Before Prince of Persia was a bestselling video game franchise and a Disney movie, it was an Apple II computer game created and programmed by a lone developer, 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, as a 20-year-old fresh out of college with a liberal arts degree—and the creative, technical, personal, and professional struggles that brought the Prince into the homes of millions of people worldwide. In The Making of Prince of Persia, on the 30th anniversary of the game’s release, Mechner looks back at the journals he kept from 1985 to 1993 and annotates them with insights into the game that established him as a pioneer of cinematic storytelling in the industry.
Jordan Mechner is a game designer, screenwriter, and author. His other books include the sketchbook journal Year 2 in France and the Eisner Award-nominated graphic novel Templar, a New York Times bestseller illustrated by LeUyen Pham and Alex Puvilland.
Prince of Persia was the first computer game I ever fell in love with. 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.
cofounder of Instagram
Mechner’s journals are a unique record from the birth of an industry. 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.
cocreator of HBO’s Game of Thrones
Probably my favorite book on game development.
writer and director of The Last of Us and Uncharted 4
It’s a genuinely delightful book, even if you don’t care about the history of video games. . . .To read Mechner’s contemporaneous logs of his wrestling with his tools and machines is to take a journey back to a heroic age of games authorship.
The best biography I’ve ever read.