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Originally Posted by Sordak
this is another one of those topics where a lot of people just go with their knee jerk reaction without thiking about it.

"Fully voiced is always better!"
Well is it? have you played Dragon Age Inquisition? Have you tried roleplaying a barbarian fighter? An old cranky mage? a disgruntled mercenary? A ranger more at home in the wilds than in the city?

If you havent, i invite you to try doing that and then reconsider if you want a fully voiced protagonist.



Trust me I've thought about it - and I'll GLADLY make that sacrifice in imaginary RP for a fully voiced protagonist.

Last edited by Lundquist; 25/06/20 01:56 PM.
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Originally Posted by Lundquist
Where do people find the salaries for voice acters? everybody keeps saying it's too expensive - but it's not like they're hiring Hollywood A-listers.

I don't know what's the minimum wage for VO. Professionals will be protected by unions and considering it's a recording for which the actor won't get any royalties "per session" pay might be fairly high. At least that's how it works with musicians. Doing a lengthy VO, like protagonist will take a lot of time, though I am not able to even guess how many sessions it would take. Ideally, carrying an important role would also come with increased pay, but from what I know game companies like to dodge that burden. Also there is such thing as agents - I don't know how casting an actor for VO works, but it is possible that both actor and his agent will be paid, which would increase the cost.

And even actors aside - doing a VO take many many more people then just actors - from casting, to studio rent, equipment, recording session, producer, sound engineers, editing and implimenting the VO, involvement or actors and game directors in recording of VO. There is so much much more to VO then just a person talking to a microphone.

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https://www.gravyforthebrain.com/how-much-do-voice-actors-make/

As with any professional actor, may vary between countries, prestige, the type of work etc
The following figures are only indicators. Hopefully they will give you some idea of the differences in how much voice actors get paid.

The average voice actor has a salary of $31,400 a year. An entry level voice actor can expect to earn $18,390 a year while an experienced voice actor has an average annual salary of $90,000 a year. Top level voice actors can earn way in excess of this – with some at the top of the profession earning healthy 6 figure incomes

Average Voice Actor Salary
Top 10% of voice actors earn $90,000 and above
Top 25% of voice actors earn $51,000 and above

Median voice actors pay is $31,400
Bottom 25% of voice actors earn $21,700 and above
Bottom 10% of voice actors earn $18,390 and above



https://www.reddit.com/r/gamedev/comments/43u5am/how_much_do_voice_overs_cost/

I unfortunately cannot comment on the exact price it cost us, but it was low 5 figures to get our voice acting done. This was paid per hour (estimated at around 1000 words per hour I think, I wasn't part of sorting this out so I'm not sure on that) and included:

Casting for 4 different characters (they sent us a short-list of their top 10, we picked our favorite from that).

Recording it on site in their studio (with an additional voice director being there), most lines have around 4 takes.

Cleaning up/editing/renaming of audio files

They split up recording of actors between different days to preserve energy between recordings.

EDIT: our game is set in England so we got an English company to handle all of this for us, PitStop Productions. We also had our narrative designer fly over there to help out during the recording, mainly to give direction to the tone of each of our scenes.

EDIT 2: The total recording time for voice actors was around 20 hours or so spread over 4 days

Last edited by _Vic_; 25/06/20 03:39 PM.
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I saw nothing wrong with how Larian studios handled the Voice Acting for DOS 1 and 2. It's nice we can pick the tone of our character as they make comments on the environment and such, but I think it's the difference between playing a role and playing a character. No matter which dialogue option you pick, Commander Shepard will always be Shepard, Geralt will always be Geralt. BG3 we are playing a character we make (or an Origin character), so we should be able to use our own imaginations in how they should sound like. We are playing a game of D&D and Larian is the DM remember, I wouldn't want the DM voicing the character I helped build and mold.


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It does look like they'll be aiming for full voice acting for custom characters. It was mentioned in the AMA they did on Reddit a while ago, so unless something has changed since then it should still be the case. That said we have to keep in mind that the game is still early in development, and plans change. There's also no guarantee that they'll have it in Early Access if they do.

