What are you thoughts on Voice Acting?

FlameEX

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So my friend thought it would be cool to have voice acting in my game, but I think it just makes games bigger, as alot of people just skip the voices.


But what are your thoughts about this feature?  :unsure:
 

DraynaRue Games

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I personally like playing games with Voice Acting but I've never actually tried implementing it into my own games. Though I prefer Japanese VA in games, English VA is still good.
 

Tsukitsune

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I love "good" voice acting. Bad voice acting can ruin an entire game for me. If you can't afford quality voice acting, then please don't use it, or atleast have an option to turn it off. 
 

bgillisp

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No. Just no. I personally am that guy who turns off voice acting as fast as I can find the button for it, as it just slows down the game for me significantly, as I can read 4 lines of text while they are still stumbling over how to read line 2 of it to me.
 

Alexander Amnell

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   I'm honestly not that big a fan of va to be honest, at least not where traditional rpgs are concerned. It's one thing in a big ticket game where you've also got lip syncs, detailed animations and such to make the scene as fluid as possible but in an oldschool rpg where the text drives the narrative as much as anything else on screen I find myself clicking through voice acted segments impatiently, more interested in reading and discerning the story at my own pace than by waiting for the voice acting to finish it for me.
 

LightningLord2

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Unless your voice acting is completely amazing (or hilariously terrible), chances are it won't really affect the game too much. For a simple RPG Maker game, this might be too much effort for its worth. However, I haven't seen any RPG Maker game trying to pull this off, so you might get some credit just for giving it a try.
 

Victor Sant

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It's a very risky thing, as it's hard to right, and when done wrong, the results are hideous.
 

Wavelength

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The general answer when this question has been asked in the past has been "avoid using it unless you can get a really good cast of voice actors".


But personally, I really like having VA in games!  Even an average set of VA work enhances the game for me, so long as it doesn't sound terribly stilted.  I agree that it's best to have an option to turn it off for people that don't enjoy it, but a full set of VA is definitely a selling point for me when I'm looking at games.
 

mjshi

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Why not get the best of two worlds- release one version with and one without? If you're using a script to "call up" the voices, for one version you could simply remove the portion that calls the voices in the script, and delete the voice folder.


But overall, whether or not I like voice acting depends on how much time I have to play... If I'm feeling rushed, I usually impatiently skip through text xD
 

Goldschuss

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I actually want voice acting to be in my game. I'm a voiceactor myself but no professional.


Once I finished the Beta of my game I will try to implement all the voices
 

Saboera

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Voice acting probably isn't worth it. If it's not really well done, which is extremely hard to do without the proper funding or people, it can be more of a detriment to the game than anything. You're also gonna bloat your game file size and limit your ability to edit or create dialogue.


If you insist on having VA, you could do partial voice acting, where some important lines are delivered but the majority of the game isn't voice acted.
 

Dr. Delibird

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Personally, as long as the sound quality is good (as in it is clear and crisp) and their is an option to turn it off or change the volume of the voice acting specifically and you dont have to wait for the voice acting to finish to proceed to the next set of text (as in you dont have to wait for the clip to finish for you to be able to press the accept button to advance the text).
 

LaFlibuste

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For me to tolerate voice acting, it would have to be 1) very very good and 2) in a highly cinematic game with high quality graphics that translates body language. In an old-school pixel game with text boxes, nah, I'd skip it. Or ideally mute it altogether. I usually find voice acting to be a bit derpy, anyway. I'm not a fan. But hey, knock yourself out, if it's your thing!

That being said, I'll grant you that voice snippets to enhance certain elements, like battle animations (especially in an ARPG), could potentially be very effective.
 

Rozel

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That being said, I'll grant you that voice snippets to enhance certain elements, like battle animations (especially in an ARPG), could potentially be very effective.


Yep, this is what I'm planning to do. Definitely gives combat more of an impact.
 

Tai_MT

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I'm not really sure how I feel about it.  No matter what game I'm playing (even AAA games) I turn on Subtitles immediately.  I end up reading the text more than listening to the talking.  Perhaps I just grew up in a different era of gaming?  It probably doesn't help that the last time I was impressed with voice acting was Halo 1.  It's just something I don't usually think about all that much.


I guess if it's done well, it's impressive?  Provide voice acting if you like, but please leave me an option to read it instead.  I read faster than most actors... well... act.  And I can get the emotion fairly well via text.


Heck, even in Stardew Valley, with their pictures next to the text to "show their emotion", I don't even look at those.  I get what they're feeling just by what I'm reading.

