Cyberdreams's catalog of luminaries and (un-)published games
Cyberdreams's catalog of luminaries and (un-)published games

Jeff Blyth

For Noir: A Shadowy Thriller (1996), Cyberdreams collaborated with Jeff Blyth, a director, writer and producer of various films and documentaries. His last credit before Noir was From Time to Time (1992), an 18 minutes film that was shown as part of a Disney theme park attraction, starring Jeremy Irons as H.G. Wells, Michel Piccoli as Jules Verne, and Robbin Williams as "The Timekeeper."

According to Blyth, he brought his unconventional game project to David Mullich, who recognized the immediate potential and who would become the major force in steering it through development and release. Noir was indeed an unconventional game, as it was inspired by the Film Noir and completely done in black and white. But as a highly stylized, B & W photo realistic game it fitted of course perfectly in Cyberdreams's design philosophy.

Scenes from Noir

According to Cyberdreams's announcement of the game at their website, Noir lures would-be private investigators into smoke-filled rooms, darkened alleyways, secluded mansions, and the shadowy urban underbelly of Hollywood's classic 1940s detective genre. As a lone P.I., you must sort through intricate layers of clues and deception to find the truth behind the murder of a colleague. Femme fatales, fedora-wearing henchmen, corrupt city officials and callous cops all inhabit the dark underworld of 1940 Los Angeles. You'll need your own gut instincts and street smarts, leaping headlong into the mire of six sinister cases, ranging from wartime espionage in Chinatown to the seductive excesses of Hollywood.

Front cover Noir

Your investigation will take you through 18 classic locations, such as the Bradbury Building and Griffith Park Observatory. The plot of intrigue unfolds with the aid of more than 1600 photographs, 75 cinematic sequences and a musical score that recreates the black and white film experience.

The game was developed by Three Space Imagery (Tsi). The package design, of course in B&W, was a simply top-flip box. A nice fold-out folder included the 2 CD-ROMS and manual. A playable and non-playable demo was released, but the game got no strategy guide or hint book.

At the end of 1996, Cyberdreams announced three new games: Blue Heat, Ares Rising, and Wes Craven's Principles of Fear. On its website pages were added with information on the games and some illustrations. Cyberdreams wouldn't publish or market Blue Heat and Ares Rising, but the games would survive. Wes Craven's Principles of Fear was never published.

Illustrations former Cyberdreams's website

In a preview of Blue Heat by Al Giovetti (The Computer Show), dated February 16, 1997, Cyberdreams was still mentioned, as "co-producer" with Orion Interactive. According to David Mullich, Cyberdreams wasn't much involved, as the game was produced by MPCA Interactive, and Cyberdreams closed before the game was completed.

The relation between the developers / publishers is a bit complicated. MPCA Interactive operated as part of Orion Interactive, which was part of Orion Pictures. Orion Pictures and its gaming division was bought by MGM in the period Cyberdreams closed its doors (merger completed in July 1997). Moreover, though MPCA Interactive provided the content, Quarium took care of the technical part (with its 360 VR technology and programming).

On September 12, 1997 Quarium and Orion Pictures announced the availability of Blue Heat.

On November 4, 1996, Cyberdreams also announced Ares Rising, a new space combat simulation to be created by IDM Productions, a talented development team that boasted the lead designer, lead programmer and writer from the award-winning Privateer team.

The game was scheduled to ship on the Windows '95 PC CD-ROM platform during the fourth quarter of 1997.

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