>> Monday, October 23, 2006
Please, don't get your hopes up already. It's not we have found anything spectacular. I would cry if we did, really. You know Discworld? It rocks, especially because Philips announced a CD-i version back in 1995. Since that day I was drooling over the copyrights Psygnosis already managed to get in the official CD-i catalogue. After Philips redesigned the official CD-i catalogue early 1995, the title forecast was already pretty exciting because of two copyrights: Creature Shock and Discworld. I never understood why these games weren't available. Without the Internet as a prominent information source I could only imagine some regional differences. In the end, only Creature Shock was released in 1997 (three years of waiting!) but nobody was talking about Discworld anymore. I asked anyone I knew about it: The CD-i Gold Club didn't know anything. The Philips Hotline didn't know anything. CD-i Magazine didn't know anything. That was pretty much it.
Still, the whole Discworld topic may be something which kept me interested in the CD-i thing. Whatever happened there... Since that first time it took me years before I found out about the Black Moon Project. Even more, I never read any UK CD-i magazine issue simply because it wasn't available in the Netherlands. I was highly surprised to find out the UK CD-i magazine actually REVIEWED the CD-i version of Discworld. Yet, I was 100% convinced the CD-i version was about complete and ready, mainly because it was showcased in the Mega Pop Classics 1995 disc. Mind you, the cover on the top left is genuine, I didn't need to photoshop anything, that is the real cover.
But wait, by reviewing Discworld on CD-i, the UK CD-i magazine also started the biggest blunder in CD-i's history. In the footnote the deal was obvious but oh-so disappointing: "At the time of going to press, the CD-i version of Discworld was in the final (beta-testing) stages of development. We, therefore, had to use the PC version of the game for this review. According to our sources, though, both versions play identically, the only differences occuring in the speed of the game as a whole, and a few cut-backs in background animations on the CD-i version. If there's anything else we'll let you know."
Come on! What were they thinking? Even todays magazines would never get away with something like this! I couldn't believe they actually reviewed the PC version. Dear Mark Ramshaw, if you ever read this, please sign up and explain yourself. You have no idea what load of stir this caused in the world of CD-i, even 10 years after your review.
Yes, it's been ten years after the initial release. But there is no. Even no beta version. The Black Moon project has been able to retrieve more beta releases of games like Battle Chess, Voyeur II, Microcosm... But apparently Discworld is a different story. It's not that we didn't try. Far from that. The most easiest start to trace anything was ofcourse by contacting the formal developer: Teeny Weeny Games.
Apart from a vague statement from the original writer, this was a dead end. Still: "As far as I know, yes the game was completed, but Philips never published it." - That's quite a thought! It was certainly worth digging more and more... In the end the title was (going to be?) developed by TWG/PE (Perfect Entertainment) Sheffield and the closest contact with Philips should be Philips Interactive Media in Redhill, UK. Great, because the Philips Media business was shut down years ago.
Different people all have different things to say. Ofcourse we love the positive reactions like the game was actually finished. Claims about compression issues of the graphics and animation cut-downs are totally believable, but ofcourse on the contrary it was said Discworld was only in alpha-stage and non-existent. Still, I found it very interesting whether Teeny Weeny Games was actually contractually obliged in completing the game. That would mean some gold disc state should exist. Perhaps with the people of the old Philips testing facilities, perhaps with the original coders.
All of the contacts were very promising, but in the end the results are mediocre. Nobody was able to show anything of CD-i Discworld and all their memories were vague. Conclusion? We don't know if we'll ever find anything more of it but let me ask you gently, if you know anything about the CD-i version of Discworld, leave me a message. I'm highly interested.
On the left you see the thumbnails of the CD-i review pages which were published in UK CD-i magazine issue 18. Click on each to enlarge and enjoy the content.
Thanks to Devin and Merijn,