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The status of Rastersoft CD-i projects in April 2008

>> Tuesday, April 15, 2008

For anyone who tried the Mode-7 style CD-i racer will be amazed what is possible on CD-i. The demo looks amazing and we're really excited by this game. CD-i is crying out for a racing game - especially after the disappointment of missing out with "Dead End". 10 years after Philips released their last game for our system, I never thought we'd see this kind of development for the system. Anyway, it's been a while since we've heard anything so let's have a look at the latest CD-i news. The news in January 2008 reported the use of alternate scan lines in the CD-i version; Is that a necessary evil to make this work on CD-i? By playing with the pixel repeat counts and display line start addresses, you can get the video hardware to double the memory pixels both horizontally and vertically, effectively reducing the screen resolution by a factor of two for the area.

Charles: "Before I tried horiz. doubling the pixels, and it looked odd. Maybe doubling in both directions wouldn't looks as bad."

That would eliminate the "black" space between pixels and might even allow more efficient drawing as two pixels would fit in one 16-bit word which can be written in a single bus cycle; as it is now they require two bus cycles because they are split over two 16-bit words. It would also reduce the memory requirements by four (not that this is really needed, of course). Charles: "I'm an optimization or two away from calculating 2 or 4 pixels in a single loop. I'm looking to eliminate 4 fixed points multiplies per scan line first. I'm investigating the smallest lookup table I can get away with."

If you have DVC memory, by all means put your code and data in it because it is significantly faster and would thus allow a higher rendering frame rate (I assume that your're not rendering at the display frame rate of 50 or 60 Hz). Video memory should only be used for the actual screen buffers in this case and the number of accesses should be minimized (always a good idea anyway). Charles: "It's not close to 50 or 60 hz yet. How much faster could I expect DVC memory to be? Unfortunately, due to using a tile map, transfers to video memory are probably the fastest part of the inner loop. It currently has to get the tile number, and then get the pixel within the tile. Currently this is a series of asl/asr or ands. I could go with a bitmap landscape, but that would push memory requirements through the roof. That's 1MB for the 1024x1024 map I am currently using, compared to less than 128k now."

Yesterday, Charles posted that all his CD-i activities have pretty much slowed to a crawl. He's hoping to get back into it over the next month or so. The Stanley Cup Playoffs (NHL) might slow things down quite a bit, though :)

Thanks to cdifan for technical tips as posted on the CD-i forum.


What's new and what's next on Interactive Dreams?

>> Monday, April 14, 2008

I never called myself a collector of CD-i but now I counted over 150 titles in my own library. Some of them I've sold because people pay insane amounts of money for it, so I don't have an original copy of Zelda's Adventure and 'De Zaak van Sam' anymore. Although I don't understand why you people like the second one from the first place! But I still have brand new copies of my favorite games like Creature Shock, Atlantis: The Last Resort and The Lost Ride. Last month our own little library got its CD-i shelf and all 150 titles are now ordered alphabetically. It's so much better than having them in a carton box collecting dust. Anyway, my own CD-i player is at my sister's home where my little niece is enjoying 'The Crayon Factory' and 'Hieperdepiep, ik Lees'. Who would have thought the new generation would enjoy them again!. So yes, it's not just games I'm 'collecting'. I guess it's even the children titles and reference titles that I find even more interesting. No other console has these kind of titles in their library. Why not?

Last but not least I want to have this website nicer, but I don't have the experience to build one. Who can help me?You've all noticed I put less updates on Interactive Dreams last months, just because I didn't have time and my internet connection switched so I didn't have a home connection for a few weeks. Now that I've built up everything, I started to look ahead what I still want to do here. Interactive Dreams is far from complete in my eyes: I hope to have more time to get up reviews of my own, and I want to review every game within a few years! That's maybe too much, but thankfully I gain help of great CD-i sources like CD-i Collective and the vault of The Black Moon Project. There are some nice prototypes coverages waiting to be up, including Voyeur 2 and The Telesmurfer, which I want to show in the near future as well. I hope that will stir up the attention to CD-i again, hopefully followed by new updates of the only two active CD-i developers: CD-i Emulator and Rastersoft! And I still have good hopes that 'The World of CD-i' will return. I've spoken to Omegalfa and there are some changes coming; you'll read it here when it is announced!


Blu-ray seeks advice from original CD-i release

>> Sunday, April 13, 2008

On the theme of old tech influencing the current generation, we were surprised to learn of a technique applied to Blu-ray that was first implemented on the one and only Jigsaw. This was the first commercial piece of software developed for CD-i and according to Silas Warner, a key programmer, contained two instances of the same game. Apparently if half the disc was damaged, hopefully the redundant instance would kick in and the disc would be readable! A similar strategy has been concocted for Blu-ray to improve the load time performance by doubling up and thus duplicating asset data on the Blu-ray disc. Thanks to Bethesda Blog for drawing our attention to this piece of trivia with a quote from Todd Howard on development for Fallout 3: "You can use the Blu-ray’s massive storage capacity to place multiple instances of your game’s assets on the disk. Having multiple copies on the disc greatly reduces seek times off the drive, and your load times shrink even more. Small things like this can make a huge difference over the course of a game. That kind of learning has helped us move from Oblivion to Fallout 3"

Thanks to Devin, The Black Moon Project, posted April 5th.


Philips starring in 'Brothers in Arms' level

>> Sunday, April 6, 2008

Remember back in January I posted about the news that Philips amBX would get supported by Ubisoft games, Brother in Arms being one of them. One of the very cool features I found about today is a deal between Philips and Gearbox (The developer of "Brother in Arms: Hell's Highway"): Gearbox includes a special level which takes places in the old Philips factories of Eindhoven, The Netherlands. This means you can follow the war stories at the famous Light Tower and the "Witte Dame" as many dutch people will know about. The game will be released in June on Xbox 360 and PS3.

Gearbox comments about the Philips detail: "Brothers in Arms Hell’s Highway takes place in the historical Operation Market Garden. In the town of Eindhoven, in the center of the 101st Airborne Division’s operational area, there was a factory for a company called Philips. You’ve probably heard about Philips – they invented the CD and some other neat technology (like CD-i, editorial) over the years. One of our missions happens to take place in that factory. Philips was eager for us to use their physical logo in the factory as it was then, and we placed an old version of their mark. Without that agreement, we would’ve had to leave that authentic detail out."


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

  © Interactive Dreams Version 5 by The Black Moon Project 2013

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