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Creative Media - CD-i developer

>> Thursday, December 1, 2005

With Philips being a dutch company, it may not surprise you The Netherlands was one of the most succesful countries for CD-i. When the format was already abandoned in the USA, the dutch CD-i love flourished a lot with a crave for new games. When most companies who produced CD-i games were involved with the format from the beginning, in the Netherlands there were several parties who started just a tad after the ‘hype’. Ofcourse it should be noted Philips was the big spender and most CD-i projects were funded and initiated by Philips…

One of these ‘dutchies’ was called the ‘Dutch Interactive Media Associates’. With the same approach as with the Philips in-house studios like Sidewalk and Artspace, the main objective of DIMA was to produce relatively cheap CD-i games in a relatively short period. They gave us the well-known Family Games, a great game collection of classic small games which was a give-away with european CD-i sets in 1994. In 1995 they released a christmas surprise: Christmas Crisis. Without any preview this title hit the market and hooked the CD-i fans to their screen. With Christmas around the corner this is the perfect chance to relive a CD-i classic with excellent digital video.

When Philips pulled the plug out of their own studios, DIMA people took a step and got totally independent. Being the first company to publish their own CD-i games, this was a big step for the CD-i community. These were the days of ‘Creative Media’, a small company who brought to you Christmas Country, a true follow-up to Christmas Crisis but without the help of Philips digital video encoders… When you compare these christmas platformers you’ll notice the last one was more rough but it supported horizontal scrolling which was a real difficulty on CD-i.

One of the test prototypes was a conversion of Nintendo’s ‘Super Mario Bros’, which is a perfect example that CD-I was capable of playing original NES games. The ‘brains’ of Creative Media were headed in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. With all classic consoles around, they were fanatics of classic games. “With Cd-i you don’t have the perfect game console; Other game consoles win easily when it comes to speed and graphics.The amount of memory is just too low for that to compete. On the other hand it is a real challenge to get out of it what is possible to the max. That’s what we did with Christmas Country: Good graphics with loads of enemies on screen and with a solid framerate. The downside was a lack of music in the game but believe me, the framerate would drop enormously if we would have used in-game music. To add, the game had to be finished in a relatively short period. Ofcourse it’s great when you’re allowed to work on a game for a year but it costs too much money. It’s just not profitable for a small company in a small country. Along the years things are getting easier to develop. The development time of Family Games and Christmas Crisis took around 6 months each, Christmas Country only took us over 3 months to finish.”

Christmas Country was a winner of the International CD-I Association Awards in the category “Home Entertainment Children”. In 1996 Creative Media started developing games for both the PC CD-ROM and the Sony Playstation, but ofcourse they didn’t forget the CD-i. In 1997 they were planning a remake of Christmas Country (The Lost Levels). This game would incorporate more scrolling effects and background music, including all-new levels. A classic remake of Break-Out was developed with the name Whack-a-Bubble, which was released in 1997.

More plans …

Four new games should have been released before 1998. ‘Mr. Miner’ was a classic remake of ‘Dig Dug’, You had to dig down in vertically stretched levels, kill enemies and gain the bonus items to get into the next level. ‘Atomic Shift’ was a remake of the classic ‘Asteroids’. In this game you were flying in a space ship and you had to shoot atoms in parts which would melt together again and again… Very addictive and very high-score-minded! ‘Haunted Pyramid’ should have been a remake of ‘Lode Runner’, which was a perfect classic for primitive platform and puzzle action. ‘Marchin’ Ants’ was based on ‘Centipede’, a classic shooting game.

Unfortunately none of these games saw the light of day, but they sure have a lot of CD-i gems in the vault. One of them is a conversion of Nintendo’s ‘Super Mario Bros’, which is a perfect example that CD-I was capable of playing original NES games. I’m always thinking that, with the Nintendo license Philips had (thanks to their ‘Philips Odyssee Console’ patents), they would have been able to release a remake after the cancellation of the highly anticipated Super Mario’s Wacky Worlds.

With this potential they also developed a four-player adapter for use with certain CD-I players. They designed games for multiplayer action like this with ‘Taco’s Toyroom Troopers’, which was displayed on the back of Christmas Country. The main problem was the incompatibility with different player models. In the end the project was too expensive and neither Philips nor Creative Media wanted to invest more money in the ill-fated CD-i. If the internal issues of the different players were minimized from the beginning, the chance we got to see another third party controller would have been realistic. The four player controller prototype is on our agenda to investigate in the near future so check out the resources regularly!

