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Voiced NPCs

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Poll: Voiced NPCs (282 member(s) have cast votes)

Would you like to see voiced NPCs? (Lets say it does fit in the budget)

  1. Yes, fully voice acted. (44 votes [15.60%])

    Percentage of vote: 15.60%

  2. Yes, but not fully (key characters only). (147 votes [52.13%])

    Percentage of vote: 52.13%

  3. No, but greetings are OK. (91 votes [32.27%])

    Percentage of vote: 32.27%

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#81
norolim

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This subject again? I thought it was dead and forgotten.

The devs are spot on on this aspect. Some VO for main NPCs and companions is a perfect solution. And this:

Whenever possible I play with all subtitles turned off as only listening to characters gets me far deeper into the conversation than reading what they said could. Feels more alive. For example befriending or romancing a companion or someone else, progressing their storyline through a critical point or listening to an antagonists motives without the emotion VO gives feels kind of dead.

is shocking to me. Whe I read dialogues, be it in a book or an RPG, I know exactly how the characters are saying their lines. I know their intonation, their accent, even the tone of their voice. I can hear the emotions. Ther is no voice actor in the world that could possibly do a better job than my own imagination.

A poet once said, "Give every man thy ear, but few thy voice." I guess nature recently decided to do the other way round...

Edited by norolim, 08 October 2012 - 08:31 AM.


#82
Rosveen

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As a rule, I'm against voice acting in RPGs, especially when it includes the protagonist. However, I like the way it was done in Fallout - only key NPCs are voiced. It worked very well and enhanced the overall experience. I'd be happy if they went this route with Project Eternity.

I wouldn't mind if there was no VA at all, though.

#83
rjshae

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While the budget won't allow that, it would be very nice if Obsidian allowed modders to do an ex post facto voiced dialogue with timed delays and so forth.

#84
Vargr Raekr

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I am currently in a replay of Icewind Dale, and the amount of voice acting in that game is just right. The characters you play as are not voiced beyond their selection/action sounds, bu those are well done. Dialogue is memorable because characters respond to whether you are a dwarf, bard, elf, gnome, or whatever. You get different dialogue options based on your stats, race, class, gender, and who in the world you have already talked to and what you know. None of that was voiced.

That said, Icewind Dale has some of the best villains I have ever heard. It really is a shame that they are not as well known as David Warner's Irenicus. Finally encountering the spirit of The Black Wolf Kresselack was one thing, but having him voiced by the late Tony Jay was something else entirely:


Posted Image

http://youtu.be/-a5CwKKtuBc

The next voiced charater you encounter in the game is Yxunomei the Tanari general. Being confronted with a little girl that turns into a six armed, snake bodied, topless true Tanari was a great villain reveal, but it was made all the greater by the fact that the "little girl" was voiced by the not-yet-famous Tara Strong:

Posted Image

http://youtu.be/ZplEwrQLN1s

Interestingly enough, I think the much shorter Heart of Winter expansion has nearly as much voice acting as the main game, despite being much shorter and probably having a smaller budget for production. One of those voices was Ron "war never changes" Pearlman as the tribal leader Wylfdene. But I can't find a good example of his voice acting on Youtube.

Posted Image

I once took a peek at the sound files using Near Infinity; each character only has about a couple of dozen lines. That probably was done in one or two recording sessions (was it? the people monitoring this forum made Icewind Dale.) The way pricing for voice actors works, it's typically per session (four hours max). You pay them the same whether it's just a couple of lines for an incidental character in a few minutes, or a character like Kresselack. According to Rob "the voice of Morte" Paulsen, if they hire a voice actor, they can have him or her do up to three voices without needing to pay him/her more. So if we go in for a penny with voice acting (occasional character selection sounds), then they may as well go in for a pound, and voice important characters (as it would not actually cost that much more, as far as I can tell.)

They could save more money by doing the voicing in Canada (which is what Friendship is Magic does) rather than LA, as well.

I agree though, trying to fully voice the game would be too much of a cramp in their style, in terms of cost and story inflexibility (would you pay to produce a completely optional series of side quests, with full voicing, for content your players might not ever see?)

Edited by Vargr Raekr, 08 October 2012 - 09:05 AM.


#85
Umberlin

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Honestly good voice work can raise up a game; while average, mediocre and even bad voice work can break a game entirely, in terms of the presentation of its story. At the end of the day . . . I've played completely text based games, with zero graphics, and enjoyed them more than some games with average or bad voice work, that were graphically superior . . . but superiority is a funny thing. Personally I can read a good book and find myself surrounded with the senses it creates of sight, smell, taste and so on - like a full motion video. Just like a good voice actor can bring writing to life, so too can good writing, all on its own, bring things to life.

