Traveller's Tales

Traveller's Tales is a British video game developer and a subsidiary of TT Games. Traveller's Tales was founded in 1989 by Jon Burton and Andy Ingram. Initially a small company focused on its own content, it grew in profile through developing games with larger companies such as Sega and Disney Interactive Studios. In 2004, development on Lego Star Wars: The Video Game started with Giant Interactive Entertainment, the exclusive rights holder to Lego video games. Traveller's Tales bought the company in 2005, and the two merged to create TT Games, with Traveller's Tales becoming the new company's development arm.[1][2]

Traveller's Tales
Subsidiary
IndustryVideo game industry
Founded1989
Founders
Headquarters,
England
Key people
David Dootson (studio manager)
ParentTT Games (2005–present)

History

Traveller's Tales logo (1995-2004)
Logo of Traveller's Tales from 1995 to 2005; created by Rodney Matthews in 1994[3]

Traveller's Tales started developing games with Psygnosis, which were most notable for creating 3D effects. Their first game was Leander, also known as The Legend of Galahad. With Psygnosis they developed a video game adaption of Bram Stoker's Dracula, as well as other original productions like Puggsy. Thanks to an agreement between Psygnosis, Sony Imagesoft and Disney Interactive Studios, Traveller's Tales could produce several games based on Disney's properties, such as the Mickey Mouse game Mickey Mania: The Timeless Adventures of Mickey Mouse and other games based on Pixar movies like Toy Story, A Bug's Life, Toy Story 2: Buzz Lightyear to the Rescue and Finding Nemo (the latter two thanks to agreements with Activision and THQ).

However, Traveller's Tales was best known in the 1990s and early 2000's for their second-party collaboration with Sega to develop games based on the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise, resulting in Sonic 3D Blast and Sonic R, which were produced in close effort with Sega's Sonic Team. Both games were regarded as technical achievements in the Mega Drive (Sonic 3D Blast) and the Sega Saturn (Sonic R), adding to the high-tech development status they already had with games like Puggsy, Mickey Mania and Toy Story. They were also responsible for Crash Twinsanity, under the Vivendi label. The game has gained a cult following and is widely considered the best Crash Bandicoot game post-Naughty Dog era.

They developed Lego Star Wars: The Video Game as well as its follow-ups. Outside of the Lego games, their work includes the franchise Crash Bandicoot, The Chronicles of Narnia, Super Monkey Ball Adventure, and World Rally Championship and F1 Grand Prix for the PlayStation Portable.

The company was purchased by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment at the end of 8 November 2007,[4] but continued to operate independently with the development of Lego Batman: The Videogame, which was released in September 2008. Thereafter they continued their work on licensed titles such as Lego Indiana Jones 2: The Adventure Continues, Lego Harry Potter: Years 5–7, Lego The Lord of the Rings, Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes, and Lego Marvel Super Heroes. It was also announced during the Star Wars Celebration VI that a Lego Star Wars IV was in production, though no in-game image or released date were shown.

The company has also produced games based on existing and new Lego properties such as a trilogy of Lego games based on the Chima universe and Lego City Undercover, the first Lego game to be published by Nintendo for Wii U. The Lego Movie Videogame was released on 7 February 2014, together with The Lego Movie.

Traveller's Tales has won two BAFTAs, one for Gameplay with Lego Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy, and one for Children's Videogame of the Year for Lego Batman: The Videogame.[5][6]

Games developed

Year Title Publisher(s)
1991 Leander Psygnosis
1993 Bram Stoker's Dracula Sony Imagesoft
Puggsy Psygnosis
1994 Mickey Mania: The Timeless Adventures of Mickey Mouse Sony Imagesoft/Sony Computer Entertainment Europe
1995 Toy Story Disney Interactive
1996 Sonic 3D Blast Sega
1997 Sonic R
1998 Rascal Psygnosis
A Bug's Life Sony Computer Entertainment/Activision
1999 Toy Story 2: Buzz Lightyear to the Rescue Activision
2000 Muppet RaceMania Midway Games/Sony Computer Entertainment Europe
Buzz Lightyear of Star Command Activision
2001 Toy Story Racer
Weakest Link
Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex Vivendi Universal Games
2002 Haven: Call of the King Midway Games
2003 Finding Nemo THQ
2004 Crash Twinsanity Vivendi Universal Games
2005 Lego Star Wars: The Video Game Eidos Interactive/Giant Interactive Entertainment
F1 Grand Prix Sony Computer Entertainment
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe Buena Vista Games
World Rally Championship Sony Computer Entertainment
2006 Super Monkey Ball Adventure Sega
Lego Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy LucasArts
Bionicle Heroes Eidos Interactive
2007 Transformers: The Game Activision
Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga LucasArts
2008 Lego Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures
Lego Batman: The Videogame Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian Disney Interactive Studios
2009 Lego Indiana Jones 2: The Adventure Continues LucasArts
2010 Lego Harry Potter: Years 1–4 Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
2011 Lego Star Wars III: The Clone Wars LucasArts
Lego Pirates of the Caribbean: The Video Game Disney Interactive Studios
Lego Harry Potter: Years 5–7 Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
2012 Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes
Lego The Lord of the Rings
2013 Lego Marvel Super Heroes
2014 Lego The Hobbit
Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham
2015 Lego Dimensions
2016 Lego Marvel's Avengers
2017 Lego Worlds
Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2
2018 Lego DC Super-Villains
2019 The Lego Movie 2 Videogame[7]
2020 Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga

