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Default Divinity 2 - English Voices Completed

May 13th, 2009, 18:22
After reporting that the German voices for Divinity 2 have all been recorded we now got word that the English voices hav been completed as well and the first place where they can be heard will be at E3.
Hamburg/Germany, May 13th, 2009 - Divinity II: Ego Draconis, the up-and-coming RPG highlight, is getting closer to completion. Recently, the extensive voice recordings for the English versions were finished and it was an epic task to match the game. Voice actors for over 400 game characters had to be cast, and dtp entertainment and Larian Studios have recorded 100,000 words in nearly 10,000 takes.
To breathe life into the characters of Divinity II's epic fantasy story, only top-class professional artists were chosen. Many are part of popular TV series; others are well-known voices from radio and television commercials for famous brands.
Zandalor, an old Mage, friend and counselor of the player, talks with the voice of Bill Bingham. The players will also get a short flashback with the Divine, the hero of the game's predecessor. His in game-voice belongs to Johnnie Lyne-Pirkis. Jeff Rawle lends his sonorous tones to the Narrator in Divinity II. He has credits, stretching back to the 1970s, as an actor and writer for over 70 TV series and films - among them "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire", where he played the role of Amos Diggory.
Josefina Gabrielle has voice-acted as the powerful Necromancer Sassan. She is known for playing Laurey Williams in the musical "Oklahoma!" (London Royal National Theatre). Sally Wallis is Talana, the last of the mighty Dragon Knights in Rivellon. Richard of Aleroth is a dodgy Captain in Divinity II: Ego Draconis, leading the player to interesting choices. He is voiced by Andy Mace.
More information.
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May 13th, 2009, 18:22
Well I don't recognise many of the names they are throwing around. But that might just be me.

A quick check on IMDB shows that they are at least professionals and not just the devs and their friends. So hopefully the voice acting will actually be convincing.

Looks like this is going to be good.
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May 13th, 2009, 19:33
This is sort of off-topic but I'm curious about what you all think about this.

A few years back I was reading a science-tech magazine. The article I was reading had nothing to do with gaming but I always thought the technology could be used with gaming.

The technology is voice synthesis technology. For example, the voice you hear on the phone when you call information in the United States is now a computer generated voice. About 5 years ago this computer generated voice was clearly recognizable as a non-human voice. But today, it really does sound like a human voice.

The article continued on how this technology is evolving to include accents and whatnot.

I always thought that if this technology became good enough and cheap enough, it could be used for games. If developerse had a good voice sounding technology where they could tweak voices like you can tweak faces in Oblivion's character generator, it would be a hugely powerful tool to create unique voices for many NPCs without the need to record them all.

I still think some actual voice acting could still be used in conjunction with such a technology, but those voices would be liimited to well known actors for plot-oriented NPCs.

Anyway, just wondering if any of you on this forum know more about this techology and whether or not we might be seeing it someday in games. And would you want to see it in games?

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May 13th, 2009, 21:07
I was involved with helping the community for an mmorpg project called Archaen years ago and they were going to use voice synthesis technology. They had a very good one and the samples they released were very good and sounded just like the character should sound. They released a sample for an orc voice and it sounded just like a brutish orc. They were going to implement the technology into the game where it would translate what you and other people say into voices. Too bad the game got canceled and now the developer doesn't exist anymore.
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May 13th, 2009, 22:31
I do know this voice synthesis technology . from Mike Oldfield's 2CD "Light & Shade".
And I must say that I don't like it at all there. Or maybe I just don't like that specific implementation at all.
Because it sounds far too … emotionless, rather like a droid or robot than like a human. At least to my own ears.

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May 13th, 2009, 22:34
There are plenty of text-to-speech applications out there, just google for it and you will get several links.

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May 13th, 2009, 23:49
I just think it would allow developers a lot more freedom if such a technology were honed to a point where you could make voices sound exactly the wa you want them to sound. A sort of voice version of what you can do with a character's appearance (think of the Oblivion facial customizations).

I know text to speech has been around for a long time. But what is of particular interest is the advances that have been made to really make a voice sound non-computerish.

