Prince of Persia  |  Karateka

The Making of Karateka


read the first 30 pages freeIn 1982, 17-year-old college freshman and aspiring game designer Jordan Mechner began keeping a private journal. This first volume is a candid account of the personal, creative and technical struggles that led to his breakthrough success with Karateka, which topped bestseller charts in 1985, and planted the seeds of his next game, Prince of Persia.

The original Karateka is now available for iOS and Android as Karateka Classic, and a modern Karateka remake is available for iOS, Steam, Sony PSN, and XBLA. Learn more at

Get the book



The Making of Karateka for Kindle. $6.99 via Amazon.
[buy now]



The Making of Karateka, 230-page paperback book.
$15.99 via [US site]. [buy now]
Or buy the book via CreateSpace.



The Making of Karateka ePub for iBooks on iPad or any ePub-compatible reader. $6.99 via PayPal, delivered by e-junkie. [buy now]



The Making of Karateka, 230-page .pdf for any computer or iPad. $6.99 via PayPal, delivered by e-junkie. [buy now]

free sample

Free Sample

Download the first 30 pages of the .pdf for free, here.


What Other Creators Say

“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

The Making of Prince of Persia


read the first 40 pages freeBefore 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.

Now available as a paperback and ebook, Jordan’s candid journals from the time capture his journey from his parents’ basement to the forefront of the fast-growing 1980s video game industry, bringing Prince of Persia into being and ultimately into the homes of millions of people worldwide.

Get the book



The Making of Prince of Persia, 330-page paperback book.
$16.99 via [US site]. [buy now]
Or buy the book via CreateSpace.



The Making of Prince of Persia, ePub for iBooks on iPad or any ePub-compatible reader. $7.99 via PayPal, delivered by e-junkie. [buy now]



The Making of Prince of Persia, 330-page .pdf for any computer or iPad. $7.99 via PayPal, delivered by e-junkie. [buy now]


The Making of Prince of Persia for Kindle. $7.99 via Amazon. [buy now]

free sample

Free Sample

Download the first 40 pages of the .pdf for free, here.


What Other Creators Say

“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

“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

“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 of Go, Big Fish and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

About the Author

Jordan Mechner is a game designer, screenwriter, filmmaker, and graphic novelist. He created Prince of Persia, Karateka, and The Last Express. His latest graphic novel is Templar. You can learn more about him at

About Prince of Persia and Karateka

Jordan created and programmed the original Prince of Persia on an Apple II computer in 1989. A decade later, he partnered with Ubisoft to reinvent his classic for a new generation of gamers with Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. Its success launched a global franchise that now includes video games, graphic novels, toys, LEGO, and a blockbuster Disney feature film.

Jordan’s previous game, Karateka, was released in 1984, when he was still in college. It became a #1 bestseller and launched his career. Karateka is now available for modern mobile, PC and console devices, in its original form and as a modern remake.

Read Jordan’s recap of his 25-year journey with Prince of Persia here and about Karateka here.

We want your feedback!

If you’ve read Jordan’s old journals, we’d love to know what you think. And if you’ve found them of value, please help us spread the word! Tweet it, share it on facebook, post a review on, or post your comments below. Many thanks!


  1. 10-19-2011

    I really really want this in print.

  2. 10-19-2011

    I would like to buy it in paper format :).

  3. 10-19-2011

    Looks amazing, will buy it, but would love to get hold of a paper copy also!

  4. 10-19-2011


    Any chance of an iBooks or just regular ePub release?

  5. 10-19-2011

    Thats really cool, I hope you make one for The Last Express!!!

  6. 10-19-2011

    Hi Jordan,

    I would love to purchase and read through your Journals. Is it possible that there’ll be a print version of this book in the future? I’d much rather have it in print.

    Thanks, Kyle.

  7. 10-20-2011

    Any chance to directly paypal you the money and simply get a link or mail with the file in return? I would much prefer that.

  8. 10-20-2011

    …to be unoriginal but my first thought on seeing this was “I must have a hard copy”. I’d say give this a bit more publicity and you’ll have some serious demand for the book as an actual artefact.

  9. 10-20-2011

    Yes! I definitely want a hard copy.

  10. 10-20-2011

    As the others said, first thing I was looking for is the print copy. I would definitely buy that… Any chance we can grab our hands on it?

  11. 10-20-2011

    Thanks for asking! A number of people have asked about iBooks, epub, and hard copy versions. No plans at the moment, but if Kindle/PDF sales suggest there’s enough interest in the book, we’ll certainly look into it. Stay tuned for updates.

    • 10-26-2011

      Please please release this in print!

  12. 10-20-2011

    Hey Jordan,

    I played POP on my Apple ][+ in the 90’s and reading your journals sends me on a trip down to memory lane :)

    I wanted to buy the kindle version, but Amazon tells me:

    This title is not available for customers from your location in:
    Asia & Pacific

    :( I’d really prefer the Kindle version over the PDF but if it’s not possible, I guess I’ll have to settle. Any chance this will be available for us here in the other side of the world?

