Voice Over for RPG game. Good or bad?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by KayZaman, Mar 19, 2017.

?

Is voice over is your good idea?

  1. Yes

    5 vote(s)
    18.5%
  2. No

    4 vote(s)
    14.8%
  3. Both

    13 vote(s)
    48.1%
  4. Meh

    7 vote(s)
    25.9%
Multiple votes are allowed.
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  1. KayZaman

    KayZaman Brother-Veteran Veteran

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    RPG game was awesome but some games has voice over or vise versa. Like Final Fantasy from I to IX (except FFVII on PS2 series) have no voice over, until FFX they have voice over. We hear what are they talking within dialogues. But the best game with voice over I've ever played was Persona 4. Not just reading the dialogues but the voices played so much role for every characters.

    But for the games without voice over, like Undertale, got some great idea to entertain players even without voice acting or voice over. The player pretends or uses imagination for what kind of voices the characters are speaking. Like Papyrus that majorly use high pitching sinister voice with laughing trademark Nye-Heh-Heh!.

    So here, the RPG Maker thread, was it good or bad idea?

    Mines both because it's depends of my story and gameplay. I used voice over for my RPG Maker. Here's example:

     
    #1
  2. Reapergurl

    Reapergurl Drummer Extraordinaire! xD Veteran

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    VO is something that can make the player not like your game if you're not careful.

    As far as I am concerned, if it adds to the overall appeal, go for it.

    Just make sure your subtitles match, especially across languages.

    Though, for Japanese < - > English translations, that's really a massive hit or miss, so don't make too big a deal over it.
     
    #2
  3. Wavelength

    Wavelength Pre-Merge Boot Moderator

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    I tend to really like the presence of Voice Overs in games, but there are some people that hate it, so I recommend making it a player option if you include it.
     
    #3
  4. Zevia

    Zevia Veteran Veteran

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    The biggest complaint I've seen against voice over is that a player will read the text long before the voice over has finished and will get impatient and start mashing the skip button. Alternatively, bad voice over can outright ruin an experience - voice over is one of those things that just has to be good if you're going to include it, it can't be just OK or mediocre.

    That being said, it can also be an excellent addition when done well. It can lend so much more depth to a character - not to mention it's much easier to appropriately express tone, meaning, subtext, and emotion through voice instead of text.

    As a result, I'd agree pretty wholeheartedly with Wavelength that you should include an option to turn off voice over, unless you have awesome voice actors and it's an integral part of the game's experience.
     
    #4
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  5. Shaz

    Shaz Veteran Veteran

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    I don't like voiceover with text displayed. Just voices is okay, and just text is okay, but if you give me both of them, the voices will put me off, because the speech won't go at the same pace I'm reading, it will sound different to the way I imagine the character, and the accent will be different to how I imagined it might be.

    One or the other, not both.
     
    #5
  6. The Mighty Palm

    The Mighty Palm Resident Palm Tree Restaff

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    Reapergurl put it well, but I'll say a bit anyway.

    Voice acting is one of the few aspects of game making that can make or break you.
    Bad VA can not only destroy any character design you may have had, it can annoy the player to the point they won't play it.
    On the other hand, that rare moment where you pull off Good VA can cement a game and make it memorable.

    The best examples I can think of are Symphony of the Night and Star Fox: 64. (I'm spoilering this as I ranted a bit)
    Symphony of the Night is a fantastic game, it's challenging, fun, there's a lot to do, secrets to find, it's great. There's just one
    little nagging issue. The voice acting is horrendous, it ruins the experience because of how ridiculous it is and totally kills the mood.
    Add a really badly sung and out of place end-credits song and you've completely killed the mood.

