TY: After Windows Vista broke compatibility with the PC versions of The Journeyman Project trilogy, I realized that Apple’s completion of the Mac’s transition from PowerPC to Intel processors would leave us with no readily playable game from The Journeyman Project series on present-day platforms. There are hobbyists out there who have figured out how to get old PowerPC versions to work through jerry-rigged emulation setups, but playing games is supposed to be enjoyable, not nerd torture, especially on a Mac… and the very first The Journeyman Project was developed on Macs! Programmer Roland Gustafsson was motivated by the fact that his daughter wanted to play The Journeyman Project 3: Legacy of Time, and it wouldn’t run on his Intel-based MacBook. So the two of us quietly collaborated on this little project over a series of many weekends.
MacGamer: Were there any specific challenges during the project regarding development?
TY: For me, it was tracking down the best looking version of all the graphical assets. Most were derived from the enhanced Windows DVD-ROM version, which boasts double the video playback resolution of the original CD-ROM release. A few key segments were re-encoded from the original uncompressed materials as past bandwidth problems were no longer an issue. We were even able to toss in one extra easter egg.
The one technology wall that Roland encountered in updating The Journeyman Project 3 was the renderer of the 360 degree spherical VR panoramas because the company that originally developed it had since gone out of business. After some hard work he was able to get that piece of code Carbonized, a transitional technology that allowed minimum compatibility for Mac OS X. The ideal solution would be to move the technology over to a hardware-accelerated cubic VR renderer like the one Presto later used in Myst 3, but that would require reprocessing every single VR node.