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The Past
Blog'n Roll

GDC 2011: confessions of the easily distracted

posted by: Abandonman in Old Games People

Prince of Persia

If you were to design a super classic game, like Karateka, while you were in college, that would pretty much sew up your career choice, right? Not if you are Jordan Mechner. Not only did designing the 1984 hit distract Mechner from his studies at Yale, it also seemed to pave the way for future similar incidents.

While visiting Broderbund, the publisher of Karateka, the idea for Prince of Persia was born. Broderbund was somewhat disappointed that Mechner did not intend to make a sequel to Karateka, for which he was all but guaranteed a deal. Instead, he barreled off into a different direction: straight towards the Prince of Persia, which was eventually released by Broderbund in 1989.

But there were some bumps along the way. While working on the development of Prince of Persia…which spawned an entire franchise…Mechner was also writing a screenplay. He had some tough choices to make when a Hollywood agent called him and asked to represent him. Video game versus Hollywood? Hollywood wins.

Eight long months later, Mechner realized that his screenwriting career appeared to be going nowhere. Despite garnering a producer and director almost instantly, nothing more seemed to come of his movie idea, so he dusted off his computer and returned to PoP.

He says: “I still remember that awful feeling of sitting down at this dusty computer and not knowing what any of the commands in my code meant.”

Obviously, he finished his project. But, he has also managed to combine his loves. In 2010, he wrote the screenplay for Disney’s feature film, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. He has also worked on other movies, but he may be going back to the gaming world yet again. There are rumors (which have been afloat since 2008) that a second Karateka game, after a nearly 20 year hiatus, could be in the works.

Read more about it here.

Prince of Persia Movie Trailer

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Rating: 4.5/5 (6 votes cast)
GDC 2011: confessions of the easily distracted, 4.5 out of 5 based on 6 ratings


  • Niklas

    I really like the game but the 2010 movie is not for me. Personally I think it really suck, mostly because I don’t like the actor, Jake Gyllenhaal.

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