A deep dive into the origins of the epic, bestselling video game, in the creator’s own words.
The creator of one of the most innovative and bestselling video games of all time gives an unvarnished look into the creative process in this one-of-a-kind compilation.
Before Prince of Persia was a best-selling video game franchise and a Disney movie, it was an Apple II computer game created and programmed by one person: Jordan Mechner. Mechner’s candid and revealing journals from the time capture the journey from his parents’ basement to the forefront of the fast-growing 1980s video game industry—and the creative, technical, and personal struggles that brought the Prince into being and, ultimately, into the homes of millions of people worldwide.
Now, on the 30th anniversary of Prince of Persia’s release, Mechner looks back at the journals he kept from 1985 to 1993, offering new insights into the game that established him as a pioneer of cinematic storytelling in the industry. This beautifully illustrated and annotated collector’s edition includes:
300 pages of Mechner’s original journals
Present-day margin notations by Mechner adding explanation, context, and affectionate cartoons of real-life characters
Archival visuals illustrating the stages of the game’s creation
Work-in-progress sketches, rotoscoped animation, screenshots, interface design, memos, and more
A full-color 32-page “Legacy” section in which Mechner and fans share Prince of Persia memories from the past 30 years, including the Ubisoft games and Disney movie
The Making of Prince of Persia is both a tribute to a timeless classic and an indelible look at the creative process that will resonate with retro-gaming fans, game developers, and writers, artists, and creators of all stripes.
About the Author Introduction
Part 1: Apple II Do I Really Want to Make Another Game? Negotiating California The Attic Restarting The Crucible Home Stretch Reality Check Beta It Takes a Village Finishing Ship It!
Part 2: From Flop to Megahit An Uneasy Quiet It’s Dying Out There Clinging to Life New York Sequel Foreign Lands Lost in Translation Paris Where in the World? Night Train to Berlin San Francisco
Jordan Mechner is a game designer, screenwriter, graphic novelist, and author. Widely considered a pioneer of cinematic storytelling in the video game industry, he created Prince of Persia, one of the most successful and enduring video game franchises of all time, and became the first game creator to adapt his own work into a feature film with Disney’s Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. He also created the games Karateka and The Last Express. His books include the Eisner Award-nominated graphic novel Templar (a New York Times bestseller); his 1980s game development journals, The Making of Karateka and The Making of Prince of Persia; and his recent sketchbook journal, Year 2 in France. He lives in France.
journals are a unique record from the birth of an industry, in the
words of one of its pioneers—and if that's all they were, they would be
invaluable. But The Making of Prince of Persia
is also an unvarnished window into the creative process, with all its
excitement, toil, setbacks, doubts and triumphs. A fantastic read."
—D.B. Weiss, writer and co-creator of HBO's Game of Thrones
an industry is brand-new, its innovators are generally so busy creating
the future that they rarely have time to document the present. Luckily,
Jordan Mechner did. With these journals, we can track the development
of Prince of Persia from
a few penciled squiggles to a global franchise. For anyone aspiring to
create a game—or any endeavor that takes months and man-hours—Jordan's
journal is sobering and inspiring."
—John August, screenwriter, author, host of Scriptnotes podcast
journals are a time machine that takes us back to an era when ambitious
young creators were making strange new video games all by themselves
and making up the rules as they went. It is not a retrospective;
instead, it is a present-tense diary written by the creator throughout
the creation of his most influential work. It is a humbling and
inspiring record of what it was like to make one of the best video games
of all time. I love these journals."
—Adam "Atomic" Saltsman, game designer and creator of Canabalt
"Prince of Persia
was the first computer game I ever fell in love with. Thirty years on,
we are very lucky to have this window into its creative process.
Mechner's journey is a universal one for anyone creating something brand
new, and it brought me back to the early, crazy days of building
Instagram. The engineer in me loved his description of the technical
challenges and solutions, and the entrepreneur in me loved the honest
chronicle of his emotional adventure. I'm excited to get to revisit
these journals in newly illustrated form."
—Mike Krieger, co-founder of Instagram
"Probably my favorite book on game development." —Neil Druckmann, writer and director of The Last of UsandUncharted 4