See you next month!


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Games 0-F

3rd Degree - PF Magic
7th Guest, The - Philips Freeland Studios
Accelerator - SPC/Vision
Adventure of the Space Ship Beagle, The - Denshi Media Services
Affaire Morlov, L' - Titus
Alfapet - Adatek
Alice in Wonderland - Spinnaker
Alien Gate - SPC Vision
Alien Odyssee - Argonaut
Aliens Interactive CD-i - Dark Vision Interactive
Ange et le Demon, L' - Smart Move
Apprentice, The - SPC Vision
Apprentice 2, The - Marvin's Revenge - SPC Vision
Arcade Classics - Philips ADS / Namco
Asterix - Caesar’s Challenge - Infogrames
Atlantis - The Last Resort - PRL Redhill (Philips ADS)
Axis and Allies - CapDisc
Backgammon - CapDisc
Battle Chess - Accent Media (for Interplay)
Battleship - CapDisc
Big Bang Show - Infogrames
BMP Puzzle - Circle (for ZYX)
Brain Dead 13 - Readysoft
Burn:Cycle - Trip Media
Caesar's World of Boxing - Philips POV
Caesar's World of Gambling - CD-I Systems
Cartoon Academy - Bits Corporation
CD-i mit der Maus - SPC Vision
CD Shoot - Eaglevision Interactive Productions
Change Angels Kick-off - HMO
Chaos Control - Infogrames
Christmas Country - Creative Media
Christmas Country - The Lost Levels - Creative Media
Christmas Crisis - DIMA
Clue - 3T Productions
Clue 2 - The mysteries continue - 3T Productions
Connect Four - CapDisc
Creature Shock - Argonaut (for Virgin)
Crime Patrol - CapDisc
Crow, The - Philips POV
Cyber Soldier Sharaku - Japan Interactive media
Dame was Loaded, The - Beam Software
Dark Castle - Philips POV
Dead End - Cryo
Defender of the Crown - Philips POV
Deja Vu - Icom Simulations
Deja Vu 2: Lost in Las Vegas - Icom Simulations
Demolition Man - Virgin Interactive Entertainment
Demon Driver - Haiku Studios
Discworld - Teeny Weeny Games
Dimo's Quest - SPC Vision
Domino - Wigant Interactive Media
Down in the Dumps - Haiku Studios
Dragon's Lair - Superclub / INTL CDI
Dragon's Lair 2- Time Warp - Superclub / INTL CDI
Drug wars - Crime Patrol II - CapDisc
Dungeons & Dragons - PF Magic
Earth Command - Visionary Media
Effacer - CapDisc
Escape from Cybercity - Fathom Pictures
Evidence - Microids
Falco & Donjon & The Sword of Inoxybur - BMi / Zephyr Studio
Family Games I - DIMA
Family Games II - Junk Food Jive - DIMA
Felix the Cat - Philips Sidewalk Studio
Flashback - Delphine/Tiertex (for US Gold)
Flinstones Wacky Inventions - Philips Funhouse
Fort Boyard: The Challenge - Microids
Frog Feast - Rastersoft

