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Whereas I am in favor of limiting the voice acting to only very important parts of the plot, if it even needs to be there at all. The trade-off for more voice acting is less dialogue, diminished ability to change dialogue during production, a lack of modability...in short, less choice and less depth.

 

I want more choice and more depth, not less. And if the cost of that is that less voice acting, then I'll pay it happily.

 

That's not really the case. There might be more choice, as far as the devs changing the dialogue along the way and maybe writing up more options for dialogue, but I don't think you can prove that it will necessarily mean more depth. Part of what makes a line of dialogue memorable or "deep" for me is hearing the power with which it's delivered.One of my all time favourite video game lines of dialogue was the "would you kindly" speech from bio-shock (sort of a spoiler if you haven't played it) that dialogue really stuck in my mind because of the way it was delivered. If it was just a line of dialogue I probably would have just skipped through it without a second glance.

 

Whatever happened to imagination?

 

It died with our childhood.

 

But seriously though. Voices make games more engaging for me at least. And for me, what makes a game, or story deep, isn't the amount that it can vary, but by what its trying to say, and what happens when I look deeper into the game. Alpha Protocol, and VTM:B were both very deep games, that were both a bit on the short side (for an RP), and had a lot of cut content. However, other than a few cases (like Sis in AP, and Beckett), its shortness did not influence the richness, and depth of the story telling and writing.

 

Personally, even though Planescape was very well written, it really felt like a chore running through it sometimes, simply because so little of it was voiced. It never felt that way with VTM:B or AP for me, and I really do believe that the voices had a lot to do with it.

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Personally, even though Planescape was very well written, it really felt like a chore running through it sometimes, simply because so little of it was voiced. It never felt that way with VTM:B or AP for me, and I really do believe that the voices had a lot to do with it.

 

keep-calm-and-burn-the-heretic-12.png

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I have a project. It's a tabletop RPG. It's free. It's a work in progress. Find it here: www.brikoleur.com

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@PrimeJunta: It bothers me intensely that "burn the" isn't centered. Intensely.

 

On a related note, I request that Obsidian be completely consistent in their choice of VO over the life of the entire franchise.

 

I'm currently playing BG:EE, and the new party NPC content was horribly implemented. Why? One reason is because BG1 proper only had partial VO (and minimal interjection compared to BG2), but the new characters are completely voiced. It's slow, extremely jarring, awkward with the missing sections when the NPC is trying to refer to your PC by name, and even more annoying when the new NPC is voiced and a (newly added) response from an old party NPC is completely not voiced. Not to mention hit or miss with crappy acting.

 

Dear Magran, if you're going to do partial VO, stick with it the whole way including expansions and sequels for ****ing consistency. THANK YOU.


The KS Collector's Edition does not include the Collector's Book.

Which game hook brought you to Project Eternity and interests you the most?

PE will not have co-op/multiplayer, console, or tablet support (sources): [0] [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]

Write your own romance mods because there won't be any in PE.

"But what is an evil? Is it like water or like a hedgehog or night or lumpy?" -(Digger)

"Most o' you wanderers are but a quarter moon away from lunacy at the best o' times." -Alvanhendar (Baldur's Gate 1)

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Whereas I am in favor of limiting the voice acting to only very important parts of the plot, if it even needs to be there at all. The trade-off for more voice acting is less dialogue, diminished ability to change dialogue during production, a lack of modability...in short, less choice and less depth.

 

I want more choice and more depth, not less. And if the cost of that is that less voice acting, then I'll pay it happily.

 

That's not really the case. There might be more choice, as far as the devs changing the dialogue along the way and maybe writing up more options for dialogue, but I don't think you can prove that it will necessarily mean more depth. Part of what makes a line of dialogue memorable or "deep" for me is hearing the power with which it's delivered.One of my all time favourite video game lines of dialogue was the "would you kindly" speech from bio-shock (sort of a spoiler if you haven't played it) that dialogue really stuck in my mind because of the way it was delivered. If it was just a line of dialogue I probably would have just skipped through it without a second glance.

 

Whatever happened to imagination?

