Prince of Persia Creator Jordan Mechner
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Last night, I had the pleasure of having dinner with Jordan Mechner, creator of Prince of Persia , and today watched him give a brilliant panel. & He answered pressing questions from fans of his video games, as well as those waiting expectantly for the Prince of Persia movie (for which he wrote the script), and the upcoming graphic novel that is available at Comic-Con pre-release (at booth 1320).
I wanted to know, how does a game programmer turn screenplay writer and graphic novelist? How are these media related, and in what ways does he need to think differently to create a game, a film, or a book?
Mechner explained that the interactive game needs only present the surface of the story, because it's the player that creates the action within that world. A video game is meant to be played, not watched. At the beginning of the Sands of Time game, the Prince makes a mistake that turns almost everyone into a sand monster -- which is good for the game, because it means the player spends the rest of the game fighting these enemies. You press a button, and kill the monsters. But there's no button for "talk to someone." You can't interact with anyone in the game except to destroy them.