If the game is completely text based, no voice work at all, I'll be fine with it. If there's some voice work, and it's good I'll be fine too. However, I'll never be convinced anything needs voice work to be absolutely breath takingly wonderful. With the amount of money that can be involved in getting voice work . . . well . . . that's Obsidian's call. Not mine. Whatever they find practical within the limitations of their budget is just fine with me.

#86
Osvir

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I know this is all modding stuff but... I think if Obsidian made it easy to add in your own sound sets that would be enough for me.

Actually that would almost be preferred. No voices at all, but easy to mod in your own voices (Thus making all NPC's fan-based post-release, which I think could be pretty awesome too. Obsidian wouldn't have to worry about getting any voice actors at all. The only thing they would have to do is release the game with an ease-of-use sound file import on top of the dialog)

I voted for "Fully voiced NPC companions" but I kind of feel stronger for what I posted here.

#87
rjshae

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I know this is all modding stuff but... I think if Obsidian made it easy to add in your own sound sets that would be enough for me.

Actually that would almost be preferred. No voices at all, but easy to mod in your own voices (Thus making all NPC's fan-based post-release, which I think could be pretty awesome too. Obsidian wouldn't have to worry about getting any voice actors at all. The only thing they would have to do is release the game with an ease-of-use sound file import on top of the dialog)

I voted for "Fully voiced NPC companions" but I kind of feel stronger for what I posted here.


Exactly. It is just the type of thing that the modding community revels in.

#88
Amentep

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Heh, I remember how the IE games did allow you to make your own soundset for your PC character. It proved to me that I shouldn't be allowed near a microphone and exactly how hard it is to make a good sounding voice set :facepalm: (as opposed to just taking snatches of dialogue from some real actor/actress and using that)

#89
Osvir

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Heh, I remember how the IE games did allow you to make your own soundset for your PC character. It proved to me that I shouldn't be allowed near a microphone and exactly how hard it is to make a good sounding voice set :facepalm: (as opposed to just taking snatches of dialogue from some real actor/actress and using that)


I managed to make 3 or 4 of them that I was very pleased with (after countless hours of sound editting) I managed to make them fit the world. There are many (most of them) sound sets for the IE games that fall a tad bit short (Too low, sparkling sound, breathing and so on). I did mine rather professionally and worked quite a bit to make them real good. Unfortunately they disappeared with my old computer :(

I am sure you could make a great sound set Amentep. I felt the same way when I started, it's only a confidence thing. Same thing with singing, anyone and everyone can sing, some just need to practice more. Same thing with the sound sets, took me about a weekend~ (3-4 days) to make one good sound set, so if you really want to make a good sound set, you'll make a really good sound set. Get all the recording tools, get a good microphone, mix and edit so that the sound sounds smooth and not "Taken from real world put into Baldur's Gate, it sounds like you are inside a can main-bro character" (which many fan made sound sets sound like in my opinion).

#90
TheTeaMustFlow

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Personally, I would like having complete voice acting (protagonists accepted), but the money and time could be better spent. I would like major characters to be fully voiced though.

#91
Amentep

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Heh, I remember how the IE games did allow you to make your own soundset for your PC character. It proved to me that I shouldn't be allowed near a microphone and exactly how hard it is to make a good sounding voice set :facepalm: (as opposed to just taking snatches of dialogue from some real actor/actress and using that)


I managed to make 3 or 4 of them that I was very pleased with (after countless hours of sound editting) I managed to make them fit the world. There are many (most of them) sound sets for the IE games that fall a tad bit short (Too low, sparkling sound, breathing and so on). I did mine rather professionally and worked quite a bit to make them real good. Unfortunately they disappeared with my old computer :(

I am sure you could make a great sound set Amentep. I felt the same way when I started, it's only a confidence thing. Same thing with singing, anyone and everyone can sing, some just need to practice more. Same thing with the sound sets, took me about a weekend~ (3-4 days) to make one good sound set, so if you really want to make a good sound set, you'll make a really good sound set. Get all the recording tools, get a good microphone, mix and edit so that the sound sounds smooth and not "Taken from real world put into Baldur's Gate, it sounds like you are inside a can main-bro character" (which many fan made sound sets sound like in my opinion).


I spent a good bit of time with them - ultimately I think the big problem was not having good enough equipment so the sound quality suffered. Well that and I didn't sound "heroic fantasy" enough but "duffer at his computer". :)

#92
Osvir

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Well that and I didn't sound "heroic fantasy" enough but "duffer at his computer". :)


Haha yeah I encountered that too. Buy a H2 Zoom. They are pretty cheap and with a quick firmware update it becomes USB microphone <3 loving it.

*cough* shameful advertising of my own voice (I'd do it for free Obsidian, for free). edit: I did go to actor's school for 3 years

Edited by Osvir, 08 October 2012 - 12:01 PM.






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