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CD-i Bits (News about CD-i Emulator)

Dragon's lair CD-i playing on SNK's Neo 29

>> Tuesday, March 31, 2009

CD-i member tlh did something special: "My 220 is displaying Dragons Lair on my Neo 29. Wow! by tapping a pure rgb signal from my 220 mainboard, I have streaming video on my Neo and the Neo has never looked so good. The video was easy, but the control swap was a nightmare. The CDI uses variable voltage for the interactive control. Neo arcades just use 5 volt on and off micro switches. The two are not interchangeable. I had to get out the resistors, caps and Ic's. Ouch!" In february we showed you a similar Arcade version of CD-i, but this is very different!
Credits: tlh

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How to convert the music of CD-i games to your PC

One of our members created a video tuorial where he explains how to rip the music from CD-i gaems to get it into a more familiar format so you can enjoy it whenever you want. "It converts RTR and RTF files to WAV (works on Zelda CDi games and Hotel Mario, it should work with other games too), It requires Java v5 or higher : http://code.google.com/p/jpsxdec/ Also, you need this file to make it work perfectly (it's an index file): http://www.mediafire.com/?znwzonxd5tf Sometimes the music is slow, that's normal, use Audacity or something like that to make it have it's normal speed.

Credits: Luigiblood

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Random CD-i Quote (3)

>> Monday, March 30, 2009

"Did you know Voyeur 2 was was being developed by Robbie Weaver not POV. POV effectively disbanded when Dave Riordan left to head up Warner Interactive (one of their many ill fated attempts at having their own interactive division) and we sold back most of the equipment to David Todd who formed a company called Mass Media."

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Interview with Luis Torres - Jack Sprite: The Crimson ghost CD-i coder

>> Friday, March 27, 2009

Devin: To kick things off tell us your name, age, previous work (including "Jack Sprite Vs. The Crimson Ghost" on CD-i), and current occupation.

Luis Torres: My name is Luis Torres, and I was hired as a game QA (Quality Assurance) by PF Magic in 1993. All the work that I had done prior to that were unsuccessfull attempts at creating shareware RPG's for the PC (that's what got me in PF Magic). I'm 27 and have done work programming old platform games, and earlier online games for startups that no longer exist. I am currently working as a unix admin because I love the OS, and hope to get back into the game programming hobby one way or another. I know many things about the game because I worked closely with the lead programmer (he was a friend of mine) to solve many of the technical problems concerning the game engine (and this game had many).

Devin: We always seem to hear the same thing from developers about the difficulty coding on the CD-i platform. Were these the difficulties you experienced with "Jack Sprite Vs. The Crimson Ghost" or simply technical problems you would experience in any game development project.

Luis Torres: Well, in my opinion, game coders had difficulty with the CD-i because the machine was not really designed to be a games machine. The CD-i machine was designed to be an interactive multimedia console. In the early days, multimedia meant animation/sound/point and click interactivity. Now, it goes much farther than that. What Phillips came up with was a machine that could do more than just that, but lacked some of the principles that makes a game console. For example, the amount of RAM was limited to 1MB, which is more than the SNES for example (1024 KB... I think) but the SNES stored it's graphics in cartridges, which were ROM extensions, no graphics loading in RAM required. With the CD-i you had to load graphics in RAM in most cases, this included tiles and sprite graphics. Also, my buddy the lead programmer would comment that the scrolling functions, if any were very limited. Most of these general difficulties in CD-i development were faced during the Jack Sprite project.

Devin: Why did PF Magic decide not to release "Jack Sprite Vs. The Crimson Ghost" after so much effort was put into the project and how complete would you say the game was when further development was abandoned?

Luis Torres: I never learned the direct details on why the Jack Sprite project was canned. It happened at the dawn of the 2nd console war of the decade (Playstation, Sega Saturn and a rumored N64) and most companies were shifting projects from 2d to 3d to be able to compete. PF Magic would have been no exception, but to my knowledge, no 3d games from PF Magic were ever released on PSX or Saturn. Also, the CD-i market was slowly fading away with the introduction of new and more sophisticated games to the booming games market. I can safely say that the project was 91-96% complete. There were a few non-technical related issues that needed ironing, but this was up to the bigwigs.

Devin: How would you describe "Jack Sprite Vs. The Crimson Ghost", from the screenshots taken by OlderGames it seems to be a blend of movie clips and platform style gameplay. Could you elaborate on this.

Luis Torres: The game was designed to be a new age interactive movie, as far as what I heard from one of the lead programmers. I feel that the result came out to be more of a platformer (and a darn good one) with semi-interactive video sequences. The screenshots are good in describing the game's graphical capabilities but don't do justice to the gameplay. There was also a "car game" level which looks suspiciously close to spy hunter, that is because the programmer who wrote that level used spy hunter as the basis for the engine of that particular level.

