Do you enjoy voice acting in rpgs?

Do you enjoy voice acting in rpgs?

  • Yes

    Votes: 18 34.6%
  • No

    Votes: 11 21.2%
  • Depends (explain please)

    Votes: 23 44.2%

  • Total voters
    52

gelboy

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I'm all for it when it comes to main story cutscenes, but it does get in the way with normal dialogue. Sometimes I just wanna speedread but skipping through voice acting feels like I'm missing out.
 

Dust

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Sometimes I just wanna speedread but skipping through voice acting feels like I'm missing out.
A 100% this. I generally don't have high standards on voice acting in RPGs but one thing that does annoy me is when the voice acting takes 3-4x longer than me reading the text.
 

KenKrath

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I'm wondering what your opinions are on voice acting, and if you like it or not.

Imo it adds a ton of depth to the game. Unfortunately it seems like it would cost a fortune to hire any voice actors, not to mention I have no idea how to do a pipeline of adding all the files to the text in such a massive scope of that of an rpg.
This is a myth. There are tons of really good voice actors out there who are willing to do this for free, you just have to know where to look and take the time to screen the auditions. How do I know? Because my entire project is a voice-acted cutscene, lol!!

Personally I do pay my voice actors.

Like others on the board have mentioned if the voice acting is bad I could do without it. Someone else also mentioned that voice acting cannot hide bad writing. And yes I do get flack for the voice acting of one of my character; I mean it was one of the first actors I casted and I was learning - haha!!!

I do want to post a question in general forums on whether someone would pay to use a service to find voice actors for their project.
 

Arctica

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All of my favorite VAs don't seem to do games anymore so I can go either way now, and also I guess it's because I've been playing games since the late 80s and thereby was stuck with voiceless rpgs for many years until Grandia II came out. Ryudo, man, he had the PERFECT VA.
 
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Scenes in games with voice acting are much more memorable than scenes in games without voice acting. That being said, I don't think that full voice acting is necessary. It enhances a game, but not so much that it conceals other flaws in a game. I think of full voice acting as the decorations on a cake: beautiful cake decorations can make a delicious cake amazing, but they don't make a bad cake delicious. Likewise, there are plenty of delicious cakes without beautiful decorations.

While bad voice acting can ruin a character for me, good voice acting can make me like a character even more. Even voice clips can add significantly to a character. I can't think of any games I've played where the voice acting was so atrocious that it ruined the rest of the game.
 

Drake616

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Generally no, I enjoy self-inserting to a certain degree and keeping a narrative flow in my mind.
 

AphoticAmaranth

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It depends, but more often than not, no, because I tend to read faster than the voice, which often results in the whole thing sounding a bit off if I'm advancing the dialogue before they finish speaking their previous lines.

If you're undecided on adding voice acting to your game, perhaps add it but include an option to turn it off?
 

HexMozart88

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Depends. I kind of like gibberish (think Onion King from Overcooked!) or just a boop boop boop text scrolling sound (think Harvest Moon DS) but full VA is perfectly fine. I actually like bad VA because I can laugh at it (I can't tell you how many times I've laughed at that Megaman X4 death scene) but it doesn't do very much if your game is supposed to be serious. That's kind of why I opted out of VAs in AD, but it's important to have voices in mind for your characters, even if you don't plan to actually give them VA.
 

Featherbrain

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My formative gaming years occurred before voice acting and it's still a take it or leave it thing for me. I voted "Depends" because I enjoy voice acting sometimes. It works great in immersive western RPGs like Skyrim. Some jRPGs pull it off well, too (like Grandia II). However, as others have said, most people read faster than spoken dialogue, and I often start skipping the spoken dialogue once I've read it, so I ultimately question how much it adds to the experience. "Battle cries" and other repetitive catch phrases can actually get pretty annoying. Play DBZ Kakarot as a drinking game and drink every time Gohan says "I-I think I can handle this" before a battle. You'll be under the table in half an hour.
 

HexMozart88

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Yeah, battle cries are something I definitely won't do for those exact reasons. Eternal Sonata has a bunch of battle cries, and it's hilarious because they yell out the name of their attack as they're doing it. Something about hearing Chopin yell out "Piu Grave!" as he beats the heck out of you with a conductor's baton is really funny.
 

coucassi

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I am working as a voice actor, so I'm definitely biased here, but I can tell you that the opinion of most studios about this would be yes. When I look at what jobs are available when it comes to games, rpgs always make the largest part by far. Naturally, since role play games are all about roles, about characters.

An interesting story ist the story of intersting people, so you want to show them to your players, you want them to know who they are and why they are doing the things they do. You want to express their feelings. Of course this is possible via text alone, otherwise books wouldn’t work, but if you’r not an author, but a developer you want you surely want all kinds of gamers tob e able to enjoy your story, not just the ones who are also into reading books.

If you give your characters a voice, you don’t need to count on your players imagination to convey feelings or sarcasm or emphasis.

There are several rpgs that live off their good voice acting, imagine games like Mass Effect or Dragon Age, or even The Witcher without the character voices.

Buuuuut of course the answer is it depends.
It depends of the kind of game you are making.

For the JRPG like games, I don’t think they suffer too much, if there is no voice acting, especially if they aren’t focused on dialogue, but it’s always nice to have. If people don’t like it, they can just turn off the voices (of course you definitely need to give this option to your players).

I personally don’t like the battle cries, if there isn’t regular voice acting too. If I read the character’s dialogue, I have an own voice fort hem in my head, so I’m always put off if they suddenly start making noises in a voice that just doesn’t resemble what I have in my head, when I read.

For Horror RPGs it can add a lot. Hellblade even tells you to wear headphones becuase the voices do so much and this is one oft he most atmospheric games I ever played.

