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There Came an Echo is a voice-controlled real-time strategy game, starring Wil Wheaton! Read more

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This project was successfully funded on March 21, 2013.

There Came an Echo is a voice-controlled real-time strategy game, starring Wil Wheaton!

The Good News Cometh

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Okay, this is an extremely significant update. All backers are encouraged to read the post very carefully and then shout hilarious things at random in the comments.

We're proud to announce that we've teamed up with microprocessor hypergiant Intel (yes, *that* Intel) in order to make There Came an Echo better. That's a vague phrase meaning "they're funding us", and before you shout those hilarious things in the comments, let me explain.

We were unbelievably thrilled to exceed a hundred thousand dollars via Kickstarter, *and we have been on track to complete the game with the funding you've given us*. We got an office space with the Kickstarter funding, we built our work machines, bought licenses of Unity Pro, hired three employees, and things were going swimmingly. Full stop.

Still, there were things we weren't going to be able to do. We weren't going to be able to translate the game into other languages. Our QA process would have been...well, abbreviated, to say the least. We would not have been ESRB rated, we would have had a very effectively low marketing and advertising budget, and most of all, the programming burden being entirely on me (oh, this is Jason Wishnov speaking at the moment, hi) meant that all of my personal coding weaknesses would have been on display and evident in the game. Which obviously don't exist, but you know, *hypothetically*.

Intel approached us some months ago, expressing interest in the title for their upcoming Intel® RealSense™ Technology platform (you can read some early CES impressions here) (also they told us to use all those wacky legal marks). Our game, primarily utilizing voice commands, was a perfect fit for their device, and they offered additional funding and assistance in exchange for supporting their upcoming platform. They were extremely excited about the game, but more than that, they were committed to our artistic vision of the game, with no compromise. Let me make that point even more clear: Intel is absolutely not acting as publisher. They have no direct say in the creative process, beyond mandating that the experience be bug-free and support their platform. They will be providing assistance in many ways, but they will not in any way alter the original vision of There Came an Echo. Period.

So, what does this mean? Here's a little bullet point list:

Good Things

- We're able to hire an additional programmer, and heck, we already have. Everyone say hello to the newest member of our team, Archie Prakash! He has over nine years of experience in the videogame industry, and he is rad. His skills in artificial intelligence and shader design are going to be of vast assistance in the coming months.

- Our game will at the very least be translated to English, French, German, Italian, and Spanish with subtitles, and possibly full voiceover (the amount of voiceover in TCAE is fairly immense, so we'll need to get some quotes). Other possible languages include Japanese, Portuguese, Chinese, and Korean.

- We're able to devote a significant amount of funding to dedicated UI design and sound design. We were pretty much flying by night in these areas prior.

- With a marketing budget, you can expect to see us at some trade shows in the near future. Which ones? We'll let you know. ;)

- The game will be ESRB rated and have significant user testing and QA.

- Support, of course, for Intel's RealSense™ technology. We're going to add some gesture support as well, but don't freak out gestures are totally optional and are not in any way required. And, of course, keyboard and mouse controls will still be included.

Bad Things


- There really aren't many of these, but here's the big one: you can probably expect There Came an Echo to release in October 2014, as opposed to the aforementioned June. I know, another delayed Kickstarter, right? The good news, however, is that this is now an extremely likely timeframe for TCAE to release, because we really want to support RealSense™ at launch. We're not expanding the scope of the game significantly; we simply need the extra time to support their device, do more QA, and translate.

- We had to write all these words but it's cool.

We understand you might have some concerns, questions, and comments, and we absolutely encourage you to sound out and let us know. We wouldn't be here if it weren't for all of your support (the Intel contact specifically reached out to us because he saw the Kickstarter campaign's success). We'll address every question you have personally. This really is an excellent thing, and we're thrilled to have the additional support to make There Came an Echo even better.

Oh, also, here's a cool GIF! (Corrin's aiming and firing animations are currently undergoing a bit of a rework.) Mission 2 is nearly fully built, and we're moving on to Mission 3.

Pew pew pew!
Pew pew pew!
Trevor Downs, archieoi, and 41 more people like this update.

Comments

    1. Creator Shannon McMaster on February 15, 2014

      Cool news, congrats!

    2. Creator Forrest Z. Shooster on February 9, 2014

      Non-thespian is still game then I assume? Awesome. Consider yourself another $70 richer. I'ma up my back to $100. Expect an email in the next few minutes.

    3. Creator Steve van Weelij on February 6, 2014

      Please support Japanese!! I will use one word only..

      ..

      UTTEEEEEE!!!!

    4. Creator Iridium Studios on February 5, 2014

      You can still up your donations at www.playiridium.com/paypal, and follow the instructions up top for pledge increases. Rewards no longer available include the audition chance and the trip to Disney (both have already occurred), but everything else should be game.

    5. Creator Forrest Z. Shooster on February 5, 2014

      Awesome. I'd be super excited if I hear you guys decide to drop in.