 

Good point but why don't we all just take it a step further and imagine we're playing a computer game? We could save Obsidian the trouble of having to make PE at all! It can be whatever you want it to be and I'm sure whatever you come up with will be far better than anything they could.

Edited by jezz555

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On a related note, I request that Obsidian be completely consistent in their choice of VO over the life of the entire franchise.

 

This... and no Jennifer Hale, thank you (overuse syndrome). I wonder what it would cost to hire Christopher Lee as the story narrator?


“He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would surely suffice.” - Albert Einstein

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On a related note, I request that Obsidian be completely consistent in their choice of VO over the life of the entire franchise.

 

This... and no Jennifer Hale, thank you (overuse syndrome). I wonder what it would cost to hire Christopher Lee as the story narrator?

 

What about Gilbert Gottfired, another famous voice? He's done voice acting before, and, who knows, he might work for cheap.

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Why don't they just have a "Voice of Eternity" contest? Post some sample snippets and take submissions from the fan base. Reward is a Collector's Edition Box, and the person gets to voice an NPC. Some people will happily contribute their voice for the good of the game (and don't need to do it for a living), and some of these people might actually have awesome voices for certain parts.


Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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Why don't they just have a "Voice of Eternity" contest? Post some sample snippets and take submissions from the fan base. Reward is a Collector's Edition Box, and the person gets to voice an NPC. Some people will happily contribute their voice for the good of the game (and don't need to do it for a living), and some of these people might actually have awesome voices for certain parts.

 

To be fair, having a nice speaking voice != good narration or good acting or good singing.

 

Audiobook narrators would seem to be a natural fit with voice acting... At least better auditioning than merely reading a snippet or so would be needed. But back to the arguments against this idea that was proposed before: time and resources to cull auditions, problems in recording hardware consistency (either fly people into the studio or ship recording hardware), and so forth.

 

So around the circle again, it really seems just having Obsidian pick from their known/preferred talent pool is the most efficient way to do VO. I imagine this is especially true when NPCs of depth are being written as we speak, and typically the writer/creators already have a voice type in mind. This would be less an issue for those random "commoners," I guess.


The KS Collector's Edition does not include the Collector's Book.

Which game hook brought you to Project Eternity and interests you the most?

PE will not have co-op/multiplayer, console, or tablet support (sources): [0] [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]

Write your own romance mods because there won't be any in PE.

"But what is an evil? Is it like water or like a hedgehog or night or lumpy?" -(Digger)

"Most o' you wanderers are but a quarter moon away from lunacy at the best o' times." -Alvanhendar (Baldur's Gate 1)

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Even if it were possible to locate and work with unknowns to get extensive high quality, but inexpensive, voice acting--with contracts written to include additional sessions whenever the devs thought they might like to change/add dialogue, it would require a huge amount of time to locate and vet this obscure talent. The money paid to voice actors isn't the only cost of extensive voicing, and I'd rather resources went elsewhere.

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Voice acting has got way too many disadvantages. I'd rather there'd be none at all, or at the most, something like in the IE games where only the very first line of dialog was voiced.

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Honestly they should just do a BG amount of voiceacting, then as long as they allow it to be moddable I'm sure there would be a nice group of modders who could get most of the game to be high quality voice acting within a year. (I would be fine with none personally but asking a question like should it mostly be voiced is just silly with the budget/restraints it puts on dialog ingame and would detract from other more useful elements.)

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I don't understand why voice acting costs a lot? I am not in the video games industry however I am in sound production and the actual recording and editing of voice would be very cheap relative to other parts of their budget, even if there was hours and hours of it all up. Since it is an isometric RPG they wouldn't have to spend hours making sure the audio matches the mouth like in a life-like AAA game. All the dialogue has to be written anyway, so I can only assume voice actors get paid a ridiculous amount?

 

All the voice is required to do is set a mood for the character in question, I don't think big name voice acting is necessary. I'm sure there would be some fans that would have the skills and do it for free even, or small name actors around that they could use. There would surely be actors that could do large amounts of characters on their own.

 

At the end of the day I only like a couple lines at most to be voiced, definitely not all their dialogue as I end up skipping it anyway.