  13. 10-20-2011

    If you come out with a epub version, I will buy it. Prince of Persia was a huge part of my childhood, and I would love to read this on my nook.

  14. 10-21-2011

    I’m highly interested in this, but not as a digital format. $8 is far too expensive, in my opinion, for a simple PDF file.

    But I’ll sure buy it when a hard copy version is available!! Even at $20 if I have to!

  15. 10-25-2011

    I hesistated not a second to buy the PDF, devoured it over the course of a few days (while waiting for compilations etc). It’s SUCH a good read, for many reasons: it’s nostalgia (the 80’s computer scene), it’s history (the wall, the SF earthquake, iraq,…) and the part i like most: it’s pure inspiration! Being 40 and having just started my own software business, your story made me feel good, reassured, confident.

  16. 10-25-2011

    This deserves a hard copy. Please make it happen =)

  17. 10-26-2011

    Excelent e-book Jordan, an great material for a Game Designer!!!.

    I have Prince of Persia 1992 (included in Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands for Wii) and played with the MS-DOS version in my childhood. :)

  18. 10-26-2011

    Wow Jordan, I read the first 40 pages, and they are… really inspiring. I always knew you all this time as a godly prince of persia maker, but reading this realises me that you were doing the process and thats telling me that everyone can be what they wanna be, that dreams come true. You had your doubts, fear, but you kept on encouraging yourself to keep going. Thanks man, for sharing. really inspirational. I’d buy the copy definitely. peace out :)

  19. 11-7-2011

    Just finishes the book, what a fun I had. A wonderful insight, a journey back in time, full of memories and yet unheard tales. I’d make it a must-read for ongoing product managers in the games business. Thank you for sharing it, Jordan.

  20. 11-8-2011

    Thank you for making this available! I’ve been a big fan of your work since Karateka was released waaaaay back when. Reading over your journal has re-ignited my bug to finish a few of my game projects. Thanks again – especially for all the great experiences provided by your games.

  21. 11-14-2011

    Very interested in getting a copy of your e-book. Looking at the sample PDF though, it does appear that the book contains some illustrations / graphics. How do these translate to the gray scale in the Kindle version?

    Mark me down as someone who would buy an iBooks version of the book.

  22. 2-1-2012

    Now out in .epub and paperback!

  23. 2-27-2012

    It was a beautiful journal. I really enjoyed reading it! Thank you for sharing your experiences and thoughts in such an honest and sincere form.

  24. 3-22-2012

    Jordan and team,

    Just finished reading the paperback edition of The Making of Prince of Persia and I am beyond impressed. I read the entire book in just over a day, because I just couldn’t bear to put it down. I was only disappointed when it ended. I’ll be writing up a more in-depth review shortly; in the mean time I hope that you’ll publish The Last Express journals sooner than later.

    – Chris

    • 3-25-2012

      Thanks, Chris! Much appreciated!

  25. 4-11-2012

    Hi, my name is jesus i am from venezuela, i wanna thanks our friend jordan mechnner for make prince of persia cause when i saw it for the first time i was wonder and marvell about how yo see all the details about the human moves the timing, difficult, everything and when i saw that i wanted to see the magic about all this world the gamer and how and who did that wonderfull game how did you put it in the computer i was only 11 years old, after that i choose my carrer gamer programer well but in my country the carrer gamer programmer dont exist i didnt know he he, well i am now 28 years old and i am making a movie en 3d with my team for my coutry i hope will be pleases for the people and enjoy it thanks jordan cause you inspirated me my friend, thanks and sorry about my english he…of course i will purchase your book the making of prince of persia…awesome and thanks bye my friends…nice to meet you… :)

  26. 4-17-2012

    I really hope we can see a 2D (remake? reboot?) Prince of Persia game. With the various number of mobile and handheld platforms out there now, it’ll be a huge success.

    A 3-in-1 trilogy will be nice.
    Prince of Persia (Prologue, origins of the hero and Jaffar)
    Prince of Persia 1
    Prince of Persia 2

    • 7-7-2013

      I would really love to see the original PoP games in a modern remake for the PC. But until then, even a GoG(dotcom) copy would be great. I don’t know who has the rights to publish the old games but it would be great if I could add them to my collection. I just miss them.

  27. 4-18-2012

    Just days after buying the book and thinking “this is so great, Jordan cares about preserving history!” I’m suprised to see the original source code to the Apple II version on github.

    I must say I’m really, really pleased to see it. I played the original Prince of Persia on MS-DOS a lot when I was between 3 and 10 years old, so much that it represents part of my childhood.

    Just saying thank you isn’t enough, and this is really, really something everyone that was involved in classic gaming should do! Thank you very much for everything!

    (Thanks also for all my childhood nightmares about deadly traps in this game. Heh :-)

  28. 4-21-2012

    Hi, Jordan!

