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Voice sets based on Eora regions?


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So I was just thinking about the voice sets for the original Pillars... It is a relatively minor complaint, but all the same I recall how on character creation I attempted to look for a voice set to match my character's appearance, only to have to settle for the next best thing which was about as neutral a voice set as I could find... And looking back at many other games and the kind of voice sets you're allowed to choose from, to my mind what I usually find to be the case is that they are grouped according to broad 'character types' (e.g. aggressive, stoic, sneaky, mystic) and each is played in a very broad, exaggerated fashion. Pillars is no exception for me in this matter.

 

So I was thinking about this matter as to how to reach a parameter for voice sets that would add much more colour to a character than the stock character types, and one that immediately came to mind was regional differences. In Pillars, for example, wouldn't it be interesting to have the new voice sets correspond to the different regions of Eora, i.e. have a voice set for Aedyr, Deadfire, Ixamitl, Rauatai, the Vailian Republics and so on? These would be interesting inasmuch as they could help better define the PC's background, and also would give some space with which to play with regional slang and language in some of their lines thus integrating them better to the game's world. This is just a random thought that came to mind, but wouldn't it be an interesting idea as a more unique and immersive approach to the new voice sets than simply doing "aggressive 2", "stoic 2" and so on (especially since we also have the stock character sets from the first game to choose from should we want something more personality-specific)?

 

Anyhow, let me know your thoughts.

Edited by algroth

My Twitch channel: https://www.twitch.tv/alephg

Currently playing: Fallout 2

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The main problem I see with developing voice sets based on region is that they'd either have to be generic enough to more or less apply to a broad range of character types (since it most likely wouldn't be feasible to create multiple regional voice sets for differing personalities) or they'd have to base the voice sets' personalities on traits and values that are commonly associated with the culture. In the former case, they'd risk becoming rather bland, while in the latter case it runs the risk of being as exaggerated as the current method, simply along the lines of cultural stereotypes that might be even more annoying (e.g., the stern Aedyran, the flamboyant Vailian, the wise man/woman from Ixamitl, etc.)

 

Organizing voice sets along the lines of culture might also make unrepresented (or underrepresented) options more frustrating too, since people may feel more obliged to choose a voice set that's linked to their character's culture.

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The main problem I see with developing voice sets based on region is that they'd either have to be generic enough to more or less apply to a broad range of character types (since it most likely wouldn't be feasible to create multiple regional voice sets for differing personalities) or they'd have to base the voice sets' personalities on traits and values that are commonly associated with the culture. In the former case, they'd risk becoming rather bland, while in the latter case it runs the risk of being as exaggerated as the current method, simply along the lines of cultural stereotypes that might be even more annoying (e.g., the stern Aedyran, the flamboyant Vailian, the wise man/woman from Ixamitl, etc.)

 

Organizing voice sets along the lines of culture might also make unrepresented (or underrepresented) options more frustrating too, since people may feel more obliged to choose a voice set that's linked to their character's culture.

True, but even so I reckon a neutral regional voice would be more appealing than a stock character personality simply because by means of their dialect and accent you are already adding traits that feel more like they're the natural result of a personal history and background. For the voice actor it is also easier to picture a character and his personality/manner of being by picturing them in a specific setting and rolling with how they'd imagine that character would be, whereas stock character personalities lack that "Magic If" that is inherently present in thinking a voice set from a background or culture instead. Mostly I see this as a good idea with which to expand on the current choices which are based on personality instead, that way you have the choice of going for the region-neutral voices should any of the regional ones not fit the way you picture your character.

Edited by algroth

My Twitch channel: https://www.twitch.tv/alephg

Currently playing: Fallout 2

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For the voice actor it is also easier to picture a character and his personality/manner of being by picturing them in a specific setting and rolling with how they'd imagine that character would be, whereas stock character personalities lack that "Magic If" that is inherently present in thinking a voice set from a background or culture instead.

 

For a voice set that's generic enough to work for a wide range of character types (or at least to not be out of place for them), there's probably not a whole lot of personality to picture though. Making seven or more at least fourteen voice sets like that, accounting for male and female variations that would differ primarily by accent and regional colloquialisms, seems kind of wasteful to me, but to each their own.

 

More conceptually, I wonder if the idea of an archetypal "voice" does justice to less unified cultures like those in the Ixamitl Plains, Living Lands, and The White That Wends.

Edited by blotter
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So I was just thinking about the voice sets for the original Pillars... It is a relatively minor complaint, but all the same I recall how on character creation I attempted to look for a voice set to match my character's appearance, only to have to settle for the next best thing which was about as neutral a voice set as I could find... And looking back at many other games and the kind of voice sets you're allowed to choose from, to my mind what I usually find to be the case is that they are grouped according to broad 'character types' (e.g. aggressive, stoic, sneaky, mystic) and each is played in a very broad, exaggerated fashion. Pillars is no exception for me in this matter.

 

So I was thinking about this matter as to how to reach a parameter for voice sets that would add much more colour to a character than the stock character types, and one that immediately came to mind was regional differences. In Pillars, for example, wouldn't it be interesting to have the new voice sets correspond to the different regions of Eora, i.e. have a voice set for Aedyr, Deadfire, Ixamitl, Rauatai, the Vailian Republics and so on? These would be interesting inasmuch as they could help better define the PC's background, and also would give some space with which to play with regional slang and language in some of their lines thus integrating them better to the game's world. This is just a random thought that came to mind, but wouldn't it be an interesting idea as a more unique and immersive approach to the new voice sets than simply doing "aggressive 2", "stoic 2" and so on (especially since we also have the stock character sets from the first game to choose from should we want something more personality-specific)?

 

Anyhow, let me know your thoughts.

I do like the idea, though I would take a wider range of personalities, over less personalities, but more different accents. Unlike something like XCOM all those nationalities are fictional, and therefore it is not something I think about when choosing the voice. A handy way of adding/modding in the voice lines would be welcome (BG style, if it is not already there)

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