If such a technology exists where it would work well in a game, then my guess would be that the reason we aren't seeing it used in games is perhaps the technology would be too expensive to adapt to a computer game.

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May 14th, 2009, 00:03
A bit offtopic from me:

This game seems interesting and along with Dragon Age and Risen it's the RPGs I'll probably try.
I haven't played any other Divinity game,do you think that I'll be able to follow D2's plot when it's out or it'll be based on the prequels?
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May 14th, 2009, 00:18
Originally Posted by TheMadGamer View Post
If such a technology exists where it would work well in a game, then my guess would be that the reason we aren't seeing it used in games is perhaps the technology would be too expensive to adapt to a computer game.
There are enough samples to find. I know the Philips one which does it rather well: http://www.apptech.philips.com/tts/demos.html


Originally Posted by Kostaz View Post
I haven't played any other Divinity game,do you think that I'll be able to follow D2's plot when it's out or it'll be based on the prequels?
Yes, you'll be able to follow the plot without having played Divinity and Beyond Divinity. There is a connection to Divinity, but as I understood it it will be explained in the game.
Of course as you have not played Divinity, being in Rivellon and meeting Zandalor again does not bring any memories back

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May 14th, 2009, 00:54
Originally Posted by Myrthos View Post
Yes, you'll be able to follow the plot without having played Divinity and Beyond Divinity. There is a connection to Divinity, but as I understood it it will be explained in the game.
Ok great hope this game turns out to be great.
Of course as you have not played Divinity, being in Rivellon and meeting Zandalor again does not bring any memories back
Yeah I know what you mean but I'll manage.

Ontopic: Did I mention how much I appreciate full voice acting?
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May 14th, 2009, 01:46
Originally Posted by Myrthos View Post
There are enough samples to find. I know the Philips one which does it rather well
Do you have any thoughts then why we aren't seeing this technology put to use in games?

Interestingly, on the Phillips site, the demo of the singing text-to-speech is the best.

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May 14th, 2009, 06:00
The idea potentially allows unscripted voiceover but do you honestly think it could provide a good voiceover - with personality, emotion and drama - without a hell of a lot of work from developers? I'd suggest a good actor has an intrinsic understanding of inflection and emotion. Now, take a developer with a bunch of phonemes in front of them and see how well they can modify those phonemes to convey genuine emotion.

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May 14th, 2009, 07:15
That's true but I think what was suggested by TheMadGamer was mostly to retain actors as we do today for characters that are pivotal to the story. That way you ensure a certain level of quality and then you could use the computerized voices for random villager x and shopkeeper 234…..to have a bunch of drunks or dice players in a tavern exchanging words and insults. Anyway, you could use that for those npcs that usually aren't really voice acted because you don't really talk to them, they just talk in the background and such.

I could see that technology used in games in such a way … Although would it be any easier or cheaper than actually hiring voice actors? I don't really know.
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May 14th, 2009, 10:26
will he return again?
I don't remember reading anythingabout him, and since this is a now main char?

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May 14th, 2009, 10:57
Who Zandalor? Yes he is back. I don't know how big his presence in the game is though.

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Last edited by Myrthos; May 14th, 2009 at 11:47.
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May 14th, 2009, 12:19
I haven't heard the latest voices using new technology, but I'd be literally SHOCKED if they were able to emulate human emotions correctly. At best, it'd sound like Oblivion voices - as Bethesda apparently prefer not to record dialogue with emotional context.

As far as I'm concerned, you might as well not have voice acting if you can't provide a voice that sounds like the person is in the situation he/she is supposed to be in. That often makes it worse than having none at all, and it sounds better inside my head when imagining it.
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May 14th, 2009, 13:47
Mmm I wonder how he would look like in 3d.
Perfect image that pops up in my mind is that he looks like Gandalf the grey

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May 14th, 2009, 18:32
Originally Posted by Dhruin View Post
The idea potentially allows unscripted voiceover but do you honestly think it could provide a good voiceover - with personality, emotion and drama - without a hell of a lot of work from developers?
Well that's what I'm wondering, I really have no answers to your quetions. And to add one more question to your list would be cost.

Just thought I'd bring up the topic that perhaps someone here would know something about the current state of text-to-speech technology and its (future) viability in games.

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