||September 16, 2007|
Interview with Trici Venola, Hotel Mario Developer!|
16/09/2007 | 11:57 GMT - Devin | Blog | Forums
It's taken us some time but we finally found Trici Venola. Credited with the superb background renders produced for Hotel Mario we were quite keen to have a chat about her work. As fortune would have it so was Trici! If a full Interview isn't enough then your in luck as Trici was kind enough to contribute a generous scoop of original background imagery...
Developed by Philips satellite studio, the Fantasy Factory really pulled out all the stops for Hotel Mario. Although we find it difficult to argue the musings from multiple YouTube videos poking fun at the animated cutscenes, the game still holds a special place in our tiny gaming hearts! The colourful level design and playful puzzle mechanics really came together and made great use of the Nintendo franchise without being cliched. Trici certainly played her part creating this original theme, but as you'll learn Hotel Mario came dangerously close to becoming a real stinker of a game. This includes mention of a 'Cheese Hotel'! Have a read of the full Interview with Trici Venola for a taste of one of CD-i's most debated games.
||August 15, 2007|
Master of the Frogs|
15/08/2007 | 21:51 GMT - Devin | Blog | Forums
Possibly the biggest news of 2007 (at least for CD-i!) is that of Frog Feast. A brand new game for Philips CD-i developed by Charles Doty of RasterSoft. We had to talk with this man and the possibilities Frog Feast has opened up for the CD-i scene. Read all about it in an Interview with Charles Doty.
A Frog Feast game page now takes pride of place in Black Moons Games Archive with further coverage on this fantastic homebrew release. Also including a range of developmental demos available for download, showcasing the evolution of Frog Feast complete with some text courtesy of Charles Doty describing each release. Of course the final Frog Feast demo is also available for download alongside the 'dev' versions!
||August 11, 2007|
Will CD-i Emulator work with Vista?|
11/08/2007 | 16:26 GMT - Devin | Blog | Forums
Technology has proven relentless in the area of consumer electronics in the past decade. As we discard old machines in favour of the latest systems what becomes of the old tech and more over the software that used to operate upon it! Well that's where emulation saves the day, providing a software simulation of the hardware environment countless applications can again be used and enjoyed. Then what happens when the operating system used to run these emulators dies? Could we see emulators running within emulators mimicking operating systems within operating systems? Fortunately that question remains a few years off, however we're presented with a new windows based operating system in the here and now that offers limited compatibility with previous windows software. So how does CD-i Emulator fare on Windows Vista as we ditch the old tech and move into a new arena of faster Motherboards, RAM, Graphics and Sound Cards?
The answer is apparently very well! Actually CD-i Emulator performs too well under Vista, the graphical emulation zips past audio playback with ease, maintaining a startling 50 video updates per second of emulated time! These speeds were achieved using the Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 processor overclocked from the standard 2.40GHz upto 2.92GHz. Outpacing the relatively old 3.2GHz rated Intel Pentium 4 under Windows XP. Unfortunately it's not all good news, the inevitable upgrade to Vista for most will mean computers dropping old ports that we used for the likes of CD-i Link which was so helpful when it came to retrieving Bios files from real CD-i players. The lose of the classic joystick port is also sorely missed from recent motherboards for use in CD-i Emulator.
There are alternatives however, where we owe a debt of gratitude to the Chinese market for devising all sorts of USB adapters and PCI serial cards that adopt and emulate the old tech incorporting it into the new! This includes a USB-RS232 Serial Port and probably more than likely the aforementioned joystick port. How well do these work under Vista? We'll save that for another time but at least CD-i Emulator works!
||August 6, 2007|
Dark Side of the Moon|
06/08/2007 | 21:08 GMT - Devin | Blog | Forums
Okay, so lots of Black Moon is still broken! We don't just want to fix the site however, no that's too easy we're in the process of improving every last bit of information the project provides. To this end we've started a complete guide to CD-i Emulator v0.5.2 with CD-i games. In the coming couple of weeks you'll see the Games Archive light up with all sorts of compatibility information. Furthermore each individual game page will contain details of the compatibility test and the various problems we encountered or in the case of games like Accelerator the complete lack of issues and 100% playability! Testamount to the solid design of CD-i Emulator thus far, although all is not well...
... can you see the problem? We've come to hate this Splash Screen and have decided to take direct action! Even if 'CD-i Fan' resists, it's time for change! If you can design a new Splash Screen that captures our attention then we'll shower you in CD-i games and goodies until your hearts content. Obviously the Splash Screen has to work in both PAL (768 by 560) and NTSC (720 by 480) modes so it displays correctly within CD-i Emulator. Here's a good example to draw inspiration from...
Extra points awarded for SPC influence... you know how we love SPC Vision games!
||July 28, 2007|
Interview with a CD-i Boffin|
28/07/2007 | 20:50 GMT - Devin | Blog | Forums
Either one of two things about CD-i ever hit the mainstream. First and foremost it's the Nintendo License, then a close second comes the original first generation controllers. Especially the 'Thumbstick' design but some have even made fun of the genuinely innovative 'Commander' remote! For evidence of the former you need only browse the IGN Network to discover a 'Top 10 Worst Game Controllers listing. The CD-i Thumbstick comes in at number 5. However considering it was originally designed for simple cursor manipulation for Music, Documentary and Reference software such as encyclopedias seems to have escaped the people that compiled this list.
Thankfully the superb design of the Commander owes much to one Peer Custers who submitted to a detailed interview with much help from a collector that puts most of us horders to shame, Steph! We go into some detail about the thinking behind CD-i at Philips and also take a look at prototype hardware with plenty of photos to boot. Read the full Interview with Peer Custers for a rare glimpse into Philips HQ.
||July 23, 2007|
The Frog Feast Love Fiesta|
23/07/2007 | 21:04 GMT - Devin | Blog | Forums
The updates keep coming thick and fast with the recent announcement from OlderGames that Frog Feast is ready for launch! Here's a sneak peak at the covers released by OlderGames...
Bas has posted a very detailed column for the development of Frog Feast on CD-i through his Interactive Dreams blog. Click the following link for direct access to that story.
||July 16, 2007|
Frog Feast (BETA?) Demo|
16/07/2007 | 21:17 GMT - Devin | Blog | Forums
I admit a little skepticism when Charles first proposed converting his multi-platform Frog Feast to our beloved backwater hunk of black box technology known as CD-i. However without a shadow of a doubt Frog Feast is back on the menu, just have a look at these screenshots from the latest freely available demo...
You can download this limited one-player only demo from RasterSoft at the following link. The games publisher, oldergames, has hinted towards a release within the next month! However we hope they air on the side of caution for some tough testing throughout the numerous makes and models of CD-i player. If you want to help be sure to download the demo and post your findings on CDinteractive Forums.
As if that wasn't enough great news for the CD-i homebrew scene there have been some interesting developments in store for CD-i Emulator. With rumours of a front end extension that should keep media player PC owners happy. Just think of the MODS this could inspire!