Here's the relevant bit from the AMA for reference:

Will custom (non origin) characters have Voice Acting, or is it for for origin characters only?

Adam: Hello! Yes, custom characters will have voice acting - you’ll choose a voice as part of character creation.

That's the real question. An answer like Adams is technically correct but doesn't get at what we're looking for - will lines be voiced etc. in similar ways for origin vs. non.

We get they'll have voice lines... that's basic.

Adam: They'll have full voice acting, just like origins!


Link to the compiled AMA if you want to check anything else:
https://www.reddit.com/r/baldursgate/comments/fhq9cq/compiled_baldurs_gate_ama_20200313/

Last edited by DarkSeldarine; 27/06/20 06:48 AM. Reason: Sorry, my Stranger status appears to have made the formatting ugly. Removing formatting for the time being.
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Glad to see via the AMA that full VO is coming, I would say it'll be post EA, like a treat for full release: which will be amazing.

As much as a mute protagonist helps my RP side, the flow divide and suspension of disbelief required makes a full VO for me, essential, when all the NPCs are fully voiced in 2020.

Last edited by IndySandbagTrick; 10/07/20 11:01 AM.
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Thanks DarkSeldarine for finding the answer from the AMA. Since they are so busy working on this epic and beautiful game it would be really cool to see more voices added after full release and over time perhaps, similar to gift bags so that we could have more voices to choose from with the diverse array of races going to be in the game :)

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Watching that last Intellect Devourer gameplay further reinforced how necessary a voiced protag is; the narrator is amazing: good old Malady smile

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Originally Posted by Wormerine
.... But as someone mentioned it seems Larian is planning to do full VO... It's not something that ever worked to RPGs benefit,...


That's just like... your opinion, man. Yet you talk as all the knowledge of the world is with you.

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I'm wondering if Larian's love of the Brummie accent might extend to the protagonist this time. Though I'm not from Brum myself I think it'd be awesome, not least for its potential to wind people up.


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Originally Posted by IndySandbagTrick
Watching that last Intellect Devourer gameplay further reinforced how necessary a voiced protag is; the narrator is amazing: good old Malady smile


eh that just reinforced how good a narrator is. with a narrator i see even less reason to have a voiced protagonist, especially for custom characters. it'll just suck me right out of the game and eliminate any idea of the character i had in my head.

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Originally Posted by DrunkPunk
Originally Posted by IndySandbagTrick
Watching that last Intellect Devourer gameplay further reinforced how necessary a voiced protag is; the narrator is amazing: good old Malady smile


eh that just reinforced how good a narrator is. with a narrator i see even less reason to have a voiced protagonist, especially for custom characters. it'll just suck me right out of the game and eliminate any idea of the character i had in my head.

They have already confirmed the protags/PC will be voiced but I just had a fantastic idea: this could be the first time ever it's happened in an RPG: the option to turn main PC VO on/off.

On would be the full VO with facial animation etc - what's been confirmed as happening.
Off would be how it is now (maybe with the option just to leave Narrator on/off also).

This surely wouldn't be too hard to do (I know , i know..I'm not a dev, but it is what's on the game now), and will then quench the RP thirst of fellows like yourself, and people who want a more cinematic adventure like me. Mass Effect/Dragon Age/The Witcher etc are my top games of all time, that type of VO/dialogue combo is what I want from this (and what is planned).

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Originally Posted by IndySandbagTrick

They have already confirmed the protags/PC will be voiced but I just had a fantastic idea: this could be the first time ever it's happened in an RPG: the option to turn main PC VO on/off.

+1 I still have a hard time believing that would make full VO for multirace/multiclass/multisex protagonist, but if they do on/off would be greatly desirable (as well as wider selection of old fashioned "barks" rather then full VO). Why I don't oppose full VO, vioce does define the character quite a lot. If VO fits the character I want to play - that's fine. If it doesn't then I would rather have an option to disable/minimize it.

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I'm still not fully convinced that the voicelines you choose during conversations are going to be voiced (I certianly hope so though), because I seem to remember that Larian also said that D:OS2 was going to have "full voiceacting", which it didn't.
So I think it would be great if someone from Larian could clarify if the conversation system we've seen so far is how it's going to be, or if the full voiceacting just hasn't been implemented yet.