In a visual novel I would also strongly recommend voice acting – a lot of older japanese visual novels were remade in a Full Voiced version and sold a lot better than before – again because you can get all the people to play, who do enjoy a good story, but aren’t so much into reading, especially on screen.

So yeah, those a the kinds of RPGs that came to mind at first, when I started thinking about this. All in all, fort he kind of games we are able to make, I think it can add something and I would totally enjoy it, but it’s not necessary form e to enjoy a good game.



Bad voice acting however is enough to make me quit it. So if you don’t have professional actors to do it: Don’t. A game can feel very polished and professional, even though it’s made by a solo-indiedev, but if there is any amateurish voice acting the whole impression is ruined.
 

GregorDuckman

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I might be a minority on this one but I really like non vocal sounds as in Golden Sun - tones tuned to individual characters, but no actual words.

Beyond that I prefer voices in certain scenes or situations only. World of Final Fantasy was pretty much 100% voice acted and it made talking to NPCs annoying since, unfortunately, they can't afford to pay tons of money for quality acting from every single character.
 

tiabuni

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I turn it off almost every time, the only exception is Xenoblades Chronicles (the first one, of course - not the trashy second). The voice acting in that game is too precious. That is not to say the voice actors don't do good jobs in other games, I am just not interested in voice acting myself.
 

Milennin

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For 2D games, I prefer just text. Their strength lies in letting the player's imagination fill in the gaps to create their own unique experience.

For 3D games, a lack of voice acting makes the world feel dead to me. But I think it's important for games with voice acting to know that players read faster than they listen, so keeping dialogues more concise is important, or if that's not an option, to let more of the dialogues happen during gameplay instead of locking the player in place when characters are talking. Genshin Impact is the most recent example of a 3D RPG I've played that has both extremely dragged out voiced dialogues and also locks the player into cutscenes for nearly everything and it makes for a very bad experience, in my opinion. (And it definitely also doesn't help it doesn't have a proper dialogue skip option...)
 

ericv00

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One of the reasons why bad voice acting is bad is because the cadence and tone of the voice isn't what we expect for the dialogue. And we all have differing opinions and taste with how to express a thought. With only text, we get to imagine the words spoken in our personal best-case cadence and tone scenario. Even some people's voices are not to everyone's taste. There are a few voice actors that, when I hear them voice a character, I'm immediately repulsed. Not trying to throw shade or anything, but some voices I have heard way too much, or they just don't fit the characters they are type-cast as. (Unpopular Opinion: I personally CAN'T STAND Cam Clark's voice)

Another reason why bad voice acting is bad is because dialogue, even from high quality writers, is very often simplified from what a real conversation would sound like. Real people don't talk the way videogame characters talk. And when you put that to voice, it only highlights that break from reality. When the writing is bad, there is almost nothing even a good voice actor can do to save the experience.

We absorb information at different rates. Reading text, we get to take as much or as little time as we need to process the information. With voice acting, we can't exactly ask a character to repeat a word or two that we missed without hearing potentially a long set of lines that we DON'T need or wouldn't need repeated. And hearing the phrase said with exactly the same words and sounds rips us out of immersion. Not a problem if we can take the time to carefully read a text box.

....But... A really good performance can add a whole lot. It's rare, but I've heard voice actors take corny dialogue and transform it into something compelling. Or even better, take corny dialogue and camp it up into wonderful absurdity.

All things considered, I prefer text only. Ideally, if there is a big budget, you can have things voiced but have the option to turn it off (which is what I almost always do when i can).
 

Basileus

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Voice acting can be okay, but it's pretty uncommon for me to be impressed with the quality of a game's voice work. Most of the time it's okay and manages to at least avoid completely taking me out of the game. However, I understand why most gamers today require it and it does come down to personal preference.

I think it depends on whether your game is trying to be like a book or a movie.

Books are a more active medium, since a reader needs to stay engaged in order for the story to continue. For games, this would be like not telling the player exactly where to go and requiring them to ask for information and piece clues together themself. It's an active process that will keep some players engaged, but isn't going to be something everyone enjoys.

Movies are a mostly passive medium, since the story is something that happens at the viewer with no effort on their part (or possibly at nothing as the story will continue even if no viewer is present). For games, this would be like modern cinematic titles where the bulk of the story happens in cutscenes and the player mostly sits and watches as the story happens to the characters. There is still gameplay in-between, but the voiced cutscenes are a passive process that allows players to tune out if the scene isn't interesting enough.

If the game you are making is meant for the mass market, then it should have voice acting as that is what the majority of people want. People like movies, and a lot of people play games to tune out and not think that much. If the game you are making is for a specific audience, then you should do what that target audience wants. A fan of top-down CRPGs with lots of dialogue choices may not want voice overs, but a fan of 3D adventure games may require it. In the end, you need to give the market what it wants to be successful.
 

rpgLord69

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Voice acting really breathes life to 2D games. I recently played Trails in the Sky (the version with voices) and can't imagine it without voices. If I was making a commercial game I would definitely try add voice acting (at least for some important scenes, keep cost to minumum). Of course bad voice acting destroys the game, but I think these days you can find semi-amaterus/beginner professionals who can do good work. I remember the action-"RPG"-platformer game Dust: Elysian Tail made by one guy. It had voice acting that I liked, or at least found decent and the developer said that he got it for cheap.
 

Arrowgantt

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The only game that was fully voice acted was SWTOR. Most MMOs don’t have voice acting for side quests, I’m surprised they even added bits of the dialogue to those. They probably could have left it off and it would have been fine.

I would have liked to see more random NPC conversations (in area chat, for example) in towns, where the NPCs talk to each other, but they’re all too spaced out.
 

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