Jordan Mechner at WonderCon 2010
June 4, 1964 |
New York City
|Occupation||video game designer, screenwriter, author, and filmmaker|
|Known for||Creator of Prince of Persia|
Life and career
Mechner was born in New York City. He is a graduate of Yale University where he received a BA in psychology in 1985.
While at Yale, Mechner wrote several Apple II games that he submitted for publication, but which were rejected. Star Blaster, an Asteroids-clone, was submitted to Hayden Software and Deathbounce, an abstract arcade game, to Broderbund. His first published game was Karateka (1984), written while he was still an undergraduate at Yale University. His second game, Prince of Persia, was released in 1989. He wrote both games in 6502 assembly language for the Apple II.
Prince of Persia was noted for its fluid animation of human figures, which Mechner based on videos and photographs of his brother running and jumping. Both titles were published by Brøderbund for the Apple II and became best sellers, while Prince of Persia was adapted for nearly every computer and console platform.
Mechner designed and directed the first sequel, Prince of Persia 2: The Shadow and the Flame, released in 1993. By then, he had retired from computer programming and was more involved in game design and story mechanics. Mechner subsequently founded independent developer Smoking Car Productions, where he led a 30-person creative team in the production of the critically acclaimed 1997 CD-ROM adventure game The Last Express. Mechner's first four games were all published by Brøderbund.
In 2001, Mechner joined forces with Ubisoft to relaunch his decade old Prince of Persia for a new generation of gamers. Developed at Ubisoft Montreal with Mechner as game designer, writer and creative consultant, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time was one of the biggest hits of 2003, sweeping the Interactive Achievement Awards (DICE) with 12 nominations and 8 awards. Ubisoft has since published four more Prince of Persia sequels and several spinoffs. The latest title, Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands was released in May 2010.
Mechner recently became one of the few video game creators to adapt his own creation as a feature film with Disney's Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, directed by Mike Newell, and starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Gemma Arterton, Ben Kingsley, and Alfred Molina. Disney released Prince of Persia movie on May 28, 2010. Mechner wrote the first drafts of the screenplay and is an executive producer of the film.
In 2003, Mechner wrote and directed the documentary film, Chavez Ravine: A Los Angeles Story. It won the 2003 IDA award for Best Short Documentary, was short-listed for an Academy Award nomination, and received its broadcast premiere on PBS Independent Lens in 2005.
Mechner's first graphic novel, Solomon's Thieves, illustrated by LeUyen Pham & Alex Puvilland, was published by First Second Books in May 2010. Mechner previously collaborated with First Second, Pham & Puvilland on the 2008 Prince of Persia graphic novel written by A.B. Sina. Mechner also wrote the graphic novel, Prince of Persia: Before the Sandstorm, to tie in with the release of the film in 2010. Templar, also illustrated by Pham and Puvilland, will be published in July 2013.
Mechner has posted old journals and videos from the 1980s, describing the making of the first Prince of Persia game, on his personal blog, where he also posts sketches and current information about his projects. Mechner was able to recover the source code of the Prince of Persia game from recently found 23 years old 3.5″ Apple ProDOS floppy disks and posted it online.
|Karateka||1984||Apple II||Brøderbund Software|
|Prince of Persia||1989||Apple II||Brøderbund Software|
|Prince of Persia 2: The Shadow and the Flame||1993||DOS||Brøderbund Software|
|The Last Express||1997||DOS||Brøderbund Software|
|Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time||2003||PlayStation 2||Ubisoft|
|Karateka||2012||Xbox 360||D3 Publisher|
- Waiting for Dark (1993)
- Chavez Ravine: A Los Angeles Story (2003)
- Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (2010) (screenwriter)
- Mechner, J.: "Blog 4 June 1989", Jordan Mechner's website
- Prince of Persia award page from Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences website
- PBS Independent Lens
- From Games to Comics
- "Megan Fox to star in 'Fathom'" from Variety
- The Making of Prince of Persia
- Jordan Mechner's Official Bio
- Raiders of the Lost Archives page on Mechner's personal site
- jmechner/Prince-of-Persia-Apple-II page at GitHub
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Jordan Mechner.|
- Official website
- Jordan Mechner at MobyGames
- Jordan Mechner at the Internet Movie Database
- Profile in Yale Scientific Magazine, Winter 2005
- Chavez Ravine: A Los Angeles Story
- Article written by Mechner for MIT Press