Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Fresh Prince

Now I'm not a massive gamer, but I do remember spending hours of my youth on things like Donkey Kong (on my Dragon32), Jet Set Willy (on a Spectrum borrowed from Guppy's Computer Club in York) and later on, the wonderful Prince Of Persia. The latter is being turned into a blockbuster with Jake Gyllenhaal as we speak and someone recently posted a link to original game designer Jordan Mechner's journals on Twitter:


I can honestly say I haven't been so utterly engrossed for a long time. It's a compelling set of insights into the mindset of a 20-something game designer in the mid-80s, on the cusp of something groundbreaking in the video games world (whilst also harbouring designs on becoming a screenwriter), but also getting to grips with the mundanity of passing his driving test and getting wary landladies to rent him an apartment in San Francisco. He digitizes his little brother running, hanging from walls, swordfighting, etc which forms the basis for the award-winning almost-human (for the time) animation in the game. Imagine being that boy. Wow.

And moments like this:
"But the real breakthrough this week was invisible: I moved a bunch of stuff around so the main game code can use the auxiliary language card. Basically, I’ve just freed up an extra 12K. That gives me some breathing room I’ll sorely need [...] It was a good weekend."

12K = 12,288 bytes = a good weekend :)

Really worth a read.

2 comments:

  1. I didn't understand any of those words. I swear I tried.

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