24/05/2009: The Diary of an Apple II Genius

Wade Clarke wrote in to let me know about the blog of Jordan Mechner, creator of two of the most seminal Apple II gaming classics: Karateka and Prince of Persia. Mechner kept a diary during developement of Prince of Persia and it reveals all aspects of its production - video filming used as reference and for rotoscoping for the character animation, programming, a construction set program to build the levels, all the usual corporate bullshit that took place at Broderbund, a title screen created on the IIGS, choosing packaging designs, shipping the actual product and tracking its monthly sales with the hope they'll pick up (despite the fact Broderbund knew at that time the Apple II market was slowing down).

It's a terrific insight into Mechner's dual passions for film and computer games and his successful marriage of the two. Having finished development of Prince of Perisa nearly 20 years ago, it's wonderful to see that his joy of programming the Apple II and the subsequent success of the Prince of Persia franchise has come full circle and given him enough influence to allow him to write the screenplay (he was writing screenplays at the same time as producing Apple II games) and be executive producer on the upcoming blockbuster film of 'Prince of Persia', released by Disney no less, an inspiration to Mechner in the realm of animation. Jordan Mechner, we salute you!

In other more site releted news, I've added archives for Your Money MattersQuick Click MorphPMP FAX and FAXination, Vince Cooper has granted permission to make Complete Pascal v2.0 available again as long as it's not-for-profit and I've added a list of screen grabs required to complete that collection of visual material to include in the coffee table book. If any of these are your favourite games, please revisit them and take as many screen grabs as you can along the way.