Total pageviews of the last week

Please rate Dimo's Quest on CD-i

Most popular posts of the last month

Search Interactive Dreams

Loading...

CD-i Bits (News about CD-i Emulator)

Zelda, Voyeur, and a man who worked on both CD-i projects...

>> Thursday, March 8, 2007

Californian software house Viridis released its long-awaited Nintendo cdi title in 1995. I find it extraordinary how Philips had no idea what a great franchise they could have capitalised upon! That's not even to mention the chance to make some great Mario Platform games for the system. It's great to hear the thoughts of Jim, who, besides more info on CD-i, also worked on CD-ROM games for Philips. It's probably the least kept secret that we uncovered a Disc 1 prototype of Voyeur II for CD-i, unfortunately we lack the second to make a real game out of it. The encoding is mighty impressive and it's a pity a full release was never realised on CD-i.

We continue our chat with Jim, one of the developers of Zelda's Adventure: "Almost all of [the scenery] was shot in the Los Angeles area. We barely had budget for lights, much less [for] travel expenses! Some of the background terrain textures were shot in Hawai by me from a helicopter in the previous fall before starting the project, but they were vacation type pics and not paid for by the actual production. We were desperate for interesting terrain photos, so everybodies' holiday pics were fair game. We even sent some of the artists out with cameras to shoot macro shots of textures in the neighborhood. All of the video was shot at our offices on Santa Monica Blvd. in West LA.

About Voyeur II: As far as I remember (I was the Philips project manager on Voyeur II), there was never more than fairly rudimentary code for the CD-i version. By that time Philips had refocused efforts on the PC and Mac platform. That doesn't mean that more complete code doesn't exist, but I am certain that I would have seen and reviewed it if it did. You never know. Perhaps InterWeave (the developer) had more complete code, but never submitted a test disc to Philips when the CD-i version was cancelled. BTW, one little known piece of trivia is that InterWeave also submitted a short game demo of how they would have handled "The Crow." One funny story about Voyeur II was told to me by Robbie (owner of InterWeave) while we were working on the project....

InterWeave was set up in a large house in Woodland Hills in LA. There was smaller house behind the larger house where Robbie had a recording studio and also space for his engineers and artists. Computers were running all the time as the artists and engineers were on deadline, and they had several computers just chugging away on the video compression alone. In L.A., the city will sometimes scrutinize residences with unusual electricity usage as this is a good indicator of an illicit marijuana growing facility. So one day the police show up at Interweave and wanted a tour of the property. I am sure they thought that when the looked in the rear facility they would find a whole array of metal halide grow bulbs and a complete pot farm. When Robbie took them in, of course they were completely shocked to find a bunch of sweaty, sleep deprived programmers, and cranky graphic artists! The police left, not know what to think!

[Back to Zelda CD-i:] The decision to use DYUV backgrounds killed the gameplay for me. The background scrolls took too long. Given the size of the project, Randy (the engineer) did a great job considering he wrote almost all the code himself. The CD-i platform was so technically limiting (once the decision had been made to use DYUV backgrounds) that doing anything complicated was extremely frustrating. I remember when we discussed sound effects during gameplay were were literally haggling over 1k or 2k of free RAM and how best to use it.

All the music was composed by our talented in-house composer, Mark, who, believe it or not, also played Gaspra in the cut scenes. All of the houses were constructed as scale models by our model-maker, Jason. The same goes for the interior sets in the cut scenes. The interior of Gaspra's observatory was actually about 18 inches across. There were some photoshop enhancements, but the props, characters, models, etc. were definitely "old school" simply because we didn't have time or budget to do it any other way and still get the quality we wanted.

I remember that Nintendo had final approval rights over the product, and they did see and approve all the Zelda games, but I don't think they were ultimately that interested. I think they thought of CD-i as some little niche product that they could safely ignore.ZA was never meant to be a sequel to the other CD-i titles; in fact, what Philips did was farm out the Zelda projects to three different developers and got three different games. We may have seen a little of the other CD-i Zelda games during development, but it didn't influence ZA at all. You have to remember that ZA was released last because the title spent a couple of years in test at Philips! So much so that after we finished production of ZA and turned the first test build into Philips, I went to work on another outside project for a year, then came back to Philips for another year and half, and the damn thing was still in test. It spent something like two years in test, which was longer than the game took to develop. There are many reasons for the long test period, some of which are long and boring, but certainly the game didn't need to spend that long in test. I had my own run-ins with the test department with some of the later projects I managed, so I was not particularly surprised. There was actually a lot more music written than what made it in the game, which is what I'm remembering. [One] of the problems in the game [was that] you could get stuck in areas where the masking on the terrain was not perfect. One of the big problems of spending so long in test is that your chances of fixing certain bugs actually diminishes. This is because your primary programming resources get deployed to other projects, or worse, leave for other jobs. If you lose your lead programmer because you spent too long in test, it might be impossible to fix certain bugs without ripping all the code apart and sending the whole project back for extensive regression testing. This is one reason why I favor short but thorough testing strategies. Sadly, this was not done for ZA. I suspect by the time ZA was finishing up in test, Randy (lead programmer) had long ago left for greener pastures at Novalogic.

2 reacties:

cdi fan,  March 8, 2007 at 8:23 PM  

Have you also asked him about other titles that Viridis was working on for cdi and cdrom?

Anonymous,  July 15, 2014 at 9:49 PM  

I have downloaded the .BIN and .CUE files for Voyeur 2 but the disc does not play in the CDI after burning the files to a CD-R, please advise. nigel_samms@hotmail.com

Post a Comment

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

Back to TOP