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Budget experts strike again :p

 

Facts not speculation.

 

Games were ejoyed back then without VO, true. Games were enjoyed back then in resolution 320x200x256 colors, also true. Games were enjoyed back then having blips from pc speaker for music, also true. Games were enjoyed back then with only controller the keyboard, also true.

 

Isn't it you who is pretending to be such a knowledgeable person that when other people bring you facts and considered opinion, you can just dismiss it as baseless? 

 

The monetary and operational costs of voice acting that I cited last page are not deep secrets; they are very well known to anyone that's worked in the industry, talked to people who work in the industry, or have followed the industry in any level of detail for years; and even for a completely amateur fan, Bioware, Obsidian and other RPG devs have specifically talked about exactly things like word count limits or the inability to edit writing (e.g. DS3's intro, which suffered from this and resulted in repeating "Jeyne Kassynder" 80 times every 5 seconds). But, instead of offering any facts of your own or any rationale for rejecting the presented facts, you decide that 'oh no you guys dont know anything its all opinion'. 

 

I don't know what your second paragraph means, because nobody's interested in this reductio ad absurdum contest; given that nobody ever said VO adds nothing to games, this seems irrelevant to the costs/benefits equation at hand. VO is obviously wonderful when it is done well. It is also patently true that VO is extraordinarily costly. My personal opinion is that it is not worth it for games like Pillars; I equally think there's valid reasons to argue that it is worth it. I don't really see why the discussion needs to be dragged down by snarky comments insinuating that someone's deliberately bringing up baseless opinion. 

Edited by Tigranes
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Sorry, but maybe I was not clear in my wish.  one pointed out something I would be ok with and that would be considered partial voice-acted, and that was if the NPC would voice their introductory greeting dialogue.  I would be ok with that. 

 

But what I have a problem with is you get the first page of dialogue voiced, then 3 pages of nothing, then one line on page 4, then nothing on next page, then page 5 is voiced.

 

It's almost like the voice actors were recorded before the script was finished and the developers expanded the script post-recording.

 

And paying low-budget "actors" to read is only an hourly wage I believe. And they can do multiple characters to save money.  Even the AAA titles like Skyrim had people voicing multiple characters, esp the soldiers or market folk and vendors.

 

Anyway, thank you all for your input and thoughts on my little rant post here.

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VO in Skyrim was a joke, half the male population had VO of whoever voiced that Ralof dude.

 

But some mods for Skyrim had excellent VO, studios should track those people down.

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It's almost like the voice actors were recorded before the script was finished and the developers expanded the script post-recording.

 

But isn’t it good to have this freedom, it sets the expectation that the writing can be tweaked if it needs to be.
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I don't know what your second paragraph means, because nobody's interested in this reductio ad absurdum contest; given that nobody ever said VO adds nothing to games, this seems irrelevant to the costs/benefits equation at hand. VO is obviously wonderful when it is done well. It is also patently true that VO is extraordinarily costly. My personal opinion is that it is not worth it for games like Pillars; I equally think there's valid reasons to argue that it is worth it.

 

Despite your personal opinion, if we go by Josh comments in that previous stream, it seems Obsidian is debating to go down this route after seeing the success of Divinity Original Sin 2 (which sold over 1 million copies in a couple of months on ONE platform).  Considering they are investing even more money into this game compared to the first Pillars, it's pretty obvious they want this series to be successful and more than just a niche series.  I honestly expect the game to be fully voice acted by the time it comes out whether you like it or not.

Edited by bonarbill

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It's almost like the voice actors were recorded before the script was finished and the developers expanded the script post-recording.

 

I think that is very much a possibility. One of the advantages of non recorded dialogue is that you can change it whenever you need.

 

Another possibility is that they recorded lines which they saw as the most important or non changeable. If dialogue has branching paths and they are recording some of it, they will go for lines which always stay the same.

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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.

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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.

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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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The most important step you take in your life is the next one.

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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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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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Currently playing: Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire

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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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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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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.

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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
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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:


The most important step you take in your life is the next one.

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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.

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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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'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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'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.

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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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The most important step you take in your life is the next one.

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