GDC 2014

GDC 2014 Session Scheduler

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Classic Studio Postmortem: Lucasfilm Games

Steve Arnold  |  Co-Founder and Partner Emeritus, Polaris Partners
Noah Falstein  |  Chief Game Designer, Google
David Fox  |  Director/Game Designer, Electric Eggplant
Ron Gilbert  |  Game Designer, Independent
Peter Langston  |  Cooperative Resercher/Co-Director/Arts and Technology Hacker, Apple Advanced Computation Group
Chip Morningstar  |  Principal Architect, PayPal


Location: Room 135, North Hall

Format: Session
Track: Design
Vault Recording: Video


Before LucasArts, there was Lucasfilm Games. From a small startup within a medium-sized (and very famous) film company, this group grew from 1982 to 1990 to become one of the most popular game companies of its day. It then morphed (a Lucasfilm term!) into LucasArts, which was acquired by Disney, and then shut down shortly after GDC 2012. In the early days, the company was known for experimentation, with early multiplayer (Ballblazer), first-person games (Rescue on Fractalus, Koronis Rift), the first MMO (Habitat/Club Caribe), and of course, some well-loved graphic adventures (Maniac Mansion, Zak McKracken, The Secret of Monkey Island, Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis and more). This postmortem asks the questions, "What mix of creative and business forces shaped this early success story?" and "Could this kind of company be duplicated today?"