Voice acting and dialogue

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adeine
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Post by adeine » Wed, 23. May 18, 23:19

Honved wrote:I'm hoping we don't get multiple pronunciations of the same thing (Suss-a-NOW-a / Sue-ZAN-o-Vah) and other immersion breakers (mispronounced technical terms), probably because the voice actor(s) wasn't/weren't given enough guidance or pronunciation help by the development team.
I must be one of the few people who enjoyed Betty's occasional mispronunciations. It added its own charm and made it feel like a legit TTS/board computer as opposed to a real person.

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BigBANGtheory
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Post by BigBANGtheory » Thu, 24. May 18, 12:34

Nanook wrote:
Ketraar wrote:I guess none of you watched Firefly.

MFG

Ketraar
Wrong! But we didn't watch it hundreds or thousands of times, hearing the same dialogue over and over and ...... :P
My thoughts exactly.

Witcher3, Skyrim, Fallout and ME work because they have an enormous catalog of dialogue they can call on they set the modern RPG standards. I didn't mind the XR dialogue per se but the repetition just killed the experience stone dead.

Honved
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Post by Honved » Thu, 24. May 18, 18:07

My point was that half of the problems could be solved by providing a bit more assistance to the voice actor, either with a well-written pronunciation guide for the phrase currently being recorded, or someone speaking it first, so the voice actor knows how it's SUPPOSED to be pronounced. Even a few extra minutes of time invested at that point could make a big difference.

Oblivion also had that issue, with DAY-dra or DEE-dra, depending on who voiced the character. One shopkeeper couldn't pronounce his own name (Vornado calling himself "Vernardo"). The list went on and on from there. Egosoft doesn't have a monopoly on the problem.

Also, while the voice actor is speaking a line to be used frequently in the game, wouldn't it make sense to have them voice several "variations" of it, with a couple of words changed or shifted? Rather than hear the same line 600 times, you get any of 3 different versions of it at random. The extra handful of megabytes of data shouldn't break the game, and the voice actor should be able to burn through the variations quickly, because it's all in roughly the same tone, just a bit more or less rushed, relieved, or upset, with no need to mentally readjust for a completely different character voice.


"Good, just in time"

"Ah, you made it in time"


"I was worried you woudn't make it in time"

radcapricorn
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Post by radcapricorn » Thu, 24. May 18, 20:20

You know what's wrong with Albion these days? Everyone is obsessed with AI.

The problem is not in repetition per se, it's the context. Conversation with a person demands versatility. I'm not bothered by the most repeatedly heard line in X3 ("docking granted, command accepted"), even though it's generic and is spoken in a monotonous voice. It's a machine - the same machine - reacting to player input, it is expected.
With people, you want unexpected. Otherwise it all turns into visits to the Cloud District while having arrow in the knee for discussions about damn lizards and difference between AI and AGI in light of Canterran restoration effort.
Skyrim, Fallout, Oblivion - they all have this problem. You meet supposedly different people, yet they impose on you same tired old lines you've been hearing 40 hours ago when you first started. Smalltalk and employee interactions in XR took it to the next level of mindboggling annoyance.
Two, three variations won't save the day though. Ideally you don't want to hear the same stuff more than once per several hours, but that would need a ton of recorded dialogue, is a mess to maintain and edit as the game changes. But the small-scale precedent already exists in X3: the announcement about loose animal vaporization makes me smile even today, although I must've heard it hundreds of times by now.

Modern game developers act as if too much silence is boring, and fill the air with one-liners which are so boring they're annoying. I'd opt for people to be silent until player actually really wants them to speak: story missions, reports on demand, taunts and pleas via shp-to-ship comms.

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spankahontis
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Re: Voice acting and dialogue

Post by spankahontis » Fri, 25. May 18, 00:52

MegaJohnny wrote:Obviously X has always had campy dialogue, and I'm sure it won't stop with X4. But I feel in XR, NPCs make a lot more quips and witty remarks that sound too cartoony, and there's tons of lines where they just sound rude or aggressive, even if they're your own employees.

For example, NPCs coming aboard the Skunk:
"How does your co-pilot cope with the smell of sweaty male clothing back here?"
"Where's the bar?"
"I wish you'd change the decor, though!"

