Roy Tang

Programmer, engineer, scientist, critic, gamer, dreamer, and kid-at-heart.

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The Making of KaratekaThe Making of Karateka by Jordan Mechner
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The book is literally a collection of journal entries detailing young Jordan Mechner’s days as a university student at Yale at the same time working on what would be his first published game. I found it both inspiring (though some might consider me the wrong age to be inspired by it) and amusing as a look into the life of a young man in the early 80s. As a set of journal entries, the writing isn’t particularly spectacular, but it is an easy enough read, especially for someone with an interest in game development. You are not likely to learn anything for practical use for game development, unless of course you were planning to develop games for old-school Apple II or Commodore 64 platforms with limited amounts of memory to work with. I found it interesting mostly because the stories harken back to a bygone-era of game development, when the norm was the single developer working on all aspects of the game by himself all the while being a full-time student, and eventually getting published and making it to the top of the sales charts. I’m looking forward to reading the second book where he covers the creation of his second hit Prince of Persia

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