The Making of Prince of Persia

Prince of Persia Apple II screenshot

Update: The Making of Prince of Persia journals are now available as an ebook. You can buy it here.

For the past year, I’ve been posting daily entries from the old journals I kept while I was programming Prince of Persia on the Apple II, 20 years ago.

This “blog from the past” covers roughly seven and a half years from May 1985 to January 1993 — fromĀ Prince of Persia’s conception through the development of its sequel, Prince of Persia 2: The Shadow and the Flame.

In a coincidence I couldn’t have planned, this month marks both the 20th anniversary of the original game’s release, and the release of the first trailer for Disney’s Prince of Persia movie. Time is an ocean in a storm.

If you’re curious to know how the Prince’s journey began, back in those halcyon days when computers looked like this, it’s all in the Old Journals. Some highlights include: the day my kid brother modeled the prince’s moves; the day Prince of Persia got its title; and the first rotoscoped animation test.

You can read the whole story from the beginning starting here.

Posted on Nov 2, 2009 in Blog, Film, Games, Making Games, Old School, Prince of Persia | 14 comments

14 Comments

  1. 11-5-2009

    Wow, what a nostalgic feeling! I was around 10 when my dad bought Karateka for our Apple II. It was so amazing, the beautiful animation, the music! I remember I was so scared of the big samurai at the end! :D

    I just found your website today and it’s great being able to know all the little details behind the making of those games! Seeing how much attention to detail you’ve put into them, and the early testings of animations and all the work you’ve done to optimize things. Such romantic times when a lone programmer could create an awesome game all by himself. And you were so young!

    Guys like you were my heroes back then, as I typed the listings off the issues of Nibble magazine, and dreamt of becoming a programmer myself, and I see you’re still a role model for the new generation of programmers. So it’s a pleasure being able to somehow “talk” to you after all these years and thank you for the great games and inspiration you’ve provided!

    haha sorry for the rant :) I wish you much success with the forthcoming games and the movie (which looks great btw), hoping you stay in the business for many years to come!

    Best regards, and greetings from Brazil!
    Henrique

  2. 11-7-2009

    Thanks for posting these Jordan, it’s great reading them. POP starting my fascination with games on PC back when I was 10 years old, and it’s great to see the legacy continuing on to this day. It’s really inspiring reading all the ups and downs throughout your journey. You should maybe publish these journals in a book or something, I’d buy it.

  3. 11-12-2009

    Your great work is now a significant part of my childhood memory and even now, a 23 year-old man still remembers the moments he was playing POP frequently whenever he recalls the past years. Even I’ve dreamed about playing as the prince character in a real game several times! Well, as a matter of fact, I’m really Persian=Iranian;)
    Now that I’ve found your website, I hope the best wishes and success for the developer of my nostalgic feelings.

  4. 11-19-2009

    Woo… Thanks to internet, I can find the orginal writer of Prince of Persia here : ) I am playing the old games (1992 SFC ver. Konami), and have no match for the shadow prince in the LV 15, I loss my HP as once I hit him; and I also can’t jump over the bridge when the wizard turn it down : (

    My dear uncle jordan, do you mind to told me how to pass it? ^^

  5. 11-20-2009

    wow loved that game :) I played it first when I was about 10 years old.

  6. 11-20-2009

    This just came to my mind: What about an iPhone version?

  7. 11-20-2009

    Wow man, I loved that game too, I played it for a long timeee !! Jaffar haha ! I always remember the sound effects when I fall into the traps hehe ! Thanks for making this awesome game and our childhood even better =) greetings from Brasil !

  8. 11-22-2009

    Jordan, any chance of a .pdf or other single-page rendition of your whole journal? It makes for absolutely fascinating reading.

  9. 12-1-2009

    I just want to ask you that, how on earth you created this character, really awesome, I always wanted to create this type of Game, starting with a good story.

  10. 2-28-2010

    I played it first when I was about 8 years old. hehe :)

  11. 12-17-2010

    Eeee. I wasnt even born when jordan sir started creating POP, and could have been hardly one year old when the first POP released. And now here i am a die hard fan of it. Every time a version releases i almost say yippee in my heart. Kudos to jordan sir. And, as strange it may see, i would request jordan sir to create games more frequently. Lol, have i got addicted to it or better even gone mad at POP…

  12. 3-1-2011

    Your prince of persia game series is very good games thank you so much

  13. 4-17-2012

    Did you know that your game inspired “Prince of GOSPLAN” novel by russian writer Victor Pelevin? It’s about how games turns into lifes of people who playing them. http://www.amazon.com/Prints-Gosplana-Gosplan-Viktor-Pelevin/dp/5699486917/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1334724809&sr=1-1 http://radio.javaranch.com/map/2005/06/28/1119942710220.html

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