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Planet Explorers Released!

Author Topic: On the newer voices & voice acting  (Read 204 times)

Thundercraft

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On the newer voices & voice acting
« on: September 02, 2017, 04:56:44 PM »

I do appreciate that the (main) characters in Story Mode have voices. It certainly adds depth. I can also appreciate that the devs are concerned about the quality or at least the accuracy of the spoken lines vs. the text and situation, as evidenced by the fact that some of the voice files have been changed.

That said, I was disappointed to hear how several voice actors (for the English version) must have either been redone by different people, or they had to re-record their lines and somehow ended up sounding very different.

In and of itself, sounding different is not necessarily a bad thing. But... The original voices were very easy to understand and had both a lot of character and a lot of emotion. Some of the replaced voices, however, really lack in character and emotion and are harder to hear.

Of particular note, the new voices for Dayita Saxena, Adesa Mostafa and Lao Lei are, to put it kindly, lackluster. And, while passable, the re-recorded lines for Chen Zhen just aren't as good.

Edit 1:
Oh my gosh! :( I just redid the part where we first meet Tarik Bakir in the woods with two random NPCs where they get attacked by an alien. (Except... now it's three aliens instead of one?) Tarik's voice... You must have had him re-record or something. I liked it much better the way it was before.

But that's not the bad part. What completely ruined this scene for me is how, originally, Tarik very loudly exclaims something in response to the alien and shouts, "We're out of here!" But, now, he says absolutely nothing! He is perfectly silent, not giving any warning to his fellows or the rest of us that we should flee instead of fight. IMO, this ruins the plot here, considering how he clearly feels guilty about leaving his companions to die.

Was this intentional? I ask because I think this could be a bug.

EDIT 2:
Okay, I was a bit mistaken. Tarik does eventually say the "We're out of here" line. However, now, he only says this after he has not only started running away, but after he's almost halfway across the valley to where he stops running. This makes no sense. He should shout that immediately. How else is everyone supposed to know to start running after him?

Also, I do not like his new voice. It sounds sort of like a Chicago-flat American standard like one might hear on the nightly news. Now that I think about it: Previously, several characters had distinctive accents, whereas now they all seem to just sound... American... Not that there's anything wrong with that. But, having them all sound the same just seems to lack... character. (As much as I really don't want to say it: I prefer to hear more diversity in voice. It just makes more sense that this Earth-Mars colonization mission would have people from different cultures and with regional and/or national accents. Even a large-ish nation like the United States has several different, distinctive accents. Many nations do, to say nothing of people who speak English as a second language.)

Actually, what bothers me more is how Tarik's new voice seems to be mostly lacking in emotion. You can't even say that he shouted "We're out of here", because he didn't. He did not sound the least bit scared or excited when it said that.
« Last Edit: September 02, 2017, 10:22:53 PM by Thundercraft »
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Thundercraft

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Re: On the newer voices & voice acting
« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2017, 03:39:37 PM »

Ugh! >:( I'm now at the Martian Camp and I can't believe how different Nan Yang Nan's voice sounds! It is very obvious that it was redone by someone different. Nan's new voice is another example of taking what used to be a rich and very distinctive voice and replacing it with a boring voice.

Wait a minute... Geez! Did you have the Pathea staff re-voice all the characters? Is that why most of them sound amateurish? Is that why they all sound Midwestern American in accent?

Seriously: I loved the original voices. They were nearly perfect! Could we at least be given an option in a menu or something to switch to the older voices?
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Zifei

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Re: On the newer voices & voice acting
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2017, 08:04:42 AM »

Due to the length of development, we couldn't get in contact with some voice actors/actresses anymore. We were using amateurs, the budget only allows that.
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Thundercraft

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Re: On the newer voices & voice acting
« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2017, 03:40:06 PM »

Thank you for the reply and explaining the situation.

I understand that the development of Planet Explorers took longer than expected, and for good reasons. You've had major obstacles, such as having to rewrite a large part of the game for the newer Unity engine and having to wait on the animation/motion to be done by an outside source, who more-or-less failed to deliver (requiring even more time and money to finish them properly).

But, if your current budget only allows the use of amateurs for voice, that has me concerned. Does this mean that your budget for PE has dried up? Should we expect PE development to halt (aside from some bug fixes)? Should we not expect any more features, such as what was outlined in the Kickstarter campaign?

Granted, you have added a few new monsters, a few new missions, a trading card system for Steam, an animal riding system, and worked on the monster wiki. But, aside from that, it seems like recent patches consist mostly of bugfixes, optimizations, and tweaks for game balance. (Edit: I also see that you've implemented difficulty settings of Easy and Normal. I assume that Hard will come eventually? Though, I think the creatures in Normal are already quite tough, requiring quite a few hits to take down.)
« Last Edit: September 04, 2017, 10:28:21 PM by Thundercraft »
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Thundercraft

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Re: On the newer voices & voice acting
« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2017, 05:21:48 PM »

Thing is, you originally had professional voices for Story Mode. Those were wonderful! To replace all those with audibly lower quality amateur voices is going to hurt the quality of the game. Doesn't it seem illogical, like taking a big step backwards?

What was the main reason for this? If it's merely because the spoken dialog does not match 100% to the gameplay or text dialog, I think you'd be better off sticking to the original voices. But, if it's because not all of the dialog had been recorded, such as for missions in late-game that were not complete enough to record for originally, then it is understandable.

If all that is wrong is the talent saying something which was changed in a later version, couldn't you hire the talent to speak a few more lines to correct it, rather than discard all of their dialog? Can't the audio be edited? I'd imagine that many voice actors would prefer to re-record a few lines of dialog to make it fit if the alternative meant that all their voice samples would be deleted from the finished game. Having their name in the credits and being able to put Planet Explorers on their resume is something many voice actors would value.

One example is Adesa Mostafa: After the 'Escape the Firebears' and 'Back to Safety' quests, you can ask her, "What will you do now?" In response to her "You coming with us", you can reply with "Gerdy and Allen are to the east of here." Adesa's original voice said "Here. Have the script for the artillery turret as my appreciation." But you only get a wood ladder script. There are ways to fix this that does not require replacing all of her spoken dialog with a different voice actor. For one, you could edit the audio, such as replacing "Have the script for the artillery turret as my appreciation" with "Have this script as my appreciation." If nothing else, you could cut the spoken dialog and rely on text. Or, you could leave the inconsistency as is.


For some characters (like Nan Yang, Tarik Bakir, and Adesa Mostafa, in particular), I'd prefer if you kept the original voices, even if this meant that there was no spoken dialog for some late-game missions, only text to read. I'm serious. Those voices were that superior to what you have now.

Again, why can't you give us an option in the options screen (on the Misc tab) to switch between original voices and what you have now (as default)?
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Zifei

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Re: On the newer voices & voice acting
« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2017, 05:46:01 AM »

Actually, the originals were amateurs as well. We never had the budget to actually find real voice actors. But yes, it's due to more script being written and us not being able to contact the old actors.
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