Edited by Bli1942

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The cost of voice acting isn't the problem, but the amount of it that would be required. The biggest problem (in my opinion) with modern RPG's is the lack of choices. Even for something as simple as a "yes or no" response to a quest, there needs to be separate dialogue for each option and that gets more and more complicated as the quests and options become more complex. It's exactly why we have to play as a set character in games like Mass Effect and why we tend to have few options for selecting back stories and other character traits nowadays. For an old school RPG, designed around choices and deep lore, voice acting would hugely limit the game.

 

Keeping it out entirely is the best move (although having a few lines here and there doesn't hurt).

Edited by Highwinter

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I don't understand why voice acting costs a lot? I am not in the video games industry however I am in sound production and the actual recording and editing of voice would be very cheap relative to other parts of their budget, even if there was hours and hours of it all up. Since it is an isometric RPG they wouldn't have to spend hours making sure the audio matches the mouth like in a life-like AAA game. All the dialogue has to be written anyway, so I can only assume voice actors get paid a ridiculous amount?

 

All the voice is required to do is set a mood for the character in question, I don't think big name voice acting is necessary. I'm sure there would be some fans that would have the skills and do it for free even, or small name actors around that they could use. There would surely be actors that could do large amounts of characters on their own.

 

At the end of the day I only like a couple lines at most to be voiced, definitely not all their dialogue as I end up skipping it anyway.

 

If you seriously don't understand why, then you should read the actual thread, quotes, and related links found inside, because that addresses your post. Including the idea that Obsidian should vet hundreds or potentially thousands of amateur fan recordings (which may not be bad for random unimportant NPCs but is probably way more work than it's worth; leave it to fan mods). There should be a KS Q&A quote somewhere in here about specific dollar amounts per recording session too, and if Obsidian, which actually has tons of video game industry experience compared to you and everyone else on this forum, says VO is too expensive, then it's too expensive.

 

Besides, this thread was moot when it was started. New players who come in without reading the Kickstarter updates and interviews keep repeating things like "the game shouldn't have/should have"---but Obsidian made the high-level decision back in September. Partial VO only. Done and done.

 

Now people should get onto more relevant topics like weapon damage types and class skill advancement. :p

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The KS Collector's Edition does not include the Collector's Book.

Which game hook brought you to Project Eternity and interests you the most?

PE will not have co-op/multiplayer, console, or tablet support (sources): [0] [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]

Write your own romance mods because there won't be any in PE.

"But what is an evil? Is it like water or like a hedgehog or night or lumpy?" -(Digger)

"Most o' you wanderers are but a quarter moon away from lunacy at the best o' times." -Alvanhendar (Baldur's Gate 1)

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I actually agree with their decision - but I highly doubt it is because of the cost, and more likely because any more than a line or two people end up skipping, all it needs to do is set the mood of the character, it's much easier to create a deep story with written text, and it can be changed last minute without a fuss.

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Dialog could be partly voiced, like a few first sentences and key plot points/dialogs/party banter, but I would not spend too much time and resources on it, mainly because it costs a lot of money and it is an optional feature, since you can have own "mute" party members created in adventurers' halls, and there is also the scale of the world and number of NPCs that you may interact with.

 

I am replaying now IWD and BG series, (with Torment being on halt in mid game), and the amount of voice acting is just enough there.

Edited by Darkpriest

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To the people who're saying voiced acting = less depth, you need to look at two games. Alpha Protocol, and Vampire the Masquerade:Bloodlines. Both of these games were fully voiced (With Alpha even coicing the character), and both those games had a massive amount of depth. They were games you had ro play multiple times to really get just what was going on. That seemed simple, but had a dozen other things going on that you'd never see until you probed into it.

 

VTM: Bloodlines was a great game, but it was quite small by comparison to PST, BG2, or Arcanum. If they had taken the same budget and put it into content it would have been much larger. Ideally we want huge depth and full voice over, but that won't happen until computers are capable of reverse engineering peoples voices and saying what is needed on the fly with the correct dramatic inflection. In the meantime it is all about want vs budget.

 

As I recall too, the first half of VTM had great dialog and could be navigated as easily by a socialite/diplomat as a thug (just like the pen and paper). It was GREAT. Then, all of a sudden it degenerated into a game where you had to just bash stuff and there were silly boss fights, etc. Wouldn't suprise me if they just ran out of cash and time on the story side and had to pad with some crap dungeons.

