Voice Control and Holographic Dreams
Game Commander is certainly not a new product. In fact, it's been around for quite
some time. So why a review on it now? Well, it is a tool that is often overlooked. Few sites have reviewed it before,
and many of the few who have, have given it a rather short feature. This is one thing that caused me to overlook it, as
The first time I ever heard of Game Commander was around October of 1999. I was browsing the Interplay forums for info on
Starfleet Command, as I was doing rather poorly at the game. One person recommended that I slow the speed of the game down,
and that I might consider getting this speech recognition product called Game Commander, so that I may have more
concentration on the more important tactics of the game, while sparing the more menial ones. Desperate for any possible way
to get anywhere in the game, I wandered over to the Game Commander website to check it out. I read a bit about it, then saw
the price. The trial version only had 5 commands, with one keystroke each, and the standard full version was $29.99. I left
the site, passing it off as a gimmick and a useless toy, in search of other ways to beat the game. Eventually, I stopped
playing Starfleet Command, and with it, the thought of Game Commander quickly faded as well.
The main menu
I had entirely forgotten about it, aside from a stray thought of it while working with some more complex speech recognition suites, such as the IBM ViaVoice suite for the Linux platform. Then one day, I was reading a news post about a game called Klingon Academy, and how they were working with the Game Commander team to include speech recognition in the game. I was utterly thrilled when hearing about this, and counted down the moments for the game's release. When it went gold, I went to its site. I noticed still no notice of it in the news, development .plans, or features. I decided to ask, and finally realized the truth. There was going to be no speech recognition in the full version, or in any version. Several other sites had posted false information (phew! At least we didn't post that one!) from a press release about a special version of the demo shipping with a trial version of Game Commander. I was speechless (imagine that), and couldn't believe it wasn't going to be in there.
In a bit of disappointment, I went back to the Game Commander site. There it was, seemingly mocking me, the real press release. I didn't have much else to do that day, so I decided to finally download the demo and exhibit one of a programmers favorite hobbies: Playing with new toys! I got into it enough, that I decided that I just *MUST* review the full version. Read on to see if Game Commander MX is really just another gimmick, or if they're really onto something.