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Jason Scott

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Jason Scott, the well-known digital archivist with archive.org who has previously produced a documentary on bulletin board systems, has turned his attention to Def Con — the Vegas convention that now attracts thousands of hackers (and would-be hackers) each year. Def Con: The Documentary sits down with a number of individuals who've been involved with the event from the start, including "The Dark Tangent" himself, Def Con founder Jeff Moss.

Def Con is familiar territory for Scott, who is a longtime attendee and frequent speaker at the conference — and naturally, assembling the narrative of how the world's largest hacker convention got its start fits in well with his day job of preserving internet history.

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Jordan Mechner copying Prince of Persia source code

Last month Prince of Persia creator Jordan Mechner discovered the floppy disks containing the source code for the original Apple II version of the game, and promised to post it online when he was able to transfer it into some sort of modern format. He's now made good on his pledge, posting the source code for the game on GitHub. In a ReadMe file included with the code, Mechner explains that he was able to extract the 6502 assembly language source from a set of 3.5-inch floppies with the help of archivists Jason Scott and Tony Diaz. For those who want to dive in, he's also provided a technical explanatory document on his site, originally produced back in 1989 for the various teams that were porting the game to other platforms like the...

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The GDC Vault service is proud to announce that videos and slides from last month's GDC Europe are now available online, including a free video from indie dev Thomas Grip on the design decisions that fueled the success of Amnesia: The Dark Descent.

Along with these free videos, slides for all of GDC Europe's sessions are now available for free, providing a glimpse into the range of notable topics discussed at the recent show.

The following lectures are the first highlights to be made available for free from GDC Europe 2011:

- The particularly IndieGames.com-relevant session to be made available for free is an Indie Games Summit talk from Amnesia: The Dark Descent
developer Thomas Grip, dubbed, "Evoking Emotions and Achieving Success
by Breaking All the Rules." Here, Frictional Games' Grip examines the
success of his hit indie horror title, noting how the omission of some
common horror game tropes made the game far more interesting -- and far
more terrifying. [GDC Vault free video]

- Elsewhere, the lively Design track session, "The Magic Gun: Surviving IP Development Through Embracing Your Constraints" features Jason VandenBerghe, the narrative director on Ubisoft's FarCry 3, discussing the ins-and-outs of working with established IP.

No matter how familiar a developer might be with a given license, VandenBerghe encourages developers to embrace these constraints and "revel in what makes your IP different." [GDC Vault free video.]

- In addition, wooga founder and CEO Jens Begemann gave a keynote titled, "Playing is a Core Human Desire - How Social Games Change the Entertainment Industry," offering insight into the influence of social games on the industry at large.

During this session, social game leader Begemann (Diamond Dash, Magic Land) outlines how social games can coexist with core-focused titles, detailing how and why these games fill a new niche in the ever-evolving games market. [GDC Vault free video.]

As the group behind the leading worldwide gaming conferences, GDC organizers remain committed to making the event's best current and historical lectures available for free to the global game community, and will continue to release new free content throughout 2011.

Full GDC Vault access is available to GDC Europe All-Access Pass holders, speakers, and All-Access Pass buyers to other GDC events for the rest of 2011. (Subscribers having issues accessing content should contact GDC Vault admins.)

Individual Vault subscriptions not tied to All-Access passes are now available in a limited-edition Beta invite process -- those interested in signing up to be invited in on a first come, first served basis should visit the GDC Vault website.

In addition, game-related schools and development studios who sign up for GDC Vault Studio Subscriptions can receive access for their entire office or company. More information on this option is available via viewing an online demonstration.

GDC organizers are also committed to making more archival content free for all during 2011, following a successful 'GDC 25 Chronicles' digitization project. GDC historian Jason Scott has signed on for the rest of 2011 to continue digitizing the extensive Game Developers Conference archives, with his 'Tales From The GDC Vault' series.

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