Jordan Mechner (1964–) is an American video game designer, author, and filmmaker, best known for creating the Prince of Persia video game series.
Jordan Mechner grew up in New York with a strong interest in both filmmaking and computers. He learned how to code on an Apple II computer and subsequently wrote several short programs and informative articles for the magazine Creative Computing. Mechner enrolled at Yale University, supplementing his major studies in Psychology with courses in film and computer science.
In 1982, Mechner submitted a game called Deathbounce to Doug Carlston at Brøderbund Software; though the game was never released, Mechner and Brøderbund established a good rapport. Two years later, Brøderbund published Mechner’s game Karateka, a side-scrolling fighting game set in feudal Japan, which eventually sold more than half a million copies worldwide. Mechner utilized his film background to develop realistic animation for the game Prince of Persia, released by Brøderbund in 1989. The popular game spawned several successful sequels, a reboot, and ultimately a major motion picture.
Mechner founded independent developer Smoking Car Productions in 1993. Their primary project, The Last Express, featured a complex real-time mystery aboard an art nouveau rendering of an Orient Express train. The Last Express, released by Brøderbund in 1997, received positive reviews but suffered commercially. As a result, Smoking Car Productions dissolved.
Though no longer programming games, Mechner is involved with the Prince of Persia franchise reboot, as well as the adaptation of his other game titles for mobile platforms. He has written several books, graphic novels, and screenplays.