1993 COMPUTER ADVENTURE GAME
PRINCE OF PERSIA II
Character Designer, Illustrator, Non Interactive Sequence Lead Animator
RESULTS: Record breaking sales for the award winning adventure game published by Brøderbund Software and Jordan Mechner.
Created by Jordan Mechner and Brøderbund Software, The Shadow and the Flame (1993) was an award winning CDROM adventure game that broke new grounds in storytelling, gameplay and was a forerunner of the rich cinematic movie sequences. I designed and illustrated the look and feel of the movie characters and introduced the idea of using pixel cross dissolves to animate the character stills.
The Prince of Persia 2010 movie was based on the original 1989 Apple II game Prince of Persia published by Brøderbund Software and created by Jordan Mechner. The sequel to that game was a 2D action game, The Shadow and the Flame (1993) in which I was responsible for the character design, illustration and animation of the NIS (Non-Interactive Sequences) or little movies between the interactive action game.
The challenge of game design in the early 90’s was HUGE and involved crunching the graphics down to 256 colors (8bit) which was really an effort considering the level of photographic style graphics of the NIS sequences. I had been using Macromedia’s Director animation software for my computer animated film Suspended Abbey and recommended that we use that type of pixelated dissolve to extend the transitions and animation. These were one of the first cinematic sequences in computer games and it brought movie like quality to the story.
I designed and animated the mouse to synch up with a little squeak the soundtrack. The princess is based on Vivien Leigh but looks a bit like book shields in this shot.
I had to design the characters to resemble each other as they emerged from the shadows. This wasn’t easy with only 5 full frames to work with. I designed Jafar’s character on Anthonly Quinn from Lawrence of Arabia and the Prince was based on a young Laurence Olivier.
Charles Ardai wrote in Computer Gaming World that “Prince of Persia 2 not only is in every dimension better than Prince of Persia, but … is in short, the best—game of its type I have ever played”, with “an appeal that is absolutely irresistible”.
For more Prince of Persia history, listen to my interview with VERONIKA ZÝKOVÁ and the 25fps online magazine