 

 

BG2 is the perfect example to follow IMO. It had just enough voiceover for me to automatically read all material in the characters voice anyway. Additional voiceover would have added nothing (and slowed down the game for me).

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Hoestly, a game like this only needs the "direction" voice acting type stuff. Acknolegdment when you click on them, or a "Right away!" If you tell them to do something. Not far off what BG did. Anything more would be just gravy. And if they want to save cost for voice acting, I volunteer to lend my voice, free of charge!

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I'm a big fan of the no-voice acting approach, especially where an RPG is concerned. Overall, I understand the gaming industry's desire to move toward a voiced player character--the current desired execution is becoming more and more cinematic. Having a main character that isn't voiced breaks immersion when everyone around them speaks. But for an RPG, it is extremely limiting. I've made characters who don't fit their voice, appearance wise. Looking at them and hearing their voice actor speak is jarring.

 

Then there's the role playing aspect of it. A voice actor's read of a line confines you significantly. We'll say that there are three different general responses to a statement, as tends to be common in the gaming industry, and especially Bioware. When the character is unvoiced, I can imagine my character's voice saying it however I want. If someone my character knew just died, I can respond with "I'm fine." They can sound sarcastic, apathetic, on the verge of tears, outraged, or distant. The voiced approach, while more immersive in some regards, doesn't provide the same breadth in way of customization.


Captain James Hook: No stopping me this time, Smee. This is it. Don't make a move Smee, not a step. My finger's on the trigger. Don't try to stop me, Smee.

Smee: Oh, not again.

Captain James Hook: This is it. Don't try to stop me this time, Smee. Don't try to stop me this time, Smee. Don't you dare try to stop me this time, Smee, try to stop me. Smee, you'd better get up off your ass. Get over here, Smee.

Smee: I'm coming. I'm coming.

Captain James Hook: Stop me. This is not a joke. I'm committing suicide.

Captain James Hook: Don't ever frighten me like that again.

Smee: I'm sorry.

Captain James Hook: What are you? Some kind of a sadist?

Smee: I'm sorry. I'm sorry. How do you feel now?

Captain James Hook: I want to die.

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I have actually usually found fully voiced over 3D games to be LESS immersive to me than the BG2 or PS:T games.

 

For 3D it always seemed fairly obvious as to why. Instead of having a character that I have a picture for and am imagining speaking, I have a clumsy cardboard puppet-creature pretending to be human. Lips and emotions don't quite match and even the best stuff just goes into uncanny valley territory. And I spend a lot of time thinking about how that part of the back isn't meant to stick out like that (or some such) when the puppet-creature is trying to show me something important.

 

Something that just occurred to me in the course of this thread is why full voice overs tend to be less immersive to me: the cardboard cut out voice. If a voice actor is only doing key phrases and monologues they can really throw themselves into the role. They can bring the emotional energy and dedication to make them feel accurate, life-like, and powerful. If they are doing "barter dialog 2526, branch 16, good alignment, diplomacy" and they have already done thousands and thousands of lines, then there is just no way that they are not phoning that in. And phoned in lines really show through and break immersion in a big way.

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The Baldur's Gates had the best level of VO in an isometric game for me. Icewind Dale didn't have much, but it didn't really need it because it was mostly a combat game. Most people with a name should have an opening line (like BG1 / 2). Recruitable NPCs and key characters should have a bit more.

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Planescape was the perfect amount. I don't like the games like DAO (well, I mean, I love that game, but the voice acting part), where everyone talks but you. Either go Mass Effect, or Planescape, not somewhere in between.

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but I highly doubt it is because of the cost, and more likely because any more than a line or two people end up skipping

You do realize this is a 4M production, right? Not a 100M production. Of course cost will be a pointer.

How much of that 4M do you want for merely VO? I rather have it spend on the proper places. Since in current game-land, it's not much...


^

 

 

I agree that that is such a stupid idiotic pathetic garbage hateful retarded scumbag evil satanic nazi like term ever created. At least top 5.

 

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