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Intel funnels cash into Iridium Studios' voice-controlled RTS

Intel funnels cash into Iridium Studios' voice-controlled RTS

February 5, 2014 | By Alex Wawro

Intel has invested an undisclosed sum in the development of Iridium Studios' There Came an Echo, which was successfully funded via Kickstarter last March.

The investment is part of Intel's RealSense initiative, a plan to partner with other companies to create hardware and software that makes it "simpler" and "more natural" for people to interact with technology.

Iridium Studios, who previously developed Sequence, styles There Came an Echo as a futuristic PC RTS that's been designed around a sophisticated vocal recognition system. The game will also feature the vocal stylings of actor Wil Wheaton.

It's Iridium Studios' voice recognition tech that seemingly attracted Intel to the deal, according to an update published on the There Came an Echo Kickstarter page by the studio.

"Our game, primarily utilizing voice commands, was a perfect fit for [Intel's RealSense] device, and they offered additional funding and assistance in exchange for supporting their upcoming platform," reads the update, which goes on to point out that the investment brings with it some new requirements for the final game but will not meaningfully alter the game's design.

"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," reads the update. "They will be providing assistance in many ways, but they will not in any way alter the original vision of There Came an Echo."

The studio goes on to highlight the positive benefits of Intel's investment -- the ability to hire additional staff, fund more translation and QA work, submit the game for an ESRB rating, and pay for broader marketing.

The only downside, according to the studio, is that due to the additional work involved with the deal the game will miss its original June 2014 release date. It is now expected to release in October of the same year.

Intel also expects that a line of devices with integrated RealSense 3D cameras will be available later this year from partners like Acer, Lenovo and HP. These RealSense 3D cameras, designed to understand voice commands via an integrated mic, capture images and video like a 2D camera and track objects in space like a 3D camera, will be the first practical example of hardware built as part of the company's RealSense initiative.

Gamasutra has reached out to representatives of Intel for comment on the deal, we'll keep you updated with any meaningful news.

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