CD-i Games Index G-M

Go - CapDisc
Golden Oldies - SPC Vision
Golden Oldies II - SPC Vision
Golgo 13 - Japan Interactive Media
Great day at the races, A - CD-I Racing, Dove Films, Total Vision
Guignols de l'Info, Les - Canal+ Multimedia / INTL CDI
Heart of Darkness - Amazing Studio (for Virgin)
Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, The - Philips Kaleidoscope
Holland Casino CD-i - HMO
Hotel Mario - Philips Fantasy Factory
Inca - Coktel Vision
Inca 2 - Coktel Vision
International Tennis Open - Infogrames
Jack Sprite vs. The Crimson Ghost - PF Magic
Jeopardy - Accent Media
Jigsaw - Novalogic
Joe Guard - DIMA
John Dark: Psychic Eye - CapDisc
Joker's Wild!, The - Accent Media
Joker's Wild Jr., The - Accent Media
Kether - Infogrames
Kingdom - The far reaches - CapDisc
Kingdom 2 - Shadoan - CapDisc
Labyrinth of Crete - Philips Funhouse
Laser Lords - Spinnaker
Last Bounty Hunter, The - CapDisc
Legend of the Fort - Microids
Lemmings - DMA Design / Psygnosis
Lettergreep - Wigant Interactive Media
Lingo - SPC Vision
Link - The faces of evil - Animation Magic
Lion King, The - Virgin Interactive Entertainment
Litil Divil - Gremlin Graphics
Litil Divil 2: Limbo Years - Gremlin Graphics
Lords of the rising sun - Philips POV
Lost Eden - Cryo (for Virgin)
Lost Ride, The - Formula (Lost Boys)
Lucky Luke - The video game - SPC Vision
Mad Dog McCree - CapDisc
Mad Dog McCree II: The lost gold - CapDisc
Magic Eraser - Circle (for ZYX)
Mah-Jong - Japan Interactive Media
Making the Grade - 3T Productions
Man Before Man - Cryo
Marco Polo - Infogrames
Mario Takes America - CIGAM
Master Labyrinth - AVM AG/HQ
Mega Maze - CapDisc
Memory Works, The - Compact Disc Incorporated
Merlin's Apprentice - Philips Funhouse
Microcosm - Philips Freeland Studios
Micro Machines - Codemasters
Monty Python's Invasion from the Planet Skyron - Daedalus CD-i Productions
Mutant Rampage - Body Slam - Animation Magic
Myst - Sunsoft (for Cyan)
Mystic Midway - Rest in pieces - Philips POV
Mystic Midway 2 - Phantom Express - Philips POV

Compact Disc Interactive

Compact Disc Interactive

Games N-Z

Name that tune - Philips Fantasy Factory
New Day - Bits Corporation
NFL Hall of Fame Football - Philips POV
Othello - HMO
Pac Panic - Philips ADS / Namco
Palm Springs Open - ABC Sports / Fathom Pictures
Pool - SPC Vision
Pinball - CapDisc
Plunderball - ISG Productions
Power Hitter - ABC Sports / Fathom Pictures
Power Match - Two's Company
Pursue - BEPL
Pyramid Adventures - Compact Disc Incorporated
RAMRaid - PRL Redhill
Return To Cybercity - Fathom Pictures
Riddle of the Maze, The - Fathom Pictures
Riqa - Bits Corporation
Rise of the Robots - Mirage Technologies
Sargon Chess - Spinnaker
Scotland Yard Interactive - AVM AG/HQ
Secret Mission - Microids
Secret Name of Ra, The
Shaolin's Road - Infogrames
Skate Dude - Viridis
Smurfen, De - De Telesmurf - Infogrames
Solar Crusade - Infogrames
Solitaire - BEPL
Space Ace - Superclub / INTL CDI
Space Ranger - Studio Interactive
Special Operations Squadron - SPC Vision
Sport Freaks - SPC Vision
Star Trek - Philips POV
Star Wars: Rebel Assault - LucasArts
Steel Machine - SPC Vision
Striker Pro - Rage
Strip Poker Live - Greenpig Production
Strip Poker Pro - Interactive Pictures
Super Fighter - The Super Fighter Team / C&E
Super Mario's Wacky Worlds - NovaLogic
Surf City - Philips Sidewalk Studios
Tangram - Eaglevision Interactive Productions
Taco's Toyroom Troopers - Creative Media
Tankdoodle - Creative Media
Tetris - Philips POV
Tetsuo Gaiden - Creative Media
Text Tiles
Thieves' World - Electronic Arts
Tic-tac-toe - BEPL
Tox Runner - ISG Productions
Treasures of Oz - Philips Kaleidoscope
Ultra CD-i Soccer - Krisalis
Uncover featuring Tatjana - SPC Vision
Uninvited - Icom Simulations
Video Speedway - ISG Productions
Vinnie the Pinguin - Pandemonium Labs
Voyeur - Philips POV
Voyeur 2 - Philips POV
Whack-a-Bubble - Creative Media
What's it worth - Marshall Cavendish Multimedia / Spice
Who shot Johnny Rock? - CapDisc
Wordplay - BEPL
World Cup Golf - US Gold
Zaak Sam, De - Toneelschool NL
Zelda - The wand of Gamelon - Animation Magic
Zelda's Adventure - Viridis
Zenith - Radarsoft
Zombie Dinos From The Planet Zeltoid - Philips POV

  © Interactive Dreams Version 5 by The Black Moon Project 2013

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