    Star Fox 64 is a mediocre game. it's a super short rail shooter with some fun gameplay, sure, but it's nothing to write home about.
    Until you remember the voice work. Oh god it's incredible. Every character has so much emotion and life in them. Every quote is memorable. Even the ones that without context sound completely irrelevant and meaningless.
    "Cocky little freaks!" "Gee I've been saved by fox how swell" "Great Fox is ready to go" "Why are ships coming out of the base?" "What the heck?!"
    "Don't go burning that arwing!" "Hold A to charge your laser" "You can also lock on to enemies this way" and so many more. Without the voices behind them they seem simple and plain but to those who remember it's like your playing the game again.
    It's so beautifully ham but without being stupid. You feel like you're playing a drama series. The voice acting is easily the best part of star fox 64.
    And it was a once in a lifetime thing. No Star-Fox game since has achieved what 64 did. There is no science to good voice acting, you can put everything you have in it and it will still be a gamble.

    If you're going the voice acting route, you have to put your heart and soul into it. And probably some of your wallet too.

    A good VA job is a rare and fantastic addition to any game, though it almost certainly won't salvage an already bad game.
    but bad VA can kill you, then crumble up and toss out what was an otherwise good game.
     
    #6
  7. Jonforum

    Jonforum Veteran Veteran

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    Personally my vocal are made like the sims. :thumbsup-right:
     
    #7
  8. ItzTerry

    ItzTerry Magician of Discord Veteran

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    If the VO is bad in regards to things like quality, expression etc, it will make the game worse overall.

    If it's great in the categories listed above, it'll make it fairly better. In my opinion, I don't like it that much but hey. That's just me.
     
    #8
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  9. Diretooth

    Diretooth Lv. 23 Werewolf Veteran

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    A good example and bad example of voice acting in an RPG is Tynave and Farleen in Star Ocean: Till the End of Time. Tynave has a pretty good voice actress, fits the character, and overall is enjoyable to listen to. Farleen, however, speaks in a cutesy, high-pitched voice that is so at odds with even light-hearted moments (And comparatively better acting in general) that it's honestly a bit of a trial playing through any cutscene where she appears in.
    Speaking from a standpoint of a video game enthusiast, any game that has good voice acting will do better than a game that has bad voice acting, especially if the person putting the voices in doesn't know how to remove noise properly. Good voice acting requires hours of saying the same words over and over again to get them just right. If you have the cash to spend on voice acting, it's a worthy investment if you can get good, professional quality voice actors.
    Nothing, and I repeat nothing ruins a game more than unprofessional or terrible voice acting.
     
    #9
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  10. Kes

    Kes Global Moderators Global Mod

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    I echo everything that's been said about bad voice acting - and tbh, I have never heard an amateur voice over actor doing it well. Professional level voice acting is expensive, so I can see why people try a cheaper option, but it's not worth it, imo.

    I agree that it should be voice or text, not both at the same time, with the player being given the option. I think that having only voice is a terrible choice. Some potential players will be deaf, or partially hearing, or have to play with the sound off for some reason. That's them excluded. Next are those for whom English is their second, third or even fourth language. Spoken English could well be difficult for them, certainly at any 'natural' speed, and they would prefer to read at their own pace. No text excludes them as well. Then there is the substantial number of people who don't want their imagination limited by having the characters interpreted 'just so' (accent, intonation, expression etc.).
     
    #10
  11. KayZaman

    KayZaman Brother-Veteran Veteran

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    @Kes I like what you posted.
     
    #11
  12. XIIIthHarbinger

    XIIIthHarbinger Part Time Super Villain Veteran

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    Personally, I think it isn't a yea or nay question, but a rather a question of how everything comes together.

    For example with my own current project I don't feel any desire to include voice over. Primarily because of the time & expense of doing it well enough, that it adds to rather than detracts from the game.

    The only exception I considered was for prologue & epilogue scenes. The former to explain to the player the situation they find themselves in, the later as part of a player choice driven cutscene sequence, rather like what you see in some of the fallout games. Which I would have voiced myself, since I have a rather deep "Narrator type" voice.

    So I really think it very situational dependent upon what you have access to, & what you are willing to invest into it. & because of that, there really isn't a "right" or "wrong" answer.