Devin: Could you tell us about the team that worked on Jack Sprite. How many were involved and their individual roles in the project.

Luis Torres: Darryl Starr, lead programmer in charge of the side-scroller portion of the game's engine. Andrew Stern, in charge of the interactive video sequences (I believe). Charles Art (don't remember his last name), lead artist, he took almost the entire project's art by himself, quality artist like few I've ever seen. J. Friedwal, associate artist in charge of tile and sprite modification. Jim Stiffelmier, production assistance and level design. Paul Wilkerson, senior software engineer, overseer of programming, designer and coder of the car level, sound programming specialist. Rob Fulop, creative director. Luis Torres, game QA, Jr. code QA and the guys who never do anything but still get mentioned.

Devin: What are your thoughts about the RetroGaming scene and OlderGames project to publish the unreleased CD-i prototype software, especially Jack Sprite after remaining untouched for about 9 years.

Luis Torres: I believe OlderGames and the RetroGaming scene are doing justice to the CD-i fanbase, and the RetroGaming scene as a whole is proving that games are not just convoluted programs with BEEFED UP graphics and NO gameplay. The RetroGaming scene is showing new generation gamers that games one time had great quality and I hope that it also shows game companies that games are not all graphics, video, and celebrities or cheap 3D remakes of once (and still) popular classic games. I hope it shows the companies that gamers are always striving and starving for quality in gameplay even when it means reviving the classics. Let's do Jack Sprite and the others justice.

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CD-i credits & abstract: A Great Day at the Races

Most CD-i Games have "Abstract", "Bibliographic" and "Copyright" details on the softwares disc itself, any interesting information in these files can be found below.

Abstract: Accelerator, an addictive car racing game by The Vision Factory, 1997

Bibliographic: Accelerator

Produced by The Vision Factory
Programming by Ben Sugden
Graphics by Niklas Malmqvist
Music by Matthew Sugden
Level design by Roland Zwaga
Lots of help Tim Moss
Additional programming and finishing off by Stefan Posthuma, Arjen Wagenaar, Luc Rooijakkers, Micael Hildenborg
Extra game testing by Florinda Rooijakkers, Joost Steins-Bisschop, Mark Siebeler.
With much help from Pepita, Merijn, Sterre, Lieve, Darren and Nicky Marketing and Sales Fraser Kleyn
Executive Director Rob Hormann
Some car designs Bengt Agaton
Also thanks to the following people Fred Liauw, Eric van Orsouw, Luke S. Verhulst, Guido Wolters

This game is dedicated to the finer things in life

Niklas dedicates his bits to Lotta Agaton

This game would not have been possible without Fields of the Nephilim, Nick Cave and his lads, Tori Amos, Kate Bush, Soul Music, The Orb, chilled heineken beer, sweet and sour chicken, family support
Quick greets from ben to Keithey, Big man Ian, Rimby draw II, Ed Mat and Taff, Eddy and Tat, Dan crazy Poxton, Midly amusing Ade and everyone else

All game code, graphics and music are copyright The Vision Factory 1997 All rights of the producer and of the owner of the work are reserved. Unauthorized copying, hiring, renting, public performance, transmission and/or broadcasting are prohibited.

Copyright: All game code, graphics and music are copyright The Vision Factory 1997. All rights of the producer and of the owner of the work are reserved. Unauthorized copying, hiring, renting, public performance, transmission and/or broadcasting are prohibited.

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Ex-Philips Media distribution channels now belong to Namco Bandai

>> Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Infogrames reported that it has sold its distribution channels to Namco Bandai. That means Atari (owner of Infogrames) is no publisher anymore but only a label. It also means that the old distribution channels (europe, US) started by Philips Media (American Interactive Media in the USA) now belong to Namco Bandai. According to the press release, the distribution channels were put in a joint venture named 'Distribution Partners', which will be the new name of what once was called Philips Media (as a publisher).

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Spanish interview with LAB CD-i

>> Monday, March 23, 2009

In Spain perhaps one of the most productive CD-i companies was LAB CD-i, a Philips internal division, who translated several spanish versions of games like Burn:Cycle and Asterix. In Spain they received a Silver Award for "Alarma en el distrito salud" (CDi) (A medical title to help to prevent aids). CD-i member 'Ruekov' found an interview with LAB CD-i which was published in the spanish magazine "Micromania". Click below on the images to view a readbale version. Unfortunately, My spanish is bad so I need one of you to tell me if there is something interesting in it!

Thanks to: Ruekov, find the PDF version here.

