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Companions and their Audio Cues

Companions Party Voice Audio Emotion Variety

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21 replies to this topic

#1
The Wise Alaundo

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I've always thought it strange that, in party-based RPGs, while lots of time is spent recording dialogues and conversations, there's always only a tiny pool of audio cues that are used when selecting them / giving them orders. Why is this? A large percentage of the player's time is spent clicking on their portraits and giving orders, so why is it that we're stuck with hearing the same 'I stand ready' phrases over and over again?

Given that OE don't need to worry about full voiceover for companion dialogue in PE, what I'd like to see (or rather, hear), instead, is greater variety and nuance to the audio cues we hear when giving orders to the party. Here are a few examples:

Location specific: relaxed quotes when in Taverns, wary ones when in a new and threatening area, urgent when in battle, whispers when in a crypt, that sort of thing.

Emotion-affected: It always jars for me when I've had, say, an argument with a party member in a conversation, or an emotional reveal has taken place, and then when you're back in gameplay, you're back to the standard sets of chirpy responses. It would be amazing if sometimes that could affect the voice sets as well. 'Huffy' or 'distance' responses after an argument, for example, or cheerful after a humerous exchange. If you wanted to be really interesting about it, you could use this as a cue to the player as well. If a companion's audio phrases suddenly sound pensive, or sulky, talking to them might open up a conversation.

Level / story affected: This is a big one, but wouldn't it be good if, say, a character's voice set became more confident as the story progressed / levelled up. A character might join the group and be quite non-expressive and professional when being given orders, but as time passes and he's travelled with the group and becomes more relaxed, his tone may change. Or a cheerful character, after being witness to an evil player character's awful deeds and derision in conversation, would become more downbeat.

When you've got the voice actor in the studio, given the lack of need for extensive recording, I wouldn't have thought it would be too hard to get them to instead spend a bit of time recording different nuances of responses?

I asked about this in the reddit Q&A, but unfortunately didn't get a response. What do you guys think?

Edited by The Wise Alaundo, 16 October 2012 - 04:29 AM.

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#2
Review or Die

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I really like this, and I think there's a lot you can do with it. The 'barks', as they call them, were never something I found particularly engaging, but you can get a lot of immersion in to the characters and their situation that way. I would love to see this player with in a really unique way like what you're suggesting.
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#3
Kitan

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In BG1 the companions had some funny things to say if you clicked them often...
but yeah I'd like that too ^^
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#4
Kilroy_Was_Here

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In BG1 the companions had some funny things to say if you clicked them often...
but yeah I'd like that too ^^


Exactly this! Especially since the funny lines were still in-character even as they broke the fourth wall.

'The day will come when Tiax shall point and click!'

#5
Dray Truoc

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Sounds like a great idea. I agree the standard 4 or 5 one-liners can get old after hours of adventuring.

Love the idea of mood and location effecting the voices and responses.

#6
curryinahurry

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"Heya, It's me, Cadegund!"

#7
The Wise Alaundo

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"Heya, It's me, Cadegund!"


*Shiver*

I really like this, and I think there's a lot you can do with it. The 'barks', as they call them, were never something I found particularly engaging, but you can get a lot of immersion in to the characters and their situation that way. I would love to see this player with in a really unique way like what you're suggesting.


'Barks', that's the one. I knew there was a proper term for them! Yeah, it's always seemed strange in RPGs like Dragon Age that the devs put so much effort into making companions feel like real people, and then undo all that good work when you're actually in the gameplay environment travelling around listening to them spout same couple of phrases over and over again.

#8
Review or Die

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You really have come up with a very ingenuous idea. I seem to remember some of that being done in Planescape Torment, and it really added a lot.

#9
void_dp

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its super cool idea! :3

#10
void_dp

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I also remember how i was dissapointed with BG2, when clicking on everyone there didnt get me additional phrases :)

#11
Piccolo

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I vote for no audio when selecting / giving orders. It's ****ing annoying, cheesy, unrealistic, and adds nothing whatsoever to the game.

#12
The Wise Alaundo

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I vote for no audio when selecting / giving orders. It's ****ing annoying, cheesy, unrealistic, and adds nothing whatsoever to the game.


People silently doing your bidding is also pretty unrealistic though, and lack of feedback for your orders would also add nothing to the game. Instead of getting rid of what doesn't quite work, I'd like to see efforts made to make it worthwile, realistic, satisfying and something that enhances our gaming experience.

Edited by The Wise Alaundo, 16 October 2012 - 10:14 AM.


#13
Piccolo

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I vote for no audio when selecting / giving orders. It's ****ing annoying, cheesy, unrealistic, and adds nothing whatsoever to the game.


People silently doing your bidding is also pretty unrealistic though, and lack of feedback for your orders would also add nothing to the game. Instead of getting rid of what doesn't quite work, I'd like to see efforts made to make it worthwile, realistic, satisfying and something that enhances our gaming experience.

I disagree completely. Silence is much more realistic. I'm a player in front of a computer screen, and they're characters inside a gameworld. Why the hell should they be responding to my orders like that?

Don't you think it's kind of silly though hearing characters comment every time the player clicks to move them...?

#14
The Wise Alaundo

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I vote for no audio when selecting / giving orders. It's ****ing annoying, cheesy, unrealistic, and adds nothing whatsoever to the game.


People silently doing your bidding is also pretty unrealistic though, and lack of feedback for your orders would also add nothing to the game. Instead of getting rid of what doesn't quite work, I'd like to see efforts made to make it worthwile, realistic, satisfying and something that enhances our gaming experience.

I disagree completely. Silence is much more realistic. I'm a player in front of a computer screen, and they're characters inside a gameworld. Why the hell should they be responding to my orders like that?

Don't you think it's kind of silly though hearing characters comment every time the player clicks to move them...?


Well, I interpret the barks as party members responding to the Player Character's orders, rather than myself as an 'omnipresent authority figure' ;). The PC him/herself... yes, you're right there of course - that's one of the quirks of the genre I suppose.

#15
rjshae

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That is a nice idea. But will we be able to tell when the dwarf is in a good mood? :)

#16
deamon451

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I swear that if OE puts in a "You must gather your party before venturing forth" bark, I will go down to Irvine and make them pay. 100s of hours listening to it.

P.S. I know it was a Bioware BG/BG2 thing but still...

#17
deamon451

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That is a nice idea. But will we be able to tell when the dwarf is in a good mood? :)


It the dwarf in a tavern? Then its in a good mood.

#18
TCJ

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I like the idea. As for those who find it annoying, perhaps an option, like other games have, to select the level of feedback NPCs give when clicked - none, some, often, all the time.

#19
The Wise Alaundo

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I swear that if OE puts in a "You must gather your party before venturing forth" bark, I will go down to Irvine and make them pay. 100s of hours listening to it.

P.S. I know it was a Bioware BG/BG2 thing but still...


Updated my journal!

#20
aVENGER

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I vote for no audio when selecting / giving orders. It's ****ing annoying, cheesy, unrealistic, and adds nothing whatsoever to the game.


For what it's worth, selection sounds could be turned on/off in the Infinity Engine games.

I'm thinking Obsidian will implement an option for this too.





Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Companions, Party, Voice, Audio, Emotion, Variety

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