References

  1. ^ Wallis, Alistair (9 November 2006). "Playing Catch Up: Traveller's Tales' Jon Burton". Gamasutra. UBM TechWeb. Retrieved 12 February 2016.
  2. ^ Feddy, Kevin (18 January 2013). "The £100m 'geek'". Manchester Evening News. M.E.N Media. Retrieved 12 February 2016.
  3. ^ Burton, Jon; GameHut (30 August 2018). "Original TT Logo Painting Removed from Frame – GameHut is ONE YEAR OLD!". YouTube.
  4. ^ Martin, Matt (8 November 2007). "Warner Bros. swoops for Traveller's Tales". GamesIndustry.biz. Gamer Network. Retrieved 17 February 2016.
  5. ^ "LEGO Batman: The Videogame". gamesindustry.biz. 1 December 2008. Retrieved 30 October 2016.
  6. ^ "GRAW grabs BAFTA top award". Eurogamer. Gamer Network. 6 October 2006. Retrieved 30 October 2016.
  7. ^ Santangelo, Nick (27 November 2018). "The LEGO Movie 2 Videogame Announced for 2019". IGN. Retrieved 27 November 2018.
Jon Burton

Jon Burton is a British video game director, designer, writer, and programmer. He is the founder of development studio Traveller's Tales and its parent company TT Games.

Burton founded Traveller's Tales in 1989. He worked as a designer on Puggsy and the Lego Star Wars series. He has received five British Academy of Film and Television Arts awards.

Lego DC Super-Villains

Lego DC Super-Villains is a Lego-themed action-adventure video game developed by Traveller's Tales, which serves as a spin-off to the Lego Batman trilogy and the fourth instalment in the Lego DC franchise. Unlike the Lego Batman trilogy, this is the first Lego video game to focus entirely on villains of the DC Universe, similar to the villain levels featured in Lego Batman: The Videogame. The game was released by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment on 16 October 2018 in North America and 19 October worldwide.

With the core gameplay following the same style of past Lego titles, the game features a customised character in the game's story. The game also features a two-player cooperative multiplayer mode. The game's storyline centers around villains from the DC Universe as they battle against a group of superheroes from another universe.

Lego Marvel Super Heroes

Lego Marvel Super Heroes is a Lego-themed action-adventure video game developed by Traveller's Tales and published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii U, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Microsoft Windows, and published by Feral Interactive for OS X. The game features gameplay similar to other Lego titles, such as Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga and Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes, alternating between various action-adventure sequences and puzzle solving scenarios. The handheld version of the game by TT Fusion was released under the title Lego Marvel Super Heroes: Universe in Peril for iOS, Android, Nintendo DS, Nintendo 3DS and PlayStation Vita.Lego Marvel Super Heroes is currently the bestselling Lego video game of all time. A spin-off to the Lego Marvel series titled Lego Marvel's Avengers was released on 26 January 2016, and a sequel titled Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2 was released on 14 November 2017.

Lego The Lord of the Rings (video game)

Lego The Lord of the Rings is a Lego-themed action-adventure video game developed by Traveller's Tales, that was released on Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo DS, PlayStation Vita, Microsoft Windows, Wii, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360. The OS X version of the game, published by Feral Interactive, was released on 21 February 2013.Based on The Lord of the Rings film trilogy, the game follows the original but spoofed storylines of The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King, taking players through the epic story events, "re-imagined with the humour and endless variety of Lego play". The game utilises music and voice acting taken from all three films of the film trilogy. Developer Traveller's Tales has stated they toned down the slapstick humour found in other Lego-licensed titles. The game follows the events in the films; however, like the Lego Star Wars series, some scenes from the films have been altered to become more family friendly or just provide comic relief to the player.

On 1 January 2019, all digital sales of the game were halted. This was confirmed a few days later by publisher Warner Bros. Interactive.

Lego Worlds

Lego Worlds is a Lego-themed sandbox game developed by Traveller's Tales and published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. The game allows players to build constructions in a 3D procedurally generated world. A beta version of the game was released on 1 June 2015 on Steam Early Access. It was released on 7 March 2017 for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. A version for Nintendo Switch was released on 5 September 2017 in North America and 8 September 2017 in Europe.

