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Classic Game Postmortem: 'NBA Jam'


Mark Turmell (Sr. Creative Director, Zynga)

Location: Room 25, North Hall

Date: Thursday, March 22

Time: 10:00am - 11:00am

Pass Type: All Access, GDC Conference + Summits, GDC Conference - Get your pass now!

Topic: Design

Format: Session

Vault Recording: Video

Midway’s 1993 classic NBA Jam is among the most influential arcade games of all time. Mark Turmell, lead designer and programmer on the original arcade game, will explain the vision behind the game, its role during the '90s arcade boom, and how the first ridiculously huge dunk changed the course of the game’s design.


Attendees will learn exactly what went into one of the most influential arcade games of the 1990s, and its impact on the market. Expect unusual, little-known facts and anecdotes about this groundbreaking game’s development, many of which is still applicable and relatable to game developers today and ones that Mark continues to use today in his games.

Intended Audience

This talk is for any game developer interested in the development history behind one of the most influential arcade games of all time.