For those of you aspiring game developers out there, or just plain folk interested in knowing a thing or two about the inner workings of how a game is developed, both Naughty Dog and Valve have links on their respective websites to some of their presentation materials for lectures they recently presented at GDC this past February.
These various downloadable presentation materials describe different methods and technologies used to develop their respective games, along with insights into some of the design choices they made and what references they drew inspiration from.
Naughty Dog’s page contains links to numerous documents discussing the production pipeline for Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune, ranging from character animation and the technology used, to stuff that I completely don’t understand (but some of you more programming oriented gamers might). I would highly recommend the Post-Mortem for Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune, as it provides an interesting behind the scenes summary of the entire development process for the game.
On Valve’s page you can find links to development documents for some of the games that were released in the very popular Orange Box. Among the presentation materials are a thorough post-mortem on Portal, discussing how the team integrated narrative with design, and a presentation on The Illustrative World of Team Fortress 2, which provides a very visual and technical overview for the development of the overall design style of the characters and the environments. For example, did you know that a large part of the unique rendering style for the characters in Team Fortress 2 was inspired from the great American illustrator J.C. Leyendecker? Their page also contains links to development documents from presentations they gave for their games in previous years at various conferences.
So if you’re interested in game design and development, these presentation materials provide a nice little peephole into the world of video game production. Head on over and check them out.