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Old 26-08-2011, 06:42 PM   #1
MrFlibble
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Arrow Prince of Persia Development History

Just found a very interesting article about the creation of Prince of Persia at Hardcore Gaming 101:
http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/pri...ceofpersia.htm
Quote:
Prince of Persia was one of the milestones in how video games were made and perceived as a narrative form, but it almost didn't get made. After it got made, it almost flopped. In summer 1985, not too long after his first game Karateka was released, a young game designer / aspiring screenwriter named Jordan Mechner first came up with the idea of a game in an Arabian Nights setting. By the end of the year, a contract was drafted with Karateka-Publisher Brøderbund, and Mechner had shot footage of his brother David performing various movements intended for the game, only the first of many recording sessions in Prince of Persia's development.

Mechner had first applied rotoscoping—that is, a live actor is filmed by a camera doing a variety of movements, and then an artist traces those images on a computer—for Karateka, and for his new game he would refine the technique. Even in the earliest demos, the hero of the game still frequently referred to as Baghdad (the title Prince of Persia was first thought up by the producer at Broderbund a year later) had remarkably fluid animation. He didn't just jump up - he'd squat, leap into the sky and grab ahold of a ledge, swaying in the air before he pulled himself up and over. Considering most game characters at the time were lucky if they had more than three frames of movement animation, this was an extraordinary achievement.
There are pics and sketches from early development, excerpts from Jordan Mechner's journal and other stuff.
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Old 26-08-2011, 07:33 PM   #2
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Thanks for the link - while I suck at playing PoP (as any other plaformer), it is an important part of my childhood and one of the first PC games I played.
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Old 27-08-2011, 12:13 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RRS View Post
suck at playing PoP (as any other plaformer)
For a very long time I was unaware that you can actually save your progress in PoP1, but only after you complete the first two levels. There's only one save slot, and loading will get you to the level start, but it helps a lot. I learned about that somewhere in mid-2000s when nostalgic sentiments prompted me to revisit the old childhood games. Prior to that (I used to play PoP through the nineties, partly because it is that awesome, partly for the lack of other games and a rather slow PC), I would play through the game until time ran out; I think I only got past level 8 one or two times, because the guard at the beginning of the level is really hard (he doesn't attack, just waits till you charge, parries your blow and hits you while you're recovering). Saving your game really does tip the odds in your favour.

IIRC, you press Ctrl+S to save (a message should appear), and to load a game, you need to restart (Ctrl+R), the press Ctrl+L during the intro.
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Old 15-08-2012, 09:02 AM   #4
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Wow, very interesting. I love to see, how milestones of games are created! Thanks for that link!
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Old 15-08-2012, 09:59 AM   #5
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Quote:
August 28, 1985
Then a strange thing happened. I started getting images in my head of the characters: The Sultan. The Princess. The Boy. I saw the scenes in my mind as if it were a Disney movie.
Looks like a premonition / prevision. Caught in a time loop of himself maybe?
Thanks for the link to article, it was quite interesting to read
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Old 15-08-2012, 11:12 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scatty View Post
Looks like a premonition / prevision. Caught in a time loop of himself maybe?
Thanks for the link to article, it was quite interesting to read

Very nice game indeed.
Brave needed 41 minutes to save the Princess from bad Jaffar.
I do not loose time for more lifes, avoid some battles, trick the inmortal skeleton, do not drink the bottle which make screen upside-down etc.
PoP2 is nice also but another ones are not. Just jump and jump.
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Old 15-08-2012, 11:19 AM   #7
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FixuIk64bI4
Heres an interesting video on the history of the game. It also talks about all the other prince of Persia games in the later videos.
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Old 15-08-2012, 12:18 PM   #8
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Man the last time, I've read something that was as interesting as that, was, when the source of Wolfenstein 3D was published.
They should reduce the "Making ofs" for movies and add "Making ofs" for games. That would be very nice, because it's so damn interesting!
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Old 15-08-2012, 09:32 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Funkmaster5000 View Post
They should reduce the "Making ofs" for movies and add "Making ofs" for games. That would be very nice, because it's so damn interesting!
That, sir, is very certainly true

I'm actually hoping for a very large-scale effort to systematically study the history of video games - individual titles, series and whole genres. Right now this is either part of gaming journalism, or endeavours by individual enthusiasts. One really problematic thing is that many developers don't keep their old materials, and details of their past works just slip from their memories. Some very interesting stuff might get lost simply because no one bothered making a backup copy, or did but the media (diskettes, ZIP disks) deteriorated over time.

Nonetheless, the Hardcore Gaming 101 website has quite a few articles about old games and series with plentiful information. Enthusiasts try to contact developers of old games whenever possible and even ask to release old titles for free if the developer agrees (e.g. Swizzle of Demu.org or DOSGuy of RGB Classic Games). Also, in another thread I've posted a video by CuteFloor who has a large collection of pre-release videos from avrious games on his YouTube channel.
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Old 16-08-2012, 05:52 AM   #10
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Now that you guys discuss this, I'll just dig up Romero's site for old id Software photos...
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