Here’s a little gem that came to me at the perfect time. Just as I was starting to seriously consider getting into professional game development, Jordan Mechner (creator of Karateka and Prince of Persia) published The Making of Prince of Persia – an e-book of the diary he wrote 20 years ago, while making one of the best, classic games of my childhood.
First of all, the book is DRM-free, which already helped me decide to make it the first (and so far, only) e-book I’ve ever bought.
The most amazing thing about reading this book is realizing what a one-person job it was. While he had backing from Brøderbund and occasionally used artists and testers from the company, it sounds like the almost the entire game was both designed and developed by him. And what makes it even more amazing – he was 21 years old at the time.
Generally I think the book is pretty interesting, but I would very much have liked more technical details about the design and development of the game. The parts where he talks about how elements of the game were decided (the mirror image, the mouse, etc.) were the best part and there aren’t enough of them in my taste.
Being a diary, it also contains much about his personal life. It is sometimes very interesting, giving me a chance to compare my own thoughts about the life of game development with his, and it’s also generally a good story about a person with an interesting life. However, I think it was too much, with substantial parts of the book taking place completely outside the development of the game.
All things considered, I think it’s a good read for anyone thinking about game development. Especially if you know and love Prince of Persia. I really hope more people take the example and tell us the stories of those classic games. And even more than that – take the example and publish DRM-free books.
 By the way, I seriously think that the combination of ebook readers with project Gutenberg and similar collections (like project Ben-Yehuda, for the Hebrew speakers among you) almost completely eliminated the need for buying books. I wanted to make an exception for A Dance with Dragons, but it seems like you have to be from one of a certain group of countries to buy a book for my reader (Nice move, Sony), so I’ll probably never buy a DRM protected e-book.