    If I had to apply a hard & fast rule, it would be when in doubt, do without. Because while a scene not being voiced might make it less impactful, having it voiced badly can absolutely ruin the scene.
     
    #12
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  13. An Additional Pylon

    An Additional Pylon Villager Member

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    For the classical jRPG aesthetic, I'd say the best option are sound cues instead of actual VO's. Like different font scrolling sounds for every character, or at least a type of character, so you have like this subtle higher pitched "chchchchchchchch" when a soft female character is speaking and, per se, a series of grunt-like, low-pitched "dundundundundundundun" for a beast or an otherwise malevolent charater.
     
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  14. Lunixx

    Lunixx Vampiric Empress Member

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    It's really a style option. I'm currently working on a mini-RPG that I want to have a slightly eerie feel to it. So I don't use voices because I feel it will taint the style I'm going for. So if you think it fits your game style best; then go for it! If not then just leave it text. I think most people want a game with good gameplay and story before all else.
     
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  15. byronclaude

    byronclaude Master of all things... (except the things I am no Veteran

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    I have contemplated inserting some kind of voice action into a project... but honestly, if I did it - it would be to accomplish something small and funny that would probably never go beyond private use... ...something to say: I tried it.

    But I go with much of the market on this one... which is to say that from my observations - VO's don't make a project good enough to justify the work. The games with VO's usually lose my interest for some reason. But I have an overactive imagination and can "create" a voice in my mind to match the text (old-school final fantasy games come to mind... ...did anyone else imagine RELM from FF6 as having a high-pitched slightly annoying voice? :guffaw: hahaha). Having a voice provided takes that away from the player.

    So I gotta give VO's two 'thumbs-down'.
     
    #15
  16. Sharm

    Sharm Pixel Tile Artist Veteran

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    I have played an indie game where a voice actor made a mediocre game into something I enjoyed and would play again, but they had paid for an experienced professional to do the part and he was doing the majority of the voicing. Most of the time though it doesn't add much and if done wrong it can kill a good game. So for most indie projects I don't think it's worth it.
     
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  17. mogwai

    mogwai 1984 Veteran

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    I've lost interest in some of my favorite RPG series when they started putting in voice audio.

    A good RPG is like a book. Playing video games is the only way, I can say that I read things. I've only read like two fiction books since school/college.
     
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  18. HexMozart88

    HexMozart88 The Master of Random Garbage Veteran

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    I don't know. I like voice acting. Because I don't find it to ruin a game if it's bad. I just find it something to laugh at. If your game is serious, you may want to consider good voice acting, but if your game's comedy, it kind of works.
    See, in my game, I absolutely need it, because there are a lot of times where it'd just be awkward silence without it. I find that in a fair bit of Zelda games too. You're staring off into a beautiful scene, and a dialogue box completely ruins the moment. Voice acting feels more natural to me.
    Voice acting in battle is completely blessed. That's probably the best way to do it in my opinion. The only reason I can't is because I'm not good at making grunting noises without voice cracks. I have an unnaturally deep voice.
    There are some games, like retro style games, where it is entirely inappropriate to do voices, but in most games, I think there should be some or at least the option to do it.
     
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  19. Sharm

    Sharm Pixel Tile Artist Veteran

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    Good point. I do enjoy battle voices, even when they're bad. Especially when they're bad. Ah, now I want to play Star Ocean 2 again.
     
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  20. HeroLite

    HeroLite stinky weirdo Veteran

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    it's more of a neutral thing in my eyes. cause hey dude, these are rpg maker games, not some colossal mega supreme title from overlord power studio 3000. it's fine if they don't have it, it doesn't deter from the experience at all, and if they do, it feels more like a nifty bonus. if it's done right, then it can be a real experience enhancer, but if the VAs have awful 19th century quality mics, or have obnoxious voices, then it does get irritating and i'd probably put the game down entirely because of it.

    it's just a big gamble i guess. including it can either make or break the experience.
     
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