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Valkieser Multi Media about their CD-i experience

>> Monday, December 3, 2007

Interactive Dreams traced a former employee of Valkieser Multimedia, who were responsible for several CD-i titles like Tim & Beer and responsible for other CD-i productions commissioned by larger companies including Philips, Motorola and T1 New Media (professional and consumer titles). He is introduced as following: "I facilitated design and development of several award winning interactive productions for Valkieser Multi Media BV, for international clients including Philips Media and many broadcasters like NOB." Valkieser also developed applications based on Amiga 4000 (MC68000 assembly) for television game-shows.

Unlike other contacts, he does not remember CD-i through pink glasses: "I used to develop software on CD-i as a software engineer at Valkieser. And I can tell you why CD-i never made it to a success. Philips made it nearly impossible to write games on CD-i. The big problem was because Philips designed the whole CD-i system around the Green Book, so every CD-i program had to be tested on all aspects and it should be compatible with all varieties of systems that were available. There were actually a lot of different players around and the more that were developed, the harder it got to get the software compatible with all systems. Along the years, the situation only got more complicated, and it seemed that older software wasn't compatible enough so we had to re-issue one as well.

How nice it was that Philips 'standardized' the hardware, but unfortunately you weren't able to control the hardware at low-level. Everything had to be done via the Operating System (CD-RTOS, that's simply OS/9 with loads of extensions for CD-i). Every title went to Philips first to be tested. And when your title didn't pass through their tests, you were simply not allowed to publish it. At CD-i development it was far more tight than it has ever been for Nintendo publishers on Nintendo systems. And you can imagine it cost more money than necessary to make all your software compatible on so many fronts so in that respect it was very difficult to get something done on CD-i. For example, the simplicity of the Tim & Bear games made them popular but it could be a lot better...

With this in mind, it was never possible to get the maximum out of CD-i, while the hardware of the CD-i was actually better than that of Amiga (both were 68000 machines). That was very unfortunate to Philips en very sad for developers. Because of this attitude by Philips, developers like us were not very enthusiastic about innovating our own software. That's because, when you didn't walk the line of the Philips people, your project could easily get delayed for months and the money cost raised a lot instead of that it gained money for you (and that was still the most important thing). I sound like I didn't have a good job at Valkieser but that's definately not the case, I had a lot of fun at Valkieser, it was just that we had a lot of problems when programming on CD-i.

And then, the Sony Playstation arrived. First, the design of the Playstation was far more simple so it was cheaper. Along with that, Playstation had 3D hardware, which CD-i lacked. And the developers were allowed to program the 3D chips directly. The whole hardware was also standardized by Sony, but far more simple to get the max out of it. The Playstation allowed for much more freedom to create games.

Did you know Philips shared the copyrights with Sony of CD-i development?"
Yes, we know that, it's a lovely history!

Valkieser also developed applications for gameshows on the dutch television (Like NOB). For example, Valkieser excecuted the computer desk and animations of Lingo (the television show a CD-i game was also based on: Lingo by SPC Vision (not te be confused!). Those were all rendered on a Silicon, and assembled on a Amiga 4000. The pictures in this article show some of the titles Valkieser was responsible for during their CD-i period: Mega Popclassics was a gift of the dutch "Platen-10-daagse"in 1995. It's a well-known CD-i title though because it shows two unreleased games on CD-i: Discworld and Voyeur 2. Tim & Bear was the most profitable and most successfull series of Valkieser and very popular with children. Over four different themes (Hospital, Airport, Harbour, Movies...) were developed. Valkieser was also responsible for the Digital Video gift with new CD-i players: Director's Cut: Rosebud was a videoCD single featuring their clip and it was the very first digital video title available on CD-i for the consumer market. Finally, they were responsible for some reference titles on CD-i like "In the wake of Captain Cook" and "Journeys through 19th Century London"

Thanks to a former Valkieser employee

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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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