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

Patrick Ketchum (r) in Gigers home in Zürich, Switzerland


The strategy guide was written by David Sears and published by Cyberdreams. (Sears had just ended his studies and worked at Compute!, where he wrote a review of the game.) The guide includes a scrapbook with photos of a visit of members of the crew to Giger's studio in Zürich. In the booklet two new games are announced, "Cyber Race," to be released in the Spring of 1993, and "No Mouth" for the fall of 1993. CyberRace would be published the next year, but it would take three years before No Mouth was published.

Cyberdreams's Dave Gerding (l) and John Krause (r) accepting the Spa 1993 Codie award for Dark Seed.

To promote the game, a public relations campaign had been set up by Cyberdreams's marketing manager Dave Gerding. Dark Seed won the Spa 1993 Codie Award for Best Fantasy Role Playing/Adventure Program in the midst of heavy competition (other nominees were Amazon: Guardians of Eden, Star Trek: 25th Anniversary, Indiana Jones: Fate of Atlantis, Rex Nebular and the Cosmic Gender Bender, Ultima VII: The Black Gate, and King's Quest VI: Heir today, Gone Tomorrow). A non-playable demo with some stills from the Normal and Dark World was also released.

(l/r) Harald Seeley (Producer/Additional Designer), John Krause (Concept, CTO, Programming)
and Gary Vick (Programming)

At that time the company was still understaffed. Joby Otero recalls that even at the time the PC version of Dark Seed had been shipped, they actually answered customer support calls while making the Amiga port and working on the next game CyberRace. By then the company seemed to have moved, as an office address was printed on the Dark Seed game box: "23586 Calabasas Road, suite 102, Calabasas, California."

At first sight, there's something strange with the company's addresses. In the hint book (1992) and on the CyberRace game box (1993) a different address was printed: "21243 Ventura Boulevard, Suite 230, Woodland Hills." That address came pretty close to the non-existing address of the Victorian House in Dark Seed ("Venture Drive, Woodland Hills"). But on the box of the sequel of Dark Seed (1995), the address was changed back into the one at Calabasas Road. David Mullich, who joined the company in the summer of 1993, solved the riddle. At that time the company was indeed located at Ventura Boulevard, and later on it was relocated to the office at Calabasas Road. After the relocation, the new address was printed on the Dark Seed boxes, which were still being published.

Syd Mead

Only a year after Dark Seed another sci-fi game was published, but of a completely different nature: CyberRace, a futuristic 3D racing and combat game. This time the famous collaborator was Syd Mead, the industrial designer best-known for his vehicle designs in science-fiction films, such as 2010, Aliens, Blade Runner, and Tron. Mead designed the sleds that the player controls in the game. According to Mead, the idea for CyberRace was started by Patrick Ketchum's fascination with a certain illustration that Mead had done several years ago. It was a scene of an enormous ball in space, inside of which was an elaborate network of expressways. The illustration became the pictorial and story basis for the start up of the CyberRace producton schedule.

CyberRace: mission briefing
CyberRace, inside the sled

CyberRace is set in the future when, after the galaxy was almost destroyed, all disputes are settled in the so-called CyberRace. The main rivaling empires are Terra and Kaladasia, and the player in the role of Clay Shaw is forced to become a sled plot for the Terran team, as his girlfriend Alyssia is held captive. His father John was a CyberRace champion who was killed in a suspicious accident, and Clay enters the competition to revenge his father, but a conflict of interests surfaces around a mysterious wormhole.

Before the race the player can select strategy options and equipment for the sled. The player must fly the sled along the circuit for several rounds, and the number of rounds increases when the game progresses. The player and the competitors can use weapons and shields. Credits can be earned in each race to upgrade the player's vehicle or to buy black market services, and bonus credits can be earned for instance by eliminating specified drivers during the race. The branching story line changes according to how well the player does. The game utilized Voxel technology, which allowed for very realistic landscapes.

CyberRace frontcover

The package was also designed by Syd Mead, in collaboration with Michael Barton. Its design was again unusual: the right side of the package - about 1/4 - flattens, bows to the rear so to speak, and at the top left it has a cut-out that holds a goodie, a plastic model of a sled. The floppy version includes a small cardboard box with the same artwork as the game box, which contains the floppies.

Mead's plastic model of a shed