      Also, while I'm sure Iridium would have no objection to additional donations, would it still be possible to donate a bit more if we wanted to get a t shirt or art book? If it is I'd like to add some more to my current contribution. If not, I'd still like to add to my contribution at least a bit.

    6. Creator FixYourLevels on February 4, 2014

      YES! I'm really looking forward to this! Thanks for keeping us updated with all these really informative *pew pew pew* updates!

    7. Creator Iridium Studios on February 3, 2014

      Céline: Of course you won't.

    8. Creator Céline .S. Sauvé on February 2, 2014

      So long as we don't suddenly have to purchase this "platform" in order to get what we paid for, then I have no strong feelings either way on this update.

    9. Creator Godewijn on February 2, 2014

      Then the hammoch turned over and the hamster fell out.
      ... random enough? :p
      Really happy for you guys this sounds like an awesome cooperation :)

    10. Creator Michael Ha on January 31, 2014

      Awesome news! Thanks for all the updates and sneak peeks.

    11. Creator Ben Drechsel on January 30, 2014

      Great news! Getting more QA treatment and marketing is awesome

    12. Creator Iridium Studios on January 30, 2014

      @Bill: There is some limit to the specialization we can do, as Unity's lower-level functions and operations are hidden from us developers, but we agree, making sure the game runs well on the most popular graphics chipsets on our primary platform of sale is most certainly a good idea. And, of course, we'd imagine everyone involved wants that very same thing. ; )

    13. Creator Bill Schneider on January 30, 2014

      Will there be improved support for other intel sets, especially the Intel HD Graphics integrated graphics chipsets? With intel HD 3000 and 4000 being the two most widespread graphics units (according to steam hardware survey), improved support for these would be awesome! Maybe working with people from intel that know more about how to get things to run better on these?

    14. Creator Akryum on January 30, 2014

      Meowesome! ^_^
      This sounds so meow! I can't wait to meow this game! I wish you guys good meow.

    15. Creator Mark White on January 30, 2014

      Prakash Wil Wishnov!

    16. Creator Iridium Studios on January 29, 2014

      @Forrest: Honestly, no idea yet. We'll absolutely keep everyone updated on that front, though.

    17. Creator Forrest Z. Shooster on January 29, 2014

      I mean I wouldn't be surprised if you weren't at PAX East since it's so far away, but I thought I'd oughta at least ask.

    18. Creator Forrest Z. Shooster on January 29, 2014

      Hey, will you guys be dropping by PAX East or GDC?

    19. Creator Hmm-Hmm. on January 29, 2014

      That sounds like excellent news. Not least so you can cover up your non-existing programming flaws. *cough* No, seriously, that's awesome. The only downside could come if Intel's tech is awful or is difficult to make work with TCAE.. but I assume you have Intel support to prevent that from happening (should you need to).
      .

    20. Creator Iridium Studios on January 29, 2014

      The Kinect is actually moderately likely, just because we have some significant experience with it already. Hydra, LeapMotion, and STEM are all on the "hey let's play around with this and see how accurate it is!" list. = D

    21. Creator Panagiotis Papadopoulos on January 29, 2014

      Any chance you'll be able to support other Motion Capturing controllers like Sixense STEM, Razer Hydra or Microsoft Kinnect ?

    22. Creator Garrett Fitzgerald on January 29, 2014

      Awesome news, congratulations on the Intel deal I'll be looking forward to Oct.

    23. Creator Eric J Frahm Jr. on January 29, 2014

      I like turtles !!!

    24. Creator Yaron Davidson on January 29, 2014

      Oh, and on a slightly more serious note, sorry for misspelling your name.

    25. Creator Yaron Davidson on January 29, 2014

      @Frank - You know, you can always fake keyboard/mouse support for a voice controlled game. Just pre-record all relevant commands, and have a general automation program set to play them according to key pressed or mouse action. You can have a lot more key+mouse combinations than there are commands in the game.
      You don't even need for gameplay to be noisy, just set these commands to output on a secondary sound card connected directly to the audio-in on your main one. Quality doesn't matter too much here, so if you only have one sound source you can buy one of those ultra cheap USB ones, that and a short cable can cost less than 5$. Heck, you can even combine this with actual audio commands by connecting this audio-in through a splitter with a real mike, raise the cost to 10$ maybe. A bit more if you want to hear those commands on your headphones, that's another cheap audio splitter.

      Win! Ahem.

    26. Creator Siresly on January 29, 2014

      KNOCK KNOCK!
      WHO'S THERE!?
      HI!
      HI?!
      LARIOUS!

    27. Creator Shilag on January 29, 2014

      Don't see why this would be a bad thing. Like you say, they're investing, they're not publishing. As long as the game is what you want it to be I trust you. You made me love a game in a genre I really shouldn't have loved, don't see why you couldn't do that again. As far as the delay goes, take all the time you need. Personally I never really minded delays, because it means the product isn't rushed and the developer isn't pressured into cutting corners. I want absolutely no corner cutting for this thing, you hear?
      You getting some publicity is really nice too, Iridium Studios needs to get their name out there!
      Go Iridium!

