The Making of Karateka
The Making of Prince of Persia

The Making of Karateka

Jordan's 1980s journal of his life and progress creating Karateka.

Book Kindle eBook ePub PDF

The Making of Prince of Persia

Jordan's 1980s journal of his life and progress creating Prince of Persia.

Book Kindle eBook ePub PDF

The first 28 pages of The Making of Karateka are available in this free sample (PDF), and the first 41 pages of The Making of Prince of Persia are available here (PDF).

About My Journals

I started keeping a journal in college, and kept it up for many years afterward. During those years I created my first games, Karateka and Prince of Persia, on an Apple II computer.

Rereading these notebooks years later, it occurred to me that others might find them of interest - even if the meant-to-be-private musings of my 17-to-28-year-old self can occasionally make me wince.

These journals are a raw, present-tense record of my journey from my parents' basement to the forefront of the rapidly-evolving video game industry.

They document the struggles, steps and missteps that brought Karateka and Prince of Persia into being and, ultimately, into the homes of millions of people worldwide.

The Making of Karateka covers the years 1982-1985, and The Making of Prince of Persia covers the years 1985-1993.

"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 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, creator of Canabalt

"Mechner's 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, co-creator of HBO's Game of Thrones

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

The source code for the original, Apple II Prince of Persia has been released. I've also posted an explanatory technical document (PDF) which should help those wishing to study the code.