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Flatlined
13th Apr 2009, 04:02
I've noticed that most games now days seem to favour voicing all the dialogue.
Sure this isn't all bad since most games now days are made for the modern demographic of gamers with mental handicaps or the minds of sugar crazed five year olds.
A good example of this is Fallout 3 i choose this because i belive that it quite neatly sums up my argument.
The two previous games had a good depth when it came to dialogue and "fluff" but all of that vanished in Bethesdas hamhanded attempt to make the game alluring for the modern youth.
I suppose it's simply too expensive and time consuming to voice deep and complex dialogue so they concentrate on making it look and sound as good as possible.

Deus Ex 2 suffered somewhat from the same problems combined with some kind of late stage dementia since the whole game somehow seemed lopsided.
What i'm saying is that there should be a possibility for us gamers who forrage for every last piece of information and who revel at the thought of spending hour upon hour exploring the maps and reading every note, letter and book that we come across in some hope that it will reveal more of the storyline like it was in DE 1.
I can't say i speak for all of us but i hope that the devs have taken a couple of steps back from DE2 because now days i actually feel insulted by games that somehow assume that i've got no intrest in anything above ruthlessly charging a fortified position brandishing a small piece of cutlery.

This dumbing down of games has to be stopped and i belive that DE3 is in the risk zone of beeing another intellectual dud.
So everyone try to make your voices heard because i for one is tired of substandard games.
The devs has to understand that a game can actually sell if it's got a good storyline. We're not afraid of thinking or having to draw our own conclusions and until they undestand that; I and many others will continue to feel insulted by modern games.

So until you suprise med Edios... I'll be playing Deus Ex 1.

Necros
13th Apr 2009, 05:03
I've noticed that most games now days seem to favour voicing all the dialogue.
Sure this isn't all bad since most games now days are made for the modern demographic of gamers with mental handicaps or the minds of sugar crazed five year olds.
:confused: What is your problem with using voice actors?

But I agree with you on the other point, the game needs a good and smart story with well written dialogue. Though I think this won't be a problem with Sheldon overseeing the development, Mary DeMarle as the lead writer and Jim Swallow and others as contributing writers. :)

Flatlined
13th Apr 2009, 05:24
:confused: What is your problem with using voice actors?

But I agree with you on the other point, the game needs a good and smart story with well written dialogue. Though I think this won't be a problem with Sheldon overseeing the development, Mary DeMarle as the lead writer and Jim Swallow and others as contributing writers. :)

I belive you're underestimating the raw power of the marketing department :)
The problem i've got with voiced dialogue is that it costs too much, takes too much time and takes up too much space so extensive dialogue isn't an option if you want to voice it... sadly.
So in order to voice everything they cut down on the amount of dialogue to lessen the workload.
That's what i've seen in all the voiced games so far.

GmanPro
13th Apr 2009, 05:25
The problem with voice actors is that they can be bad. With just text there, you can imagine any voice you want.

Baldur's Gate handles this the best out of any game ever I think. Voice overs were used sparingly and usually the first sentence or two gets spoken, really really well. Then you can imagine that same sweet cool voice doing the rest of the lines. It never gets old and you never feel like you've heard the same voice actor read lines from multiple characters. Plus, I really enjoy the narrative text in Torment. I suppose you could have a narrator read these lines aloud, but that sort of loses it's charm pretty quickly. You'd only be able to use it sparingly, and that defeats the purpose, which is to add extra depth and detail to the game world.

Of course, I'm more or less talking about all games in general, not just DX. Obviously, there was no narrator in DX and every line was voiced over, so that just proves that it can be done properly.

What I am desperately hoping to avoid is an Oblivion/FO3 situation where countless NPCs have exactly the same voice. Oh man I was really getting excited during my first playthrough of TES4 as I was leaving the sewers. I was free to imagine that the world would be ridiculously huge and explorable with every NPC given a unique voice etc ... major let down to say the least.

