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The many faces of Maxx Magic

>> Monday, February 26, 2007

Whoever told you CD-i didn't have any original titles? Cd-i hosted a lot of conversions from other systems but a good eye will catch quite a few beauties on CD-i that people forgot about. Like Max Magic, an interactive magic kit for CD-i, starring Maxx, one of the greatest CD-i characters in my view with the highest personality. A look inside the studio who created Maxx: Animation & Effects.

With Maxx you can perform magic tricks on television. It may sound weird, but it works out pretty well. The main scene shows the room of Maxx where you can find several tricks. Click the highlighted object and Maxx will explain what the trick is about. Here Maxx will actually perform the trick FOR you, interacting with you by touching the television, remembering numbers and more.

Maxx is personal. He is the most deep character CD-i has ever known. First, he knows my name. He even speaks my name, using a list of names common in the USA. Every name is recorded with Maxx his voice, which gives it a nice touch. Even more interesting, Maxx always has something different to say. It's worth just to start the disc to have a chat with Maxx. This is the first title that actually uses the internal clock of the CD-i. You'll notice as Maxx wants to sleep at night. If you start the disc at night, you'll find Maxx sleeping. Ofcourse he wakes up, mumbling: "You know it's passed my bedtime, Bas!"

After trying out some stuff it is remarkable how funny Maxx really is. His tricks are all full of jokes and the character animation is so very suitable. It seems he likes to cooperate the most in the morning, saying me hello with: "Glad to see you, Bas, let's do some MAGIC!". These sentences I will always remember as the best bits of Max Magic. If you haven't played the game for a couple of weeks, Maxx goes like: "It's been a long time, Bas, I hope I didn't forget any tricks!" During the tricks, sometimes Maxx seem to forget what he has to do, and tricks sometimes even go wrong. That happens a lot when you are going to perform a trick WITH him. That's right, you can prepare a trick with him, and start a show to perform the trick to the public. The trick is both presented by Maxx and you, and if you play the game well it's really like you two are interacting.

The game was produced by PF Magic. We know PF Magic from the prototype release of Jack Sprite: The Crimson Ghost. Maxx is a robot actually, designed by Animation & Effects. "Maxx" performs magic tricks with the player in this P.F. Magic game. "Animation & Effects" designed and created all character animation assets and the environments for the character. The goal was to create over 3000 branching points of animation so that the character's performance could happen on the fly. To achieve the required precision, they designed and built an animatronic magician robot that they shot using motion control.

I told it before, I love Maxx. It's another gem on CD-i almost nobody knows about. Unfortunately this is partly due to the fact Max Magic was only released in the USA. Nowadays, PF Magic is part of Ubisoft and they are responsible for the Dogz and Catz games (=Nintendogs rip-offs). Andrew from PF Magic: "Before Petz I worked on an Philips CD-I title (talk about a long lost format!) called Max Magic (1994), my first industry project. Max Magic had even more explicit fusion than Petz. You, the player, bring your family and friends into the living room to gather around the television, and then stand next to the television itself, side-by-side with your performance partner, the on-screen character Max Magic, a mechanical magician who kind of looks like “Zoltan” from the movie Big. You use a mixture of rehearsed performance and real props (e.g., a deck regular playing cards) to perform up to 14 magic tricks for the audience, replete with music and witty banter. Max calls you by your real name (a feature we’re also implementing in Facade). You send the occasional cue and signal to Max via a remote control joystick, the standard interface for the CD-I player. The experience includes a rehearsal mode, in which with no one in the room but you and Max (a magician never reveals their secrets!) you rehearse the tricks together. There was no printed instruction manual or computer-esque menus; all rehearsals and performance were done “naturally”. By the way, both Max Magic and Petz were originally conceived by the creative director of the company, PF.Magic, I worked for — Rob Fulop. This “fusion” design principle I initially learned from Rob, and got further developed and reinforced for me working with fellow designer Adam Frank and others at PF.Magic."

2 reacties:

Bas March 8, 2007 at 8:43 PM  

Max Magic was a nice piece of software before PF Magic started on Jack Sprite...

to move the spotlight to Max and open his head, hold down button two and move the controller downward or toward you.

Austin June 29, 2011 at 3:57 AM  

The bit about PF Magic now being a part of Ubisoft is interesting, I did not know that. I had only experienced their stuff from the 3DO, such as Ballz and PaTaank. It sounds like Maxx Magic is a neat novelty, if not a full-on "game". I will have to check it out..

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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

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