Joystiq - Voice acting - more trouble than it's worth
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July 9th, 2012, 17:20
If it's holding up the gameplay I just skip VOs anyway. Unless I can't, then it makes me mad. This goes double if there's subtitles as I can read it so much faster. I also get irritated about having to "click click click" through the subtitles as each dialog sound clip is loaded off disk, where if I got it in one big chunk it'd be a lot easier to consume.
However, it partially depends on gameplay. Would Alpha Protocol, to use the articles example, have been the same game without the VOs? I don't think so because that was about reading people and subtleties of spoken & visual communication get lost in text. But with New Vegas, where the character's VOs were about as subtle as a brick to the head, I wouldn't have missed speech in the tiniest bit. Drakensang, it didn't bother me a bit there was no speech, I was usually surprised when it came up because I'd forgotten the game had any. If it's a TBS, go ahead and hit me with a wall of text, I'll read it, I've got the time to (gameplay wise).
I think VOs are much more important in action games than traditional RPGs. In an action game I'm typically receiving voice orders while concentrating my vision and hands on something more immediate. In those games I typically don't need to respond either. For instance, in my own Unfettered I decided I wanted to do in-flight VOs for any communication because the idea was you're too busy with your hands and eyes to read text.
It has to be much easier to record the dialog for linear or semi-linear action games. Simpler stories, no branching dialog paths and probably < 5% of the dialog needs to recorded. These kind of games probably don't have their story structures radically altered all that often either.
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