Author Topic: Voice acting  (Read 7085 times)

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Offline Locutus of Borg

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Are there still no plans to add VA to this mod. I think that that's the only thing it's missing. It's one of the few mods that draws me in atmospherically even though I have to press f4 all the time just to see the messages without having my head blown off :S

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Offline Admiral Nelson

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The time required is really prohibitive -- its been over two years since the Warzone VA started and it is only now nearly ready for release.  VA of 28 missions will take forever.  Thank you for the compliments, however. :)
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Offline Locutus of Borg

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Don't let that one tough experience ruin it for you. Even a partial VA would be preferable to none at all. I'd be willing to help if need be.

Why not give it a shot, if it works it works, and if not then forget about it.
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Offline Snail

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I don't know about the TVWP team, but if I start a job I'm inclined to finish it.

 

Offline starlord

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sorry! what's VA for?

 

Offline MatthTheGeek

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Voice Acting.
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Offline Locutus of Borg

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I think you could find a lot of interested people.
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Offline Goober5000

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I think you seriously underestimate the difficulty of voice-acting a campaign. :)  It takes a lot of work.  And even if it's completed successfully, it takes a lot of time.  There's a reason so few campaigns have been voice-acted.

 

Offline General Battuta

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Yes. It will take years.

 

Offline Locutus of Borg

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We are the Borg
We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own

Resistance is FUTILE

 
Alright, so just out of curiosity, could any of you guys with previous experience in the VA process explain us what is exactly the reason why it's so complicated to do? Why does it takes so long? Could you please tell us what are the bottlenecks, and the difficult parts? What programs do you use? Do's and dont's?

I'm obviously not in a position to do anything related to voice acting, considering I couldn't pronounce a word in English even if my life depended on it, and my accent is absolutely inescapable. But I would like to know (and I'm sure other, better suited persons would like to know too) why is the voice acting process considered so frustrating and time consuming, and if there is anything that can be done to improve it.

 

Offline General Battuta

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Recruiting and casting separate actors for each part is time-consuming, especially because most actors cannot product quality lines with the equipment or talents they have. This limits your potential actors to a small pool of busy semipros. Usually it is wise to go to semipro VA communities and hunt for work-for-free talent there.

Each actor will need to be supplied with their lines, a contextual script, and pronunciation guides, as well as background on their character and the setting.

Once parts are cast (months, probably), you have to stay on your actor's cases to get all their lines in. Some will drop out. Others will produce lines of unacceptable quality. Retakes will have to be done, of individual lines or whole parts.

Once lines are actually in your hands, they must all be normalized, cleaned, and post-processed in Audacity, adding radio noise and message beeps as appropriate. They must all be properly named, added into missions, and checked in-game for audible volume.

Like all projects it takes twice as long as expected even when well-planned.

Additionally, you (the project leader) will leave it hanging for weeks or months at a time as you become busy with real life.

 
Ok. So:

Recruiting and casting separate actors for each part is time-consuming, especially because most actors cannot product quality lines with the equipment or talents they have. This limits your potential actors to a small pool of busy semipros. Usually it is wise to go to semipro VA communities and hunt for work-for-free talent there.

Each actor will need to be supplied with their lines, a contextual script, and pronunciation guides, as well as background on their character and the setting.
So if we had a pool of "local" talents this could theoretically be skipped almost completely, as they would have already played the campaign and so they would know the context.
How did we get the current pool of talents in modelling, texturing and fredding? Can this same process be adapted and used in this case?

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Once parts are cast (months, probably), you have to stay on your actor's cases to get all their lines in. Some will drop out. Others will produce lines of unacceptable quality. Retakes will have to be done, of individual lines or whole parts.
Yes, I can see it's unavoidable. Perhaps separating the whole job in batches that could be completed faster would reduce the delay on getting that feedback?

Quote
Once lines are actually in your hands, they must all be normalized, cleaned, and post-processed in Audacity, adding radio noise and message beeps as appropriate. They must all be properly named, added into missions, and checked in-game for audible volume.
Yes, I have that program, but I haven't really used it much. Is there any way to automate that process? Let's say, does Audacity support some way of scripting at least the most basic and repetitive of those tasks (like message beeps)?

 

Offline General Battuta

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I have a pool of local talent on tap, but it's very small (though very reliable.) Much of Blue Planet was done locally on HLP. It's not enough to do justice to a full campaign with any degree of dramatic requirement.

In effect voice acting attempts are already done in batches already. Actors are identified and roles are sent at them. Rarely is every role sent out at once.

I doubt the process can be automated. While it would be easy to run a batch normalize, every voice is different, and so is every line. Human treatment of each individual file is necessary for optimum outcomes.

 

Offline mjn.mixael

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I look at it this way, let's finish the campaign. THEN we can worry about getting it voice acted.

With that said, IMO, a campaign of this magnitude (assuming it turns out as good as we all expect) SHOULD be worth the effort.
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Offline General Battuta

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I actually think the basic execution of TVWP is faulty and that the campaign as it stands needs a major rework to be really enjoyable. The problem lies as much in the gameplay mechanics and design decisions as the FREDding. Somewhere along the line somebody made the mistake of confusing a primitive atmosphere with primitive decisions and design techniques in the actual execution.

I haven't checked to see how much the polish job on Act II and III has helped.

YMMV of course.

 

Offline Locutus of Borg

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How do you mean?
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We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own

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Offline General Battuta

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I don't really want to go on a rant here because I think there's new talent coming in that may be able to fix things up.

 

Offline Goober5000

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With that said, IMO, a campaign of this magnitude (assuming it turns out as good as we all expect) SHOULD be worth the effort.
I disagree, actually... the deciding factor should be a campaign's quality, not its size.  ST:R, BP:AoA, and Derelict are all quality campaigns that deserve their voice-acting; and they range in size from 18 missions to over 50.  On the other hand, Second Great War Part II has more missions than any of them, and nobody is arguing that it should be voice-acted based on its length.


I actually think the basic execution of TVWP is faulty and that the campaign as it stands needs a major rework to be really enjoyable. The problem lies as much in the gameplay mechanics and design decisions as the FREDding. Somewhere along the line somebody made the mistake of confusing a primitive atmosphere with primitive decisions and design techniques in the actual execution.
I tend to agree, actually.  TVWP bit off way more than it could handle, overreached in many areas, and suffered greatly for it.  I disagree that the features like primitive sensors etc. will ipso facto lead to poor gameplay, but I do agree that the execution is very rough and could be improved.


Anyway, as Battuta said, TVWP will have a new crew after Chapter 1 is out, and they might be able to do something interesting with it.  We'll see what happens.

 
Bah', you disappoint me guys, I was actually expecting another fight from you two. :p Just kidding.

I don't really want to go on a rant here because I think there's new talent coming in that may be able to fix things up.
Oh, thank you! You didn't had to... Oh, wait, you are NOT talking about me...? Oh... :(

 :lol: