Jordan Mechner

316px jordan mechner at wondercon 2010 3
best known for creating the Prince of Persia video game franchise

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jmechner300 karma

And this isn't an answer, but thank YOU!

jmechner227 karma

Yes indeed! I'd given it up for lost, but then after ten years it turned up accidentally in my Dad's closet. It's now on github. You can read the full story on my blog here and here

jmechner162 karma

You kids today are soft.

jmechner80 karma

Writing movie screenplays and making games in 6502 assembly language are actually oddly similar activities, at least in terms of how I feel (felt) doing them. They're both mostly solitary, with a lot of seeking input from other people; both have a very tight space constraint (48K RAM vs 120 pages) and therefore require a lot of rewriting/optimizing for greater efficiency. By the time it's done, each line of code and each line of the screenplay has probably been rewritten many times.

jmechner79 karma

You're welcome! If it helps, I seem to remember that I got started in assembly language by looking through other people's code and trying to figure out how it worked. And setting myself really simple challenges, like "put a pixel on the screen" and "put a shape on the screen" and "move the shape around in response to keystrokes"; etc. As with learning a musical instrument, it takes time to build up your skills step by step. Don't expect to play a song that sounds awesome on the first day. (That's what Flash is for :)

jmechner76 karma

On the contrary, the sad way to look at it would be "Damn, someone beat us to it!" The happy way is "Now we can free up the mental space that idea was occupying, and use it to do something else!"

In my friend's case, he went on to co-create HBO's Game of Thrones, so I'm pretty sure he has no regrets.

jmechner62 karma

Thanks! I was writer and game designer on Sands of Time which was an Ubisoft Montreal project. I've posted a bunch of background info about the various incarnations of POP, including an article for MIT press about how the time-manipulation story came into being, at

jmechner48 karma

Depends... how much sand is in it?

jmechner46 karma

Gotta say Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, because it was so unexpected and such an amazing team.

With regard to the ducks, do I get a weapon?

jmechner45 karma

For sure, the potential for an indie game to have a breakout success today is very exciting -- but it's anything but "easy." 99% of indie games will be unable to ever get enough exposure to fund even the small cost of making them, and that includes a lot of good and deserving games.

If I were just starting out in the business now instead of 30 years ago, I would probably make an indie game, as Karateka and Prince of Persia were then -- but I'd expect it to take a lot of tries and persistence. Every successful indie game developer I know made a lot of games you've never heard of before the "breakout hit" that put them into the black. The same was true in the 1980s; before I hit it big at age 19 with Karateka, I'd spent five years and probably thousands of hours making games and trying to get them published.