The Making of Prince of Persia: Journals 1985-1993 By Jordan Mechner

    A collection of the diaries Mechner kept as he was developing the computer game that would go on to become a mega-hit. Wonderfully candid, occasionally cringe-worthy, and packed with creative insight, his journals are so fun and illuminating in no small part because they are not a memoir written after the fact, but contemporaneous, fractional glimpses into the mess of a life spent making great things. 0578627310 It was fun and unique experience reading it. I really enjoyed reading through daily journals of an indie game developer in a form of a book! 0578627310 The first half of the book was really exciting to read, given how important Prince of Persia was for me as a child, and how I’ve been casually keeping an eye on what Jordan Mechner has done later. I also love The Last Express.

    I developed an interest in making games myself, but I never managed to make it more than a hobby, which was later replaced by filmmaking. I guess if you never had these hobbies then the book might not be as interesting as it was to me.

    The second half of the book is a bit of a let down, focusing on the time of the development of Prince 2, with a much less hands on role for Mechner, and much less drama and excitement. It becomes more textual, the notes and illustrations in the margins become disconnected from the text. 0578627310 Fascinating live as it happens look at the birth of the iconic series, with a special gallery in the back showing the 30-year legacy of the original Prince of Persia games. Would love to see Mechner's journals when he was creating his next game, The Last Express, and the 2003 reboot of the PoP series. 0578627310 Dropped this book at 23% mark. It's been interesting to read about how one of my most favorite games was developed.

    Mechner is a guy who had opinions way beyond his time. He correctly guessed the psychology that glues people to games and tried to implement that into PoP. Not 100% sure but I think the actual research papers on these topics came much much later on. I'm talking about the days when ordinary dos games like pacman, pong, space invaders were the hit games. And during that time Jordan MEchner already figured out the psychology of people when they're involved in games and correctly predicted that the days of such games like pacman / pong are over and people want to be more involved in the story + gameplay.

    Around the 23% mark he talks a little about the psychological aspect of making the game. How he doesn't want the game to be linear but instead wants people to have constant cycles of elevating tension and release. Each time you finish a level it gets easier at the beginning of the next level and then again harder until its end. It's incredible to experience what he describes - how that glues us to the game.

    He also talks about how he has to push corporate throughout the time. Corporate honchos just want him to make a part2 of his then successful game karateka instead of prince of persia. He pitches his idea to many corporates but most of them are not on board. There's very few people who are neutral about his idea and even fewer who are actually excited. Nevertheless, he loves the concept and keeps pushing through to work for it.

    He's also explained how the Prince's + other character's animations were developed. He video taped actual people running and then created the animation frame by frame from the video. I also found it interesting Dos had a limit to how many animations he could pack in a game. Due to this restriction he couldn't add the animation for the shadow character. Then someone suggested re-using the Prince's animations for the shadow. And that's how he overcame that limit.

    Throughout the 23% mark, another thing I liked was how he's always talking to various people and constantly discussing his ideas. This is something very unique if you think more about it. When you're doing something innovative you would normally tend to do your own research, think about things, do a lot of processing and figuring out alone rather than talking to other people. But he takes the latter approach throughout and the people around him somehow are helpful enough to actually share opinions instead of playing dirty politics (like constantly trying to steal petty credit somehow, or discredit him/his new project, or to politically push their own tasks onto him when he tries to talk to them, or to mislead him so that he fails (out of jealousy) - all of which I believe would be quite likely in the country where I live).

    Overall, it's been a great read. But unfortunately, I must drop this book because it's making me think more about games and I don't want to fall back into the gaming addiction that I just overcame (again!). 0578627310

    Jordan Mechner ✓ 9 Read

    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 moreA 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. The Making of Prince of Persia: Journals 1985-1993

    I read this book in few sittings over the course of one day. The book captures the excitement, dread, and pain of creating a work of art. It left me feeling a healthy sense of respect for the author as well as inspiration to make more art of my own 0578627310 I just loved everything about this book!

    I think Mechner's diary will resonate with anyone who has ever built anything functional or created something artistic. In particular, people who code or work in the digital space, but really anyone who has ever laboured with love on any type of project will connect with Michner here.

    It's an incredible look at his process of creativity and ingenuity while creating a classic video game (which I have to admit - I've never played any Price of Persia game).

    Physically: the most beautiful Stripe Press book I've read to date. The inner half of each page are diary entries, and the outer halves are photos, scanned notes and drawings, and marked-up notations from 2019 when this edition was compiled.

    Love, love, love. What a fun read. Highly and broadly recommended. 0578627310 Great look into the soul of Jordan Mechner as he creates Prince of Persia. We are lucky that he kept a journal during this time, and we should all be journaling more! I've been doing it for a while now, and it's nice to be able to look back sometimes.

    The Stripe Press print is just beautiful. Very nice blue cover with many photos and notes inside, just a great reading experience. 0578627310 Reading the illustrated edition of this book several years after first encountering the ebook, I think The Making of Prince of Persia is still the most evocative and interesting book of its kind (videogame-related memoir) that I have read (and I have read quite a few now).

    Being composed entirely of actual journal entries gives the memoir a raw vitality that makes other books in this genre (e.g. Sid Meier's Memoir) feel flat by comparison. The annotations and side notes in the beautiful illustrated edition add a lot of fascinating context to what was already a good read. Highly recommended. 0578627310 Prince of Persia brought back so many great memories. And I've been sitting through POP & POP2 playthrough videos on YouTube in parallel to reading this book.

    But from the diary itself it feels I learned way less about the backstory and creative process. The most amazing were the photos of the author's notebooks with game element sketches, and some semi-technical descriptions of the colorful hardware landscape and constraints of the time. But too much of the text remains either inaccessible to the outsider (like records of which bunch of people in a long list of first names attended which dinner), or somewhat irrelevant to someone who came for the gaming history (like the detours to film school contemplations).

    Would love to meet Jordan one day, but until then, a lot of this material remains too personal records to relate to... 0578627310