Cello Fortress Weaponizes String Instruments

Cello Fortress Weaponizes String Instruments

An experimental music game from the Netherands pits digital tanks against cello-powered machine guns.

Generally, there are two kinds of interactive music games. First, you have those that mimic musical performances, like Rock Band or Guitar Hero. Then you have games that generate enemies or obstacles using the beat of the music, like Audiosurf or Beat Hazard. Until now there hasn't been a great of overlap between the styles, but developer Joost van Donegen may have come up with a way to do so in Cello Fortress. Currently on tour in the Netherlands, the game pits four players on XBox controllers against a single cellist who controls the environment simply by playing musical notes.

"Cello Fortress is a really weird and unique game," van Dongen said. "But for me, it makes a lot of sense: playing cello has been a hobby of mine for ages, and I am a professional game developer. I like to make weird, unique things. How could these ingredients not combine into a game?"

In Cello Fortress, four players from the audience take control of in-game tanks and attempt to blow up as many cannons as possible. The cannons are controlled directly by the cellist, which each note triggering a different kind of ammunition. High notes fire the guns, low notes lay mines, and ugly chords (whatever those are) let the player cut loose with flamethrowers. Overall, this lends Cello Fortress a strong improvisational tone, as the cellist can alter both the soundtrack and the battlefield on the fly.

Sadly, even if you're an experienced cellist, it's unlikely you'll be able to play Cello Fortress for some time. The game's beta is designed with public performances in mind, so unless you're in the Netherlands or van Dongen develops a living room equivalent, nobody's getting a weaponized cello. That said, the concept has a great deal of potential, and perhaps we'll see other developers experiment further with the idea. I imagine there are many aspiring musicians who would love to claim they fought an advancing army using nothing but a musical instrument... and won.

Source: Joost's Dev Blog, via VentureBeat

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Is no one else concerned by this clear and obvious attempt by the Dutch to weaponise their orchestras? Because I sure as shit am. Sure it's all fun and games now, but when they invade Norway using drones controlled by clarinets it'll be no laughing matter. And god help us when their xylophone steered tanks and oboe guided artillery begin landing in Canada. God help us all.

Bloody Dutch.

deadman91:
Is no one else concerned by this clear and obvious attempt by the Dutch to weaponise they're orchestras? Because I sure as shit am. Sure it's all fun and games now, but when they invade Norway using drones controlled by clarinets it'll be no laughing matter. And god help us when they're xylophone steered tanks and oboe guided artillery begin landing in Canada. God help us all.

Bloody Dutch.

The sound of war just got Symphonic...

Seriously though I'd love to do this. Classical music has always been a passion of mine and the chance to combine the two (even if a clear gimmick) is too cool to pass up

Between Proun, Cello Fortress and Awesomenauts Joost seems like a really cool guy

Well, at least we know who'll hold the highscore...

Though Flight of the Bumblebee might be considered cheating.

deadman91:
Is no one else concerned by this clear and obvious attempt by the Dutch to weaponise they're orchestras? Because I sure as shit am. Sure it's all fun and games now, but when they invade Norway using drones controlled by clarinets it'll be no laughing matter. And god help us when they're xylophone steered tanks and oboe guided artillery begin landing in Canada. God help us all.

Bloody Dutch.

that last one's actually been around for a while

That is an unbelievably cool idea; it's a shame that it can only be played at live events but you can kind of see why. :L
Really cool to see some crazy innovations like this cropping up; though it might be better if we could get away with some in standard games that don't require a cellist.

weirdguy:

deadman91:
Is no one else concerned by this clear and obvious attempt by the Dutch to weaponise they're orchestras? Because I sure as shit am. Sure it's all fun and games now, but when they invade Norway using drones controlled by clarinets it'll be no laughing matter. And god help us when they're xylophone steered tanks and oboe guided artillery begin landing in Canada. God help us all.

Bloody Dutch.

that last one's actually been around for a while

Of course, that's where they drew ideas for the piano fuses and percussion caps (fuck me, they're using puns as well!) on their mines and explosives. Damnit American media, stop giving them ideas!

deadman91:
Is no one else concerned by this clear and obvious attempt by the Dutch to weaponise they're orchestras? Because I sure as shit am. Sure it's all fun and games now, but when they invade Norway using drones controlled by clarinets it'll be no laughing matter. And god help us when they're xylophone steered tanks and oboe guided artillery begin landing in Canada. God help us all.

Bloody Dutch.

War. War never changes.

(glances over shoulder)

Oh. I guess it does. Watch out for the tubas bombing Dresden.

That is fucking amazing. No other way to put it. It is brilliant and I'd love to see where it can go next.

As a cellist (although, admittedly, one that hasn't touched my cello very much recently for a variety of reasons), I want this game so fucking much. Seriously, this thing looks awesome.

Ok, I want that now, and really badly too.

My cello is just sitting there neglected and that would make me play it more, and probably be a better player.

They can have my money.

All the money!

lol, i was at that event, it was displayed during "INDIGO" in Utrect, Netherlands

Our student game group was also there showing off "Geomancer" a little turn based strategy game:

Quaxar:
Well, at least we know who'll hold the highscore...

Though Flight of the Bumblebee might be considered cheating.

You ever heard of a trill mate?
All you have to do is trills; it's a shame this seems like it could only be done by pianos/strings/certain percussion instruments though (unless you get into multiphonics I suppose).

I thought this was going to be like that episode of The Goodies where an orchestra goes all weaponised- the violins shoot their bows like arrows, the Tubas fire mortar artillery, etc...

great next we are gonna see people crying out that cellos kill people too im glad to see that all of my favorite things are being slowly shot down publicly.

Jamous:
That is an unbelievably cool idea; it's a shame that it can only be played at live events but you can kind of see why. :L
Really cool to see some crazy innovations like this cropping up; though it might be better if we could get away with some in standard games that don't require a cellist.

Thank you for making me have an epiphany: A game where you control the tank and there's a music track playing and "controling" the turrets. Difficulty would change depending on tempo, notes and the melody. Downloadable songs via PSN and XBL. It could actually work.

OT: this looks pretty cool. I wonder if it could be applied to any instrument?

pray the chinese doesnt get their weaponized string instruments out..
image

The only time a bow will ever take out a tank.
But seriously, this game sounds pretty interesting.

bartholen:
OT: this looks pretty cool. I wonder if it could be applied to any instrument?

I don't see why it wouldn't work with another type of string instrument...

Oh I'm so going to pull a DVS BSTrD AND pay a tribute to an Escapist contributor at the same time.

bartholen:

Jamous:
That is an unbelievably cool idea; it's a shame that it can only be played at live events but you can kind of see why. :L
Really cool to see some crazy innovations like this cropping up; though it might be better if we could get away with some in standard games that don't require a cellist.

Thank you for making me have an epiphany: A game where you control the tank and there's a music track playing and "controling" the turrets. Difficulty would change depending on tempo, notes and the melody. Downloadable songs via PSN and XBL. It could actually work.

OT: this looks pretty cool. I wonder if it could be applied to any instrument?

You're very welcome my friend. That's a really cool idea. :D

 

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