Mindscape

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Mindscape SA
Mindscape.png
Founded 1983
Headquarters Novato, California, USA
Website mindscape.nl
Other Names Mindscape, Inc.

Mindscape SA was an international software publisher with offices in Europe, Asia, Australia, South America, and originally from the USA. The company began in 1983 as a publisher of educational software, but quickly branched out into many different types of games. They were one of the earlier companies to branch out into the world market.

In 1990, they were purchased by The Software Toolworks, who kept the publisher as a subsidiary. In 1994, Mindscape purchased SSI, but was then sold to the educational publisher Pearson PLC. In 1988, Minscape was bought by The Learning Company, which itself was purchased by Mattel which in turn sold it to the Gore Technology Group. In March 2001, the Gore Technology Group sold Mindscape to Ubisoft changing the name to Mindscape SA. Ubisoft appears to have shut down the company in 2011, but Mindscape appears to be operating out of the Netherlands, although this is probably just a liquidation company.

Games

Music Development

NES

Since Mindscape had no in-house audio personnel, they outsourced music to local musicians.

Steven Samler and Elliott Delman collaborated together on Gray Matter's Dirty Harry, in which they wrote MIDI files in Performer for the Macintosh. The MIDI files were sent to Mindscape.

For Battleship, Mindscape reached out to their UK division for music, and had Mark Knight do the music. Mark wrote MIDI files in Cubase for the Atari ST, in which the MIDI files were sent to Mindscape.

Peter Stone would use Dr. T's KCS for the Atari ST. He would also write his music on the PC speaker to get an idea on how his music would sound on the NES.

Because Mindscape did not have their own sound driver, they contracted Nick Eastridge of Eastridge Technology to provide sound effects and sound programming. At first, Eastridge converted composers' songs by hand into 6502 assembly into his sound driver. However, for Paperboy 2, he either coded software to convert MIDI files to the NES, or wrote software to play a keyboard hooked up to the NES. This is supported by the off-timing of the notes, as well as the random velocities, and every time a new note plays, it switches to another Square channel.

SNES

As with their NES and Game Boy titles, Nick Eastrige was contracted to provide sound programming. Because of the way his driver processes audio data, SPC files are not dumpable, an instead must be ripped in the obscure SNSF format.

For Mario's Time Machine, Knight wrote his music in Cubase for the Atari ST, which was then converted to Sculptured Software's sound driver. According to Mark, similar to his NES music, the computer was connected to a silver box for audio playback, and said "Berlioz" or something similar on it.

Audio Personnel

In the early days, Mindscape rarely put credits in their games. According to a producer, this was due to Mindscape being owned by The Software Toolworks, which prohibited game credits.

Hardware

Mindscape distributed the Bank Street Music Writer Card sound card.

Logo History

Links