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Picture guide of CD-i battery repair

We've come a long way with different members who tries to repair the CD-i timekeeper battery; you may remember Terratron's repair guide and some additional tips given on Interactive Dreams, but the whole procedure remained difficult. Now CD-i member "nrg78" made a full picture guide, see below which might help you through the process if you want to extend the life of your CD-i player!

Comments by "nrg78": "After opening the case, looking for the IC... initial cut with a sharp blade, then started peeling... second layer, not hard as a normal IC would be, so started scrapping... battery shows up, when I managed to get the MINUS plate away from the old battery, I decided to try and solder the PLUS wire directly on the battery, but the solder didn't stay, so I kept on scrapping until i've managed to pop the battery out, revealing the PLUS connect plate... kept on scrapping until reveall the elsewhere so called "wires", and soldered my wires there."

Thanks to: nrg78

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Open House in The 7th Guest

>> Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Cheat Mode: Start a new game and save it as "BADGER" - Move the cursor to one of the corner icons and you'll enter a secret menu where you can select to enter any room or puzzle.

Or, if you want to enjoy this wonderful game in the right order: These are all the puzzles in The 7th Guest on CD-i:
#1 Library - Telescope - Game Start
#2 Dining - Cake - Game Start
#3 Kitchen - Video - After 1-2
#4 Basement - Grate - After 1-3
#5 Maze - Maze - After 1-4
#6 Basement - Crypt - After 1-5
#7 Front Door - Spider - After 1-6
#8 Game - Queens - After 1-2
#9 Heine - Blood Flow - After 1-2
#10 Martine - Beadspread - After 1-2
#11 Knox - Bishops - After 1-2
#12 Must watch the video in Library - After 1-11
#13 Dutton - Coins - After 1-12
#14 Chapel - Pit - After 1-13
#15 Laboratory - Microscope - After 1-14
#16 Music - Piano - After 1-14
#17 Bathroom - Knights - After 1-12
#18 Temple - Cards - After 1-12
#19 Portait - Stauf's Face - After 1-14
#20 Toy Room - Flip - After 1-12
#21 Doll House - Blocks - After 1-12
#22 Hallway - Knifes - After 1-12
#23 Attic - Skyscraper - After 1-22

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The swedish cd-i magazine

>> Sunday, March 15, 2009

I never knew a swedish cd-i magazine existed until I saw these scans at Tradera (the swedish ebay). Thankfully the buyer posted a few scans of the magazine inside; I hope to see more of them. Lots of unreleased CD-i titles mentioned here: Discworld, Dead End, Alien Ally, New Day, Down in the Dumps; lovely. Click the picture below and if you can read swedish please let us know the details!

Thanks to: TaCDi

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CD-i credits & abstract: A Great Day at the Races

>> Saturday, March 14, 2009

Most CD-i Games have "Abstract", "Bibliographic" and "Copyright" details on the softwares disc itself, any interesting information in these files can be found below.

Abstract: A Great Day at the Races is a disc that brings the excitement of horse racing into the home. It contains a series of tutorials covering every aspect of horse racing, from it's history to a multi-media dictionary of track jargon. It explains both the rudiments of betting and sofisticated handicapping methods. It contains simulated horse races, allowing up to six people to test their handicapping skills on a variety of different race classes. Everything the user needs to learn about the technical and social aspects of the race track is easily accessable.

Bibliographic: A GREAT DAY AT THE RACES

Producer: Paul Rother, Total Vision, Inc.
Engineering: James Benton, Total Vision, Inc.
Art Direction: Chris Walker, Mr. Film
Technical Assistant: Bill Tompkins, Total Vision, Inc.
Audio Production: Howard Soroka
Creative Producer: Cal Bernstein, Dove Films
Creative Producer: Phil Mittleman, CDI Systems

Copyright: Copyright 1993, Philips Interactive Media of America, all rights reserved.

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Random CD-i Quote (2)

>> Thursday, March 12, 2009

"It was Mr. Boonstra's strategy to return to the core businesses of Philips and that did not include CD-i or the software being developed to support it. At that time, Philips Media had acquired distribution companies in Germany (Bomico), France (Ecudis) and the U.K. (Leisuresoft). In the end, we did a deal with Infogrames and they acquired the assets of the company."

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Mutant Rampage CD-i: a feeble Double Dragon wannabe

>> Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Typical "Super Gen-D-0" owner says to typical CD-i owner, "I got Mortal Kombat II for my system! I got Mortal Kombat II! Can you get Mortal Kombat II for your machine?" Typical CD-i owner says "no." Both of them are thus convinced they've got the superior system. In a nutshell, that's the problem faced by Mutant Rampage: BodySlam. CD-i owners are used to games with far more depth and sophistication, and yet the poky action of this lame beat-em-up will do nothing to draw fans of the old ultra-violence away from the latest ass-kicking flavor-of-the-day on other systems. In short, you have to wonder if there's a target audience for this disc.

