Note: On November 2, I will be participating in the 2013 Extra Life gaming marathon, in support of the Children’s Hospital & Research Center Oakland. I will be marathon 25 straight hours of video games and stream as much of it as possible for the whole world to see. I’d certainly appreciate your support, whether via making a donation or simply your support and encouragement. I believe this is a worthy cause, and you can see my longer post about it here. Thanks!
As people may or may not know, I am torn on Kickstarter as a medium for getting games made. I really enjoy indie games, and I think it’s great when small studios/teams can get some funding to make their projects happen. I dislike it when it seems like it is used to just cash in on nostalgia, and I especially dislike it when large entities use it as an excuse to get their hands on money well before they otherwise would in some sort of ultra-extended pre-order situation. And I’m not sure how I feel about this brave new world of constantly playing pre-alpha, alpha, pre-beta, beta, and pre-release titles. It’s… weird, and for a lot of styles of games, I’d rather just wait to see the finished product.
Still, that hasn’t stopped me from backing a few projects, and it has been interesting to watch the updates from them roll in every now and then. Not too long ago, I got an email from one project, in particular, that I thought was very interesting. The game is There Came an Echo, by Iridium Studios.
The unique hook, here, is that there are no standard controls. You control the entire game via voice commands, giving your squad commands – telling them to go to waypoints, what enemies to target, when to launch coordinated attacks, etc. I love innovative control schemes, and once I saw the concept video, I was pretty well hooked. They’ve got Wil Wheaton to sign on to do some voice acting, which doesn’t hurt, either.
Most of the updates have been fairly mundane – “we’ve hired person X to do art!”, “Person Y will be doing the music, and here a small sample!”, etc. But this last one contained what is referred to as a vertical slice – a complete working section of the game that they would typically use to shop around to investors, etc. It is generally similar to a tech demo, in that most of the actual assets could get replaced, but gives a feel for the way the interaction works. And I have to say, it looks very true to form! It’s clearly still in an early state, but conceptually, I am still excited to play it!
Have a look, and let me know what you think: