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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...."


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 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.


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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.


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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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.


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

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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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Biggest problem with the dialogue in PoE is that the writers almost universally failed to follow the rule "Less is more".

 

So many flowery adjectives, so little substance.

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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. 

 

Yeah, there are many---many RPGs have been developed within those guidelines in the recent years(all of them turn based) whether they succeeded in each or any of the points is debatable but when you are Obsidian and you dedicate 50 person team for a game; it needs to stand out somehow with its production quality,and feature-richness and whatnots, otherwise it'd be harder to make a profit. Obsidian is not your typical, new in the industry small indie RPG dev, they haven't made "indie" games before PoE and most of its fan base expect "bigger" games from them and obviously Obs gravitate towards that when they can afford it; otherwise they wouldn't have increased their budget for PoE2 and kept making games with smaller teams as when they had to. They can still make games with small teams(size of Tyranny, PoE1 or even smaller PA)  but it doesn't seem to be their current plan or primary objective :p atm.

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full VA is only a must when you have close-up of faces, lipsync like in KotOR. In games like pillars it‘s more flavour, doing it the way BG2 did is IMO fully sufficient.

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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.

 

Being a musician I mostly guess that VO is expensive due to my personal experience in music. First you need a place to record - studios and concert halls are expensive. For a musician a recording session is expected to be better paid than a live concert, because your work will be reused by someone without you profiting. Sure there are a lot of musicians but they spent many years training, often deal with large student loans and purchased instruments worth $10,000-$100,000. Playing below union wage is not in their best interest. In the recording you have musicians and a team of director and audio engineers who will help in making sure recorded material is high quality and later edit it.

 

Recording of 30min-1hour long, high quality demo reel in US usually costed me between $500-$1000 and that was the cost of a small studio with one audio engineer and a very basic ensemble (just a single violinist - therefore not much equipment in use, no balancing to do) and it covered couple hours of recording session, and cleaning up/editing audio (naturally I didn’t pay myself for performing). I would also want to point out that as it was proof of my abilities recording, there was no time consuming editing like putting different takes together, adjusting intonation etc. Sure, I usually recorded for around $120 but the difference in quality was drastically noticeable. while I can’t possibly predict how much a recording of VO or soundtrack for a game costs I expect it to not be a cheap process.

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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. 

 

Those unions actually have that kind of power? Isn't that a bit unconstitutional and contrary to the free-market ideals of the west?

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

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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. 

 

Those unions actually have that kind of power? Isn't that a bit unconstitutional and contrary to the free-market ideals of the west?

 

 

The power of a Union to control through fear and intimidation is directly related to its percentage of the market which it controls. In the US construction industry has like 15% or less Union control (highly dependent on the area) so Unions have less sway than they once did. In Hollywood the Screen Actors Guild, the Writer's Guild and whatever other groups there are have a near total monopoly on the market.

 

Perhaps some superstar like Dwayne Johnson could buck the will of the Unions but the hundreds of actual workers who make the industry work are all members who would be blacklisted from ever working again if they stood against their Union comrades. You'd have a hard time blacklisting the Rock but Jimmy the carpenter or Suzy the soundstage manager would be easy to starve out.

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Man, that sucks. Why do I get the feeling that this has some sort of causal relationship with the constantly declining quality of Hollywood flicks. :/


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

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Biggest problem with the dialogue in PoE is that the writers almost universally failed to follow the rule "Less is more".

 

So many flowery adjectives, so little substance.

 

Not all the writers, just the guy who wrote Durance and Grieving Mother ;) 

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Biggest problem with the dialogue in PoE is that the writers almost universally failed to follow the rule "Less is more".

 

So many flowery adjectives, so little substance.

 

 

Not all the writers, just the guy who wrote Durance and Grieving Mother ;)

And yet those are the most interesting and best written characters IMO.

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Biggest problem with the dialogue in PoE is that the writers almost universally failed to follow the rule "Less is more".

 

So many flowery adjectives, so little substance.

 

Not all the writers, just the guy who wrote Durance and Grieving Mother ;)

And yet those are the most interesting and best written characters IMO.

 

...to be in a book :p

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Those unions actually have that kind of power? Isn't that a bit unconstitutional and contrary to the free-market ideals of the west?

 

I get it, but it seems a bit heavy-handed. I mean... if you had some corrupt cops mis-applying laws for jollies, you couldn't just be like "We're gonna form a group to ensure this doesn't happen... so now, anytime a cop applies a law at all, we get to approve it. If we don't like an arrest, then it can't be completed."

 

That's pretty dumb. You just wanted to fix particular cases/instances, but now you've given a group the power to sway things in the complete opposite direction.

 

I understand the malicious situations in which "scabs" are hired instead of union peeps, but at some point in time, all the members of that union weren't members of that union yet, and they were just trying to get into a career field, right? So, how much sense does it make to say "You're either in our group, or we're intentionally trying to screw you over in some kind of post-apocalyptic 'every man for himself' way"?

 

Also... I would assume there are fees and crap, but, what if EVERYONE joined the guild? Then where would you be? "Well, sir, 70 million wanna-be voice actors have joined the guild, so now they can just hire any of them."

 

Unions aren't inherently dumb, but they can be pretty dumb.


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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Power corrupts. The more power any organization gets, the more corrupted it becomes. I think the solution could be perhaps just that the unions should be limited in some way, so that there could be multiple unions, who then can compete together to keep each other in check. Still, the world moves around power dynamics, ideologies have very little sway in the big picture; they're just tools, that's why there are no real solutions to any of this. If I've learned something during my life, it is the fact that the second law of thermodynamics absolutely applies to human societies of all kinds. Entropy always increases.

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

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Biggest problem with the dialogue in PoE is that the writers almost universally failed to follow the rule "Less is more".

 

So many flowery adjectives, so little substance.

 

 

Not all the writers, just the guy who wrote Durance and Grieving Mother ;)

And yet those are the most interesting and best written characters IMO.

...to be in a book :p

*interactive book.

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Biggest problem with the dialogue in PoE is that the writers almost universally failed to follow the rule "Less is more".

 

So many flowery adjectives, so little substance.

 

Not all the writers, just the guy who wrote Durance and Grieving Mother ;)

And yet those are the most interesting and best written characters IMO.

 

...to be in a book :p

 

It's one of the biggest problems with the way critics received PoE that the writing in it was described as 'it's like you're reading a book!'

 

That assessment is wrong.

 

PoE's writing reads like no book that would ever win any awards, sorry but that's the truth.  The writing is, as I said, almost universally over the top with its use of high-level language.  The concept 'less is more' dictates that using an apt word or phrase is excellent, but using a simpler one is also great, if it doesn't impact on the meaning.  If the 'right' word is a simple one, there's nothing wrong with that.  Good writing doesn't necessarily equate to complex writing.

 

That said, I am fond of the writing, and the language it uses is very impressive in an intellectual sense.  I just find it very tedious to read, and I think it impacts on one's enjoyment of the game to constantly have to put in so much effort just to decipher every. bloody. sentence.

Edited by Yosharian

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The problem with writing wasn't that it was bad but that different writers with different approach, language and style wrote different things seperately and then they mashed them together without anyone editing them to match a specific style. So it was inconsistent and felt weird with a lack of writing vision.

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Biggest problem with the dialogue in PoE is that the writers almost universally failed to follow the rule "Less is more".

 

So many flowery adjectives, so little substance.

 

Not all the writers, just the guy who wrote Durance and Grieving Mother ;)

 

 

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It would be of small avail to talk of magic in the air...

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The dialogue Obsidian writes on a bad day while sat on the crapper literally ****ting it out onto the toilet paper is still alot better than a lot of the dialogue written by Bioware, but then that is not that hard tbh.  People mistake Bioware's quantity of dialogue for quality and for a long time there wasn't much competition for them in the writing department for games.  Then again, I'm an elitist **** so of course I'd say that.

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The dialogue Obsidian writes on a bad day while sat on the crapper literally ****ting it out onto the toilet paper is still alot better than a lot of the dialogue written by Bioware, but then that is not that hard tbh.  People mistake Bioware's quantity of dialogue for quality and for a long time there wasn't much competition for them in the writing department for games.  Then again, I'm an elitist **** so of course I'd say that.

 

There's still the distinction to be made between the old Bioware that made gems like the first KotOR and Jade Empire, and the new Bioware that is obsessed with political Feminist-LBTQ narrative instead of actually making good dialogue and characters. And then there's their obsession with the forced romances and player-sexual characters. Urgh. The point is though, that Bioware USED to be good.

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

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Obsidian and Bioware have different approach to writing. Both are good in general imo and both had their bad times equally. The important thing is to know what's the game vision and tone and have everyone in the team aligned with that. Obsidian didn't do that with Pillars 1 and it showed not only in writing but in other parts of the game too. Hopefully (and pretty sure) this won't be the case with Deadfire.

Edited by Sedrefilos
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The more voice acting, the better. Half-arsing the job is kinda annoying I do agree with the OP there...

 

Unless it's like Pyre where the characters are speaking another world of language and makes sense. So, with that said, they will be having alot more voice acting this go around.

 

Besides that. The trailer had a great voice over so it would be a shame to get the final product and not be given that experience. While trailers don't necessarily respresnt the product, they should.


Just what do you think you're doing?! You dare to come between me and my prey? Is it a habit of yours to scurry about, getting in the way and causing bother?

 

What are you still bothering me for? I'm a Knight. I'm not interested in your childish games. I need my rest.

 

Begone! Lest I draw my nail...

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