>> Friday, January 18, 2008
We follow some interesting history stories from the crew behind the old famous Vision Factory, who we all remember of great CD-i games like The Apprentice and Dimo's Quest. Today you'll find some quotes about asking SPC Vision what kind of co-productions they did, like with Codim, Mattmo and Pantheon. It's amazing how many CD-i titles Eindhoven based SPC Vision actually created. From the best games on CD-i like Lucky Luke and family games like Lingo, to Encyclopias like the Philips Media Encyclopedia and loads of professional discs for several companies. SPC Vision opened the eyes of Philips about what was actually possible on CD-i!
The Free Record Shop year report discs (there two of them, with the same basic data but intended for different audiences) were produced using the Codim CSL software toolkit and by a Codim programmer and an SPC project manager.
The first ERM disc was another; the data collection via floppies sent to stores was handled by a Codim programmer but the actual disc was an SPC production. I believe the Gold Club sampler disc was also co-labeled, but I'm not sure. Thus was a pure SPC people production.
Off the top of my head there are two coproductions with Mattmo, who were (are?) a graphics design house. They did the graphics and possibly the basic design for the Lingo game, styled after the Dutch TV show, and also for "Het Staat In De Sterren" (It's Written In The Stars), an astrology infotainment disc. I don't know for sure who started these projects, but they are both linked to TV shows and I suspect both originated with Mattmo.
I believe SPC did two Pantheon coproductions, but only one of them has a CD-i version: the multimedia encyclopedia. Pantheon is led by Jean-Pierre Isbouts, a former head honcho of Philips Media. They originated the encyclopedia project and came to SPC, and don't know why exactly, but presumable it had something to do with our reputation. Pantheon handled basic graphics production and all asset collection/production except for the geographical maps which was done in-house at SPC. Pantheon is based in Los Angeles which made the collaboration interesting. There were probably something like a dozen face-to-face meetings, everything else was handled by phone or (postal) mail.
The second coproduction is the Windows cd-rom Walt Disney: an Intimate History which was again initiated by Pantheon. It consists of a MacroMedia Director application made by Pantheon into which the SPC enclopedia engine is integrated in the form of several Xtras. All of the text and most of the pictures are handled by these Xtras, it was a very deep integration, not just side-by-side. SPC handled the engine and integration; Pantheon did the rest. This involved shipping half-finished products over the Atlantic, an interesting version management problem!
The SPC enclopedia engine was also reused for the medical enclopedia, but Pantheon was not involved in that. SPC seldom sought coproductions, it just wasn't our style. Thus, they usually arose from referrals by Philips Media or other people who knew us.
Thanks to The Vision Factory spirits