An animated introduction explains that "Body Slam" is a blood-sport of the future, and the most popular program on the "cyber-net". The world of the future is heavily populated by mutants, genetic combinations of humans and various animals. In the game, you take a team of "naturals", i.e. humans, against ten teams of street fighting mutants.

Oops, I said "street fighting". Don't think that this game is related to "Street Fighter", "Mortal Kombat", or the other one-on-one tournament-style fighting games that now dominate the video-game industry. Instead, it's part of the "Double Dragon" tradition -- games in which you scroll down the street and take on small groups of thugs in hand-to-hand or with weapons. It's not a trivial difference: this kind of game has its roots in platform games, and has largely disappeared from arcades and other systems. Fans of the fighting genres apparently prefer the arena-style game, which generally feature larger characters, faster and bloodier action, and a greater emphasis on moves or "combinations".

So "Mutant Rampage" already starts off with one point against it for being part of an obsolete genre. When you start the game, you can select one of three fighers, and pick a team of mutants to go up against. To defeat the team, you'll need to fight through six levels of mayhem in the ruins of one of Earth's once-great cities. Naturally, the difficulty level keeps going up, and you face a boss monster at the end of the sixth level. Basic moves include simple punching and kicking, along with more powerful super-moves and "devastation moves" activated by button two, two and one together, or other combinations of controls. Since using the special moves reduces your health meter as well as that of your enemy, it's best to use those moves to knock an opponent to the ground, then follow up with simple punching.

Scattered throughout the playfields are the usual items of this kind of game -- swords, daggers, and pipes that can be picked up and used as weapons, food to restore your health, "1-ups" to provide extra lives, etc. A "tag pad" allows you to swap in another member of your team, but their abilities are so similar, it's more frequently used to dump a fighter on the verge of losing a life. Tactics are never very complex in scrolling fighters, and this one only seldom taxes your gray matter. The biggest key to survival is to keep opponents on one side of you. Getting between two fighters is suicide. Since you and the bad guys can only connect when you're horizontally adjacent, i.e. side-by-side, positioning is a matter of facing someone only when you're ready to fight them. The mutants don't seem too clear on this, since most repeat the same basic moves: appear on the screen, pass above or below you, turn, come in for a frontal attack. As long as you're ready for it, you can usually dispense with them easily.

The only exception to this is enemies who can attack you from a distance (with laser-eyes, bionic arms, etc.), or some flying winged-mutants first introduced in Rome. You need to aggressively attack them first, even if you have to squander half your health on a devastating move. There are 60 rounds in all, along with six that are replayed with different enemies (including "clones" of the naturals!) if you elect to enter a "bonus round" after defeating team ten, the New York City Cybermutes. The variety of locales is good, although you fight many of the same bad guys from round to round, which gets repetitive after a while. Fortunately, a save-game feature allows you to come back to your game later.

The game is also extremely customizeable, allowing you to select difficulty, number of lives, sound effects and music levels, etc. Since you have three team members, going up to the maximum seven lives actually gives your team 21 lives to work with -- you will be able to finish the game the first time through if you choose that option. Combine that with a difficulty level of "wimpy" and you'll come out of the game with a net gain of lives.

The graphics here are somewhat better than in Animation Magic's Zelda and "Link" games, but the bar for CD-i animation has been raised higher by Vision Factory's Dimo's Quest and The Apprentice, meaning Mutant Rampage comes off as clunky by comparison. Fighting animation consists of two poses: standing, and fist / leg / weapon extended. In the heat of battle you may not notice, but in a genre where the vivid animation of "Mortal Kombat" is being eclipsed by 3-D polygonal games, this is hopelessly behind the times.

As for the animated interludes between rounds, one has to ask "what's the point?". BodySlam host "L. Wolf Jam" appears in digital video animation, interviewing captains of your opposing teams, or mourning their defeats. The animation's decent, if flat, and is obviously re-used from scene to scene. The lip-sync isn't there and the shots often jump cut when they run out of animation. But even if this were Disney animation, it wouldn't add anything to the game -- players are interested in the fighting, not the atmosphere, and the animation doesn't add anything to the game. These scenes don't hurt the game in any obvious way, until you consider two points: first, you're paying for this, and cel-animation doesn't come cheap. Second, unless the fighting scenes are using the extra memory of the digital-video card, dropping L. Wolf could have opened this title up to the base-case audience.

Mutant Rampage: Body Slam isn't without its obnoxious charms -- in some levels, you can knock a mutant's head off and use it to pound his team-mates. But the ass-kicking market is too competitive for a plodding game like this to impress most players. CD-i Arena fighters can only play this or "Rise of the Robots", and those who might give "Mutant Rampage" a chance will find it doesn't offer anything more than did "Double Dragon" or the other fighting games of five years ago. The only difference is: This is on CD-i!