As for voice during battle...  I'd just like to invite people to YouTube "Xplay Shining Force Neo Review"

There's a good reason to exclude voice acting during combat entirely, ha ha.
 

Tu-Face

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I usually like it when voice acting is included in a game. But like everyone else mentioned, if the quality is poor, it's like nails on a chalkboard. I had a few lines of dialogue for my game voice acted by someone just to test it out, and it ended up lagging the engine a bit. If you can find quality voice actors though, it may be worth pursuing.
 

Titanhex

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In most cases, voice acting doesn't really seem necessary in a game, and can be distracting.


Cases I've seen it done well are mostly commercial releases.


I feel like it's main force is to round out animation.


Games where a certain level of character animation is implemented, especially in the cases of fine details like talking portraits and cutscenes, often are best done with voice work. It's mostly a result of high production values in games. If a characters mouth actually moves, it only makes sense that some sound should come out of it.


But in 99% of RPG Maker or other low production value games, it largely seems unnecessary, if not distracting. If you're not gonna animate the characters mouth when they talk, why bother making a sound come out of it. If anything, it's weird and breaks immersion.


There are notable examples where voice acting plays a part in the sound design, but that kind of sound design probably isn't what you think of when you say voice acting.


So take it as you will. This is simply my analysis, and up until now I haven't given much thought as to why games should or shouldn't have voice acting. 
 
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lithkast

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I love voice acting.  It helps bring your characters to life and good voice acting can really sell the characters to the audience.

I wouldn't voice act the entire game, but major cutscenes would be nice.  I, personally, will try to include some voice acting in my game providing I have the budget to get some decent VA's.  The thing to remember is that you don't NEED voice acting.  Don't add it just to add it.  That will make it terrible.  if you are going to add VA then make sure you take the time to sit down and have people audition for the roles, just like a real play.  Give them copies of a scene, set the tone for them, and let them be free to express the character how they see fit.  Treat it as a theatre audition.  People can tell if you took the time to care about your VA and not just shoehorned it in to have it.

 
 

DarkBooDev

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I actually have to say I don't prefer voice acting in a language I understand. I think it's much more interesting to either have no voice acting or make the voice acting in a special made-up language that is unique to the game's world. Having no voice acting allows the player to imagine the character's voice for themselves and encourages them to take part in the storytelling of the game by playing out the character's voice in their mind, giving it a personal touch and providing more immersion. The special language, in my opinion, adds another layer of depth to the game and adds a bit of world-building in my opinion. 
 

Prescott

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The results you are getting in this thread are completely different from the ones I got when I posted mine xD pretty much everybody was against voice acting in an RPG, but what the hell, we're doing it anyway.


We are voicing battle sequences and the main story arch only, no side quests as they're, well... side quests. We also aren't having any voice acting in the mobile version since it'll definitely bring up that file size.


Here are some things you should make sure you do if you're doing voice acting:

  1. Make sure your cast is good. The characters have to match the voices. We have myself, my assistant director, and a beta tester making sure the voices of every character actually sounds like that character. So far we have had to turn down a couple of people (myself included!) for roles, but it's well worth it because you have to have a voice that matches the character. Beyond this, it can't sound stiff, it must be natural. To cure this we usually have one of us reading the lines of the other characters while the voice actor does their character so they can react and blend well. A good sign of a good voice actor is their facial expressions, if they look like they're actually saying the line as the character and they sound good, they're a keeper. Most of our cast has been in theater before as well (and not just High School drama class), so that's a big plus.
  2. Make sure you're using the same equipment and that it is actually good. We're recording everything in the same room, with the same microphone, under the same conditions. Even if your voice acting is PERFECT, a bad microphone, background noise, or inconsistent levels of quality between voice actors/segments can be really disorienting and hard to keep listening to. We are using a popular microphone (the Blue Yeti) so that just in case we do need someone to voice act that isn't able to come to us, we can at least give them our settings and have them replicate it as closely as possible. Thankfully we haven't had to do this yet, and all of our voice actors have come to us, but it's good to have a plan B.
  3. Have the option to turn the VA off. Obviously there's going to be at least one person playing through your game that just wants to read through it and not listen to the voice actors.
  4. Don't tie message boxes to the voice acting. If a player has finished reading a dialogue box and the voice of the character is still playing, they shouldn't have to wait through all of it if they don't want to. Just use a "Stop SE" command after every message box and you'll be fine :)

I think those are the main parts. Good luck :)
 

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