>> Wednesday, December 5, 2007
One of the last wednesdays of 2007 is here and that means we welcome you to vote for the best cd-i title. You can vote for 1 or more favourites! In the end, all the winners will be collected in a poll to fight for the title "Best CD-i Game 2007". Every genre in cd-i games will be in turn for nominees! Every week we'll spawn a new poll in the left column of this blog: Look at the left column to find the current poll! Be quick as the vote limit is only seven days! Last week you voted for the best FMV Shooter and Drug Wars slightly was favourable over the others. This week we're going to have a look at all the known unreleased games on CD-i. Read on for this weeks nominees:
Starting Date: December 5 End Date: December 12
This week we'll end the first rounds with all unreleased games released on CD-i. The nominees for "most anticipated game" are:
Battle Chess took a refreshing approach to the traditional board game, taking the wooden pawns, knights, kings and queens throwing them out the window and then replacing them with a much more interesting bunch of animated characters. It's still the same game but now instead of knight takes bishop it's a case of knight impales bishop, bishop dies a horrible death!! The first hint that this game was arriving on CD-i featured in a small column from Issue 7 of CDi Magazine indicating a deal had been struck between Interplay and Philips Media to release three games from their catalogue including Battle Chess, The Lost Vikings and a third unnamed title. Since this column was published over ten years ago nothing followed, no release dates, no previews, nothing, the projects literally disappeared without a trace.
Originally planned for a release in Q1 1996, in 1997 the project was silently cancelled. As it was stated by Philips the coding was done for 99%. On the 'The best live' Promo CD (1996) which was given away in the Netherlands during a 10 day music theme week there is a CD-i promo (which only plays on CD-i players). They show a picture of the finished disc/boxart of Discworld. No other footage or screenshots are given. The dutch cd-i magazine was never very eager on previewing (let alone announcing) games which didn't have a secure release date. In 1995, the catalogue showed something strange. The first page does always give credits and copyrights to the developers. This was the first time i noticed anything of it: Discworld (c)1995 published under license from Psygnosis Ltd. In 1997 there was a little advertisement in it, saying it would be released spring 1997, "this adventure of fantasy-story teller Terry Pratchett"
Before the 7th Guest, the Philips Freeland Studios (Dorking, England) were responsible for the Microcosm conversion. Work on Microcosm was slow, also due to technical difficulties. Michael John explained himself about the cancellation in late 1994: "I am said "marketing idiot," and I guess I'll have to defend my decision. Philips is a big company, but we're not that big. Finishing Microcosm was going to take some of our best people the better part of the rest of the year. With several other versions out (at discounted prices), Philips couldn't justify finishing it. I didn't relish this decision, but let's face it, even though the CD-i version would have been the best, Microcosm just ain't that much of a game...I can tell you for a fact that there is no Microcosm II under development at Psygnosis. Meanwhile, a Psygnosis game that *does* have sequels, Lemmings, has just hit the market. Go buy it!"
Mario Takes America
Exclusive Mario title for CD-i. They has had to shoot original footage on location for much of the title, including scenes where Super Mario flies over the Manhattan skyline, falls over a waterfall and skims across a lake by boat. The film crew used a helicopter to shoot some of the more tricky sequences, and it is believed this will be the first CD-i game title to use such dramatic footage. The storyline involves Super Mario arriving in New York, travelling across the US and eventually arriving in Hollywood where he stars in his own interactive film. He travels by truck, train, car, aeroplane, helicopter and even a motorbike... Early clips where shown at the CDi 3 Conference in New York in October 1993. The film footage looks quite stunning and will bring a new degree of realism to the game.
Star Wars: Rebel Assault
Philips Interactive Media of America was working with LucasArts Entertainment on a cdi version of Rebel Assault, an arcade/adventure game set in the Star Wars universe. It featured 15 levels of starfighter combat and high-speed manouevres. There were also advanced gaming features such as 3D rendered graphics, live action video clips adapted from the original Star Wars film and extensive digitised speech and sound effects. Players take the controls of a T16 Skyhopper, and both X-Wing and A-Wing starfighters, in challenges involving piloting, targeting and combat missions. Rebel Assault ends with death-defying attack on the infamous Death Star. Star wars: Rebel Assault never really got off the ground. The design was never fully flushed out or implemented. There were technical issues. In the end, this was merely a great press release and work did not proceed more than 6 months on this project
Super Mario's Wacky Worlds
Nintendo's involvement started with the mere suggestion simple Nintendo games could be converted to the CD-i. They didn't say which games, Novalogic took the steps to produce a Mario game all by themselves. a demo Novalogic did for Nintendo where Nintendo wanted to produce games on CD-i. This is where the first SMWW demo came from (with mario characters pirated off a video feed, because it was merely a tech demo), even though Nintendo was impressed by the demo, they decided not to produce and of their games on CD-i because CD-i wasn't selling enough. Nintendo turned down this project so Novalogic went to Philips and the game turned into a shell game intended to generate cash for a game Novalogic never intended to release. This became painfully clear to the developmental staff who eventually took jobs with other companies leaving one out of four original staff members behind. The project couldn't be sustained and ended in early 1993, but what the developers achieved on CD-i was amazing. As Marty Foulger said "Our goal was to clone Nintendo's Super Mario World with new characters and locations, but use the interactivity familiar to SMW gamers." Novalogic pushed on with the project "about 80% of art, 95% of design and maybe 30% of code was finished at project termination. SMWW had been in development from early 1992 for an entire year until version 0.11 was burned to CD on 03-03-1993 which is the final known prototype to exist, although far from complete.
The Dame was Loaded
In this interactive crime story, you play the role of a wise-cracking detective searching for the missing brother of your beautiful and mysterious client. As you direct the investigation, the story unfolds in high-quality, full-motion video with a number of surprising plot twists --and more than one possible ending. Digital Video cartridge required. The Dame was Loaded should have been released, but CD-i by that time was such a low priority in the states, the funding went towards the CD ROM version. Latest announced release: October 1996 (as announced in CDI magazine 19, aug. 1996)
Down in the Dumps
As it was the case with a lot of 'new' software developers, some just didn't achieve what they promised to do. Apparently Down in the Dumps was going to be a base case title, without all the video sequences you see in this video, but they couldn't optimize the engine to run at least playable on cd-i. I'm not sure if this caused the cancellation, but Philips pulled the plug out of cd-i with or without it, so it was a bye-bye for Haiku... But, this spokeperson told me in-game material was presented on cd-i in some form, so it has been in development at least. Ofcourse he didn't have any material, but who knows what we'll run into in 2008...
Interactive Dreams thanks everyone from the CD-i Community to keep CD-i alive!