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Dialogue in Obsidian Games

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#61
Quillon

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Its their(writers'/producers') job to schedule/make time for editing before they record it. Nothing seems to be ideal in game development anyway, they just need to do the best they can. It could also be better if they can edit on site while recording; when they hear an actor speak a line and it sounds off somehow as opposed to writers editing it themselves tho they most certainly know this and most prolly have other practices also like reading each others work etc. Anyway they are supposed to be one of the best in the biz. in game writing with a great "writing tool" apparently so they should work around the issue of finishing their work earlier for VO with as little compromise as possible.



#62
Ninjamestari

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I agree that the partially voiced dialogue feels inconvenient for the player, BUT I still would rather have the current state of affairs than either no voice-over at all or simply less dialogue due to the expenses of voice acting. Even if only a part of the dialogue is voiced, it still gives that character a lot more personality, being able to hear the voice helps a ton in imagining a proper voice in the parts of dialogue that are not voiced, and gives a ton of extra flavor to all kinds of jokes that require you to know *how* the character says what he says. It brings an extra layer of depth, and I'd argue that the inconvenience is minor at worst, a small price to pay for what I consider to be a rather sizable benefit.


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#63
injurai

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Its their(writers'/producers') job to schedule/make time for editing before they record it. Nothing seems to be ideal in game development anyway, they just need to do the best they can. It could also be better if they can edit on site while recording; when they hear an actor speak a line and it sounds off somehow as opposed to writers editing it themselves tho they most certainly know this and most prolly have other practices also like reading each others work etc. Anyway they are supposed to be one of the best in the biz. in game writing with a great "writing tool" apparently so they should work around the issue of finishing their work earlier for VO with as little compromise as possible.

 

I'd imagine recording actually really helps with the editing process. I know I can read something many times over many different days, and my brain auto-corrects all my errors. Reading something out finally makes me see the errors.


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#64
algroth

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In the Pillars original kickstarter, I was pretty opposed to full VO.  My reasoning was that VO creates constraints on how and when you can edit dialogue.  Generally work gets better over several revisions.  But in the end, they hardly revised anything in the original campaign.  Only the intro and Dyrford saw multiple revisions.  Perhaps not coincidentally, those are the best areas.  I still hold to my theory.  However if they're not going to revise in practice, then I don't see it making a big change except as a use of resources.  As long as dialogue matches the text and is skippable, I'm ok.

 

They did speak a bit about this in the Q&A: they had to cut time in some places for the release of the first Pillars and so a rigorous editing pass wasn't made on the game in the end; but they said they will be doing one this time around, as they are keeping more on schedule and so on.


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#65
Selky

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I don't mind unvoiced dialogue. I do mind that most of it tends to be boring encyclopedia talk that puts me to sleep.


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#66
Lephys

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I don't mind unvoiced dialogue. I do mind that most of it tends to be boring encyclopedia talk that puts me to sleep.

 

This stems from "This character is talking to your party, so let's use this time for out-of-place lore exposition!" syndrome. Ideally, there's a lot of dialogue to be had in the game, throughout the world, but if you want to find out all about Kingdom X's history or Lord AwesomeDude's reign, you have to get bits and pieces from many, many different people, all of whom are individually referencing bits of lore and history contextually and relevantly.

 

OCCASIONALLY you should probably find a person who's willing to let you ask them for a history lesson. But just making all the NPCs be info repositories makes them feel less like characters and more like constructs in a game that are designed to provide info that the player might be curious about.


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#67
captainfish

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I don't mind unvoiced dialogue. I do mind that most of it tends to be boring encyclopedia talk that puts me to sleep.

 

This stems from "This character is talking to your party, so let's use this time for out-of-place lore exposition!" syndrome. Ideally, there's a lot of dialogue to be had in the game, throughout the world, but if you want to find out all about Kingdom X's history or Lord AwesomeDude's reign, you have to get bits and pieces from many, many different people, all of whom are individually referencing bits of lore and history contextually and relevantly.

 

OCCASIONALLY you should probably find a person who's willing to let you ask them for a history lesson. But just making all the NPCs be info repositories makes them feel less like characters and more like constructs in a game that are designed to provide info that the player might be curious about.

