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Full voiceovers ruin text-heavy RPGs for me

Discussion in 'General RPG Discussion' started by J_C, Sep 7, 2020.

  1. Shaewaroz Arcane

    Shaewaroz
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    You guys do realize you sound exactly like Cleve?
     
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  2. Nifft Batuff Arbiter

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    Exceptions can be found. Here is an example of VO that improves the quality of text reading:
     
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  3. Nano Prestigious Gentleman Arcane Patron

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    You don't mind full VO, okay. But wouldn't you still say that it sucks up a huge amount of the budget that would be better spent elsewhere?
     
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  4. rusty_shackleford Arcane

    rusty_shackleford
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    no
    any game using SAG voice actors already has a ridiculous budget so it doesn't matter
    any game not using SAG VAs is paying them mexican-tier wages
     
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  5. Sigourn Arcane

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    I dislike unnecessary voice acting in text-heavy RPGs because it takes away from the genuinely good voice acting that the major characters (hopefully) get by comparison. Usually the important characters have a genuine voice to them, and care and thought went into picking their voice actors.
     
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  6. V_K Arcane

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    [Channeling ERYFKRAD] Realms of Arkania HD.
     
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  7. Ismaul Citizen First Class #3333 Patron

    Ismaul
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    Codex 2014 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Make the Codex Great Again! Grab the Codex by the pussy Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech A Beautifully Desolate Campaign
    You VA-haters seem to hate it because of shitty walls-of-text. Why don't you hate shitty walls-of-text instead?

    Clearly you don't hate VA since you don't want to turn the voice off.

    Learn to direct your hate properly.
     
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  8. J_C One Bit Studio Patron Developer

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    Well, you could get over the shitty wall of text faster if not for the long winded spoken dialogues which are distracting.
    The whole debate started with me (and others) finding VO distracting while reading the text. Because reading is faster, while waiting for a huge ass amount of text to be spoken is boring on the long run.
     
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  9. InD_ImaginE Arcane Patron

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    This is not how project and budget works.

    Removing full VO will not make the budget appear somewhere else such as "making a better gameplay". What you will have instead is a the same game without full VO, that's it.
     
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  10. muds_animal_friend Arcane Patron

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    I used to believe that an advantage of voice acting was it would cut down on the amount of awful dialogue in RPGs because professional voice actors cost money. I hoped VO would lead to terser and better dialogue. I was young and full of hope back then.
     
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  11. JackOfOwls Erudite

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    I agree to a point but there are just some otherwise decent games that were destroyed by bad voice acting. To this day, nothing turns me off more in gaming than having to suffer horrible VA. Thankfully, it's fairly rare these days.
     
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  12. J_C One Bit Studio Patron Developer

    J_C
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    Well that time and money you spare on VO would have to go somewhere. Also, VO means that you have to lock down on the script at some point, when all the VO is recorded. Without VO, you can change and improve it later.
     
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  13. Flying Dutchman Educated

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    I don't mind VO as long as the original dialogue was written for VO and not "oh, let's suddenly add VO to the text that was never meant to be read out loud" because the two are much different and the transition doesn't work well, imo.
     
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  14. Luckmann Arcane Zionist Agent

    Luckmann
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    The walls of text could be shakespearian in quality and it would still be distracting if they were fully voiced.

    Turning the VA off, as has been explained, isn't desirable because that turns off all VA, which causes other issues.
     
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  15. InD_ImaginE Arcane Patron

    InD_ImaginE
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    The decision to have full VO or not is included in the budget to begin with. If you don't plan for full VO what you will have is the same game but cheaper. Of course, there are cases where full VO is planned much later on the project timeline. The first DOS for example only adds them later on the EE. If the decision is made mid-development and the money taken from other parts of the project then it is shit project management on part of the dev.
     
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  16. Luckmann Arcane Zionist Agent

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    This isn't remotely true. Most developmental projects have a set budget, sometimes based on a pitch (which may or may not include "totally fully voicing this"), and exactly where something goes within that project is decided after you know how much money you have to work with.

    This is actually an "issue" in many non-profit projects that have been overfunded, as they end up with more money than they can handle, and either burn through it on frivolities just to make sure that the budget is gone (as it will be lost at the end of the project otherwise) or simply poorly budgeted (vastly over- or underestimating the cost of a given facet of the projecet). I suspect this, along with "woopsie I moved money to another project haha just for a moment tho pinky-promise tehee" is what happened to a lot of Kickstarter projects.

