PoP original game screenplay

A few months ago, I posted my first-draft screenplay of last summer’s Prince of Persia movie. Now, here’s the script of the videogame that inspired it: 2003’s Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time.

Or rather, partial script. For writers interested in the differences between writing for movies and games, it’s worth noting that there is no game design document equivalent to a film screenplay (i.e. an established format for the writer to communicate the story to producers, director, cast and crew).

Typically, the larger part of my writing work on Sands of Time was conveyed through non-screenplay documents (dialog recording and tracking spreadsheets and the like) to the team of designers, artists and engineers. I’ve described that process in more detail in this article for MIT Press.

The “readable screenplay” posted here reads like a film screenplay, but that’s because it contains only the cinematic cutscenes — not the in-game scripted events, dialog, and voice-over narration that are just as essential to the player’s experience of the story. Those exist in no easily readable form.

The best way to experience a videogame story is to play the game. But for a quick read, this script offers at least a glimpse into Sands of Time’s beginnings.

Posted on Jan 10, 2011 in Blog, Film, Games, Making Games, Prince of Persia | 14 comments


  1. 1-10-2011

    Fantastic! When playing the game I lost my save game in a crash right before the final battle. I couldn’t bear to replay the whole game just to fight the last battle and see the end…but now I know the ending.

  2. 1-11-2011

    incredible! thanks Jordan!

  3. 1-11-2011

    And here I thought your script was just:

    Page 1

    Create awesome game that will span the test of time.

    Page 2

    Laugh maniacally.

  4. 1-11-2011

    So that’s how you spell the word “Kakolookiyam” – what does it mean?

    • 1-12-2011

      It’s the name of one of the books of the Indian Panchatantra (an ancient Sanskrit collection of animal fables) about a war between crows and owls.

      • 7-2-2014

        I found a lot of backstory in this. You mention one time (can’t remember where) about the murals in the Maharajah’s Treasure Vaults. I’ve seen them and can’t figure them out. What do they mean?

  5. 1-12-2011

    Thank you for sharing this with us. I’ve always wanted to read video game scripts to see the difference. Do you know where I would be able to read more?

  6. 1-12-2011

    Thank u Mr. Jordan for sharing…:)

  7. 5-16-2011

    Is this the same PoP SoT game screenplay that was available for a long time on Zain Alvi’s website?

  8. 6-6-2011

    And yet, Jordan. what you think. Suppose that you had to pick the full name of the prince.
    What do you think?
    In the film, his name is Dastan, and who came up with this name?

  9. 1-13-2012

    Thanks for making the script available. I’m working on my own video game script at the moment and this is definately shows a good approach.

    Thanks again.

  10. 2-8-2012

    Thanks so much for posting this! I was curious about how professional writers handle it in the field, and had to do a good bit of googling to find a real answer from you.

  11. 6-3-2013

    Oh man, this is the best! I have seriously always wanted this! It is like my birthday up in here. I am an aspiring young filmmaker and I swear that my “Masterpiece” is going to be an adaptation of this game. Mr. Mechner, in about twenty years when I’ve established myself as a director, I will be ready and you will be hearing from me about it. :) Until then, cheers and thank you so much for posting this.

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