    The day before yesterday I bought your book at, and today I have read it.
    This is my first non-technical book (which I have read) in English (i’m Russian)!

    Great but I’m a little disappointed – I assumed that you have earned hungreds millions dollars on POP1. :)
    This game was very popular in USSR and Russia in 90-s, it widespreaded by millions illegal copies on our PC’s.
    Every russian child was playing POP1!

    Thank you for your game and for your book.

  29. 5-1-2012

    C’est un jounal intime et de bord passionnant sur les joies et les tristesses d’un concepteur programmeur qui croyait aux vertus de l’Apple II. Je lis ce live avec enthousiaseme. Merci beaucoup à Jordan de nous avoir confié ton journal.

    That’s a great journal about joys ans sadness written by a game designer and developer who was believing in Aplle II ‘s qualities. I am reading it with enthousiasm. Thanks a lot to Jordan who give us his journal !

    Apple II maniak since 1980

  30. 6-14-2012

    I just got finished reading the paperback version of this book. I had some small complaints with the publishing because a few pages weren’t actually attached to the book. But I got that this was an indie published sort of thing.

    The short of it is, I think this book is fascinating. I’d like to read more of Mr. Mechner’s thoughts over the course of Prince of Persia. I am a fan of the game series and I even liked many of the aspects of the 2008 Ubisoft reboot. I would love to see more content in a hardback format. Then I’d try and get it signed.

    I thought the diary was specifically interesting because one of the last things was Konami’s port of Prince of Persia to Super Nintendo. That seemed to work out well for Mr. Mechner and that was the version I played first.

  31. 7-11-2012

    One of the best games in my life, thanks so much for this.

  32. 8-14-2012

    To Brazilian Portuguese! Please!!

  33. 12-24-2012

    These eBooks are beautiful, thanks for having taken the time to share :)

  34. 1-24-2013

    Mr. Mechner,
    I finished reading my paperback copy of “The Making of Prince of Persia”. I have to say it was one of the best things I’ve read in quite a while. I remember being obsessed with the game when I was a kid, and it was those memories that led me to the book. When I saw that it existed I ordered it right away.

    I thank you for not editing out pieces, and being honest to what you felt at the time. I found the reality of what I was reading to be completely inspiring. I work as a web developer currently, and have been making small games as a hobby since I was 14 (I’m 28 now), but I’ve never allowed myself to take the risk of putting my games in the world to live or die in others hands. Reading this book has reminded me of my love of creating and reignited the fire that began to flicker and die while I have been stuck in the grooves of routine. I have been sketching and brainstorming non-stop since I first picked up your book.

    I am about to start some preliminary work on a game project that I’m truly excited to work on. I just wanted to come to your site and say… Thank you for the wonderful book and thank you for the wonderful games that inspire and entertain us all so much.


    • 1-25-2013

      Chris — Thank you! That’s great to hear and inspiring for me as well. Best of luck on your new project!

      • 5-26-2014

        to:Jordan 10=run go to 20…..20=æ…..and list=program and never 4get2 end…..
        my name is Frank,i just want2 say hello my long lost buddy…when i was in elementary
        school in San Diego,CA 1979….instead of going2 recess4 30mins,….I would choose2go2…
        the”Computer Lab”….almost everyday and play a game called karateka…..on the apple computer system…then one day a guy said “Hey kid ,do you have a computer at home”?…..and i said “YES”(i lied)… he gave me a copy on a floppy disk of the game…i charished
        it as if it were gold….carried it with me in a folder…i dont know who gave it2 me…but again this is in 1979…but…i still have the original game2day on the same floppy disk in the same folder….please give me a call@(619)434-8504…your buddy Frank….

  35. 4-23-2013

    I live in South Korea and I’m a big fan of the game, ‘Prince of Persia 1&2′.
    To be honest, I didn’t know about you when I enjoyed the Prince of Persia 1 at my 15 (1990). However, I got to remember your name by the great adventure game, ‘the Last Express’

    I just wants you to know that Korean version of this book is released, which is only for those who offered fund at [] as of now. I finally received my copy yesterday(my birthday) after 10 months’ publishing job. Its good quality and honest stories made me touched and introduce it to others. ,

    I really look forward to seeing your next journal and also want to see its Korean version. Thank you so much from the deep in my heart & soul for the great games and for all the honest words & thoughts in the book.

    PS. Do you know the world star, PSY(Korean singer well known for ‘Gangnam Style’) and his next hit song, ‘Gentleman’ ? :)

  36. 7-16-2013

    Why can I buy the book that is THE MAKING OF PRINCE OF PERISA JOURNALS 1985~1993 on this web page? Not on iBook store. How can I back up?
    I have bought a book that is written by Korean on iBook store.
    When I have finished the reading. I have found this web page.
    I love PRINCE OF PERISA. Movie.
    Classic first version. May be IBM version.

  37. 8-29-2014


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