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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. rusty_shackleford Arcane

    rusty_shackleford
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    Reminder that every RPG will be fully voiced in ~10 years when speech synthesis is indistinguishable from trained voice actors. :positive:
     
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  2. Sigourn Arcane

    Sigourn
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    A good example is the Legacy of Kain series.
     
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  3. Nifft Batuff Arbiter

    Nifft Batuff
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    I bet significantly sooner than 10 years.
     
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  4. Sreggin Etah I Learned

    Sreggin Etah I
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    i don't mind voiceovers unless it's bad or cringe bad. If the VO is bad it can definitely ruin the game for me. As for speed, i'm not a fast reader so for me it doesn't make any difference with or without VO. English is my second language too and i found that with VO is much easier for me to understand stuff, but this can vary from person to person.

    There's one downside with voiceovers though, is that it can limit the amount of dialogues in a game, since VO is expensive, which lead to less dialogue choices.
    [​IMG]
     
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  5. V_K Arcane

    V_K
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    Didn't CRPGAddict blog about some sci-fi RPG from late 80s that used speech synthesis?
     
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  6. Dillrodimus Prime Literate

    Dillrodimus Prime
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    Yeah, I feel like DE hit the sweet spot. Record the rare impactful line, leave most of it to the imagination.
     
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  7. Voids Augur

    Voids
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    The growth of the industry and the infusion of corporate money has combined with full VO to utterly destroy storytelling in games. Many such cases!
     
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  8. Flying Dutchman Educated

    Flying Dutchman
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    Isn't this what happened with Deadfire?

    I liked the VO, but I don't think everything should have been voiced (esp. the narrator), it felt forced in some sections.
     
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  9. Ismaul Citizen First Class #3333 Patron

    Ismaul
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    Maybe what you guys want is a VA playback speed control, so you can match the VA speed with your reading speed.
     
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  10. J_C One Bit Studio Patron Developer

    J_C
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    What we want:
    a) if they have Crime and Punishment sized text inside the game, don't use VO, because it takes too fucking long to listen all of it
    b) if they want full VO, make the text natural, shorter, like real dialogues, instead of reading like a book.
     
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  11. Nifft Batuff Arbiter

    Nifft Batuff
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    Interestingly you can draw a parallelism with people that complain about lengthy and distracting animations inserted in the game play. Such for example when you move amongs places in an adventure point & click game and a lenghty animation of the character walking through the screen is displayed. Or in a turn based games where each action is displayed with an elaborate animation.

    In the latter case for example a solution that has been adopted is to play the turn animations in an unnatural faster way. Even in point & click games, usually the walking animation is rendered at an unnatural faster pace.

    This mean that the context of the game is not apt to host cinematic elements. Nevertheless since cinematics elements are expected to exist whatsoever, compromises have to be made, such as unnatural accelerated animations, that maybe are even worse than the initial problem.

    Maybe the best approach in these cases is to adopt a more abstract desctription of the action, for example with direct trasitions, letting the imagination to fill the gaps. It is not a problem if there is a level of abstraction. It is the language of the game medium, that is different from the movie medium, etc.

    In the case of a lot or repetitive text we have a similar problem. You can render a faster VO but it will feel obviously unnatural. Why don't let the imagination to fill the gaps?
     
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  12. Ismaul Citizen First Class #3333 Patron

    Ismaul
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    So sad when only imagination can fill the gaps.

    :smug:
     
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  13. Blutwurstritter Learned

    Blutwurstritter
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    Well, that is pretty much what the BG1/2 style does, isn't it ? Give me a small sound snippet so i have a starting point how the person sounds and leave the rest to my imagination. Works perfectly fine, even in text heavy situations.
     
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  14. Gargaune Learned

    Gargaune
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    Yeah, VO snippets were the audio counterpart to character portraits. Together, they gave you an idea of what an NPC looked and sounded like and it helped flesh out their personality, then your mind did the rest.

    When you have a dialogue-heavy CRPG, the logistical challenges and added expenses of full voiceover can be a serious detriment even beyond the risk of players going "just shut up and let me read." Not that the latter is a negligible quantity, at one point I actively started turning my speakers off whenever Deadfire's narration kicked in.
     
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  15. J_C One Bit Studio Patron Developer

    J_C
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    One thing I don't understand why don't the developers implement a setting where you can switch between full VO or partial VO. It wouldn't be that much of a hassle to implement, and this way they could please both crowd.

    When they have to cater to casuals in some way, they are talking about accessibility and inclusivity all the time. Muh options, they always say. Well they could implement a VO feature to cater to us.
     
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  16. DalekFlay Arcane Patron

    DalekFlay
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    I've complained about this a bunch of times. I always end up turning voices off, which is also annoying since then you get zero flavor dialog. It's better than hearing voices while you read twice as fast because the words are forced on the screen though.

    I think PoE1 had so many voices I even turned it off in that too, despite it not having full VO. I fucking hate voices and words being on screen at once.
     
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  17. Nifft Batuff Arbiter

    Nifft Batuff
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    PoE2 is a particular offender in this respect too. They invested so much to have VO in every single line of dialog, but apparently could not care less about text readability. The tiny dialog box wih broken font scaling (for a game where you have to read so much) is hilarious. You can find this kind of complaints about text readability issues everywhere nowadays (https://forums.obsidian.net/topic/97544-dialogue-window-size-and-font-size/)
     
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  18. Riddler Magister Patron

    Riddler
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    Bubbles In Memoria
    Am I the only one that isn't bothered by this but at the same time thinks that full VO is a completely useless waste of resources (and imposition of unnecessary production pipeline limitations) and that the superior system is the BG2/Disco Elysium method of voicing key lines?
     
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