Atari 50 studio’s The Making of Karateka interactive documentary out this month

The Making of Karateka: An In-Depth Exploration of a Classic Martial Arts Game

The Making of Karateka, a captivating “interactive documentary,” is set to launch on August 29th for PC, Xbox, and PlayStation, with a Switch version arriving in September. Developed by Digital Eclipse, the studio behind the acclaimed Atari 50: The Anniversary Celebration, this project offers a deep dive into the creation of Jordan Mechner’s iconic 1984 martial arts game, which also gave birth to Prince of Persia and The Last Express.

Digital Eclipse takes players on a comprehensive journey through the making of Karateka, using interviews, video features, design documents, audio recordings, and photos to construct what they believe is the most exhaustive exploration of the development process ever attempted within a video game itself.

The studio explains that Jordan Mechner was just an 18-year-old college student when he started crafting the martial arts adventure that would eventually become one of the most influential Apple II games of its time. The Making of Karateka presents the story behind Mechner’s first published game through an extensive archive that can be explored at one’s own pace.

The Making of Karateka trailer.

Furthermore, The Making of Karateka doesn’t only offer a glimpse into the game’s history but also provides playable versions of various games. Included are the original 1984 Karateka, unfinished prototypes (including the one used by Mechner for pitching to publishers), and the newly remastered edition of Karateka, featuring updated graphics, music, and gameplay. Additionally, the package incorporates prototypes for Deathbounce, a shoot-’em-up Mechner developed at the age of 17, along with a new version of the game.

Upon its release on August 29th, The Making of Karateka will be available for $19.99 USD on PlayStation 4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and PC (via Steam, GOG, and Epic). The Switch version will follow in September. This project serves as the inaugural title of Digital Eclipse’s Gold Master Series, a collection of “interactive documentaries” that aim to reveal the full stories behind groundbreaking games that shaped the gaming industry.