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Old 06-12-10, 04:00 PM   #1
ragejg
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Default Observations on in-game character voices & sound

While playing Metro 2033 I had a thought that had crossed my mind before...

"Why don't people just try to reason with zombies? Hasn't anyone just asked them what the problem is and then tried to carry out a solution?"

.. Oh wait, wrong thought.

Anyway, what I was really thinking about was the character voices.. and I thought back to all the character voices in all games I've played in the last 10 years or so.

It ALWAYS sounds like they've recorded straight to a studio mic.

.... Or a studio mic with reverb. Clean, perfect presence, never varying in volume or perceived physical depth.

Bleh!! I've had enough of that!! I demands teh changiz!!

Can't SOME developer try recording actually outside when the character is outside? Or record in real wind when the character is in a windy area?

It would add SO much to the immersion. Think about it. If you don't agree then your brain is not a brain, it is a can of Goya® black beans.

/Discuss in swiff-liek fashinn nao.
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Old 06-12-10, 04:04 PM   #2
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Default Re: Observations on in-game character voices & sound

Interesting idea. I guess they always figure it is better to be able to hear what the character says in crystal clear fashion rather than make it real life-like and add tons of background noise and such. Personally, I am always much more annoyed when I can't hear what the people are saying rather than the sound of speech being too clear. I also like when the characters voice reflects their mood/situation/whatever. HL2 series does a phenomenal job at this.
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Old 06-12-10, 04:09 PM   #3
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Default Re: Observations on in-game character voices & sound

"Can't SOME developer try recording actually outside when the character is outside? Or record in real wind when the character is in a windy area?"

Or get some real aliens chattering in the background, or UFOs really flying overhead, or the sound of a man really falling from a mile up, or....
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Old 06-12-10, 04:12 PM   #4
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Default Re: Observations on in-game character voices & sound

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Originally Posted by bob saget View Post
Interesting idea. I guess they always figure it is better to be able to hear what the character says in crystal clear fashion rather than make it real life-like and add tons of background noise and such. Personally, I am always much more annoyed when I can't hear what the people are saying rather than the sound of speech being too clear. I also like when the characters voice reflects their mood/situation/whatever. HL2 series does a phenomenal job at this.
Right on, Bob.

But in a movie, they produce the audio so it is immersive and really reflects what's going on in the environment, especially flicks of the last 15 years or so. And being a movie, the vocal audio HAS to be discernable. I'm not saying that game developers should be required to apply movie-quality vocal audio, but thee should be a middle ground that can be struck.

Just for poops and giggles someone should take a dialog and action sequence of a movie and set it to some gameplay of a recent high-quality game. ... or do something like this, idfk...
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Old 06-12-10, 04:13 PM   #5
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Default Re: Observations on in-game character voices & sound

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Originally Posted by mailman2 View Post
"Can't SOME developer try recording actually outside when the character is outside? Or record in real wind when the character is in a windy area?"

Or get some real aliens chattering in the background, or UFOs really flying overhead, or the sound of a man really falling from a mile up, or....
your point being... ?
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Old 06-12-10, 04:50 PM   #6
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Default Re: Observations on in-game character voices & sound

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your point being... ?
I stabbed you in the face a few times last night... and then you killed me. Bastard! no point just messing...
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Old 06-12-10, 04:58 PM   #7
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Default Re: Observations on in-game character voices & sound

Some games are doing it better and some worse. I think that HL2 and Dead Space does it quite nice(Damn Dead Space was soo good I need to replay it). there was also some more games that sounded like "recorded there, not in studio" but I cant remember those right now, sure Metro isnt one of them but it isnt that bad either. I liked voice revberbing in tunnels.

And I absolutly agree. Quality sound is a great percent of immersion. Actually Sound in games never gets old like graphics thats why its so important
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Old 06-12-10, 06:19 PM   #8
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Default Re: Observations on in-game character voices & sound

I think they can get away with processing the sound right.
"baking" enviroments into the audio kinda locks it to that location though, in that sense it´s better with a clean sample and do what realtime processing you can on it, as the reverb they slap on it in Metro for example.
Looking into better sound processing could be more beneficial, and a lot more realistic to acctually do then go to different locations with voice actors to record sound.
Generally you just want to stick em in a room and work over the entire list of dialog as fast as possible to keep costs down.

I really like the way they deal with sound when you got the mask on, or maybe its just something in the beginning..
Anyway you get audio via radio, and you hear them talk since you´re close, felt kinda wierd, but real.
And you got the audio of monsters up close if they were attacking them, as it also went into the radio.
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Old 06-12-10, 06:23 PM   #9
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Default Re: Observations on in-game character voices & sound

It's more a lack of sound effects... the people should be recorded clearly without background noise, but then wind effects and such things should be added on top. This is how movies do it... games seem to try and save money by using music rather than endless sound effects.
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Old 06-12-10, 06:24 PM   #10
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Default Re: Observations on in-game character voices & sound

I think they really need to leave it up to the game engine to apply the environmental effects like reverb, pitch and echoes and ambient sounds. If you record everything with no outside sounds, no echoes, and no room awareness then the sound engine can apply whatever modifications to that audio file in real time. Sound engine can also apply wind.

Say you record a line outside from SOAP in modern warfare 6 and the developers decide that this outside level just doesn't work, getting that line redone inside is just going to cost. If they record it all at one level and then modify the sound in real time based on the level setting or room setting then its gold.
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Old 06-12-10, 07:04 PM   #11
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Default Re: Observations on in-game character voices & sound

This is where EAX came into the picture. The devs could lay down a clean recording for voice and sound and leave it up to the level to call the effects, reverb and positioning. Now EAX is not so popular it's up to the devs to program the effects from scatch or use another middleware solution and they just aren't doing it anymore. But they also need to take gameplay into account, imagine the feedback from gamers if your couldn't hear team mates on a alpine level. It's an interesting topic and one Redeemed will gladly will make an ass of himself over.
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Old 06-12-10, 08:15 PM   #12
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Default Re: Observations on in-game character voices & sound

You all make valid points. I maded you cookies but I eated them.

I want an SP game with a "true audio" voice track. I'm gonna b1tch 'till I get what I want.

MP? I don't care, it could use Atari 2600 effects for all I care (I kid).
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