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

CD-ice (resurrected) running Frog Feast

>> Friday, December 31, 2010

Pete Dabbs, the creator of of the first working CD-i Emulator and the developer of Rise of the Robots on CD-i, managed to finally track down some long forgotten CD-ice source code and after fighting with Visual Studio for a bit he got it building (and fixed a couple of problems it found along the way). Pete tried it with Frog Feast which to his surprise ran without any problems. Speed is wrong thanks to cheapo (free) screen capture software.. Pete: "I was digging around old hard drives and PCs a couple of days ago and came across some source code which after an hour or so struggle I got compiling with a new version of dev studio. Might be some useful stuff to help in Cdifan's current direction with the emulation.. Also shows those clever know it all folk on certain forums that it wasn't a one trick pony! After having a quick run through a few game ISOs I'd got I can say the compatibility isn't (wasn't) great although from what I remember from all the way back then there are only a couple of significant things stopping it running a lot more games.

The main one I've come across today (and remember fighting at the time) is all to do with the multi process stuff (loading a process from another one, running it and then Exiting, a lot of games did this type of stuff to play the bumper or their own intro anims). That might not be that hard to fix as looking at it with fresh eyes I can see some mistakes in how I handled stuff. There's also a couple of screen drawing problems eg Flashback runs great but tends to draw crap all over the screen outside of the game/movie area (probably should just be not displaying screen there and I'm ignoring an LCT instruction or something).

I'll probably have a play about with updating it myself first then decide what to do with it later. I might have a surprise on the game front for 2011, writing a new CD-i game has been on my "todo" list for a loooooong time and I've got a few ideas for what I'd like to do."


That would put CD-i back on the market in 2011, but Pete rumoured the same message one year ago, so fingers crossed!

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Happy Christmas!

>> Friday, December 24, 2010

It is a small tradition to post a 'Happy Christmas' note on the blog to wish you all a happy christmas, thank you for all your support and wish for another informative CD-i year next year. With both the forum and the blog reaching over five years in existence, we think our little websites are very much needed to keep CD-i a little alive. 2010 was the year that we finally saw a big update on CD-i Emulator. That was probably the biggest CD-i news this year, along with some new title discoveries. Behind the scenes we were able to track down more developers behind the CD-i projects 'Rebel Assault', 'Discworld' and 'Tox Runner' but it is still too early to show you more of this so we'll keep it as new stuff in 2011. So, there will be plenty again to look out for in 2011! See you next year!

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CD-i Reader Rating: Brain Dead 13 is worth a 7,1

>> Tuesday, December 14, 2010

In the following months we let you decide what each CD-i game is worth. We like to know how you would rate every single CD-i game. Keep an eye on the polls in the right column to see if a new game is up. We'll come up with lists once we have some input. Thanks for your vote!

Brain Dead 13 was rated with a 7,1 in total (10 being the highest/best). Search the site to find more info on the game. From today, we start with Burn:Cycle; the 3D future cyber punk adventure from TripMedia, showing full motion video is possible on CD-i without the Digital Video Cartridge, but how do you think that worked out on CD-i? Check out the label 'Poll' to read all previous entries in the CD-i Reader Rating. The top 4 until now is as following:

1. The 7th Guest (8,3)
2. Atlantis: The Last Resort (7,7)
3. Brain Dead 13 (7,1)
4. Accelerator (3,9)
5. ?

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Video of Making the Grade on CD-i


Making the Grade is a very rare simulation game for the Philips CD-i. It was developed by 3T Productions for British Petroleum. The purpose of the game is to build and manage a polyethylene plant over a period of time. This is the introduction and explanation of how the game and the interface works. You can read more about Making the Grade here.

[Thanks, Shroo-Man]

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Discworld CD-i was converted by 'Divide by Zero'

As I think we were beginning to suspect, the conversion of Discworld to CD-i was not handled by Psygnosis, Teeny Weeny Games nor Perfect Entertainment! Instead it was handed over to an external studio called 'Divide by Zero' based in Nottingham, UK. This is not a very big studio from what I can gather from Google but they did however work with the publisher Psygnosis between 1993 and 1995 on a couple of games. So a link did at least exist! The product manager for the PSX conversion of Discworld had limited exposure to the CD-i conversion and he is pretty damned clear that the game was in a 'playable' state when he left TWG. He made a special trip to gauge the conversions progress so this information in context appears to be good and accurate! More when it develops.

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New website features: Pageview statistics and popular posts

Small update to let you know that as of today, Interactive Dreams offers you a small peek in our kitchen by showing you some statistics of our website. You can watch how many times our website is shown on a screen worldwide in the last week, and if the website gets more popular over time (=more pageviews). You can also see the most popular posts of the last month.

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RSP say they worked on Donkey Kong on CD-i

>> Monday, December 13, 2010

I always wonder how far Philips could eventually have stretched the use of Nintendo characters in their games. If the Zelda and Mario titles met the quality/popularity of their SNES counterparts, would Philips have started making sequels? How far could this have gone? What if a game like Lost Ride had a Donkey Kong theme? Or what if Atlantis had a Metroid theme?

However, Johnny Wood once told us that Philips could've made an unlimited amount of games about Zelda and Mario. He was very eager to get his hands on the license but the American division of Philips Media became very protective about releasing it to a European developer. Imagine what ADS could have done with this franchise! Also, Donkey Kong wasn't on the agenda, according to Johnny the license only covered Mario and Zelda.

But, development on a Donkey Kong CD-i title appeared in the work of Adrian Jackson-Jones, who worked in 1992-1993 at RSP (USA based independent studio founded by former Atari programmer Mike Riedel in 1984). Here, he worked as a "Super Nintendo and CDI Programmer". He worked on games including: Steven Segal: The Final Option (SNES), Tom & Jerry (SNES), The Hunt for Red October (SNES) and Donkey Kong (CDI). He aided in game engine designs for the Super Nintendo products Steven Segal: The Final Option, Tom & Jerry, and The Hunt for Red October. He designed and implemented the game engine for the CDI system game Donkey Kong. According to his Linkedin. Definately worth investigating.

[Thanks, CRV]

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Nintendo on CD-i: A gentlemens agreement

"I asked the Nintendo question and do you know what, the whole deal was a gentlemens agreement! The President from Nintendo of America and Philips Media simply shared a vision for the medium, so that is why Philips were allowed to use Nintendo characters. At least that is what the man says! I believe originally the vision was for use in educational wares however that was perverted towards video games later. That's my supposition anyway and 'Nintendo takes America' did sound like a kids title from the outset. Investigated CIGAM a little bit but unfortunately the studios creator Howard Greenspan died last year."

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Interactive Dreams: 5 Years Online!

>> Sunday, December 5, 2010

We open the champagne at Interactive Dreams to celebrate our fifth anniversary: We're actually five years here to give CD-i a little more attention it deserves! Thanks (again) for your support, visiting us again and again, and let's go for at least another five years. Happy Birthday!

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CD-i Quizard Arcade Games, emulated by MESS/MAME

>> Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The team that worked on the MESS CD-i driver has made a lot of progress in emulating the CD-i based "Quizard" arcade games, produced by TAB-Austria from 1994 to 1998. Readers who follow the release notes of MAME may have noticed a game added to MAME 0.139 called "Quizard". "Quizard is noteworthy for being one of the few arcade games to be based on the Philips CD-i game console, and benefits from the ongoing CD-i work in MESS by Harmony", as published on his blog here.

Within the Quizard CD-i arcade machine there is a standard CD-i player with a separate I/O board connected to the front and rear serial ports of the console. It includes a protected i8571 microcontroller for copy protection. For anyone interested in seeing what the machine actually looks like, we had a small article about the Quizard machine here.

The Quizard CD-i games fail to boot in CD-i Emulator, but apparently for different reasons than it does in MESS. Harmony: "MESS seems to get stuck in an OS call shortly after the OS launches the cdi_quizard executable module, whereas CD-i Emulator loads it, tries to send data to the (non-existent) I/O board, then hangs while waiting for a response."

Harmony: "Using a targeted hack, I was able to get the 1.7 revision of Quizard to boot in MAME. [...] I've managed to get both Quizard 1.2 and Quizard 1.7 to be fully playable by either one or two players. Additionally, the protection check patches were able to be made partially generic, enabling Quizard 3.2 and Quizard Rainbow 4.1 to boot, go into attract mode, and coin up without problems.

Read more details and watch more pictures here.
[Thanks, Harmony, Klaus]

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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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