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Originally Posted by IndySandbagTrick
Originally Posted by DrunkPunk
Originally Posted by IndySandbagTrick
Watching that last Intellect Devourer gameplay further reinforced how necessary a voiced protag is; the narrator is amazing: good old Malady smile


eh that just reinforced how good a narrator is. with a narrator i see even less reason to have a voiced protagonist, especially for custom characters. it'll just suck me right out of the game and eliminate any idea of the character i had in my head.

They have already confirmed the protags/PC will be voiced but I just had a fantastic idea: this could be the first time ever it's happened in an RPG: the option to turn main PC VO on/off.

On would be the full VO with facial animation etc - what's been confirmed as happening.
Off would be how it is now (maybe with the option just to leave Narrator on/off also).

This surely wouldn't be too hard to do (I know , i know..I'm not a dev, but it is what's on the game now), and will then quench the RP thirst of fellows like yourself, and people who want a more cinematic adventure like me. Mass Effect/Dragon Age/The Witcher etc are my top games of all time, that type of VO/dialogue combo is what I want from this (and what is planned).


That would honestly be pretty fantastic. I gotta say a voiced protag is the one decision that really, really bothers me with this game. I really don't think they understand how much that impacts the ability for some people to immerse themselves in the role play experience. But providing options like that would go a very long way.

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I think it be awesome even if they only had one male and female voice like mass effect or two male and two female like dragon age inquisition to save money a voice just makes your character feel so much more alive


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I just really hope I can turn voiced dialogue off for myself if they're really insistent on having the protagonist be fully voiced...

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I'm sure that if it is fully voiced and you can't turn it off, there'll be modders who'll remove it. Modding it IN, if it's not fully voiced for those of us who want it, will be impossible.

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Originally Posted by dragonuff
I think it be awesome even if they only had one male and female voice like mass effect or two male and two female like dragon age inquisition to save money a voice just makes your character feel so much more alive

For me it depends a lot on the VA, and how they choose or are told to do the voice. Worked well in DOS, was okay in DA2/I, but found FO4 and Mass Effect too jarring (both were way too shouty; I think even more jarring once I realised Jennifer Hale had a much broader range which included non-shouty voices, such as the female half of Lutece in Bioshock). Or the Divinity II approach where there wasn't PC-voiced dialogue but my character would comment randomly on various places and events ("ooh, shiny!")


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Originally Posted by vometia
Originally Posted by dragonuff
I think it be awesome even if they only had one male and female voice like mass effect or two male and two female like dragon age inquisition to save money a voice just makes your character feel so much more alive

For me it depends a lot on the VA, and how they choose or are told to do the voice. Worked well in DOS, was okay in DA2/I, but found FO4 and Mass Effect too jarring (both were way too shouty; I think even more jarring once I realised Jennifer Hale had a much broader range which included non-shouty voices, such as the female half of Lutece in Bioshock). Or the Divinity II approach where there wasn't PC-voiced dialogue but my character would comment randomly on various places and events ("ooh, shiny!")


I think the first D:OS isn't really a fair comparison, though, because that game wasn't as focused on the idea of custom characters. You were two source hunters no matter what, your fate was determined for you before you created your character, you just created the look and skills basically. Same for FO4, no matter how you wanted to play it, you were playing a very specific character. And those sorts of RPGs, a voiced protagonist works! It makes sense because you aren't using your imagination to determine who that character you control is, it's not a character you created, it's one defined for you.

I think D:OS2 mostly nailed it in that your thoughts were mostly conveyed by the narrator during dialogue, because you could be Ifan or Fane, but you could also be a custom character with a personality defined in the players mind, not so much by Larian. Now I know D:OS2 had the occasional bit of reactive dialogue, as you mentioned (the ooo shiny bit), but even that was a bit jarring to me because it was so outside of what I expected. But those were infrequent enough that it was easy to ignore or forget. But when it did occur, man it really took me and my friend out of the moment because it totally conflicted with what we envisioned those characters to sound like.

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