    28. Creator gotomah on January 29, 2014

      I don't remember very well now but, are you making it moddable? like Shadowrun returns?

    29. Creator gotomah on January 29, 2014

      So, is it gonna be in Catalan too? And will it come with a bucket of white paint to leave your room like if you were in Minority Report??

    30. Creator gandalf.nho on January 29, 2014

      Great news!

    31. Creator Franck Mahon on January 29, 2014

      Thanks Jason for the reply... sorry I missed the keyboard and mouse section in the update. I was so focused on the bold sentence before :D

    32. Creator Erik Andersson on January 29, 2014

      Thanks for the update, and good luck guys :)

    33. Creator Iridium Studios on January 29, 2014

      @Franck: We were focused on making the best possible game for our backers. This meant using all available funds toward development of the title, which unfortunately didn't leave much room for localization or marketing. These facets help to expand an audience, but not deliver a better product for those already in said audience (i.e. you guys).

      Of course QA is a part of any game development cycle, but we didn't have enough for a dedicated group of people to come in and test the title...very few indies do, in fact. We firmly disagree that the game would have been in a "beta" status, but the reach would have been far lesser, and more likely than not a few bugs would have escaped our notice, which would have certainly been patched out in a day or two's time.

      Voice commands are still optional, as always. The update mentions keyboard and mouse controls specifically. ; )

    34. Creator Franck Mahon on January 29, 2014

      I'm really happy for you guys and seeing a key player so interested in the game makes me really confident for it's future. I had the opportunity to test an Oculus Rift (which was one of your strecth goals) and I'm convinced such devices can help to get more immersive games.

      Now, for the sake of complaining and posting hilarious things (hey, I'm french after all, who else could have done it ^_^), I'm a bit afraid about the explanation because you are talking about marketing, qa or localization which should have been part of the initial budget and makes me believe that without Intel the game would have been in a "beta" status.
      I would have been more confident if you had said "Intel is sponsoring us so we integrate their new technology but we'll have to delay by 4 months. Good news is we will have voice over translations now and not only text". Who wouldn't want to have moar money :)

      Anyway, as said, I'm happy for you guys and I hope the game will be even more awesome...

      Just a quick question since everyone is focused about Intel's RealSense™ technology. I understand it'll be optional but what about the voice commands, will they still be optional too?

    35. Creator Regen T. on January 29, 2014

      Oh - also saw you're considering translation. I might be able to help out there. German's my native language, however my english's fluent (used to work for Ubisoft Canada, did CS for EverQuest Europe in both german and english language as well as some translation work back then)... just lemme know - you have my e-mail address :P

    36. Creator Iridium Studios on January 29, 2014

      @Devan: Oh, no! Certainly not required for the game. Just supported.

      @Thomas: It'll likely be more than a few hours...a full translation of thousands of lines. We would certainly pay whoever is involved. = D

      @Regen: CAKE

    37. Creator Regen T. on January 29, 2014

      Moar moneys = cake?!

      Seriously though - congratulations Iridium. More money without the "publisher" having an influence on the creative process is awesome :)

    38. Creator Zach Durtschi on January 29, 2014

      But also, I'm even more crazy excited about this whole deal. :D Awesome on every front.

    39. Creator Zach Durtschi on January 29, 2014

      HILARIOUS THINGS!

    40. Creator Paul R Ackermann on January 28, 2014

      never thought i would help fund a game on the crest of a new tech wave- well done guys!

    41. Creator Todd Zircher on January 28, 2014

      Congrats on landing a big fish! Sounds like it is full of win. :-)

    42. Creator Thomas d'Otreppe on January 28, 2014

      If you need help for the French subtitles or voiceover, let me know. That's my native language.

      If it's not too much work (a few hours), I'll do it for free.

    43. Creator Devan Detwiler on January 28, 2014

      I'm assuming the Intel hardware will have to be purchased separately, but will jt be required for the game? I'm hoping it won't be too expensive.

    44. Creator Sam Brown on January 28, 2014

      Rock on. You guys getting more budget from a sponsor to make the game even better is all win in my book.

    45. Creator Erwin van der Koogh on January 28, 2014

      Well done guys. Seems like a win/win all around.

    46. Creator Bart Gasiewski on January 28, 2014

      Wow, didn't expect to see this from my employer in a Kickstarter update!
      Yay us(Intel&Iridium&backers)! Yay RealSense™! Yay quality!

    47. Creator Eric Bryan on January 28, 2014

      You guys deserve all the good things coming to you. Congrats! Can't wait to play :)

    48. Creator Yaron Davidson on January 28, 2014

      Thanks for the response, and nice to know you already considered these.

    49. Creator Bryy Miller on January 28, 2014

      Fantastic news!