    In the given example, Deadfire, the budget was set by the crowdfunding campaign. Funds that went towards full VAs were funds that - objectively - could have been budgeted for other parts of the game, such as playtesting, and even a cursory narrative playtest would've picked up on many, many issues. Instead, they chose to hire a legion of mostly shitty voice-actors, and given the Californian voice-actor cartel going on, there is no way that was cheap. Flashback to the time someone wanted to include family members in a game but couldn't because of Marxist shenanigans.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2020
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  17. Nifft Batuff Arbiter

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    Many games companies went banckrupt in the '90s, with the advent of CDs. CDs meant more quantity of data to fill, and they started to inflate game budgets just by inserting VOs and FMVs everywhere. Companies started also to invest more in VO and FMV rather than improving the game itself because those were the tecnichal gimmicks that were supposed to make the games sell.

    We know how it ended. Hystorically that period has been recognized as a general decline of the quality of games in almost every other aspect. After this initial fluke companies started to reduce or remove the FMV altoghether, and to use VO only in contexts where it made sense.

    The point is that VO (as well as using FMV) did not automatically renders a game better. It depends on the context and type of the game. However I see that often the mentality is still that of the '90s. Its like people are still fascinated with the tecnical gimmicks that render games similar to movies and expect that every game should adopt them by default, because they are new and exciting, even if they are old as my granddaddy.
     
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  18. Daedalos Arcane The Real Fanboy

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    Full or even partial VO can absolutely improve an RPG beyond your wildest dreams, similarly, it can also break the game.

    It all depends on the quality and implementation, as with most other things.

    The amount of RPG with good VO is far and in between, unfortunately, but whenever you do play an RPG with great VO, it just blows you away, at least it does for me. It breathes so much life into the characters and the world.

    VO can however carry a badly written game, somewhat. I mean there's nothing worse than reading through walls of badly written text in an RPG, either... so.

    But I'm a movie guy much more than I enjoy reading book, so maybe im heavily biased.

    I've always preferred partial VO, instead of full VO, though. Fallout 1 and 2 did it perfect for me in terms of VO for vital NPCs and key parts.
     
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  19. Luckmann Arcane Zionist Agent

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    Just for reference, could you name one?
     
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  20. Daedalos Arcane The Real Fanboy

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    Fallout 1

    Fallout 2

    Pillars of Eternity 1

    Disco Elysium

    Bloodlines

    Planescape: Torment

    Wasteland 3

    Deus Ex and subsequent installments

    KOTOR games and old republic star wars games

    To name a few:
     
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  21. sser Arcane Cuck Developer

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    VO-heavy/text-heavy games are almost at an impossible crossroads from a game design perspective.

    Here's an argument scene from 'Avengers', which I'm specifically using because it's the same fantasy genre as most RPGs. You have a 'party' and they're having problems.




    Notice that when tensions are rising they start talking over each other and cutting in? Notice how they fill in details, build character, and even start hitting storybeats with literally one or two sentences?

    It's really hard to get that in a text-heavy RPG and I don't mean from a creative standpoint, but because the games tend to lean on the player's choices, which means long pauses for the player to read, digest, and then pick an answer they like. So the VO has a tendency to kick in, and then stop, then kick in again, then stop. There's, quite literally, no flow. And dialogue is all about flow.
     
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  22. Ranarama Learned

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    The cost and time of paying people to speak and record it is a waste.

    Why don't AAA games have choices and consequences? Because they'd need to record voice for each variation.
     
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  23. V_K Arcane

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    Devs prioritizing one kind of pointless fluff stops them from doing another kind of pointless fluff. Such a tragedy.
     
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  24. Luckmann Arcane Zionist Agent

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    Life is an endless sea of misery, pointless, and then you die, promises unfulfilled, potentials wasted.

    [​IMG]
     
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  25. JarlFrank I like Thief THIS much Patron

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    I skip the VA even in well-written games. Really loved the writing in Disco Elysium, and goddamn am I glad that they only did partial VA the Baldur's Gate style.

    If they had done full VA for every single line, I would have grown tired of the VA rather quickly, no matter how good it is.
     
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