Necros
13th Apr 2009, 05:47
Yes, DX1 is a good, Oblivion is a bad example. I hope EM follows the first one. :) I know there are risks but I prefer voiced dialogues anyway. For example one of my biggest problems with HL is that Gordon Freeman is damn mute... :mad2:

FrankCSIS
13th Apr 2009, 06:12
Freeman being mute was a deliberate choice that worked for some, and didn't do it for others. I find it quite fine for HL, having such a limited story and heavily relying on gameplay to develop it, but it was a handicap with HL2, which had a much larger story and world, and a lot more dialogue involved.

The trouble with voicing everything, in addition to what Gman said, is how it limits conversations. Mass Effect, for all it's goodness, makes me cringe each time I carry a conversation arch. The questions are terribly worded and recorded, and it's hard to do otherwise when you have so much info to give and carry with each conversation. Oblivion and Fallout went the opposite way, with insignificant conversations that were entirely pointless. No NPC ever said anything of significance, unless it was part of the rare scripted moments.

Grim Fandango handled voiced conversations really, really well, but the amount of characters you meet were not nearly as high, and the conversations were heavily scripted, even if you could decide what to say or ask, which makes them more easily contained in a realistic, fluid manner. Same could be said about DX, I guess. I liked this mix of text and voice a few games did before, but I wonder how well it would be perceived today, especially in first person.

Necros
13th Apr 2009, 06:19
Freeman being mute was a deliberate choice
I know, I just don't like it.

HL2, which had a much larger story
http://i39.tinypic.com/10x6bcw.jpg Yeah, well a bit more than in HL1 but I wouldn't say much larger. :) I think EP2 had a good story, they finally got it right in that one.

FrankCSIS
13th Apr 2009, 06:23
Well, let me rephrase that. It had more people involved, carrying conversations with Freeman, as well as larger world, with something resembling a background story. With HL, everything was hinted at, and actions spoke for themselves, which wasn't the case with HL2, hence why I think the whole mute aspect didn't work so well with it.

GmanPro
13th Apr 2009, 06:35
For example one of my biggest problems with HL is that Gordon Freeman is damn mute... :mad2:

Lol. Listen to the 'podcast' here (http://www.blackmesasource.com/). :lol:

I love that Freeman doesn't talk. I can imagine him as incredibly badass and 100% reserved. Always keeps his cool. Like he's seen so much crazy **** that the petty troubles of the people around him are nothing when compared. All he cares about is getting the job done, whether that job is escaping Black Mesa and just surviving, or ... whatever the Gman and his employers wanted him to do in HL2

hem dazon 90
13th Apr 2009, 06:46
I've noticed that most games now days seem to favour voicing all the dialogue.
Sure this isn't all bad since most games now days are made for the modern demographic of gamers with mental handicaps or the minds of sugar crazed five year olds.
A good example of this is Fallout 3 i choose this because i belive that it quite neatly sums up my argument.
The two previous games had a good depth when it came to dialogue and "fluff" but all of that vanished in Bethesdas hamhanded attempt to make the game alluring for the modern youth.
I suppose it's simply too expensive and time consuming to voice deep and complex dialogue so they concentrate on making it look and sound as good as possible.

Deus Ex 2 suffered somewhat from the same problems combined with some kind of late stage dementia since the whole game somehow seemed lopsided.
What i'm saying is that there should be a possibility for us gamers who forrage for every last piece of information and who revel at the thought of spending hour upon hour exploring the maps and reading every note, letter and book that we come across in some hope that it will reveal more of the storyline like it was in DE 1.
I can't say i speak for all of us but i hope that the devs have taken a couple of steps back from DE2 because now days i actually feel insulted by games that somehow assume that i've got no intrest in anything above ruthlessly charging a fortified position brandishing a small piece of cutlery.

This dumbing down of games has to be stopped and i belive that DE3 is in the risk zone of beeing another intellectual dud.
So everyone try to make your voices heard because i for one is tired of substandard games.
The devs has to understand that a game can actually sell if it's got a good storyline. We're not afraid of thinking or having to draw our own conclusions and until they undestand that; I and many others will continue to feel insulted by modern games.

