What in the hell is Cello Fortress?

• written by Krist Duro

New Cello Fortress trailer shows how the cello controls the game

In Cello Fortress, up to four players play against a live cellist. So how does the cello control the game? In other music games, the musician would simply play an existing song and get points on how well he imitated it. No gameplay choices, no original music. Not in Cello Fortress: here a real cellist controls the game by improvising original music. This new trailer shows what controls the cellist has to defend his fortress against the players:

Cello Fortress is a unique mix of a live cello concert and a computer game. Up to four players from the audience play a twin-stick-shooter using game controllers. They attack cannons, which are controlled by the cellist.

Joost van Dongen, cellist and creator of Cello Fortress, explains the experience from the point of view of the cellist: “The challenge is to not only control the game in the right way, but also play good music while doing so. Just quickly skipping between the various attacks would result in horrible music, so I really need to think ahead a bit and make the music flow fluently from attack to attack. Add to this that it is all improvised, which means that I need to come up with the melodies while playing, and it becomes clear what a challenge this game is for the cellist. The result works brilliantly: playing, hearing and seeing Cello Fortress in action is quite a show!“

Cello Fortress is currently touring. In the meanwhile, the game is also still being developed and improved further.

For more info on the controls of Cello Fortress, check this blogpost.

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