UPDATE: The complete “Making of Prince of Persia” Old Journals have also been published as a book. You can purchase a paperback, Kindle, iBooks, or PDF copy here, or read them for free in blog form starting below.
The following are excerpts from journals I kept starting in 1985, when I graduated from college. They tell the story of how Prince of Persia came to be, and almost didn’t.
[New York] I turned 21 today.
Irv Bauer dropped by. We chatted for a couple of minutes. He congratulated me on being a boy wonder and asked me what I had in the works. I told him I was writing a screenplay.
“It’s a hard business,” he said. Then he said: “I’m going to give you a gift.” He thereupon recommended James Agee’s two books On Film. I thanked him profusely. I guess I’m supposed to buy the books myself.
I saw Aviva off (to Australia via LaGuardia) and went to see Jules and Jim.
A cold, drizzling day. I was a little grouchy, I guess because I’m feeling confused and indecisive about my future. Kay from Broderbund called and told me it’ll be OK for me to stay at Dane’s place. I booked a flight to L.A. and S.F. on July 5th. So everything’s set. Except —
Do I really want to write another game? Can I do that and write screenplays at the same time? Can I write screenplays at all?
I played the Gremlins soundtrack to evoke last summer and get me psyched about movies. It worked. Tomorrow I’ll write something.
Saw Brewster’s Millions.
The Commodore version of Karateka must be out, because I got a copy in the mail. Shrink-packed and everything.
Chris Columbus must be a happy guy. Steven Spielberg latched onto him and now Chris is cranking out fun movies one after another. I loved Gremlins. I liked Goonies. A lot.
I’m glad I’m going to San Rafael in two weeks. I think I’m going stir crazy. My social life here is zilch. I never do anything. I’m turning into a lump.
I’m not crazy about the prospect of sitting down to write another video game and getting up a year later. But it would be good for me to live in Marin and work at Broderbund. Meet new people. My own place, my own car. Get around. Yup — I’m set on that.
Staying with Robert Cook in Huntington Beach. Beach party last night with his family and about 500 other people. We talked about computer games, movies, and our future.
Today we drove into Westwood and saw St. Elmo’s Fire. The first movie I’ve ever seen about people my age, i.e., just out of college. Usually it’s either the summer after high school, or freshman year in college. It’s refreshing to see these actors who’ve been playing 17-year-olds for the past five years get a chance to act their age.
Karateka is #2 on Billboard’s bestseller list.
It was fun walking into the Broderbund offices and seeing everybody. Had lunch with Gene Portwood and spent a couple of hours sitting around his office with Lauren Elliott and Gary Carlston, talking about ideas for my new game. David Snider showed me the Amiga — wow! — and Chris Jochumson showed me Mac Print Shop.
Broderbund’s doing well. Print Shop is doing insanely well. I’m almost convinced I want to move out here and do another game.
After I write my first screenplay.