Voice

It’s kind of a weird word if you say it enough times. But then again, I suppose most words are like that…. Anyway! A recurring question that pops up when people play my game is: “Are the characters gonna have voices?”. It’s something that I had been kinda hoping to skirt around for whatever reason but it became glaringly obvious that it was something I could not avoid.

So! Over the last couple weeks I’ve been hitting up my closest friends and getting them to cough up a couple lines. Voice talent is something I seriously underestimated. It’s not like you just say your lines once and away you go. It actually takes a lot of effort and a number of takes before you can come up with something that barely even qualifies as acceptable. I myself did a couple and found myself bending my face in all sorts of weird shapes to try and produce the nuances and vocal tones that I was looking for. It can be hard to not feel silly. I also found that some people struggled with the concept that they were taking on the role of a character and not just reading lines out loud. Overall, a very interesting and enlightening experience. I actually feel like a bit of a hypocrite now because I assumed that voicing characters wasn’t that difficult and was somewhat dismissive of the art. Kind of like how some people I’ve encountered are dismissive when I tell them I make video games. Life sure has a funny way of showing you what a butt hole your are sometimes.

But I digress…

After the recordings are done, the fun is far from over. There’s a lot of doctoring that needs to be done in order to make the sound quality acceptable. Some of the recordings I received where taken with a cell phone outside on a windy day, or with the microwave beeping in the background, or some other innocuous noise that people normally don’t notice but are a pain to deal with. Although having to repair these sounds was challenging, it also forced me to step up my audio game and introduced me to, or at least helped me hone my skills with, new and different audio editing tools such as the equalizer, high/low pass filters, amplification, normalization, etc.

And nope, fun’s still not over! Since the setting of my game takes place in a bio-digital fantasy land, I wanted my characters to have ‘not quite human’ voices, which of course required a whole different set of tools! For the most part, I changed the pitch and/or speed of the voices and would then hit them with a rapid echo or delay. Overall, I’m pretty happy with how a lot of them turned out. There’s only one character left to do and then it will be on to the next phase, Music.

That’s all for now. Have a nice weekend!

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