Captains finishing their orders:
"Yes? And the new orders are....?"
"Yes, we're wasting time now, waiting for new instructions."

The snooty English voice type as an architect:
"You pick it, we build it, you live with it!"
"Are we done looking at stuff here?"
"If you've finished admiring your new module, would you like us to start another one?"

And oh god, assassination briefings are a treasure trove:
"I want you to help someone meet up with their parents - their dead parents!"
"I want someone to make an abrupt exit - from life!"
"I need you to do a hatchet job - no, you don't need an axe!"
"I want you to scratch an itch for me - the itch is a person, and the scratching involves explosions!"

The list goes on...

So could the X4 dialogue be a bit less interesting? A bit more utilitarian? I can handle deadpan a lot better than brusque or flippant.

I loved the Assassination Mission Dialogues, there needed to be more witty lines like the above.

I can see your point with Architects, with Traders in general.
It's like they forgot the very basic rules of running a business, like... Treating your customer like a Human Being.
Sorry but If I get slagged off by a Shelf Stacker, I'd either ask to see their Manager or find somewhere else to do business. In X games the Shelf Stacker and the Manager slag you off.. And you still buy their crap.
:D

Fleabum wrote:
X Space is like the frontier wild west back in the 1800's, full of gun toting lawless miscreants... and what do you think would happen if you spoke to a guy with a bad attitude holding a couple of big guns, especially as rude as some characters in X do... chances are you would get a hole in your chest, or in this case, a hull breach.

So no, your crew would not speak to you with disrespect, otherwise you would teach them to spacewalk without a suit. ;)

Regards
Flea
Only, this is not a FPS, so no Clint Eastwood at a local bar,just "Show me your Wares Please".
Not even a "Force them to walk out the Space-lock" Which I like the sound of if someone wants to do a Pirate playthrough?
Being able to ask crewman to escort "Mrs gobby Architect" off the ship while doing 250kms in your Arawn Carrier would certainly cheer me up when being told to "Go boil my Head".
adeine wrote: I must be one of the few people who enjoyed Betty's occasional mispronunciations. It added its own charm and made it feel like a legit TTS/board computer as opposed to a real person.

It made me think if Google Translate had sex with a tele-prompter, would the child be Betty? xD
radcapricorn wrote:You know what's wrong with Albion these days? Everyone is obsessed with AI.
I see what you did there! :lol:

But totally agree, the topic of conversation was always on the same 8-10 subjects.
People are boring in the future!!!
The Biggest pool of salty tears this side of the Galaxy!

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Morkonan
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Post by Morkonan » Wed, 30. May 18, 22:09

Nanook wrote:...Yep, you. :P Personally, I'm with the OP. Enough with the juvenile humor and comments. Most of us X players are grownups. The 'witty' comments would go over a lot better if they were few and far between, rather than a constant diet. :roll:
^-- This.

Context-ignoring NPC commentary is almost always a bad thing, since it pulls the player out of the reverie of their imagined experience.

Player is in a heated battle, half the bridge gets blown away, total decompression, emergency vacsuits activate, NPC walks onto the bridge from the lift and says "It smells like old underwear in here" and then they're blown into space... apparently unconcerned, now that they've successfully completed their "npctwitchspeak#random___" script....

Well, that would be funny as heck, but would likely tend to break the suspension of disbelief we all hunt for when playing an X game. :)

Constnat chatter in games can be a problem, too. I don't know how it is in Rebirth, but in some games, it's downright annoying when NPCs start dumping their twitch/idle/playernear jabber. What's the point if everyone's jabbering at once as soon as the player enters their zone?

Comm dialogue, though - That's probably a lot more important for immersion than crew or generic NPC chatter. The communications system relaying a conversation between a player and NPC is going to be very context specific with plenty of ques to call up some nice bits. "Greeting" dialogue can be nice, too, with various NPCs getting a reputation with the player solely from their initial dialogue. ie: "Oh, it's you, again. What do you want this time?" Instant "personality" that the player is going to respond to.

adeine
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Post by adeine » Wed, 30. May 18, 23:23

Get voice actors to read a thousand different versions of "Ouch", and play a random one every single time the autopilot crashes their ship into some object.

