>> Tuesday, April 17, 2007
It's the 1940's and you are Scott Anger private detective. You recently failed one job (and lost a beautiful client) and so have been boozing it up lately. Just another detective having a run of bad luck. Business had been slow lately but this dame walks into your office and starts you on one of your biggest cases. She gives you an advance and asks you to find her brother. And then, damn, Philips cancelled the CD-i version of this promising detective game.
Nobody knew what happened with the CD-i version of The Dame was Loaded, until The Black Moon Project, thanks to Merijn and Bas, contacted some old Beam colleagues. Beam Software was the producer of "Dame", at that time set to release on both CD-i and Mac, too.
Please note the screenshots and cover-art are taken from the CD-ROM version!
"Here goes - It was such an intensive and fabulous time for all of us making The Dame was Loaded we have never really lost touch. Beam Software hired my company to produce the video material and me to direct it - the actors. They also had me consult on the script as it was important characters had all the things real characters should have - like motivation, reason to be this way or that, jealousy, envy, greed, kindness etc etc... Beam did not know even how to go about finding actors (casting) or camera people or set designers etc etc - it sat squarely in the realm of a film production company for this aspect. SO they asked their media lawyer to help them and he put Beam onto myself and my partner. We made TV commercials, documentaries and had a number of feature film scripts in development. "
-On what other cd-i titles have you worked on before or after 'The Dame Was Loaded'?
None before or after. Not only had I not directed a cd-i project - I had never known the notion of multipath story telling. It was a baptism of fire. The script writer stayed with us at all times on set to answer such importance questions like "if the guy had been here before and she had not been home and he broke in would the box of cigars still be in the side cabinet??" All of this was incredibly important of course for gamers who needed to have the right 'object' in an out of the scenes depending on what they had done previously. Luckily our lead actor who played 'Scott Anger" was one of the most entertaining hilarious fellows that we all regularly burst out laughing at some of the mystery of the process.
I have since gone on to be a Producer of web media and have done many ground breaking projects in the field if I say so myself. At the same time as this project I was introduced to the internet and totally fell in love with it. After having 2 more internet companies - selling 1 during the dot com boom and selling my share of the next because I want more freedom, I am currently putting all of Melbourne and Victoria's public transport system on the web for uses to source their travel information - it's nearly as complicated as Dame was to make!
-What was the stage of 'The Dame Was Loaded' (on cd-i) when it was cancelled, and what was the reason to cancel it?
I think it was completely finished and Philips decided to drop the cd-i platform. I have a Mac version though which was completed and it is FABULOUS and nothing's ever been done with it. It really is a most extraordinary thing to play. I believe now it's in no man's land as to who owns it.
-What kind of difficulties did you have while working on the title?
Ohhhh Getting the best colours out of a scene with the compression issues - particularly skin tone and all other tones of sets... Remembering what was where for why and when!! Although we had the script of course - He had it all in his head and regularly we would huddle and brainstorm some hugely complex play activity while all the actors and crew would stand around waiting for us to come up with the next shot... Being brief but satisfying as all the video files had much editing and compressing to be done... Keeping the flow of the character's performances. PLUS - I wont begin to tell you of all the editing, sound and programming that was done to complete it for publication.
When 'The Dame was Loaded' was cancelled, do you know for how long it was in development, and how far it was from being completed?
We finished the PC version and the mac version but only the pc version was released. We may have had the CD-I version running but Philips pulled the pin before it was finished. As it was an FMV game all the assets had to be captured for the game in a one month shoot. As the sets were built and then demolished we couldn't go back and re shoot if we missed anything. Luckily we planned it all very carefully so we didn't miss anything.