‘Prince of Persia’ Producer Defends Low Difficulty Level [GDC 2009]

This is “Prince of Persia” producer Ben Mattes defending the controversial no-death difficulty mechanic in his game at a small Ubisoft gathering of press and developers last night. Instead of the player dying after a failed jump in Mattes’ game, they would be rescued by a partner character Elika and placed on the last flat piece of land they had touched:

“I guess I made the mistake of projecting my own attitudes… I believed that, as a consumer base, the gaming industry had evolved to the point where they were punishing themselves for their failures… The idea with the Elika mechanic was [that] if you were a really good player, a single fall — when she had to pull you up — would be devastating thing because it ruined your perfect run.”

But people complained. So his lesson learned is: “We can’t continue to punish players for not being super leet haxxors but we have to do enough of that so that the guys on NeoGAF [hardcore message board gamers] won’t sell the game back.”