Muppet RaceMania

Muppet Race Mania is a PlayStation racing game that was developed by Traveller's Tales Ltd., and published by Midway in North America and Sony Computer Entertainment in Europe, and released in 2000. The game includes the choice of 25 muppet characters driving 25 vehicles. They race on 34 tracks based on locations in Muppet films and TV programs.

This game marked the first vocal appearance by Janice since the death of Richard Hunt in 1992. She, as well as Scooter were performed by Matt Vogel, the only time when he voiced these characters. It is also the first vocal appearance of Link Hogthrob since the death of Jim Henson in 1990, as performed by Steve Whitmire, as well as the final time Frank Oz voiced his characters before retiring from The Muppets.

Sonic 3D Blast

Sonic 3D Blast, known in Europe as Sonic 3D: Flickies' Island, is a 1996 platform game in the Sonic the Hedgehog series for the Sega Genesis and Sega Saturn. As Sonic the Hedgehog, the player embarks on a journey to save the Flickies, birds enslaved by Doctor Robotnik. The player must guide Sonic through a series of themed levels to collect Flickies and defeat Robotnik. Though it retains game mechanics from prior Sonic games, Sonic 3D Blast is differentiated by its isometric perspective, with pre-rendered 3D models converted into sprites.

The concept for Sonic 3D Blast originated during the development of Sonic the Hedgehog 3 (1994). Most of the programming was outsourced to the British studio Traveller's Tales, as the Japanese Sonic Team staff was preoccupied with Nights into Dreams (1996). Development lasted eight months, and the team drew inspiration from Donkey Kong Country (1994) and Sonic Labyrinth (1995). Sonic 3D Blast was developed alongside the Saturn game Sonic X-treme. When X-treme was canceled, Sega commissioned a port of 3D Blast featuring improved graphics for the Saturn.

Both versions were published by Sega in November 1996, with a Windows port released the following year. Sonic 3D Blast was the final Sonic game for the Genesis, and has been rereleased through Sonic compilations and digital distribution platforms. Though commercially successful, it received mixed reviews. Criticism was directed at its isometric gameplay, controls, and pace, although the visuals and soundtrack were praised. Journalists retrospectively consider the game one of the series' worst. An unofficial director's cut version, featuring adjusted gameplay elements and improved controls, was released by the Genesis version's lead programmer, Jon Burton, in 2017.

Sonic R

Sonic R is a 1997 racing video game developed by Traveller's Tales and Sonic Team for the Sega Saturn. It is the third racing game in the Sonic the Hedgehog series, and the first to feature 3D computer graphics. The player races one of ten Sonic characters in various Sonic-themed race tracks as they attempt to stop Doctor Robotnik from stealing the Chaos Emeralds and enslaving the world. Sonic R features single-player and multiplayer game modes, and while similar to kart racing games such as Mario Kart, it places an emphasis on jumping and exploration. By collecting items and completing objectives, players can unlock secret characters.

Development began after the completion of Sonic 3D Blast in 1996 and took nine months. It was the second collaboration between Traveller's Tales and Sonic Team and was designed to take advantage of the Saturn hardware. Sonic Team designed the race tracks, while Traveller's Tales handled implementation and programming using a custom game engine. The soundtrack was composed by Richard Jacques; tracks from the game, most notably "Super Sonic Racing", have been reused in subsequent Sonic titles. Sega released the game for the Saturn in late 1997, for Windows the following year, and for the GameCube and PlayStation 2 as part of Sonic Gems Collection in 2005.

Sonic R was the only original Sonic title released for the Saturn; Sonic 3D Blast is a port of the Mega Drive game, and Sonic Jam is a compilation of the first four Sonic games. Initial reviews for the game were positive, although retrospective reception has been more divisive. It was praised for its visuals and level design, but criticised for its controls and short length. Meanwhile, Jacques' soundtrack polarised audiences, who alternatively found it catchy and well produced or out of place in a racing game. Fan interest in Sonic R would inspire Sega to revisit the racing genre in future Sonic games, leading to the development of titles such as Sonic Riders (2006).

Super Monkey Ball Adventure

Super Monkey Ball Adventure is a video game developed by Traveller's Tales in association with the division Traveller's Tales Oxford and distributed by Sega in the Super Monkey Ball series, released on June 30, 2006.

Super Monkey Ball Adventure is a departure from the series in the sense that the puzzle-based gameplay is replaced by a more traditional 3D platform game world. Traveller's Tales has retained some of the mini-games, however, and integrated the features into the gameplay. Some new mini-games are also integrated into the adventure world. This gameplay shift contributed to why it received negative reviews from critics.

TT Games

TT Games Limited is a British holding company and a subsidiary of Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. The company was established in 2005 through the merger of developer Traveller's Tales and publisher Giant Interactive (now TT Games Publishing). Its other branches include developer TT Fusion, animation studio TT Animation and mobile game studios Playdemic and TT Odyssey. The company is known for its video games based on the Lego construction toy.

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