(Note: I originally wrote the below blog post for Apple II Bits but ultimately sent it to PCWorld, with whom I now have a relationship to publish gaming articles after covering last month's GameFest .)
Last week, Jordan Mechner  was the keynote speaker at PAX East , Penny Arcade's annual three-day celebration of gaming and gamers. Mechner kicked off the event with his personal story of how creating Karateka  and Prince of Persia  indirectly led him to fulfill his life goal of breaking into Hollywood, and how he has since revisited those properties many times across various media.
Mechner's tale was one of persistence and perseverance. When he first tried his hand at programming in 1982, his debut game garnered the attention of Broderbund's Doug Carlston . "Unlike in Asteroids, where you're a triangle-shaped ship shooting at rocks," described Mechner, "in my game, you're a triangle-shaped ship shooting at colored balls. It had physics and everything." Despite the wicked awesome name of Deathbounce, the game remained unpublished — "There's a reason [Carlson] passed on that," said Mechner.
But once Mechner went public with the story of Deathbounce, PAX attendees demanded its release, going so far as using the Q&A session to hand Mechner money toward a Kickstarter  crowdfunding campaign. Hey, if it's worked for Tim Schafer , Brian Fargo , and Al Lowe , why not Jordan Mechner?