So until you suprise med Eidos... I'll be playing Deus Ex 1.



wow. just wow:lol: according to you anyone under 18 who plays games is a retard.

i'm 14 i love deus ex as much as you but unlike everyone here i realise that it had its flaws. also as an amendum (spelling?) why doe everone hate fallout 3? I played the other two and to be fair they are all of equal quality at least in my eyes anyway

GmanPro
13th Apr 2009, 06:53
Are you trollin? Just read through some older threads for awhile. I've already written like 30 something posts explaining in detail why games like Fallout 3 are utter crap, and I'm not the only one.

hem dazon 90
13th Apr 2009, 07:00
Are you trollin? Just read through some older threads for awhile. I've already written like 30 something posts explaining in detail why games like Fallout 3 are utter crap, and I'm not the only one.

hey i didnt say youre not entitle to your own opinion but this is a deus ex forum not no mutants allowed.

LatwPIAT
13th Apr 2009, 07:04
I've noticed that most games now days seem to favour voicing all the dialogue.
Sure this isn't all bad since most games now days are made for the modern demographic of gamers with mental handicaps or the minds of sugar crazed five year olds.

This a not a very good argument when you consider that DX voiced all the dialouge...

The problem with voice actors is that they can be bad. With just text there, you can imagine any voice you want.

Baldur's Gate handles this the best out of any game ever I think. Voice overs were used sparingly and usually the first sentence or two gets spoken, really really well. Then you can imagine that same sweet cool voice doing the rest of the lines. It never gets old and you never feel like you've heard the same voice actor read lines from multiple characters. Plus, I really enjoy the narrative text in Torment. I suppose you could have a narrator read these lines aloud, but that sort of loses it's charm pretty quickly. You'd only be able to use it sparingly, and that defeats the purpose, which is to add extra depth and detail to the game world.
While I think it works excellently for isometric RPGs, I don't think the system used in Fallout, Baldur's Gate and Torment will work in a Deus Ex game because in Fallout or Torment, the "camera" is a distance away from the game, so the details we're given by the narrative are things like frowns, changes is posture, etc. From a first-person-perspective, or as close up as in Deus Ex, you should be able to see this. When you talk to Tandi in Shady Sands in Fallout, her animated head frowned when you said something she disliked, and smiled when you said something she liked.

Granted, the narratives gives you clues that a game can currently not show you. You could never implement Reekwind in a game like DX, but the first person perspective of DX leads itself to another form of dialouge than Interplay/Black Isle/BioWare RPGs.

Flatlined
13th Apr 2009, 11:20
This a not a very good argument when you consider that DX voiced all the dialouge...

It's an excellent example since i said "games these days" and "new games" i do belive that DE is excluded from the category of new games.

JCD
13th Apr 2009, 11:49
What I am desperately hoping to avoid is an Oblivion/FO3 situation where countless NPCs have exactly the same voice. Oh man I was really getting excited during my first playthrough of TES4 as I was leaving the sewers. I was free to imagine that the world would be ridiculously huge and explorable with every NPC given a unique voice etc ... major let down to say the least.
I don't have a problem with the limited actors. I have a problem with the constant repetition of the same and the same lines. They could just delay the game for a week and add all the random dialog they could.

Lol. Listen to the 'podcast' here (http://www.blackmesasource.com/). :lol:Yeah, I laughed at this one, smart :D


I love that Freeman doesn't talk. I can imagine him as incredibly badass and 100% reserved. Always keeps his cool. Like he's seen so much crazy **** that the petty troubles of the people around him are nothing when compared. All he cares about is getting the job done, whether that job is escaping Black Mesa and just surviving, or ... whatever the Gman and his employers wanted him to do in HL2Me too - 100%. I love mute Freeman, I don't want him talking. If we ever hear Freeman, he must have one hell of a reason.

Are you trollin? Just read through some older threads for awhile. I've already written like 30 something posts explaining in detail why games like Fallout 3 are utter crap, and I'm not the only one.Honestly though man...there are many people (inside and outside of this forum) who believe that F3 was totally good. I am somewhere in the middle - it has some really good elements imo, but it also has many "oblivion-like" flaws.

...
I agree with the majority of the things you said. I enjoyed Morrowind's dialog MUCH more than Oblivion's - Baldur's Gate was also excellent in that area.

