>> Monday, July 16, 2007
In 1986, Thomson had a working prototype of the Thomcat, a "16-bit European PC." Just a little later Philips (and Sony) announced CD-i ... same idea, same CPU, same OS, and of course, Thomson was already a CD licensee. As soon as the announcement was over, within 10 minutes the decision had been made that the ThomCat would swing in behind the CD-i standard, since it solved the problem of creating a software development standard. It turned out that in 1985, Philips had offered Thomson's computer division the opportunity to participate with them, Sony, and Matsushita as part of the Green Book standard, and the head of the computer division, had turned it down, telling them "we will do our own."
Shortly afterwards, the decision was made to close the computer division entirely, and send a few top technical people from it to Los Angeles to work on CD-i which was now under his responsibility. Although they weren't part of the Green Book committee itself, they made an alliance with Microware to work on tools and a UI together, and built the first working CD-i platform in the US using the CD-RTOS extensions on top of OS9, and replacing the ThomCat's MCGA and 8-bit audio with the CD-i graphics chips and ADPCM audio chips.
the rest is history, as Thomson stopped CD-i support in 1988. Too bad, because it could have brought some interesting releases on CD-i!
Like the game "The Case of the Cautious Condor". It was in development for CD-i waaay back, even before cd-i was released. And then it was switched over to CDTV.. too bad, looked interesting. Marty Foulger, designer of Super Mario's Wacky Worlds, worked on it. It was released by Tiger Media, Los Angeles on CDTV, FM Towns and PC in 1991.
I do remember this title from way back then, since it was supposed to be released on cd-i. I wonder how much development has been done before CD-i arrived?! It would have been a nice addition to our Japanese CD-i section ;)
A short description about the game: Megalomanical millionaire Bronson Barnard has invited a select group to celebrate the maiden flight of his extravagant flying boat, the Condor. Not only champagne and caviar will be served, since Barnard knows that someone of his guest is a murderer. With your help, private eye Ned Peters must discover who the killer is. This game from Tiger Media (now Net 4 TV Corp.) was "Best Adventure, 1989" in Japan and was perhaps the best game for the Amiga CDTV. It's something that could not possibly be done on floppy disks because its major appeal is massive quantities of gorgeous cartoon graphics – the intro sequence is an amazing 15-minute cartoon film. Essentially it's a detective adventure game in which you have to guess the identity of the murderer by wandering around the rooms, eavesdropping on conversations and looking for clues. Unfortunately, the main game mechanic is the strict time limit, so your impetus for having another game is frustration at not finding out whodunnit on you last go, and it's not as much fun to play as it is to watch. But it's still a pace-setter that shows what masses of storage can do for graphics and sound.
Do you remember this game?
Thanks to Erronous and Merijn