 

 

I like everything you just said.  So very true.  By the time you get to NPC#3, you're brain is shutting down.  And you start filtering out all the flowing text that tends to lose context after a while.



#68
Tigranes

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Its their(writers'/producers') job to schedule/make time for editing before they record it. Nothing seems to be ideal in game development anyway, they just need to do the best they can. It could also be better if they can edit on site while recording; when they hear an actor speak a line and it sounds off somehow as opposed to writers editing it themselves tho they most certainly know this and most prolly have other practices also like reading each others work etc. Anyway they are supposed to be one of the best in the biz. in game writing with a great "writing tool" apparently so they should work around the issue of finishing their work earlier for VO with as little compromise as possible.

 

I'd imagine recording actually really helps with the editing process. I know I can read something many times over many different days, and my brain auto-corrects all my errors. Reading something out finally makes me see the errors.

 

 

It would, except you almost always cannot make any changes once recording has started. The typical process is also horrible for voice acting quality itself, never mind the text; instead of having the writer there with you as you go through various parts of the script multiple lines, with situated knowledge about what scene your character is in and so on, it is more common that, again due to budget ant eimt constraints, you get one guy in the room with some producer guy (who, if you're lucky, has actually worked on the game substantially) doing the lines as quickly as they can, file out, get somebody else in, go go go. We all know that some degree of VA is here to stay, so it would be nice for the industry to somehow find ways to adjust the process making for better writing/editing as well as better voice acting. Sadly a lot of it comes down to the hard limitation: VA is expensive, and good VA is really expensive (no, having fans record themselves on a laptop mic and sending it in - as somebody suggests every few months for any partially recorded CRPG - is not the answer).

 

'There are budget and time constraints with everything' is not really a meaningful answer for anything, we might as well say they're supposed to be best in the biz so they should give us [literally anything you could think of that you might want in an RPG]. "But sir, how are we supposed to individually animate 9,000 combatants in this scene?" "Just work harder!!"


Edited by Tigranes, 18 December 2017 - 10:00 AM.

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#69
Ninjamestari

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I think it would be refreshing to see an NPC that, if you ask him enough questions, would just tell the Player party to go **** themselves :lol:



#70
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But it's not like they will pronounce spelling mistakes, and spelling mistakes that don't get fixed in text get fixed eventually anyways.



#71
captainfish

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I think it would be refreshing to see an NPC that, if you ask him enough questions, would just tell the Player party to go **** themselves :lol:

NPC: "What??!?! You think this is a f**** library and I'm your personal librarian?!!?  Get the hell out of my house!!"


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#72
Quillon

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'There are budget and time constraints with everything' is not really a meaningful answer for anything


It is. Just cos something, in this case VO isn't important for you, doesn't make it an expendable feature for the reason that it limits editing alone. They are committing to doing "much more VO" so it must have make sense for them; they must be thinking it will help with the sales, they could be considering their target audiences' expectations and clearly they can afford it.

As for VO quality concerns, come the **** on; does this game have cutting edge graphics? cutting edge mo-capped animations? and cutting edge whatevers? Yeah it has "good" quality graphs & anims, much better than the first game but its an AA game after all; why when it comes to VO it has to be top quality(I don't think Pillars 1 had bad quality VO/voice actors so I guess you people want famous actors for it or something?) or none?
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#73
algroth

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I think it would be refreshing to see an NPC that, if you ask him enough questions, would just tell the Player party to go **** themselves :lol:

 

So, Durance? :p


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#74
Baltic

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'There are budget and time constraints with everything' is not really a meaningful answer for anything

It is. Just cos something, in this case VO isn't important for you, doesn't make it an expendable feature for the reason that it limits editing alone. They are committing to doing "much more VO" so it must have make sense for them; they must be thinking it will help with the sales, they could be considering their target audiences' expectations and clearly they can afford it.As for VO quality concerns, come the **** on; does this game have cutting edge graphics? cutting edge mo-capped animations? and cutting edge whatevers? Yeah it has "good" quality graphs & anims, much better than the first game but its an AA game after all; why when it comes to VO it has to be top quality(I don't think Pillars 1 had bad quality VO/voice actors so I guess you people want famous actors for it or something?) or none?

