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Home :: Archive :: 1993 :: November ::
CD-ROM Expo: Multimedia Publishing
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 4, No. 709. Wednesday, 3 November 1993.
 
From:           Peter Scott <
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Date:           Tuesday, 02 Nov 1993 12:14:52 -0600 (CST)
Subject:        CD-ROM Expo: IBM Rolls Out Eight New Multimedia Titles 11/01/93
 
NB: Not for general distribution, since it came from a commercial resource...
 
BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS, U.S.A., 1993 NOV 1 (NB) -- At CD-ROM Expo,
IBM's Multimedia Publishing Studio (MPS) rolled out eight new
interactive CD-ROM titles, including a space encyclopedia, four
volumes of specialized digital imagery, and online editions of The
Lawnmower Man, MacBeth, and Star Trek.
 
MPS has been producing multimedia software since 1991, and CD-ROM
titles since late 1992, officials said during a news briefing at the
show. But the new market entries are the first to emerge from MPS'
new Affiliated Labels Program, an effort in which IBM is teaming up
with third-party developers.
 
Also at the briefing, IBM announced delivery dates of before the
end-of-the-year for a string of previously announced titles now
under internal development by the company. This group includes "The
Playboy Interviews," ""Adventures of Curious George and the ABCs,"
"Biosphere 2," and "Peter and the Wolf."
 
The IBM studio's solo and joint ventures cover Windows, DOS and
Macintosh platforms, in addition to just about every conceivable
subject matter, Crista C. Freeman, director of the Affiliated Labels
Program, noted at the briefing. "There's room for everything," she
commented.
 
Of the eight new CD-ROM joint productions, four run on Windows as
well as Macintosh. These are "Rick Doyle Digital Imagery" and Sound
Source Unlimited's "Lawnmower Man," "Star Trek, The Original TV
Series," "Star Trek, The Next Generation."
 
Two titles -- Plum Productions' "Shapes, Volume Two: Design in
Nature," and "Shapes, Volume Two, Man-Made Design" now operate on
the Mac only. The other two -- Andromeda Interactive's "The
Interactive Space Encyclopedia" and Animated Pixels' "Karaoke
MacBeth" -- are currently for DOS only.
 
"But the ultimate intent is for all eight titles to run on Windows
and Macintosh," stated Terry Jenkins, a communications consultant
to IBM.
 
The two "Shapes" titles are much more than mere collections on
images, suggested Norman Clark, a partner in Plum Productions, a
company based in Brockenhurst, Hants, UK.
 
The 100 source images in each volume are supported with three
variants that are overlaid with a wide variety of creative effects,
meant to show the graphic possibilities of image manipulation, said
Clark, also at the briefing. Further, the images are accompanied by
text captions aimed at helping users analyze the composition of the
natural and manmade environment.
 
"The Interactive Space Encyclopedia" also deals with the natural
and manmade environment, but in this case, the environment is that
of outer space.
 
The disk contains over 1,000 text documents, with interactive
keywords, along with 2000 photos and 150 3D animations illustrating
scientific concepts and moonwalks, space launches, and other
spectacular events, Jonathan Taylor, president of Alamdeda, CA-
based Andromeda Interactive, explained at the briefing.
 
After the briefing, Newsbytes viewed "Interactive Space
Encyclopedia" and "Karaoke MacBeth" on the exhibition floor at
CD-ROM Expo. Mike Cox, creative producer, showed how the new
encyclopedia lets users conduct an online exploration of outer
space from a wide range of perspectives, including timelines, maps
of the solar system, and searches for words, still images, and
animation. The title is narrated throughout by Patrick Moore.
 
Newsbytes also saw how "Karaoke MacBeth" permits users to play the
roles of MacBeth, Lady MacBeth, MacDuff, the Witches, and other key
characters in the famous Shakespearean drama. Up to 10 users can
take part at once, enacting their roles against the voices of
professional actors on the disk.
 
"Karaoke MacBeth" is replete with other audio effects, as well,
including blaring trumpets and the sounds of the crowd at London's
Globe Theatre. On the visual front, graphics and animation are
both to be found.
 
Among the other newly announced titles, the two Star Trek titles
and the virtual reality-oriented "LawnMower Man" all present full-
motion video clips and sound bytes from their movie and TV
namesakes.
 
In addition, each comes with a utility that lets users assign the
clips to system events and other computer functions. You might
start up your computer to a clip in which Spock announces,
"Computing now, Captain," for example -- or delete a file to the
sound of a photon torpedo blast. "It's quite a way to liven up
your desktop," Jenkins pointed out.
 
Digital Imagery, on the other hand, is a volume of sports photos by
Rick Doyle, an internationally known photojournalist whose credits
include cover photos for Sports Illustrated and Surfer Magazine.
The photos were scanned in on a high-end Hell 341 drum scanner and
saved in TIFF formats.
 
Also according to Jenkins, IBM's upcoming, internally developed
"The Playboy Interviews" and "Adventures of Curious George and the
ABCS" will be released within the next two to three weeks. "The
other internally developed titles will be out by the end of the
year," he added. "Curious George and the ABCs" could be the first
of a series of Curious George titles, he revealed.
 
Another title under internal development, "Biosphere 2," will take
users inside of the innovative Biosphere 2 ecological research
program, for an exploration of the program's technology and basic
research results.
 
(Jacqueline Emigh/19931101/Reader contact: IBM's Multimedia
Publishing Studio, tel 800-898-VTGA; Terry Jenkins, Multimedia
Publishing Studio, tel 404-988-9957)
 

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