The Labyrinth of Time - Rare Commodore Amiga CD32 US Version - Photos

Bill Loguidice's picture

The Labyrinth of Time, created by Bradley W. Schenck and Michal Todorovic of Terra Nova Development, and published by Electronic Arts, was a CD-ROM-based graphics adventure released in the wake of Myst and 7th Guest, which explains why the game never really took off and why the game's intended sequels were never created. After all, if you're basically third after two of the biggest selling computer games of all time to that point were released, you don't stand much of a chance in the marketplace. Anyway, what's interesting is that beyond being released for the Apple Macintosh, Commodore Amiga and PC platforms, there was also a version specific to the Commodore Amiga CD32 released, and in the US to boot.

Interestingly, the box indicates it works on the Amiga CDTV and Amiga 500 (with CD-ROM) platforms as well, as long as there is sufficient extended memory present (though how this works from a sufficient colors standpoint I don't know - the CD32/Amiga 1200/4000 platforms easily output enough colors, but the CDTV and 500/2000/etc. generally max out at 32/64 colors), so perhaps this is what is meant in the online resources by the "AmigaOS" version? Here are some quick iPhone photos of my copy of the CD32 version of the game that just came that I sent directly to Flickr:

photo.jpg

photo.jpg

Anyway, according to Wikipedia, "In 2004, The Labyrinth of Time was re-released by Wyrmkeep Entertainment Co. for the PC, Mac OS, AmigaOS, and Linux. The Amiga version was released as freeware and can be downloaded from Aminet and its mirrors."

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Rob Daviau
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Awesome Bill! I love my

Awesome Bill! I love my CD32, lots of potential wasted with mostly ports of AMIGA games. Of course it was not long afterwards that Commodore went bankrupt. I think another downside to the CD32, although a 32bit CD based system it really could of used some type of 3d acceleration, I wonder if they could of perhaps licensed a 3D technology like Dreamcast did with PowerVR? I wonder what may of happened then?

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Oldschool games, some people just don't "get it"...

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Bill Loguidice
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3D - Yes, but I believe there were more factors
Oldschoolgamer wrote:

Awesome Bill! I love my CD32, lots of potential wasted with mostly ports of AMIGA games. Of course it was not long afterwards that Commodore went bankrupt. I think another downside to the CD32, although a 32bit CD based system it really could of used some type of 3d acceleration, I wonder if they could of perhaps licensed a 3D technology like Dreamcast did with PowerVR? I wonder what may of happened then?

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Oldschool games, some people just don't "get it"...

I don't think it would have mattered, as the Commodore brand was already considered an also-ran by then. I remember when I was working at Electronics Boutique while in college around the time of the CD32's release, and one of the questionnaires floating around was whether the chain should carry the CD32, Jaguar, etc. Essentially all of the US stores gave a thumbs down to the CD32, though it did do better in Canada, where the brand was more consistently strong. The truth is, no one at the time guessed correctly on the importance of 3D EXCEPT for Sony with the PlayStation, who gambled everything on the idea and obviously won, and then some. History shows that no matter how good the hardware was, without the right software support, any platform was doomed, plain and simple. It's a big factor in the failure of everything at the time that wasn't from Sony, Nintendo or Sega...

Vintage Games book!
Xbox 360: billlog | Wii: 1345 2773 2048 1586 | PS3: ArmchairArcade
Bill Loguidice, Managing Director | Armchair Arcade, Inc.

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Matt Barton
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development
Bill Loguidice wrote:

History shows that no matter how good the hardware was, without the right software support, any platform was doomed, plain and simple. It's a big factor in the failure of everything at the time that wasn't from Sony, Nintendo or Sega...

I would add to that--the smart companies (Microsoft, Apple) work very, very hard to make life as easy as possible for developers. One thing that came up again and again at GDC was that programmers will highly favor a platform that is easy and efficient to program for, whereas one that is conceivably more powerful may well get ports, but probably not by the core dev team. It's no surprise that the Xbox and 360 were so attractive to PC game developers because it was a fairly straightforward matter to adapt (and later focus) on those platforms from the PC side. Indeed, some of the devs talked about how programming for the 360 was very similar to programming for a PC game, except that you could do more tricks because you could know for sure that it would work on all 360s (whereas the diversity of the PC side makes this more problematic).

I think one reason you're seeing an explosion in iPhone stuff right now is that it is relatively easy to develop for, whereas the PSP and DS represent some pretty steep barriers to entry. I also heard a few say that the PS3 was a very difficult machine to code for, whereas the 360 was a breeze. The same was true for the Apple II vs. the Commodore 64; many talented programmers kept developing on the Apple II because they liked the dev tools better than the ones on the C-64 or 128. Does anyone remember that god-awful basic that shipped with the Amiga?

Another consideration is how much of the platform's wizardry is built-in to the hardware; or, to put it another way, how much room is left on the software side for innovation? The Atari 2600 lasted forever because the software folks were able to do so much; the hardware was simple, but the software had lots of room to expand the platform's capabilities. The more advanced consoles had sprites and such, but the developers felt they had less flexibility (all the games tended to look the same, etc.) The Apple II came up again here in this context; apparently, there was far more tricks coders at their disposal with the Apple II than with the C-64, which did more work for them but, conversely, tied their hands by making the hardware take over more stuff.

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Bill Loguidice
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Ease-of-development is

Ease-of-development is certainly one factor, but even if something is hard to program - take the PS2 as a great example - if there's enough incentive to program for it, the publishers and developers will come regardless. The key is getting the right business relationships in place, something Atari for instance was unable to do with the Jaguar. They were stuck on the old fashioned first party model of software development with not enough focus on third parties. Of course they TRIED to get third parties going - and had quite a few announced relationships/deals - but getting them to deliver actual software was a different story entirely.

The iPhone is a good example as an "ideal", because it's relatively easy to program, has an ideal delivery platform and has a low cost of entry for the single developer up to the biggest publisher, on top of the fact that the device is standardized and in the hands of huge numbers of people. The "ideal" rarely happens though, and platforms succeed wildly in spite of any one of those positives not being in place.

Vintage Games book!
Xbox 360: billlog | Wii: 1345 2773 2048 1586 | PS3: ArmchairArcade
Bill Loguidice, Managing Director | Armchair Arcade, Inc.

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Calibrator
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Joined: 10/25/2006
I agree with Bill's comments

Especially regarding the incentives and the third-party model.
The PS2 was successful despite it's complicated architecture - not because of it. It remains to be seen if the PS3 will relive the same fate, though.

BTW, a new Sony PSP is on it's way!
It features several GB of flash memory and *no* UMD drive!

I guess someone at Sony listened to our recent discussion... ;-)

More at: http://www.1up.com/do/newsStory?cId=3173959

take care,
Calibrator

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Mark Vergeer
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VIDEO - I tried it out on WinUAE a little over a year ago

Xbox 360: Lactobacillus P | Wii: 8151 3435 8469 3138
Armchair arcade Editor | Pixellator | www.markvergeer.nl

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