The meta kind of immersion. :wink:

Karvat
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Post by Karvat » Wed, 30. May 18, 23:47

Please egosoft, please, give the NPCs many more dialogue options, such as identifying and signaling approaching enemy ships, such as "enemy xenon ship sighted 1 kilometer to the north". If I'm in charge of a big ship I really want a team capable of helping me in dangerous situations, like "shield energy under 50%", things like that, do not let everything do the computer on board, give greater importance to subordinates.

radcapricorn
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Post by radcapricorn » Thu, 31. May 18, 02:05

Karvat, the "ship sighted" notification... have you ever played any of Silent Hunter? These types of reports are useless and annoying as hell, and in X I can imagine them turning into a Royal Boron Pain in the Plasma Vents, given the penchant of throwing swarms of enemies onto a single player ship.
Furthermore, it wouldn't really make much sense in modern X. It could have had some small value back in BtF, XT or X2, where spotting something was indeed a skill, nowadays with crazy sensor ranges and selection highlighting smeared all over the screen - not so much.

Karvat
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Post by Karvat » Thu, 31. May 18, 02:47

It was just an example, however in that case it would be enough to put a disabling option for people who do not want it. I would like to see more interactions with the subordinates on board in general

Slashman
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Post by Slashman » Fri, 1. Jun 18, 16:49

Ketraar wrote:I guess none of you watched Firefly.

MFG

Ketraar
I didn't notice this before but you have horribly insulted one of the most awesome space shows tv has ever seen.

You really compared dialogue in XR to Firefly? Wow...
If you want a different perspective, stand on your head.

Honved
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Post by Honved » Tue, 5. Jun 18, 16:33

Morkonan wrote:Player is in a heated battle, half the bridge gets blown away, total decompression, emergency vacsuits activate, NPC walks onto the bridge from the lift and says "It smells like old underwear in here" and then they're blown into space... apparently unconcerned, now that they've successfully completed their "npctwitchspeak#random___" script....

Well, that would be funny as heck, but would likely tend to break the suspension of disbelief we all hunt for when playing an X game. :)
Reminds me of Oblivion: You're in the midst of the epic final battle scene with the combined Empire and Guild forces taking on the demonic hordes of Merunes Dagon, and the intervention by a divine power has just driven Dagon himself back to Oblivion.....when a random civilian strolls up and begins "I saw a Mudcrab the other day." That's a prime example on multiple levels of how NOT to do dialog.

Skeeter
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Post by Skeeter » Tue, 5. Jun 18, 17:21

One thing that annoyed me is the lack of ambiet background chatter between npcs. Like say you g to the bar in rebirth, you see a table of say 4 npcs sitting there. 1. They arnt talkng to each other and 2. They arentt animated the just sit there gormless. If x4 has anything like a bar next time or for example ur on a capital ship bridge i want to hear npcs talking to each other and animated so it looks like there interacting with talk ass in walks up to someone and they talk about orders or ship status etc. It doesnt have to be constant but has to be there for realism imo, i wouldnt like it if its quiet and npcs not looking like there doing actual jobs. If they are there just as eye candy i would hate that thats all the effort and thought thats gone into it.

Same as taking over a ship, when u click on the pilot to take over i expect manners like the player character saying ok xxx i will take over for now and the npc says yes sir.

Its the little slice of life details that needs to be in a game like this.
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CBJ
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Post by CBJ » Tue, 5. Jun 18, 17:49

It's not a question of lack of thought. As I've mentioned before, the problem with "background chatter" in a game that people play for 100s of hours is repetitiveness. The sheer volume of content that would need to be produced for this to even begin to do it without it driving people mad would be prohibitively expensive to write, translate and record, and even then players would hear the same things annoyingly often.

I'm sure someone can dig up the last time I explained this, where I think I used the news articles from X2 as an example of why it doesn't, and can't, work the way people imagine it might. If you want evidence from another game then the whole "...and then I took an arrow to the knee" history should pretty much cover it.

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Santi
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Post by Santi » Tue, 5. Jun 18, 21:01

This is like taking an arrow to the AI.
A por ellos que son pocos y cobardes

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