Presto Studios company history
Presto Studios - Company history

* Part one:   The Company

* Part two:   The Making of The Journeyman Project II: Buried in Time

* Part three: Some Arthur quotes

* Part four:   Stills (with different perspective or not included)

* Part five:   GN's adaptions of the directional views

Suddenly, they found ourselves outgrowing their "home office", so they rented a second house around the corner from the first.

They moved their only television to the new house, which also had a swimming pool, and stuffed the first house with computer systems. The houses became known as the work house (or 'Presto North') and the break house ('Presto South'). There were computers in almost every room of the work house, and network wiring ran down every wall, giving the appearance of the inside of a Borg ship. Although, to be honest, it seemed as though the network was used more for Spectre tournaments than work-related purposes. Having the work house separate from the break house proved to be conducive for production, but did not altogether eliminate the distractions.

They planned to ship The Journeyman Project at MacWorld 1993, in early January. This meant finishing the game and sending it off for duplication by Christmas at the very latest. It was quite a problem, but they managed it in time!
Greg Uhler, Dave Flanagan, Michel Kripalani, Jill Malena, Jack H. Davis, Geno Andrews, José Albañil, Eric Hook
Uhler, Flanagan and Albanil working on TJP
After two years, fifteen thousand man-hours, and a few tons of pizza after it was begun, The Journeyman Project was completed. They packed and distributed the game themselves, but it appeared to be a too big undertaking and after four months they decided to go with a small publishing company which distributed the Mac version and translated it to the PC.

TJP shipped in January 1993. When the sales in the USA increased, Presto was able to make a deal with the Japanese company Bandai, and with this company behind them they broke all previous Japanese CD-Rom sales records. After this succes the game was translated into four languages and shipped worldwide. The Journeyman Project was reviewed as the benchmark for CD-Rom adventure games and won various awards, including an Award of Excellence at the 1993 New Media Invision Awards.

The Making of TJP & KGTV coverage of TJP (1993)

In July/August 1993, after a well-earned break the team started to work on the sequel, "The Journeyman Project II: Buried in Time. The Epic Time Travel Adventure" (BIT). It would become a much bigger game in scope and detail than TJP, but nevertheless the team succeeded in releasing the game in 1995.

A remake of TJP was published as "The Journeyman Project: Turbo!" by Sanctuary Woods in 1994. The update was needed because the original version (by Quadra Interactive, Inc.) suffered from great performance problems with slow animations and excessive long load times. The new version compensated that, and it claimed to be more than 300% faster than the original.

In 1996 Presto entered into a strategic partnership with Broderbund Software, which gave Broderbund the publishing rights for The Journeyman Prohect 3 and all its sequels.

While BIT was in process, a separate team started to work on "Pegasus Prime", a remake of TJP. According to Shadi Almassizadeh, it bothered Kripalani that TJP wasn't as good as it could have been because of the limtation of the existing technology. New versions of Alias and Electric Image allowed them to create a more defined environment and upgrade of the quality of the game. Designed to take advantage of the new Power Macintosh computers, Pegasus Prime included improved graphics, new interactions and puzzles and additional video footage. Bandai Digital Entertainment Corp. published the game in 1997.

Gundam 0079 trailer

In this period the Presto team also created "Gundam 0079: The War for Earth", a game based on a well-known Japanese movie and television series, that is as popular in Japan as the Star Wars saga is in the United States. Gundam 0079 was completed for release on the Macintosh in Japan for Christmas 1996. Other Japanese versions released since then included PlayStation and Windows.

In the spring of 1998, Presto completed the latest installation of the series, called "Legacy of Time" (LOT). The graphics were shown in a bigger action window than BIT used and it included the ability to pan 360 degrees (in stead of the few views at stopping points in BIT). Arthur, the sidekick in BIT made his reappearance, and the BioSuit was replaced by the so-called "Chameleon" suit.

An "Enhanced DVD-version" of the game was released by Red Orb Entertainment (a division of Broderbund Software, Inc. in August 1998. The DVD-version contained enhanced graphics and animation, over 4GB of data on one disc, and support for MPEG-2 standard.

The team started to design a fourth Journeyman Project, projected for 2000. The design document of TJP4 was pretty far along; they knew what worlds they wanted and they started prototyping them. The improvements in processors and graphics cards allowed for full-screen playback and they thought about a full-screen variant of the pre-rendered motion video as was used in Legacy of Time. But the project was shelved in 1998.

Another game that was projected for 1999 but never was released was called "Beneath" (Windows95/98). On the Presto site a short description was given:

"Follow the exploits of Jack Wells as he searches for his missing father, a reknowned archaeologist, down a mysterious network of tunnels deep into the earth. The game features a cutting-edge 3D engine with support for hardware acceleration and levels full of amazing uncharted civilizations to explore, climb and swing your way through."

(c) All artwork copyright Presto Studios
(c) Text 2020