The Making of Prince of Persia The Making of Karateka

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.

Now, Stripe Press celebrates Prince of Persia's 30th anniversary and enduring legacy with a hardcover collector's edition, annotated and lavishly illustrated with archival visuals illustrating stages of the game's creation.

"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

In Jordan's Words: 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 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