However, I believe that if the dialogs are well performed by many actors and they are not repetitive, we could have a pretty nice game. DX1 was a typical example ;)

And to be quite frank, I would hate to have some quests with mute dialog (The Dark Brotherhood for example ;))

Ninjerk
13th Apr 2009, 13:56
Are you trollin? Just read through some older threads for awhile. I've already written like 30 something posts explaining in detail why games like Fallout 3 are utter crap, and I'm not the only one.

He's 14 years old. What does he know about anything?

Anyhow, KotOR had the Liquid Snake guy doing every third minor character. That got pretty distracting.

LatwPIAT
13th Apr 2009, 14:09
Yeah, Cam Clarke has a distinct voice. Probably wouldn't be that distinct if he wasn't always the only voice actor with an English accent people hired. Get a few more in and it doesn't stand out so much.

GmanPro
13th Apr 2009, 16:29
Kotor was clever in using that same repatition of alien language for almost half of the npc's in that game. If you listen carefully you can tell that its just the same 30 seconds or so of gibberish worked through a synthesizer to sound a bit different and repeated. That works much much better than having the same five dudes read every line imo.


While I think it works excellently for isometric RPGs, I don't think the system used in Fallout, Baldur's Gate and Torment will work in a Deus Ex game because in Fallout or Torment, the "camera" is a distance away from the game, so the details we're given by the narrative are things like frowns, changes is posture, etc. From a first-person-perspective, or as close up as in Deus Ex, you should be able to see this. When you talk to Tandi in Shady Sands in Fallout, her animated head frowned when you said something she disliked, and smiled when you said something she liked.

Granted, the narratives gives you clues that a game can currently not show you. You could never implement Reekwind in a game like DX, but the first person perspective of DX leads itself to another form of dialouge than Interplay/Black Isle/BioWare RPGs.

Torment's dialogue was beautiful. Like reading poetry almost.

I guess what I'm saying is that while a straight up voice over of every line can be done properly a la DX, having a rich narrative text with deep descriptive details will always be better.

BTW I really didn't like those close up face dialogues in Fallout with the voice overs on every line. Just not as good.


hey i didnt say youre not entitle to your own opinion but this is a deus ex forum not no mutants allowed.


He's 14 years old. What does he know about anything?


Just wait hem dazon, in four and a half years time its going to be you who is the "old" timer bitterly clinging to the past, forced to rattle your bone box on internet forums hoping desperately that someone will hear you and agree and that progress can once again be made only to have your posts belittled by other 14 year olds and casuals. Maybe then I'll let you join the club :D

dixieflatline
13th Apr 2009, 19:39
Are you trollin? Just read through some older threads for awhile. I've already written like 30 something posts explaining in detail why games like Fallout 3 are utter crap, and I'm not the only one.

OH big time. Fallout 3 has to be the most over-rated game. It is good, but it wasn't THAT good. It was pretty much a re-skinned Oblivion game with a IP that was bought because Bethesda doesn't have the creative resources to come up with anything interesting enough on their own.

Fallout 3 causes me no end of grief because I think Fallout 1 / 2 were both some of the best true RPG games of all time. Yet if you say you prefer them, many will people will say it is only for nostalgic reasons.

Fallout 3 has an illusion of depth to it, but it is so often an illusion. The game is far more FPS than it is RPG yet compared to other FPS games it sucks, and compared to other stronger RPG games it's weak. Yet it won so many GoTY awards. :hmm:

Anyone in game marketing should study what Bethesda did right with Fallout 3. I would bet a couple bucks that there was at least more than a couple of reviewers that didn't enjoy the game as much as some people, yet felt obliged to give the game at least a 8/10, just because 'everybody else' though it was the best game ever invented.

Not saying it is a bad game though. And thanks Bethesda for releasing a SDK. The fundamentals of Fallout 3 are strong, but there were so many little stupid things wrong with it that it annoyed me so much I haven't even yet felt much need to complete it.

Mass Effect > Fallout 3 IMHO

Ninjerk
13th Apr 2009, 19:46
Eight. Eight and a half.

