Sound Test: There Came An Echo’s War Room

By Ben Barrett on July 14th, 2014 at 3:00 pm.

Craig ooohd and ahhd in the direction of There Came An Echo back in April, but I’ll take basically any excuse to mention it again. From Sequence devs Iridium Studios it’s a real-time tactical game with a cyberpunk aesthetic which pushes voice commands as the primary means of interaction. They went through Kickstarter originally, managing a cool $25k above their $90k target in March last year. It’s properly gorgeous and I’m very excited to get my hands and, uh, mouth on it once we get to the planned release later this year. The most recent trailer shows off the war room, a wave-defense style arena designed to allow experimentation with custom voice controls and tactics. Plan carefully how you proceed to it below.

I can imagine most of my custom commands will involve a lot of swearing. If possible, I will communicate only through them while organising frighteningly genius assaults and defenses, finally realising a dream since childhood. The exact intonation and sequencing of my fucks and shits will finally have the deep respect of an army of soldiers they deserve. If you don’t have such ambition though, the entire game will be playable with the more traditional mouse, keyboard and/or gamepad.

Iridium went into some of the details as to why they felt the need to add this mode in a Kickstarter update. Essentially, the narrative structure of the game wasn’t providing players with the opportunity to mess around with its systems to the degree they might like. Not only do missions vary from one-another such that developing expert control of one selection of units might not transfer to the next but there is “a fair bit of cutscene” that might get in the way of those after pure play. It was first developed for showing at public events, since a walk-up crowd wouldn’t have a lot of time for story, but is now being expanded for inclusion in the full game.

Another update┬áteases one of the ten missions that Iridium are developing, similar to a tower defense map, as well as a sneak peak at some of the music. The primary composer is Jimmy ‘BigGiantCircles‘ Hinson, whom anyone with taste will recognise from his brilliant work on the Final Fantasy VII OCRemix album, Voices of the Lifestream (and a couple of other, less important projects like Mass Effect 2). See, I can link to music at the end of articles too, Sunday Papers!

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4 Comments »

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  1. jasta85 says:

    backed this on kickstarter and am pretty happy with what I’ve seen. voice control is definitely the biggest selling point although I’m hoping they have a decent story/level design when it comes to this. I also know that there’s going to be some missions where I’m tripping over my own words trying to yell out commands as fast as I can and failing miserably.

  2. Lex says:

    Reminds me of Back2Back, a fun little flashgame at armor games. Just without voice commands and pretty.

  3. Volcanu says:

    An interesting concept I suppose.

    Personally I find the idea of talking to my computer pretty hideous – it’s one of the reasons why I found the XboxOne so unappealing. And I can imagine my gf having an absolute field day if she walked in on me ordering my squad about over a microphone.

    But that’s just me. I’ll be interested to see if they can get it to work properly at the very least. If it doesn’t work as intended 99.9% of the time I imagine it would get very frustrating.

  4. Robert Post's Child says:

    Cool idea, although I have awful memories of playing Endwar for 5 minutes then stopping out of embarrassment.

    One thing that might be interesting is if they have a sort of morale feature or something, kind of like XCOM’s panic. Especially considering the history of people having difficulty getting voice commands to work properly 100% of the time. You repeatedly yelling at your computer to get your unit to shoot some guy and the little dude just cowering in a corner sobbing, or something.