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Cello Fortress

Posted: Mon Sep 10, 2012 10:03 pm
by Oogst
New art style:
[youtube]FmggAO72V_k[/youtube]

Overview trailer:
[youtube]C-CljFEynm4[/youtube]

How The Cello Controls The Game:
[youtube]Zc2VapNISNk[/youtube]



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Original opening post:

I have just announced my new project using the Ogre engine: Cello Fortress! :D

Cello Fortress combines a live cello concert with a twin-stick-shooter, in which the cellist plays against the audience. It brings a quite unique experience in which I control the game by improvising on my cello, simultaneously fending off attacks and making music. The audience takes up controllers and tries to beat the fortress. The result is (hopefully) an exciting interplay between cellist, players and audience.

Image

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Up to four players use controllers to navigate their tank, using one stick to move and the other to shoot. They dodge bullets and attack the turrets. At the same time, the game analyses the notes played by the cellist, as picked up by a microphone. Aggressive notes activate the burst-cannons, dissonant chords turn on the flame-throwers, and an ominous melody charges a bombardment.

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Cello Fortress is only playable at live concerts given by... me! So I am not only the creator of the game, but also the cellist. The debut of Cello Fortress will be at the Indigo 2012 exhibition on 28 and 29 September in Utrecht, Netherlands. The version played at Indigo will be a fully playable, early prototype, to experiment with this weird concept.

Since the game is still in the early stages, the version playable at Indigo will probably not look very polished yet. However, I am already playing around with the visual style of the game, so here is a piece of concept art for it:

Image

So to play Cello Fortress, visit Indigo! I know, it is in the Netherlands, so few will actually be able to go there, but still, if you happen to live near Utrecht, come and check out Indigo! :)

For more info, check out this blogpost.

Re: Cello Fortress

Posted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 2:13 pm
by Oogst
I have added the actual description of the game and images and such!

(Sorry for initially posting this with only the logo: that was a little bit lame. I guess I was so excited I wanted to show something right away...)

Re: Cello Fortress

Posted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 2:38 pm
by Wolfmanfx
That "sounds" interesting :) a youtube video would be great

Re: Cello Fortress

Posted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 2:39 pm
by Kissy
Hello,

The logo is quite nice and reflect the fortress really nice :)
I don't get the idea of the game yet. Do you really have to own a cello to play the game ?

EDIT : the blog post better explain the game itself !

Re: Cello Fortress

Posted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 3:22 pm
by Oogst
Kissy wrote:...
I don't get the idea of the game yet. Do you really have to own a cello to play the game ?
...
The game can only be played at events/concerts. The idea is that I play the cello, and the audience plays against me. So the idea is not that the players play cello themselves, and you can't play at home.

Re: Cello Fortress

Posted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 3:29 pm
by farrer
I must say it's a fantastic idea for both gaming and music creation! (yes, creation: you should definitely record the melodies as they could be really intriguing with the game dynamics)... And It'll be great to see a video of the game/concert in action for those like me far away from Netherlands...

Re: Cello Fortress

Posted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 3:48 pm
by Klaim
That's an insane idea and I like it very much. Thumbs up! :D

Re: Cello Fortress

Posted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 5:01 am
by areay
Not trying to steal any thunder Oogst, but you've been featured in Gamasutra! http://gamasutra.com/view/news/177806/F ... rtress.php

Oh and a question, as you're just using a microphone could any stringed instrument be used or just a cello? Would it even need to be a stringed instrument? What about a clarinet or a DJ setup with scratching stuff etc?

Re: Cello Fortress

Posted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 1:53 pm
by Oogst
Cool! I hadn't seen the actual article yet, nice that they feature my game! :)

Re: Cello Fortress

Posted: Wed Sep 19, 2012 9:15 am
by Oogst
areay wrote:Oh and a question, as you're just using a microphone could any stringed instrument be used or just a cello? Would it even need to be a stringed instrument? What about a clarinet or a DJ setup with scratching stuff etc?
Other string instruments could definitely be used, but to improve the quality of my note-detection-code and reduce errors, I currently ignore any notes outside the range of my cello. If I change that range, another string instrument could also play. Even a guitar, although I don't know how good my algorithm is for non-bowed instruments.

As for really other instruments: I don't know how the sound-spectrum of, say, a clarinet looks. My current algorithm uses certain properties of the spectrum of a cello and won't work if the spectrum is fundamentally different. For example, I know that the spectrum of an organ is quite different and would probably not work well with my code. I have no idea how this is for other non-string-instruments.

Also, my controls are very much based on cello and on the things I do when improvising, and those things are not even possible on some instruments. For example, the flamethrower attack requires playing chords, which is not possible on a clarinet, let alone on a scratching DJ setup.

Re: Cello Fortress

Posted: Wed Sep 19, 2012 10:11 am
by Slappy
This is a really interesting concept!