Credits: Chris Adamson

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"Then, finally, Panasonic came out with its CD-i player and "Jigsaw" wouldn't run on it"

>> Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Silas Warner talked about his CD-i work on Jigsaw, Super Mario's Wacky Worlds and Wolfpack at Novalogic 1992-1993: I came to CD-i work across the country: I had just been laid off from Amiga and Atari work at Microprose and drove across the USA (on Route 66 and its successors) in seven days. Since my previous work had been with the 68000, it was not hard to adjust to the crippled 68000 used in the CD-i. Also, like the Amiga, the CD-i had a "display list" video structure in which every scan line was specified.

The software architecture of the CD-i, in contrast, was wonderfully simple and elegant. The operating system was called OS9, and had the distinction that every program was relocatable, both code and data. The A6 register was used to point at the program data segment: thus multiple copies of the code could run each with different data.

Like any new design, there were bugs and glitches. The most noticeable one was that the scan line interrupt, normally the highest priority interrupt in the system, was overridden by the interrupt for the remote control stick. In practice, this meant that if you used a scan line interrupt to change video modes, the display scan line would jump up and down whenever the joysitck was moved. This required quite a bit of ingenuity to overcome, and a method was worked out at the CD-i development conference in the spring of 1992. A separate process was run in the computer at highest priority, which only had the task of running scan line interrupts. This highest-priority process would override the mouse processing interrupt, making scan interrupts stable. This kind of "patch" was an example of the kind of flexible programming that OS9 made possible.

Other glitches were more serious. The most serious problems were in the area of audio. Since the CD-i machine was based on a CD player, the gold standard in audio, the CD-i's designers felt that the CD should be sufficient for all audio. In addition, a number of modes of ADPCM audio compression made it possible to place up to 16 interleaved audio streams on a single track of a CD, or to play a CD track with many audio streams from memory. But the designers forgot was any method to mix sounds. Even a simple mouse click had to be recorded in a studio, according to CD-quality specifications including $9,000 digitizing boards with gold-plated cables, to 16-bit quality, then the CD music interrupted to play the click (for only one track could be played at a time!)

Once again, the programming brain trust went into action and figured out a massive software package that at least allowed two ADPCM tracks to be played at once. A software compressor decompressed two audio tracks at once, and averaged them from stereo to mono. Then one was placed on the left channel of the rotating audio buffer and the other on the right channel. Finally the stereo option was turned off, in order to mix the two channels. For all its ingenuity, the programming trick turned out to be the Achilles heel of the CD-i, as we will see.

My employer was Novalogic, then located in the southwest corner of Woodland Hills in an industrial park on the former Warner Bros backlot. The company was mainly a contract programming house, building games designed by clients. Our CDi title, "Jigsaw", had been completely designed and specified by Sony. It was not an exciting game: it was designed to be soothing, even boring. New Age music played while the player switched identically-shaped pieces of an esthetically beautiful picture until all were in place. The market seemed to be older families who sat around the television even when there was nothing to watch. John Brooks had originally been the lead programmer on the project: I was brought in to assist when Brooks became stretched too thin.

Other projects were going on, of course. The greatest excitement at Novalogic was about a tie-in game to a Disney movie at the time, "The Rocketeer". For most of my time at Novalogic, the Rocketeer's costume and rocket backpack sat in a corner of my office.

As "Jigsaw" wore on, the main problems we faced were not the game. The obstacles thrown in our way were primarily Sony's ridiculous requirements for disc quality. For instance, that mouse click. It couldn't be a syntheric beep; it had to be recorded in a recording studio, to 16-bit quality! We fudged that by taking our 8-bit beep, resampling it to a higher rate, flanging and echoing it, then resampling it back with quadratic interpolation to the 44,100-Hz CD rate. The interpolation introduced low-level noise, which filled in the lower 8 bits and satisfied the censors. Another example: the entire game, sound, video and data, had to be placed on the disk TWICE. I still have a test disk sent from Sony, on which a quarter-inch square of nail polish had been placed to completely obliterate several CD tracks. The game was required to play perfectly even with this flaw: as the software would detect the flaw and switch to an alternate track!

As time wore on, "Jigsaw" came closer to completion. The only work on the program was complying with the Sony quality assurance department's fussy little nits -- a single scan line in a single picture being too rough in texture, for instance. All had to be "corrected" somehow, even if it meant doubling the size of some display programs. While this went on, however, we had time to experiment with the CD-i. For instance, Novalogic had one in-house-designed game, a submarine simulation called "Wolfpack", and I began a quick-and-dirty CD-i conversion with an eye to adding "bells and whistles" such as part-screen movie clips.

