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View, browse and sort the ever-growing list of sessions by pass type, track, and format. With this Session Viewer, you can view session and speaker details for the 2024 Game Developers Conference. New sessions are regularly added leading up to GDC, and all dates and times will be announced about 4 weeks before the event. Once live, you will be able to build your schedule with the GDC Mobile App.

Sessions do fill up and seating is first come, first serve, so arrive early to sessions that you would like to attend.

Classic Game Postmortem: 'Karateka'

Jordan Mechner  (Author, Independent)

Pass Type: All Access Pass, Core Pass - Get your pass now!

Topic: Design

Format: Session

Vault Recording: TBD

Audience Level: All

Before Prince of Persia, there was Karateka. Released in 1984, the directorial debut of game creator Jordan Mechner was a worldwide hit, full of groundbreaking innovations in story, cinematics, music, and animation. It was also the work of an unknown teenager looking to break into the game industry.

Forty years later, Jordan discusses how he pushed the limits of Apple II technology to create his breakthrough success. Through original design documents, film footage, prototype gameplay, and more, Jordan tells the story of how he developed his craft as an independent game developer and brought the illusion of life to computer screens around the world with Karateka.


Attendees will gain insight into the context of the game industry from 1977 to 1985, the process of unlocking creativity within strict technological limitations, and how the experience of independent game development has changed (and in many ways stayed the same) over four decades.

Intended Audience

This is for anyone interested in learning the history of classic games, with no prerequisite knowledge required.

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