Codex Gamicus

Presto Studios was a computer game development company of the 1990s, especially famous for its award-winning The Journeyman Project series and the 2001 sequel to Cyan's hit Myst series, Myst III: Exile.

In August 2002, Presto Studios shut down new development after the release of an Xbox title Whacked!. In a statement, Greg Uhler (executive producer) announced the closing of the company:[1]

"Due to business, financial, and personal reasons, Presto Studios is discontinuing software development. Whacked! for the Xbox will be the last product that we ship. The company will remain as a corporate entity for many years, but will not be developing products. A minimal staff, including Michel and myself, will be here until the end of October."

Closure of the company[]

Whacked! for Xbox was Presto Studios' final title before closing its doors shortly afterward. Though still in decent financial shape, Presto was facing an uphill challenge in the transition from the PC to console game market. The directors of the company foresaw the rapidly shrinking PC game market and decided to close the company while it was ahead.[2] A significant number of the creative staff moved on to high-profile roles in motion picture and animation production.

Contact information[]
Presto Studios, Inc.
P.O. Box 230928
Encinitas, CA 92023-0928

Production history[]

The Legacy of the Journeyman Project[]

Main article: Journeyman Project franchise

The Journeyman Project series centers on the temporal agent Gage Blackwood. You, the player, control the role of Gage Blackwood and travel through time to past and future locations in order to protect history's integrity.

All of the titles in the series are first person adventure games featuring photorealistic graphics. The series developed a narrative story line in order to create gameplay. Goals were based on the narrative, rather than a string of puzzles.

The Journeyman Remakes[]

Following its initial success, the original Journeyman Project was re-released in 1994 under the title The Journeyman Project Turbo!. It was originally titled just "version 2.0", but was renamed to reflect major performance improvements.

There is another more substantial remake titled The Journeyman Project: Pegasus Prime, which was initiated as a "director's cut" release with technological improvements such as full motion navigation seen in The Journeyman Project 2: Buried in Time. Versions were in development for the Power Macintosh, Pippin, 3DO, Sega Saturn, and Sony PlayStation, but only the PowerMac, Pippin, and PlayStation versions were completed and only the PowerMac version was released in North America.

The Journeyman Evolution[]

There were many changes in interface and style over the games in the series. For example, The Journeyman Project 3: Legacy of Time featured smooth 360-degree panoramic navigation and did not require you to manipulate biochips as in the first two games. The original title imposed a time limit for game-play whereas the rest of the series removed this restriction. Narratively, the use of time travel became a convention of traveling to locations. The first game is about preventing alteration in time, the second with finding chronological anomalies, and the third uses time travel more as a story device. The games also progressed in how the player interacts with the narrative space. In Legacy of Time, players were able to converse with characters. As the earlier games focused on problem solving, the later games focused more on exploration.

The last game in development, The Journeyman Project 4, was shelved before its projected release date in 2000, but much of its development resources were directed towards Myst III: Exile, which featured similar 360-degree navigational improvements. According to Tommy Yune, who was the project creator director at Presto, one of the tentative titles for this unfinished sequel was "Resurrection", which was chosen to illustrate "the potentially dangerous outcomes of time travel technology".

Tommy Yune once stated that all concept arts, models, source codes, and development materials for The Journeyman Project series had been kept safe at an undisclosed location and were not destroyed when Presto closed its doors.

In October 2009, *The Journeyman Project 3: Legacy of Time was released in an all new DVD-ROM format for Apple's Mac OS X The new version contains digitally remastered images and sound, and eliminates the disc swapping required to play the original release of the game.

Tommy Yune has hinted to a re-release of the Pegasus Prime 'director's cut' for modern day computers, but no known product is in development.

Published Titles[]

Playstation/Playstation 2[]

Unreleased Titles[]

  • Beneath
  • The Journeyman Project 4


  1. Andy Largent (2002-08-28). Presto Studios Closing Down. Inside Mac Games.
  2. Kim Peterson (2002-08-28). Local video game-maker Presto closes despite being debt-free and rich in talent. The San Diego Union-Tribune.

External links[]

pt:Presto Studios