we’ve come full circle, as an industry, to that time when a tiny team with few resources but talent, creativity and elbow grease has the potential to produce the next hugely influential mega-hit.
And I’m pretty sure I just met some of them in San Francisco.