The Making of Prince of Persia
Jordan Mechner's journal is the best thing I've read this year (so far).
(Programming note upfront: I missed last week’s post because life came in the way. I also haven’t been able to put as much effort into this week’s post as I’d like to, but I still think it’s a nice read. Hope you like it!)
Over the past two weeks, I finished reading The Making of Prince of Persia by Jordan Mechner. The book contains Jordan’s journals from the years that he was working on the first Prince of Persia game. There are lots of motivating and interesting things in the journal, so I thought I’d share a few of them with readers here.
Obsession to the point of dreaming about your work.
I found this quite interesting. I’ve had this happen to me a few times, but not for large projects. Perhaps I haven’t found something that’s made me obsessed enough yet.
You should feel good about what you’re building.
Another consistent theme throughout the journal was that Mechner was convinced that the game was going to be good. He wasn’t sure how successful it would be, but he was always sure that it’d be a high quality game. That’s one thing I’m trying to do as well. I should try to build the best thing I can build, because otherwise what even is the point?
Shouldn’t be afraid of confrontation if you believe in something.
There’s a few moments where Jordan has issues because something some other person had to do for the game wasn’t being done well. It’s never nice to have to confront people about these things, but to get a good result in the end, sometimes you have to. Also, it’s much better to signal that you care about the thing, because that makes other people realize that it’s a thing worth caring about.
There were other parts of the book that I really enjoyed too. Mechner’s evolving thoughts on what would make Prince of Persia fun were really nice to read through.
If you liked these small parts of the book, give it a read and tell me what you thought of it on Twitter! (or leave a comment here, I read all of them.)