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RichCast - new audio Interactive Fiction platform by the Oliver Twins


MarkN
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This has just been announced - see here: RichCast Article

 

I became aware of it just over a week a go when I was invited to be a creator, by one of my old bosses, Philip Oliver.

 

Sounds interesting. It's a platform for audio interactive fiction, where you interact purely through speech. The main idea being speech recognition has got good enough to be pretty reliable, and artificial speech is ballpark enough to be acceptable, so we're in a place where you can just converse with AI characters to play a game (they have a library of 100s of computer voices to use, but you can replace with actual speech if you want, which is probably a plan in many cases, tbh).

As a (one-time) game designer it intrigues me. Especially the idea for games that don't need graphics at all (I've played a couple of games for blind people, and they can work very well). I've got ideas buzzing around my head, but story-based is not the strongest area for me. I've got an idea I'm fairly keen on though - just need to find the time to work on it. I've had a quick play with the software - it seems pretty simple.

 

They're currently looking for early content to build a launch catalogue for the platform, so are looking for creators to commission - writers, artists, logic (they've not specified  coders because it's super simple to use, but if you can code you'd do it standing on your head), audio (which I'm guessing includes voice work). I'm hopefully going to put together a pitch in the next week or so.

 

I thought other folk here might be interested in this as an opportunity though.

 

 

You can sign up here, if you're interested:

 

https://www.panivox.com/

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  • 2 weeks later...

Interesting. I've long thought that this was an under-explored area. I know there have been some Alexa apps and voice interfaces for interactive fiction, but that's just scratching the surface really.

 

Slightly off the track of what the Oliver Twins are focusing on, but I reckon football manager or play-by-mail type strategy games (a bit like Reigns, or perhaps a fantasy stock market) would work really well in this format. Something where you give a few curt (possibly even optional) voice commands at salient decision points but mostly just listen to the action play out for long stretches.

 

It might seem a bit gimmicky if you're always near a PC or phone, but I could see it really appealing for people who spend a large part of each day driving or otherwise manually preoccupied whose entertainment options would otherwise be mostly passive (radio, music, podcasts).

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