Two weeks before the opening deadline, two things were apparent. One was that "Jigsaw" would ship with the new produce, despite Sony's QA department continuing to discover new "bugs". The other was that the consumer electronics market was collapsing, the victim of a nationwide recsesion. Then came the blow. Up until now, Sony players were the only model on which we could test our products. Then, finally, Panasonic came out with its companion model -- and "Jigsaw" wouldn't run on it.

The culprit was that elaborate sound mixing system. The software decompressor had to load in the aectora of sound data in a precise timing sequence into the two rotating sound buffers used for memory playback. But the Panasonic player had THREE rotating sound buffers, throwing all timing off. The problem wasn't just ours: every title that had more than one sound playing produced garble on the Panasonic player. Two weeks before its release, half the supply of CD-i players in the world had to be scrapped and redesigned!

The premiere came, and CD-i displays were prominently unveiled in prestigious department and electronics stores thoughout the nation. Many of them were running "jigsaw", because nothing else was available to run. And the public resoundingly ignored them. At the same time, Atari and Nintendo were publicly consigning thousands of game cartridges to landfill. The year's recession that followed buried the CD-i -- and "Jigsaw".

But one postscript remained. Novalogic was seeking work from Nintendo: we had already produced one Nintendo cartridge. A Nintendo sales executive came up with the idea that maybe simple Nintendo titles could play on the CD-i. I suspect he was thinking of some kind of adapter to plug a Nintendo cartridge into a CD slot! But it set off a frantic race at Novalogic. The project was to put a popular Nintendo game, "Super Mario World" onto a CD-i disk.

The characters were pirated from a video feed, the level maps drawn off on paper, and John Brooks and I prepared to put in 24-hour days for two weeks. At the end of that time, we had a little bit of one level done -- enough to display at an upcoming Nintendo developer meeting. The disk was burned at 4 am on Friday morning for an 8 am meeting.

The effect was just what was expected. Nintendo marveled and applauded the marvelous job we had done in two weeks, then killed the idea. The CD-i wasn't selling. The project was over, and I went looking for new work. I quickly found it across town, at Virgin Games in Irvine. But that was the end of my CD-i work.

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CD-i Games Rarity Rating / I - O

In the following months the cd-i games rarity list will appear on Interactive Dreams completely so newcomers might get an idea about which games are rare to get hold of. Ofcourse the list is never perfect due to local differences and temporary availability of certain titles. Considering the amount of each pressings still gives an overall view on which games are rare and which games have a special reason why they are rare, like the Nintendo licensed CD-i games or local games like "De Zaak van Zam". This time: I up to and including O:

Inca 2
International Tennis Open 2
International Tennis Open (2 Player) 2

Jeopardy® 2
Jigsaw - The ultimate electronic Puzzle ?
Journal Interactif 94 ?
Journal Interactif 95 ?

Kether 2
Kingdom - The Far Reaches 2
Kingdom II - Shadoan ?

L’Affaire Morlov 10
Labyrinth of Crete 5
Laser Lords 2
Lemmings 2
Les Stroumpfs 10
Lingo 5
Link - The Faces of Evil 4
Litil Divil 2
Live with(out) Monty Python 2
Lords of the Rising Sun 2
Lost Eden 8
Lost Ride 10
Lucky Luke - The Videogame 8

Mad Dog II - The lost Gold 9
Mad Dog McCree 5
Marco Polo 8
Mega Maze 5
Merlin's Apprentice 5
Micro Machines 5
Monty Python's Invasion from Planet Skyron 6
Mutant Rampage - Body Slam 4
Myst 8
Mystic Midway - Phantom Express 4
Mystic Midway - Rest in Pieces 5

Name that Tune 9
NFL's 100 Greatest Touchdowns 2
NFL Football Trivia Challenge 2
NFL Hall of Fame Football 2
NFL Instant Replay 3

Othello 5

Previous posts: A-C and D-H

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The Press about CD-i in 1994

In the past years we posted the news articles about CD-i that were published in american newspapers from 1988 up to and including 1993. Today, we continue with the next year: 1994. Former press posts: 1991, 1992, 1993.

