CANNES, FRANCE -- FEBRUARY 8, 1998 -- Simon & Schuster Interactive and The Digital Village announced today that April 2, 1998 will be the official release date for Douglas Adams Starship Titanic. Demonstrations of the much-anticipated graphic adventure CD-ROM game will take place at Milia 98 at the R&P Electronic Media stand #17.12.
"It is with great excitement that we approach the official launch date for Starship Titanic. There has never been a game like Starship Titanic. Douglas Adams fans and computer game players everywhere -- and many who would not normally be interested in computer entertainment software -- are in for an amazing adventure," says Robbie Stamp, Chief Executive of The Digital Village.
Previews of Starship Titanic have been among the most positive written for any computer game. PC Gamer magazine writes, "Forget Riven -- this may be the game that re-ignites the adventure genre." Computer Game World stated that "with beautiful graphics, Starship Titanic transports Adams squarely into the 90s -- a perfect showcase for Adams' gargantuan wit."
Breaking new ground, Starship Titanic introduces one of the most dynamic language processors ever, capable of facilitating complex and entertaining conversations between the player and the game's central characters. More than 16 hours of recorded dialogue was required. The game sets a new standard in two-way computer communication using The Digital Village's SpookiTalk, a language engine incorporating VelociText, the parser tool developed by Virtus Corporation of North Carolina.
Breathtaking photo-realistic graphics were executed under the direction of the Oscar Award-winning design team of Oscar Chichoni and Isabel Molina. The Starship's opulent interiors were inspired by the Ritz, the Chrysler Building, Tutankhamen's tomb and Venice.
"I really wanted to originate an adventure game for CD-ROM," commented Douglas Adams. "Most works adapted from books or television are extremely linear. With Starship Titanic, I am very conscious of recalling into this medium some of the complex interaction between author and user that was characteristic of the early adventure games, but which got lost when the medium progressed technologically and more attention focused on the graphics. Our graphics are fabulous, but our character interactions are fabulous as well."
Starship Titanic is a joint venture between Simon & Schuster Interactive and The Digital Village. Distribution and publishing rights for the product have now been secured by six international partners. ZABLAC, the entertainment division of ABLAC Learning Works will publish Starship Titanic in the United Kingdom. In Germany NBG EDV Handels & Verlags AG has acquired the title for both English and German editions. R&P Electronic Media will publish the title in the Netherlands and Benelux territories. BONNIER MULTIMEDIA holds rights in Scandinavia, HED ARZI in Israel, KIG Ltd. in Japan and HILAD Corporation in Australia.
ABOUT THE GAME
Alas, on its maiden voyage the Starship Titanic crashes into the player's home. Once aboard, the player's intergalactic adventure takes off. The ship is inhabited by a crew of malfunctioning robots and a semi-deranged parrot, played by Terry Jones of Monty Python fame. In order to progress, the player must learn to communicate with the ship's cast of idiosyncratic "bots" including Fentible, the distinguished Doorbot; Nobby, the hypochondriac Liftbot; Marsinta, the irascible Deskbot; and Fortillian Bantoburn O'Perfluous, the Celtic Barbot.
The player begins as a third class passenger, but quickly becomes subject to one of the most powerful forces known to man -- the desire for a free upgrade. As the player moves up to second and ultimately to first class, more of the ship becomes accessible and more of its mysteries are revealed. The player's challenge is to solve a series of bizarre and surreal puzzles, correct the ship's central navigation system and return to Earth before the outlandish behavior of the parrot drives him irrevocably mad!
THE WEB SITE
The Starship Titanic Web site is already on-line at http://www.starshiptitanic.com
"Designed as the home of Starlight Travel, the ingratiating exclusive booking agents for the Starship's maiden voyage, the site is a work of science fiction comedy in itself," says web producer Alison Humphrey. Tens of thousands of prospective "passengers" have already enjoyed its preview tour, surveying the vast expanse of the Starship Titanic and sampling the unique hospitality of its crew.
With the launch of the game, additional information about the Starship Titanic's engineering and operation will be leaked from within the Starlight Travel pages. Souvenirs from the ship will also be made available at this location, and links will be provided to the web pages for all international publishers where users can order the game.
ABOUT THE JOINT VENTURE
The joint venture between Simon & Schuster Interactive and The Digital Village involves both companies in all aspects of the development, international marketing and sales of Starship Titanic and all of its derivative products.
"Our joint venture is a multiple media endeavor, in which both partners share in the development of all ancillary products derived from the game, including books, film and television projects. Douglas Adams is the name both behind and on the Starship Titanic products. We are excited for the future of this ever-evolving franchise," said Gilles Dana, Senior VP, Publisher, Simon & Schuster New Media.
The Digital Village is a London-based content company focused on the creation of a global publishing and distribution business, selling interactive entertainment and information experiences to a world wide audience. TDV is currently developing its first Internet-based project -- h2g2.com, a next-generation internet guide and retail site.
Simon & Schuster Interactive, based in New York, is the consumer software publishing unit of Simon & Schuster Consumer Group. The three-year old division currently has 40 CD-ROM titles on the market, and will have released 12 new products by the year-end.
Simon & Schuster Inc., the publishing operation of Viacom Inc., is the world's largest educational, computer book and English language book publisher. With operations in 43 countries and book multimedia product distributed in 150 countries, its imprints include Simon & Schuster, Simon & Schuster Interactive, Simon & Schuster Audio, Pocket Books, Scribner, The Free Press, Prentice Hall, Silver Burdett Ginn, Allyn & Bacon, Computer Curriculum Corporation, Educational Management Group and Macmillan Publishing USA.
Viacom is one of the world's largest entertainment and publishing companies and a leading force in nearly every segment of the international media marketplace.
The operations of Viacom include Blockbuster Video and Music, MTV Networks, Paramount Parks, Paramount Pictures, Paramount Television, Simon & Schuster and movie screens in 11 countries. Viacom also has a majority interest in Spelling Entertainment Group. National Amusements, Inc., a closely held corporation which operates approximately 1,100 screens in the US, UK and South America, is the parent company of Viacom. More information about Viacom is available at the Company's web site, located at http://www.viacom.com.
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