This would be a fun thing to dink around with: a level editor for the Apple II version of Prince of Persia, one of the most innovative platforming games of all time.
If you have any interest in game design and development, be sure to also read Jordan Mechner’s journals / diaries from his time making Karateka and Prince of Persia — a time capsule into the mind of a successful ~18-year-old game dev auteur.
I was very happy to have gotten this far. I had the Kid, the Prince of Persia, running and jumping on my screen. I was able to control it and perform all the normal actions. And it felt right. Timing, speed, animations. Of course it was spot on, it was using the original code written by Jordan Mechner, lifted from its Apple II grave and brought back to life, with a new purpose.
At this point I was sure I could do this. It would only be a matter of months. Oh boy, was I wrong.
From the Prince of Persia C64 Development Blog, in which the author writes with excellent detail about his recent hobby attempt to reverse engineer and port the classic computer game to the Commodore64 (warning: lots of posts about pixels, sprites and assembly language debugging – your entertainment value may vary). The original Apple ][ source code for PoP had long ago been lost, but the game’s creator coincidentally posted a handy excerpt of the game’s design documentation as a PDF on his blog, and many other ports existed, so…why not try recreate the original code?
Bonus: Prince of Persia creator Jordan Mechner has collated his original design notes and journals into a nice 300-page ebook. Neat! I’d love to have a whole series of these for classic games.
(Via O’Reilly Radar)