Philips Media teams with Interplay, Virgin - Philips Media is focusing on multi-platform CD-ROM software development and has made agreements with Virgin Interactive Entertainment, Full Moon Entertainment and Interplay Productions. Philips latest CD-interactive player is scheduled to be released in Jul, 1994, for under $300. Other platforms for which the company is developing software include IBM- and Apple-compatible computers and videogame units. Philips Media has entered into longterm multititle deals with InterPlay Productions, Virgin Interactive Entertainment and Full Moon Entertainment as part of its strategy to put new emphasis on producing software across a range of hardware platforms. On the hardware side, Philips will unveil a newly styled CD-I player that will break the $300 price point and be available beginning in July. Sales for Philips' CD-I player in the U.S. have been sluggish during the past few years, but Scott Marden, president and CEO of Philips Media, says orders have more than doubled from a year ago. The announcement of Philips Media's software development alliances emphasizes the company's focus on producing titles across hardware platforms and its newfound interest in creating CD-ROM titles. "We will produce at least two titles with each of the software developers and up to 10 titles over the next several years," says Marden. Philips Media is the software group whose focus Marden has changed since he came aboard more than a year ago. Marden says he won't sign off on a software development proposal unless there are plans to produce the title across multiple platforms. The first titles that Virgin will create for Philips Media Games will be Creature Shock, a space game in which players try to save the human race from extinction, and Lost Eden, an adventure game pitting humans and herbivorous dinosaurs against carnivorous T-Rex dinosaurs. Philips Media is now developing its titles on four separate platforms: CD-I, IBM- and Apple-compatible CD-ROMs and videogame formats. Philips Media has more than 200 software titles on the market and will create another 60 titles within the next year and a half, according to Marden. The company is trying to foster the development of new titles and is seeding many projects for separate labels for various software niche markets. Those market segments include games, children's, special interest and reference, and European publishing. Philips Media is also looking at music videos and movies on optical disk formats, such as CD-ROM and CD-I. Marden says Orion is the latest Hollywood studio to begin putting its films on disk. Paramount, MGM and PolyGram films already have pressed some of their films to optical disk for playback with a CD-I player and a special adapter. Thirty films and 12 music videos are available in this format, says Marden, adding that more than 100 films will be available by the end of 1995. He says encoding has cost the studio approximately $20,000. The optical disk-based films retail for $24.95. Philips has been aggressively courting the creative community across entertainment industries, including motion picture companies, game developers, popular musicians and recording companies, as well as special effects experts. Marden says Philips Media is working with PolyGram on a project surrounding the upcoming Woodstock festival and is creating a new music software division. Marden believes it will be at least three or four years before there is a mass market of homes with an addressable cable system and a next-generation set-top box. "It will be a long march, and there is a lot of overpromising going on," Marden says. There are niche software markets today that are viable, he says, and he expects that as the installed base for CD-ROM and other platforms grows there will be a wealth of compelling software to meet the market demand. "Consumers will demand a different experience when interactive content can be delivered over a pipeline rather than a packaged media," Marden says.

VIRGIN DEAL BOLSTERS CD-I CONFIDENCE - Three state-of-the-art movie-style games are to be developed by Virgin Interactive (338a Ladbroke Grove, London W10 5AH; +44/81/960-2255) for first release on CD-I simultaneously with PC CD-ROM, marking significant vote of confidence in CD-I format. Philips has acquired worldwide CD-I rights for which Virgin will get distribution royalties, but CD-I versions are being developed at Virgin's expense with no up-front payment from Philips--unlike previous deal for CD-I version of breakthrough Virgin title "The 7th Guest", which involved Philips funding all necessary full-motion video CD-I development with no financial risk to Virgin. First title will be space adventure "Creature Shock". Meanwhile, CD-I release of "The 7th Guest" has been delayed until April 1994 due to unexpected level of additional development work necessary to CD-ROM version.

Philips to add CD-ROM versions of CD-i titles - Philips Media will issue at least 20 of its CD-i titles on CD-ROM by the end of the year and plans to eventually offer all of its CD-i titles on CD-ROM for both PC and Macintosh, according to Scott Marden, Philips Media president and CEO. In addition, sources say several new titles will be released simultaneously on CD-i and CD-ROM. The first are expected to debut in the fall, with others to follow in the first quarter of 1995. This marks the first break in the company's commitment to its proprietary Compact Disc-interactive format, introduced in 1992. Philips executives says 300,000 CD-i machines had been sold worldwide by the end of '93, an unimpressive sales figure, according to analysts. That compares with 11.4 million CD-ROM drives sold worldwide, according to Infotech, a Woodstock, Vt., research firm. However, Marden denied that the company's foray into CD-ROM marks a departure from its commitments to CD-i. Rather, he said, it's a sign that Philips views interactive software as a business similar to its record holdings (including Mercury, Island and A&M Records) and said the availability of new and better programs will help CD-i grow. Marden added that the firm is investigating electronic delivery of its titles, and characterized the move to exploit other platforms as in keeping with expansion plans. Some observers take a different view of Philips's efforts in CD-i and its long-term plans in interactive entertainment. Philips has been quietly approaching its CD-i developers to ask about CD-ROM, according to a software publisher. "Most CD-i titles will appear on CD-ROM," the publisher said. "Anyone who has CD-i titles knows Philips is converting." Asked about the implications of the move, the publisher predicted the slow waning of CD-i, though noting that "Philips won't kill CD-i because [its development] has been ego-driven." Philips's Family Entertainment divisions will issue three CD-i titles - Cartoon Jukebox, Hanna Barbera's Cartoon Carnival and Sandy's Circus - on CD-ROM this fall, according to division president Sarina Simon. Some CD-ROM titles, which Marden wouldn't specify, will be converted to CD-i titles. Philips Consumer Electronics Co. and its related entertainment companies, including Philips Media, have been fending off speculation about their commitment to CD-i and their interest in other formats for some time. In an unusual move, Philip's PolyGram division last week formally denied rumors that it is negotiating to acquire Virgin Interactive. "We are not in negotiations, nor have we ever been," said a PolyGram spokesman, quoting CEO Alain Levy.

