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In 1992, Philips CD-I aspired to be a new platform for family interactive entertainment, targeting not the computer gaming community, but the family, the whole family. See magazine advertisement.

It was a bold and brash strategy to defy all the current computer and game standards of the time — and create a machine that was expensive, had an awkward thumbstick controller, was technically timid, and had few titles from which to choose.

Yet I shall always adore Philips for granting this Fool $4,000,000 to build a team to create and complete three lovingly hand-crafted, puzzle-driven products, the kind of Hollywood feature-animation films I’d never made in Hollywood.

(It should be noted that Hanna-Barbera’s Cartoon Carnival was Philips’ best-selling title.)

And though Philips gave up the ghost on CD-I in 1996, it is some consolation that CD-I sold more units than 3DO, a similar machine spawned by Electronic Arts wunderkind, Trip Hawkins.

Hanna-Barbera’s Cartoon Carnival was the first CD-I game to take advantage of Philips’ Full Motion Video cartridge. You could play Huckleberry Hound’s Gift Emporium, The Flintstones’ Balloon Ballyhoo, Scooby Doo’s Adventure Isle, Yogi Bear’s Pic-A-Nik Place, The Jetsons’ Space Race, and Top Cat’s Top Facts to earn letters. Once you earned all 15 letters of the words CARTOON CARNIVAL, one of 60 classic cartoon clips is your reward — see full packaging — see game screens.

Merlin’s Apprentice is a challenging tale of medieval sorcery in which you aspire to become apprentice to that great wizard Merlin. Yet you must work through many enchantments and outwit a threesome of clever demons to win his favor. See full packaging - see game video.

Labyrinth of Crete is a challenging tale of Greek mythology in which you must appease both the King and Queen of Mt. Olympus. Yet you must conquer the treachery within the walls of the labyrinth and seek the gifts of the Gods and Goddesses who await you in their sacred temples. See full packaging.

*FunHouse* was my production group at Philips and is best remembered by Brian Allgeier’s outrageous Christmas Cards. (Click the image for a larger image.) Our specialty was puzzle games with sumptuous hand-drawn animation and rousing musical accompaniment. We were the first stop when international visitors toured the Philips facility (which seemed almost daily).

My CD-I career as Director/Producer began when Sarina Simon approached me to do Hanna Barbera’s Cartoon Carnival, ostensibly the same concept as another product I had designed — Disney’s Cartoon Arcade. See packaging.

I set to work on Cartoon Carnival as a team of one, programming the concept in Hypercard in a tiny office on the second floor near the men’s room. I soon created Hypercards for Merlin’s Apprentice and Labyrinth of Crete as well and they, too, were green-lighted. Yet I’d garnered a $4,000,000 budget and had no staff whatsoever to create the projects.

That’s how *FunHouse* came to be. It began as 8 determined FunHeads — Gordon Brooks, Paul Mithra, Brian Allgeier, Doran Fish, Brad Parker, Kelly Holthaus, Clayton Wishoff, and myself — and at its peak, swelled to over 30 artists, animators, and programmers.

Jim Andron, the one-man symphony orchestra, composed, arranged, and performed the splendid musical scores.

The once and forever.

1991 - 1995

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