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The Making of Prince of Persia by [Mechner, Jordan]
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The Making of Prince of Persia Kindle Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 61 customer reviews

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Length: 330 pages Word Wise: Enabled

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Jordan's journals are remarkable. I so wish I had kept a similar record. Reading them transports me back to that place and time. We all knew this was an exciting new industry, but I don't think we had any clue what it was going to turn into during our careers. There were no schools, no books, no theories covering what we were doing. Everyone was just figuring it out on their own. Following Jordan's creative path is a great example of how to go with your own gut instinct. It's also a great inspiration, showing how persistence and determination can lead to unexpected and wonderful results."
-- Will Wright, game designer, creator of The Sims

"Mechner's journals are a time machine that takes us back to a weirdly familiar 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, creator of Canabalt

"When 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 of Go, Big Fish and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

About the Author

Jordan Mechner is a game designer, screenwriter, filmmaker, and graphic novelist. He created Prince of Persia, Karateka, and The Last Express.

His graphic novel Solomon's Thieves is also featured on Amazon.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1085 KB
  • Print Length: 330 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1468093657
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publication Date: October 14, 2011
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005WUE6Q2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #379,949 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
When I was 11 years old and wasting hours playing KARATEKA on my friend's Apple IIe, I had no idea that a video game could have an author. Movies? Sure. Books? Of course. George Lucas made movies, Stephen King wrote novels, and, well... video games just sort of happened, right? How wrong I was. Jordan Mechner's new book, drawn from his personal journals from the late '80s/early '90s, chronicles the development of his classic PRINCE OF PERSIA, a landmark in the world of video games. Starting with his initial spark of an idea in the wake of KARATEKA's success, Mechner depicts POP's slow birthing process as well as his clashes with the corporate culture of software development and his dalliances with Hollywood as he attempted to simultaneously jumpstart his career as a screenwriter. The book is a fascinating look back at the realm of personal computing and gaming in the Reagan era; anybody who grew up in that time will probably get a warm fuzzy feeling at the mere mention of the original Mac, the Commodore Amiga, the Atari, the NES. But this isn't a nostalgia piece: along the way, we also get Mechner's intriguing theories on story as they apply to video games, and the journal entries provide an illuminating look at his solutions to problems that popped up as he crafted the narrative and game mechanics of PRINCE OF PERSIA. All in all, this is a must-read for old school video game aficionados, current game developers and anybody in a creative profession who's looking for a little inspiration.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is great enough for me to write a review, after not reviewing anything in Amazon in years.

It tells a story. A real story behind A Greatest Game of All Time. This is not a 'success story' as we can easily find in a lot of creation/innovation myth. It's not a story of Prince of Persia creation, but a story of Jordan's life as he was creating Prince of Persia. It reveals everything, struggles, supports, wresting, workarounds, conflicts, dilemmas.

I had long for a book like this, a "real" story behind a mega-successful project. Read it cover-to-cover in practically one sit. Can't put it down. A good reading day spent and it brought back a will to work on my next software project.

Highly recommended, without any reservation.
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A fun and fast read that is both an exciting look at the fragile creation of a video game classic as well as a voyeuristic glimpse at a young man trying to figure out where he wants to make his mark in the world.

This book begins a month before Jordan's 21st birthday and graduation from college. It ends when he is 28 years old, three months before I met him and would spend the next four years working round-the-clock on The Last Express. So for me, these journals feel like a prologue to my adult life. But I think they will be equally fascinating to anyone interested in games, movies, writing, programming, or just the fun and anxiety that goes into any creative endeavor.
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I enjoy 'documentary-style' books on old software applications and development teams (for example, Masters of Doom by David Kushner), but was a little hesitant at purchasing this book, since it seemed to be more-or-less a journal of Prince of Persia's author, Jordan Mechner (spoiler alert: it is).

Reading through the book, it had some low points, to be sure, and could've been edited to take out a little bit of the rawness... but in some ways, those parts made the book feel more authentic, like 'inclusions' in a diamond. I loved playing both Prince of Persia and Prince of Persia 2 on my family's old Macintosh, and the book goes into great detail on the trials and tribulations Mechner himself went through in building the game, getting it on IBM, working on contracts and deals for ports to other platforms, etc.

While I'm not a huge fan of the more modern PoP titles and movie franchise, the original games were so good, especially considering the limitations of the early 90's desktop computers. This book recaptured some of the moments of adrenaline I had when playing the game, and was also an interesting look into the video game industry in the 90s.

It's also pretty awesome that you can go look at the original Prince of Persia source code (if you're a programmer, especially doing games, it's neat to see how barebones the actual code was in the 90s!).

I would recommend this book to anyone doing freelance or small team programming, especially in games, and also anyone who grew up playing the Prince of Persia games and having a bit of a shudder on hearing the 'sha-clunk!' of the spikes raising up through the floor!
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This is a great book. If you are in the least interested in how video games are made you should buy this. This book relates the journey of the creator from the initial conception of Prince of Persia all the way to the sequel (PoP 2). You can see the self-doubts that the author has and the frustration when things don't go right. You can also share his joy when the game is a success.

Something that really amazed me was realizing that Prince of Persia was the work of one person! Just one person with a vision and a lot of work. Very motivating for indy game developers.
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