6:00am PT by Aaron Couch
Daniel H. Wilson Unveils Sci-Fi iPhone Game
Robocalypse author Daniel H. Wilson has a new venture: an iPhone app being described as a "playable story."
He teamed up with the Portland videogame studio Mountain Machine to create Mayday! Deep Space, which sees its protagonist receive a distress call from the lone survivor of a man left on a spacecraft. Using voice control, the player's task is to guide the survivor to safety.
Wilson, who has a PhD in robotics, studied speech recognition in graduate school and says he's amazed by the progress voice recognition has made to the point that it is on someone's phone.
Wilson was partially inspired by a classic scene from 1986's Aliens, in which a commander played by William Hope must guide a group of marines by voice as he sits safely back at base.
The game is available for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.
It's the first of its kind in that it's a game that can be played solely by voice, and that in turn informed its story.
"Every type of media that we use forces us into a particular experience," says Wilson. You can't read a book and talk to other people at the same time. But you can watch TV and talk to other people at the same time. With this, using speech recognition, it pushes the player to the point where you probably need to be alone because you're talking to your phone. You'll probably want to wear headphones. You'll want to really pay attention or your guy will get killed. It really creates the kind of experience I wanted to craft."
The game is available for $2.99 from the App Store, or at www.AppStore.com.