This video is from Jordan Mechner’s blog, the creator of Prince of Persia. It shows how the game was developed between 1986-1989.
Jordan launched his career while still in college by creating and programming his first games, Karateka and Prince of Persia, on an Apple II computer. His old journals and archived materials give a time-capsule view of the process of making games in the 1980s and 90s.
The original game and its first sequel were 2D platform games, but the series made the switch to three-dimensional following the release of Prince of Persia 3D in 1999. The success of the Prince of Persia series resulted in Guinness World Records awarding the series 6 world records in the Guinness World Records: Gamer’s Edition 2008. These records include, First Motion-Capture Animation in a Video Game and Highest Rated Platformer on PS2 and Xbox.
In both original 2D games and The Sands of Time trilogy the Prince always encounters alternate forms of himself. ‘The Shadow’ is created in Prince of Persia when the Prince leaps through a magic mirror. The Shadow mimics the appearance of the Prince, but is clad in darker coloured clothes. It hinders the player’s progress several times throughout the game, but in the end the Shadow and the Prince merge, becoming a single person once again.
Below is some classic gameplay footage of the first level. Watching this brings back warm nostalgic feelings!
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.