The Making of Prince of Persia

Dive behind the scenes with the creator of Prince of Persia in this deluxe illustrated edition of his journals.

Before Prince of Persia was a best-selling video game franchise and a Jerry Bruckheimer 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 his 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.

35 years later, Jordan's "Making of Prince of Persia" journals have been published in several editions and languages, and acclaimed in their own right as a classic memoir of game development.

Hardcover annotated and illustrated collector's edition from Stripe Press (English) and Third Editions (French):

Hardcover French Edition French Special Editions Bookshop Barnes & Noble

Original paperback and ebook edition:

Paperback eBook (PDF) eBook (EPUB)


On Audible

German edition (available for pre-order):

Gameplan Amazon

The German edition of The Making of Prince of Persia is now available for pre-order.

"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, Author, Host of Scriptnotes podcast

"Probably my favorite book on game development."

— Neil Druckmann, Writer and Director of The Last of Us and Uncharted 4

"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

About the Old 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 making those games in the 1980s.

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

In my journals, you'll meet some of my colleagues, friends and family members who also feature as characters in my graphic memoir Replay: Memoir of an Uprooted Family (now available in French, coming in English in March 2024). If you're interested in the human side of game development, Replay is my most personal expression yet of the bigger picture and "origin story" behind my 40-year creative career. You can read about it on the Replay page.

The above panels are from Jordan's graphic novel Replay: Memoir of an Uprooted Family. Interweaving three generations of Jordan's family story with episodes from his video game career (including the development of Karateka, Prince of Persia, and The Last Express), Replay won wide acclaim on its April 2023 release in France.

The English edition will be published by First Second Books on March 19, 2024. You can read reviews, excerpts, and Jordan's commentary (and pre-order a signed copy of the English edition) on the Replay book page.

"A beautiful, moving graphic novel. Through simple, yet incredibly evocative art and naturalistic dialogue, it examines the universal struggle of balancing living, loving, and finding purpose in one's life. Replay is a masterclass of narrative structure, expertly weaving multiple timelines, creating an emotional experience that is more powerful than its individual tales. I can't recommend it enough."

— Neil Druckmann, co-creator of The Last of Us

"Jordan Mechner just released a masterpiece—Replay—and it's a graphic novel! I'm still overwhelmed by it. This sensitive autobiographical comic book touched me enormously. Thank you, Jordan, for sharing your story and that of your family."

Eric Chahi, creator of Another World

For readers interested in the nuts and bolts of game development, Jordan has posted archival materials to supplement his Making of... journals. Links to these resources are available in the Library.

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