Austria-based Stillalive Studios are making their upcoming Son of Nor compatible with Emotiv’s new EPOC headset. The EPOC is a streamlined BCI, or brain-computer interface, comparatively affordable at four-hundred dollars a pop. Movement and camera will still be mouse- and keyboard-controlled; the player only uses the EPOC for Son of Nor’s magic system.
If you’re not sure what all these big sci-fi sounding capital words mean, my apologies. Let me take a step back. Brain-computer interfaces are pretty self-explanatory: machine reads your thoughts, translates them into virtual actions. To rephrase: you make stuff happen in a game by thinking about it. The EPOC comes with a game requiring the user to concentrate on certain actions; for example, lifting or pulling something. Your unique brainwave patterns are coded to these respective in-game actions. Julian Mautner, Lead Programmer at Stillalive Studios (and the guy in the header video), analogizes EPOC’s basic principles to speech-recognition technology.
Relying on the EPOC might work fine for slower, deliberate, more puzzle-heavy parts of Son of Nor. However, I can’t imagine the combat being very smooth when you have to take precious seconds to concentrate on every spell. Well, even if the EPOC capabilities go off half-cocked, you can still get the full experience with just keyboard and mouse. Look for Son of Nor on March 31st!