What this discussion is about needs to be cleared up. Editing is only a concern if we have full VO or don’t allow a non voiced segment in the middle of a voiced one. Whilst some people weirdly hate any VO, that has not been anyone’s arguement on this forum, so it probably shouldn’t be presumed.

#75
Ninjamestari

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I think it would be refreshing to see an NPC that, if you ask him enough questions, would just tell the Player party to go **** themselves :lol:

 

So, Durance? :p

 

 

Oh yeah, man I love that guy. He's easily the most interesting party-NPC in PoE 1 :D


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#76
Lephys

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I really don't understand why good VO is SO expensive. I'm not saying it should cost 5 bucks, but look at all the Youtubers with plentily-good quality audio setups that single-handedly produce their own video AND audio shows, with editing and everything, and have excellent voices.

 

It seems as though part of it is just inertia to how it's always been done. I mean, I know it's changed a lot in the last 20 years, but I wonder if it's still kind of "Oh, we have to do this, this and this, and rent a recording studio, obviously, and we can only pick from these preset voice actors, etc...."



#77
Wormerine

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I really don't understand why good VO is SO expensive. I'm not saying it should cost 5 bucks, but look at all the Youtubers with plentily-good quality audio setups that single-handedly produce their own video AND audio shows, with editing and everything, and have excellent voices.
 
It seems as though part of it is just inertia to how it's always been done. I mean, I know it's changed a lot in the last 20 years, but I wonder if it's still kind of "Oh, we have to do this, this and this, and rent a recording studio, obviously, and we can only pick from these preset voice actors, etc...."


Well, having quality recording and someone who can speak isn’t enough for an engaging performance. It’s like saying that for a good performance in a film you need a good camera and someone who looks fine. Most youtubers would make for terrible voice actors and their setup probably isn’t good enough. Some games used voices recorded by you tubers on their own setups and it’s is very hearable. In addition, You need someone who can quickly craft a character, potentially change accent, deliver lines in a way that they convey something about a character, and they need to do it efficiently. I imagine there are also other people involved like a director. From what I understand actors in gaming industry tend to be under appreciated if anything.

#78
Lephys

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I genuinely don't know enough about the problems and necessities of it, and so was wondering. It just seems like it wouldn't be much different from musicians. There are TONS of talented musicians out there. There are 7 billion people on the planet, for crying out loud. Even if only one in 10,000 is capable of doing good voice work, that's still 700,000 people on the planet who could potentially voice-act and sound good doing it.

 

I mean, you have stories of people working on animated movies, and just doing some placeholder voice work, and everyone goes "Wow, you're really, really good at that!," and they end up just using that person's voice for the character.

 

You have tons of NPCs in the game who aren't super integral characters, but it'd be kind of nice if they were voiced. Do you really need Ron Perlman to record 10 lines of dialogue that you're only going to ever hear for about 1 minute, total, in the game? I'm not saying "Lolz, it's easy and everyone can do it and it takes no equipment or setup," but people act like you have to get planets to align just to have good-sounding voicework. Is it really that stringent, and why? Would a casting call be completely out of the question for even a bunch of the more minor characters? Maybe just have people submit sound files for evaluation? Then have people weed through them (most of the definite "NOPE"s are going to be easy to pick out) until you find someone who sounds really nice? *shrug*

 

It seems weird that that's entirely infeasible. But it could be, I suppose.



#79
Ninjamestari

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There's a big difference in what sort of talent is in existence and what sort of talent is available to a company. You're right however, and I hope that people will come up with more efficient ways of finding talented voice actors and thus hopefully not only bring the expenses of VO down significantly, but also provide opportunities for talented people who might otherwise never get to utilize their gifts.



#80
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Don't forget that Union rules and things like the Screen Actors Guild would not allow you to effectively hire 'scabs' for voice work. 

 

I'd much rather they leave the full VO games to the AAA market and keep PoE and DeadFire more on the lower budget but artistic fringe. Give me a tactically deep party based game set in an interesting world with good game mechanics, excellent writing and using older generation video engines like Unity and I'll buy everything they pump out. If there are enough consumers like me it can fund their endeavors forever. 


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