Voice Casts: In Verbis Virtus

By Craig Pearson on September 19th, 2013 at 9:00 am.

What's the 'heel' command?
I am Glaswegian, so I’ve been born with -10 on my Voice Recognition stat. It’s an affliction that has led to humiliation on the phone to banks, at Kinect parties (in my defense, I was told it was going to be an orgy), and in front of Siri and her smug chums. Despite this torment, I downloaded the In Verbis Virtus demo and prepared for the worst. It’s fantasy puzzle game where the majority of the commands are uttered instead of clicked. I was surprised as anyone when I said “Let There Be Light” and a glow lit up the surrounding area.

I played for a few minutes, and each time it asked me to speak the spell it really worked. The only time it flubbed it was because I’m so befuddled by cold medicine that I kept mixing up my mouse buttons. That’s actually more impressive: a cold removes two more points from my stats. At first I though it was a fluke, but the first two spells cast light: one in a diffuse ball, the other in a beam. Both require you to say “Light” as part of the spell, and both times the word comes at the end of the casting. It never once mixed the two up.

Where it goes from here depends on the puzzle design, which is already polished, and in making it more than just a replacement for button-pressing. I’ve not seen much that couldn’t be achieved with the keyboard and mouse, but developers Indomitus Games are promising that they’ll build the game around vocals. Download the demo here.

It already scored big on Greenlight, and there’s a crowd-funding effort going on, though I think the cost to download the game is a tad high.

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26 Comments »

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  1. finalfanatik says:

    This seems pretty cool. I like the idea of voice commands going beyond “Xbox One, do a thing because I’m too lazy to pick up the TV remote.”

    When it works, voice controls can offer another layer of immersion for players. For all its other mishaps, Tom Clancy’s EndWar was good for making you feel like a more realistic commander for your troops via its voice menu. When it worked….which it usually (sometimes) did…

    It’s when it doesn’t work, that’s when it fails hard…

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      Gap Gen says:

      I think my main resistance to voice commands is just that I don’t want to sound like I’m talking to my computer, even if there’s no-one else in the room. I’m fine telling real people to murder things over VOIP, strangely.

      • Logeres says:

        I had the same problem while playing EndWar. Somewhat worryingly, that seems to have disappeared, since I didn’t have a problem with this demo. Don’t even want to imagine why I stopped having any problems talking to inanimate objects…

  2. Premium User Badge

    Gap Gen says:

    Romans sound way less tough when you pronounce latin as “In Werbis Wirtus”.

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      Dorga says:

      And why would you do that? :D

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        Gap Gen says:

        Welease Wodewick!

        But yes, there’s a debate as to how people pronounced the letter v, and in what contexts people did it (especially since the Latin people spoke in the street was different from the Latin Virgil wrote in). I’ve known people use both pronunciations.

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          Dorga says:

          Yeah, the only thing close to Latin that has survived until recent times it’s church latin which is over simplified, so we can’t be too sure about original pronunciation, in Italy we just pronounce it like italian.

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            Gap Gen says:

            It does amuse me that in series about Rome in the English-speaking world, everyone just speaks with a BBC accent. I guess if you don’t know better you might as well just go with whatever.

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            Dorga says:

            Only “Rome” is worth watching, and in italian, because it sounds ten times better hehe

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            Gap Gen says:

            Oh man I never thought to watch it dubbed. Similarly, turns out there is a version of Les Miserable dubbed into French, but they didn’t translate the songs (I suppose no-one was brave enough to try to make the dubbed version fit the music as well).

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            Dorga says:

            Dunno, I usually watch everything in english if that’s the original language because it’s always waay better, but not Rome, the pronunciation was too unimmersive, especially with names :)

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            Gap Gen says:

            Watching Kick Ass 2 was fun in French: “Je suis le Motherfucker”, etc.

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        tigerfort says:

        Depends on when and where you went to school. (Or Vhen and Vhere, come to zat.)

  3. Pich says:

    Finally! an Italian game that doesn’t suck.

  4. Renato Costa says:

    ” at Kinect parties (in my defense, I was told it was going to be an orgy) ”
    Aand I just laughed tea through my nostrils

    Also, seems like an interesting game, will download the beta to check it out.

  5. The Random One says:

    After so many comments on how Craig and Cara are from Glasgow and therefore incomprehensible, I fully expected them to sound like “ayeyl teyl ye bout me fayvoryte gaymes” or something, and was surprised to discover by listening to the Rezzed podcast that they just sound like regular, English-speaking human beings. But I was even more surprised to listen to John Walker’s voice, because I found it almost identical to Jim Sterling’s. I now believe that at some point John reached enlightenment and then spat an egg containing his dark side, from which Jim hatched.

  6. SuicideKing says:

    Um, when i start a new game, it just keeps spinning on spot.

    • hotmaildidntwork says:

      You don’t happen to have a joystick with a throttle? I run into issues like that with mine sometimes.

      For a while I just assumed that the character creation in FF-XIV was supposed to be doing that.

      • SuicideKing says:

        Yeah i do…I had a 360 controller and a joystick connected, disconnected both and it was fine.

        Thought it was a dead zone issue at first, (Extreme 3D Pros tend to have that with the twist handle) moved the stick about and there was movement in game, so i unplugged it (and the controller just in case).

        Never suspected the throttle…because it was set to zero. Though some games invert the throttle axis, didn’t think of that.

        Thanks, though! :)

    • SuicideKing says:

      “Edit” appears broken, so i’ll reply to myself:

      Now that i’m not spinning, this game is magical. I’m enchanted.

  7. DigitalParadox says:

    I recall the PS2 game Lifeline tried the entirely voice-command thing a while back. It was fairly novel, but got frustrating when the game wouldn’t recognize what you were saying.

    • LuminosXI says:

      Makes me think of the original socom on ps2, speaking each command was trivial at best but could lead to some hilarious rambo moments when the squad decided to do whatever the fuck it thought you were saying

  8. Chillz says:

    That was a very, VERY impressive trailer if you ask me, the music was absolutely wonderful as well.

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      LTK says:

      The first minute made absolutely zero sense, but the rest looked really really good.

  9. sicilianomatt says:

    just before I saw the ba­nk dra­ft 4 $6732, I have faith …that…my friends brother woz like realy bringing home money part-time from their computer.. there aunt has been doing this 4 only about fourteen months and at present took care of the debts on their place and bourt a great new audi. additional resources star58.com

  10. Draegast says:

    I played through the demo and I must say this game is astonishingly beautiful. The voice recognition was pretty good with a Canadian accent. You can watch my spotlight @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0phfkvfMus4&feature=share&list=UUf2ocK7dG_WFUgtDtrKR4rw