Almost_somebody
13th Apr 2009, 19:59
The original Deus Ex had full voice acting. If you're a fan of the original Deus Ex wouldn't you want sequel to also have full voice acting?

Ninjerk
13th Apr 2009, 20:14
The original Deus Ex had full voice acting. If you're a fan of the original Deus Ex wouldn't you want sequel to also have full voice acting?

Some of it was pretty pathetically done. Hong Kong, anyone?

Anyhow, our means of instant communication are varied enough now to allow pure text a la "texting," instant messenging, etc.

Wow, I just read my post again and it's really unclear. I meant to say we could have a blend of voice over and text-only dialogue without making it arbitrary like a MUD/text adventure/what-have-you by way of modern, text-based communication. Instead of a dialogue box filling up the lower third of the screen and detailing what a character says, your phone could ring, or your Infolink could pop a message up from another character (a la Steam or X-Fire).

Ninjerk
13th Apr 2009, 21:03
blowsing*

jordan_a
14th Apr 2009, 10:54
I don't think the Baldur's Gate system (voice then text during dialogue) would work today for a number of reasons, marketing primary. That might be unfortunate for us, but what are we, 1% of the market?

However it's clear video games need more dialogues.

"In a standard video game, it's very easy to kill someone but virtually impossible to talk to them." Jonathan Rauch.

Is it that expensive to extend discussions, you think the writers really calculate the cost of the sentences? :scratch:

Flatlined
14th Apr 2009, 15:06
Is it that expensive to extend discussions, you think the writers really calculate the cost of the sentences? :scratch:

No but it's expensive to voice the dialogue and the devs these days seem to think that the depth and complexity of the story isn't as essential to the experience as it used to be since the attentionspan of the average gamer is down to 2.3 seconds.

Instead they use the time and money taken from the story-telling and put it to use in honing the graphics and other experiences to dazzle and stun the feeble minded "├╝ber-gamer".

rokstrombo
14th Apr 2009, 16:09
IMHO the dialogue in Deus Ex was actually very concise. In such a consistently serious setting, hearing the same few actors voicing melodramatic monologues could potentially be grating to the player. Thankfully, the script was elegant and concise enough that this did not become an issue, and I think most players were able to enjoy the voicing rather than skipping through the text in order to get back to gameplay.

I also think that the melodrama and concise dialogue were important factors in the overall style of the game given the sci-fi influence apparent in parts of the dialogue and visuals. There was a certain bluntness and cheesiness in the way that some of the characters were voiced that I think helped to establish that the player was playing a video game rather than watching a movie. Surprisingly, this is actually a fairly unique quality in games, given the recent trend of games to become increasingly cinematic and extravagant (and perhaps more disposable?). I hope that these factors will be maintained in Deus Ex 3.

Regarding text in Deus Ex 3, I think I would prefer that any introduction cutscenes for the story / maps be replaced with text only. In other video games, I generally find the transition from a passive and highly condensed cutscene to interactive and carefully paced gameplay to be quite jarring. A text-based introduction encourages the player to use their imagination rather than to sit back and absorb some stilted conversation between two presumably evil old men. It also creates a precedent for the player to become engaged by any in-game text that may be introduced later (email and newspaper articles, for example), and establishes the literary style and pacing of the game. Without these elements, it may be easier for the player to overlook some of the artistic choices that have been integrated into what initially appears to be just another action game.

Ilves
14th Apr 2009, 17:50
There was a certain bluntness and cheesiness in the way that some of the characters were voiced that I think helped to establish that the player was playing a video game rather than watching a movie.

Interesting thought.

Suprisingly relevant article here (http://www.brainygamer.com/the_brainy_gamer/2009/04/voice-for-change.html), via Kotaku.

splyez
5th May 2009, 07:34
i have to agree with OP, voicing the entire conversations isnt a bad idea, but since this also gives more work to do, the companies often choose to shorten the dialogues.

in deus ex the conversations are awsome, i want to see that in DE3 aswell. maybe not voice all and give us longer conversations. HELL if they need help voicing im your man, nobody does "prepubescent boy" better then me :O