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'The World of CD-i' to prepare its second comeback

>> Thursday, March 5, 2009

We've posted about the return of 'The World of CD-i' several times now (like here and here) and as of today there is definately progress: DJKoelkast has created a new engine where all content will return soon. Now, this is promising and great news for the CD-i community! After losing so many CD-i sources and places, it's a welcome arrival for the website. OK, a start has been made, keep an eye on it now to see new stuff being added on it. From the new website: "The world of cd-i (formerly known as "Le monde du CD-i, ran by Omegalfa) will come back soon! Dj. Koelkast will get the old data back to the site and will be your new administrator (all in agreement with Omegalfa who won't be here on a daily basis, but still is the main founder of this website). Also CD-i lover Bas will play an important role on this website and will be here on a daily basis and a staff member." Oh, so I guess he means me by that :) --- It's true that we at Interactive Dreams have played a role in trying to get new life in the website, but don't be afraid: Interactive Dreams will stay right where it is! "I know you've waited for almost a year now for the site to get back, but it will be worth the wait! All old downloads/pictures will be restored, however unfortunatly the forum posts and user database are gone, so you'll need to re-register and make this community live again. The main language will be English, however we'll incorporate a French and Dutch section onto the forums. If you have any questions please send an email. Until soon on the new The world of CD-i!
- Dj. Koelkast - Administrator -
- Omegalfa - Founder -
Copyright © Omegalfa & Dj. Koelkast 2003-2009"

We'll keep you posted on any progress @ The World of CD-i. The website started in 2003 on a free server but went to the background early 2005. Half a year later, they put new life in it on a dedicated server. However, at the end of 2007 the website disappeared. 2009 should the see the second comeback of the website.

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The CD-i Pilot System by Electronic Arts

Thanks to Merijn: Some of you may remember ACE magazine. In many ways it was the EDGE magazine of the 80s/early 90's. It's also the magazine that first drew my attention to CDi.. one issue had a picture of Star wars on it, and a CDI player wiht the text 'you've seen the movie, played the game - now play the movie" .. Or something like that.

Anyway, there is this great site: www.old-computer-mags.com which tries to preserve old computer magazines. (Would be nice to see CDI magazine there too). They feature some of the OLD ACE magazines. Check out page 27 in issue 21 for a so-called CDI pilot system in use by Electronic Arts. They say they will have the complete CDI story in issue 22, but unfortunately that issue is not availabe on the site. First mention on CDi in issue 9 btw (that could be the one I saw some 18 years ago), would be great if they could add that to the site! Other mentions of CDI in issue 9,21,22,24,32,33,35) ... Check it out! That 'pilot system' EA is showing here is the same as you can see in video right here! Still amazing to read/see what EA was planning on CD-i, especially with their own child (=3DO) in mind!

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Do you have troubles to fix the CD-i's Timekeeper Battery?

CD-i players are getting more and more rare on the market as many system's battery die. The batteries normally have a life of 15/20 years and this time has come for CD-i... There is however a possibility to renew the battery of those players that have one (there are a few with a replaceable battery). Rockclimber helps you to give some clues, additional to the tutorial you can find here. "Basically the time keeper chip has a battery built into the top of it. You can't see the battery because it is embedded in the body of the chip and wasn't designed to be replaced. However I read a thread by terratron and he describes how to do it in detail. I followed his advice and have done mine and it works fine now. you need to first locate the timekeeper chip, if you read some of the other threads on here it will tell you the chip number(I can't remember it right now). Then you need to find which end of the chip has the battery on it and remove enough of the surface material of the chip to expose the battery and the wires that go from it into the chip itself. Then cut the wires and solder two leads onto the ends with a battery holder on so you can replace the battery whenever you need to. It's not as hard as it all sounds. Look on page two of the technical support forum and there is a thread there all about it." Do you have trouble to fix your CD-i player? Maybe we can help!

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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

  © Interactive Dreams Version 5 by The Black Moon Project 2013

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