But what in case I do not play the cello? The game is unplayable without being musician or there is some playability???

Re: Cello Fortress

Posted: Wed Sep 19, 2012 11:04 am
by Oogst
Slappy wrote:But what in case I do not play the cello? The game is unplayable without being musician or there is some playability???
The audience/visitors don't play the cello, they play using Xbox controllers against the cellist. I am the cellist myself, and I am like a performer here, so the cellist is not from the audience. That is why Cello Fortress will only be playable at events.

Re: Cello Fortress

Posted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 1:37 am
by areay
Maybe in the game you could allow mods to so people can create their own settings for the type of musical input. They could adjust things like frequency range and all sorts of other musical properties that I have no idea about. Then people could have fun creating, and sharing, these configs and you'd get that whole community thing going on. Hell, you could even allow the musical input to be a sound file from the user's collection so if they didn't have a musical instrument they could play against a song! "Me and my mates clocked Cello Fortress against Metallica 'One' " lol

Can't wait to see a vid of this.

Re: Cello Fortress

Posted: Mon Jan 14, 2013 11:37 pm
by Oogst
I have finally made a proper trailer of Cello Fortress! It is a really weird concept, so I hope this gives some idea of what it is all about! :)

[youtube]C-CljFEynm4[/youtube]

Cello Fortress is, of course, being made in Ogre. :) It currently only has early prototype graphics, but with better models, depth of field blur and proper lighting, I imagine it is going to look quite nice. :)

Because the music is so central to the game, I wanted to make sure that the trailer would sound like an actual match of Cello Fortress. In real matches, the music is completely improvised (nothing is composed beforehand), so I decided to also improvise the music for this trailer. I ended up recording over twenty improvisations, and I used the one that I liked most. (The timpani were added digitally afterwards to add a little bit of flavour for the trailer.)

I hope that this trailer will not just get attention in the world of games, but also in the world of music. Cello Fortress could be a revolution in music acts! This makes me quite nervous, though: musicians are bound to hear any mistakes in my playing. Cello is an incredibly difficult instrument to play well. Although it has been a hobby of mine for over twenty years, I can still only hope my playing sounds acceptable to trained ears...

I also wrote a blogpost with some more info here: Cello Fortress trailer revealed!

Re: Cello Fortress

Posted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 1:05 am
by Klaim
We need more of this.

Re: Cello Fortress

Posted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 9:18 am
by TheSHEEEP
This is awesome :D

But while you're at it, why not implement guitars and other instruments as well? I could see this working for any instrument that can output a larger variety of speed and notes.
Increase the number of potential performers. :)

Re: Cello Fortress

Posted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 2:34 pm
by Kissy
Really impressive. I like how you manage to take gaming to a different point of view.

TheSHEEEP is right, it could be really fun with more instruments.

Geep up your good work !

Re: Cello Fortress

Posted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 5:14 pm
by tod
areay wrote: Hell, you could even allow the musical input to be a sound file from the user's collection so if they didn't have a musical instrument they could play against a song! "Me and my mates clocked Cello Fortress against Metallica 'One' " lol
I second this! I hate Metallica!!! :lol:
Great concept!

Re: Cello Fortress

Posted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 5:17 pm
by drwbns
I like this because it could really be a hit or miss. Seems like people would either love it or hate it. I like it so far :) Could be the next DDR :P

Re: Cello Fortress

Posted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 5:19 pm
by tod
And in other news... YOU'RE ON ROCK PAPER SHOTGUN!

Re: Cello Fortress

Posted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 8:23 pm
by Oogst
Wow, I hadn't seen that one yet! Always a delight to read Rock Paper Shotgun: the commenters produce even better puns than the writers themselves! :)

Really awesome that they picked up on it! :D

Re: Cello Fortress

Posted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 9:28 pm
by Oogst
New blogpost about Cello Fortress! About the game design choices and process behind designing Cello Fortress. With a great quote on innovation near the end that still has a big influence on me! :)

Why Cello Fortress is a twin stick shooter

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Re: Cello Fortress

Posted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 12:13 am
by Oogst
Woohoo! Interview about Cello Fortress at The Penny Arcade Report. Interesting read, and an honour to be interviewed there! :)

http://www.penny-arcade.com/report/edit ... l-game-pla

Re: Cello Fortress

Posted: Wed Feb 13, 2013 12:14 am
by pinaster
I saw the game a while ago somewhere in my local indie developers community, nice idea, i'd like to see it live :)

Re: Cello Fortress

Posted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 6:32 pm
by Oogst
It is going a bit slow, but I am finally back on track with Cello Fortress! Making a gameplay explanation trailer now, and then I'll get cracking on the graphics. In the meanwhile I wrote this blogpost about the intended style of Cello Fortress:

Style Exploration For Cello Fortress

Which comes with this little previz testing video I made of some of the special effects I want to make for Cello Fortress:

[youtube]GSVbGp1q_4Q[/youtube]