January 12, 2009 – Students, faculty, and other visitors to UC San Diego's Science & Engineering Library are now being greeted by the life-size original "Chameleon JumpSuit" the sci-fi time traveler suit from the highly popular Journeyman Project "Legacy of Time" computer video game.
The Chameleon JumpSuit, which is nearly six-feet tall, sports green and silver body armor and the dynamic, Robocop-like posture of an action figure raring to spring into action. The suit was donated to the UC San Diego Libraries by Michel Kripalani, Greg Uhler, and Farshid Almassizadeh, all UC San Diego alumni and veterans of the videogame industry. In 1991, the team, along with other friends, founded Presto Studios, one of the brightest stars in San Diego's video game development industry and the developer of The Journeyman Project and other highly-acclaimed computer games.
"We are thrilled to have found an ideal home for the Chameleon JumpSuit from our 'The Journeyman Project: Legacy of Time' videogame," said Michel Kripalani, CEO/President of Presto Studios. "This is our way of giving something back to UC San Diego, as a way to thank the university for helping us develop the skills that we needed to launch and run a successful, independent video game studio. We hope that students visiting the UCSD Science & Engineering Library will be inspired by the suit, and will be motivated to reach their creative and professional goals."
Although Presto closed its doors in 2002, the studio was responsible for a number of extremely popular and highly creative computer games, including the top-selling "Myst III: Exile" and the award-winning "The Journeyman Project" series. The virtual version of the Chameleon JumpSuit was armed with futuristic qualities, including the ability to travel through time and a chameleon-like property that enabled players in the "Legacy of Time" game to adopt the identities of other characters from various time periods in the quest to solve numerous puzzles. The game, the third in the "The Journeyman Project" series, features a panoramic field of vision, and was highly praised for its intricate plots and stunning graphics. Published by Red Orb Entertainment in 1998, "Legacy of Time" was one of the first computer games to be developed for the DVD-ROM medium.
"It's great to have our very own video action figure poised at the entrance to the UC San Diego Science & Engineering Library," said Brian E. C. Schottlaender, the Audrey Geisel University Librarian. "We know it will be an inspiration to our students and will become a library icon in no time. We're very grateful to Michel Kripalani for this unique donation."
Kripalani, who majored in visual arts, obtained his B.A. degree from UC San Diego in 1989. He is currently a director of business development for Autodesk® Media & Entertainment, where he continues to work closely with game developers and publishers worldwide, from Nintendo to Epic Games.
The Chameleon JumpSuit was designed by Phil Saunders, Presto's creative director at the time. Saunders, currently a Hollywood-based concept designer, has contributed to the design of several hit films, including "Spiderman 3," "Zathura," and "Jarhead." Most recently, he designed the hero suit for the immensely popular science fiction movie, "Iron Man."
UC San Diego's Science & Engineering Library, located in the East Wing of the Geisel Library Building (1st and 2nd floors), provides extensive print and online resources as well as technologically advanced, user-focused services to support the university's renowned Jacobs School of Engineering and Division of Physical Sciences' programs. As the premier science and engineering library south of Los Angeles, the UCSD Science & Engineering Library serves as a major intellectual resource for the region's vibrant technology and corporate communities, as well as for other academic institutions and members of the public.
Ranked among the nation's top academic research libraries, the UC San Diego Libraries play an integral role in advancing and supporting the university's research, teaching, and public service missions. As the intellectual heart of the UC San Diego campus, the nine university libraries provide access to more than 7 million digital and print volumes, journals, and multimedia materials to meet the knowledge and information needs of faculty, students, and members of the public. Each day, more than 7,300 patrons visit one of the UCSD libraries and more than 87,000 people access library resources through the UCSD Libraries main Web site.