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Episode 2 Voicework Thread

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Rixithechao
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Episode 2 Voicework Thread

Post by Rixithechao »

If I recall correctly, a while back I stated we were going to write up a guide document for voice acting and had a specific plan for how auditions would work and everything. In retrospect, those plans were... kinda over-complicating things! That's not to say we're giving up on having voicework in the game, but this thread will be the primary guide with a Google doc just serving as a mirror of it for folks who can’t access the forums. Likewise, the audition process is going to be a lot less structured and systematic.


THE BIG ONE
So here's the gist: we want to give A2XT Episode 2 one or more fully-voiced moments in the vein of Pily's story in Episode 1 and her pre-fight lines on Day 25 of A2XT Gaiden 2. This would be for

Uncle Broadsword

, a character neither I nor Hoeloe can voice. For anyone who feels up to it, please post or send us a recording of the following dialogue:
Aeons ago, the Armless Bipedal Cycloptic Demons were a spacefaring people of the highest esteem. We had a rich culture, extraordinary technology, a thriving economy, cities scattered throughout every galaxy... we were a force to be reckoned with! And yet, none of that compared to the might of the great and terrible Space Masters of Space!
We'll follow up on promising submissions with requests for additional lines or potential tweaks to the voice/performance we’d like you to try. If that sounds daunting, rest assured that the total amount of dialogue we'd like to have fully-voiced is much less than that of the Episode 1 speech!

We've tentatively decided to stop accepting auditions for this role on January 1st, 12:01 AM CDT. HOWEVER, depending on how many submissions we get we may choose to close auditions early, in which case we'll make another announcement and give a 2-week grace period for remaining auditions. On the flipside, this is the holiday season and sometimes life throws you curveballs, so we're open to pushing the deadline back to accommodate people interested. If you'd like to voice the character but will be busy for whatever reasons, or if something comes up, let us know!


EVERYTHING ELSE
Beyond those select few lines, we'd like to keep the voicework in the game limited to vocables -- shouts, calls, cries, groans, gasps, laughing, mumbles, "uh-huh"s, "mm-hm"s, "hey"s, "eh"s, "ooh-la-la"s, and other such sounds. As some examples of what we're aiming for, here's a sample of clips we currently have (courtesy of AScruffMcGruffin, Hoeloe, and

Google pronunciation guide clips

) along with a compilation of the voice clips in The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker.


Now, the game has a pretty hefty cast list, so there's no shortage of roles to fill! Here's the list we're using keep track of them all, which includes some info about each character's personality, sample lines to help you get a feel for them/use as audition material, and suggested traits/dialects/etc (feel free to disregard that column if you envision the character sounding differently or want to experiment with their voice!)

If you're not looking to voice a specific character and just want to contribute to the game, or if you are auditioning for a part and want to try something else in addition, you can also go freeform -- pick one or more voices that you're good at performing, or that don't fit the usual vocal archetypes you hear in games and shows, or that you just have fun with, and record a handful of vocables for each. A freeform submission could end up working as a general-purpose voice set for NPCs in towns, or if it fits a specific character we'll follow up with you about possibly recording additional clips for them.


GENERAL GUIDELINES / RECOMMENDATIONS
  • A decent recording setup and a quiet environment are preferable. In lieu of a higher-quality microphone, a webcam or phone could work in a pinch. A closet or other small room with minimal background noise can serve as a makeshift soundproofed room, and there are tutorials online for DIY pop filters using household objects.
  • If possible with your setup, save and submit your recording(s) as wav files at a high project rate like 96k Hz.
  • Aside from shortening long stretches of silence and applying light noise reduction, please keep recordings largely unfiltered and unedited; we'll process the audio as needed on our end.
  • Don't be afraid to exaggerate if you feel it would work better for a given character, especially if you’re inexperienced with voice acting and/or the character in question is on the cartoonier side! While we are aiming for some moments of genuine gravitas, by and large this is a silly game featuring larger-than-life cyclops people, so better to have an overly-animated performance than one that falls flat.
  • On the flipside, these are voices, not impressions; it's more important that you're able to emote well with the style you pick than you're able to imitate a specific way of speaking, so it’s best to prioritize the intensity of the tones and actions over the wackiness of the voice. For example, if it comes down to making a nasally voice sound really nasally or making them sound really happy / sad / scared / annoyed / etc, go for the latter.

OTHER NOTES
  • Different groups of characters have different needs in terms of clips:
    • The boss characters will need clips that can work as attack cues in their fights, as well as getting hurt, defeat cries, etc.
    • Town characters will get more mileage out of things like greetings, reactions, and in general the types of noises you're likely to make in casual conversation.
    • We don't currently plan to give the main 5 gameplay clips, but they will need more clips to cover a broader emotional range given the amount of story cutscenes and town dialogue they will have.
  • This is a “take what we can get” type situation – if we can’t get fitting voice clips for a character, they’ll either use a general-purpose set or just won’t have voice clips. In addition, the Demo Krew are an all-or-nothing group: we already have clips for raocow provided by the real deal, but it would be weird if he were the only playable character voiced. If even one of the roles for Demo, Iris, Kood and Sheath isn’t filled, all 5 will go unvoiced.
And that should cover just about everything! If anyone has any further questions, feel free to post them here, send me or Hoeloe a forum PM, or ping / DM one of us on Discord.
Last edited by Rixithechao 2 months ago, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Episode 2 Voicework Thread

Post by camwoodstock »

we 100% have a voice in mind for broadsword in specific, someone please remind us to record a demo when possible (read: late at night)
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Re: Episode 2 Voicework Thread

Post by Rixithechao »

As of writing this it's only an hour later, I'm guessing that's still too early for the reminder... I just woke up and had breakfast dinner a moment ago lol. Still, whenever you're able to do it, we'd love to hear it!

And something about I'd like to clarify/emphasize: most of the full-game cutscene script is written now. I considered including the document for it in the OP, but I didn't want to overwhelm people with what might come across as too much audition material or make anyone feel beholden to the script.

I can still share it if anyone feels like it'd help them, but we are planning on doing a second pass over the script later and updating the cutscenes implemented in the game accordingly. As such, characterization is flexible and dialogue can be changed to accommodate different takes on characters than we had when writing them, including the spoilered audition text for the character with the fully-voiced lines. That's why the details in the "voice traits/dialect/verbal quirks" column of the spreadsheet are suggestions/guidelines, not rules or requirements.
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Re: Episode 2 Voicework Thread

Post by camwoodstock »

maybe a silly question: is it okay if we send our auditions/voicelines via discord DMs since talkhaus apparently will not let you attach a .FLAC file?
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Re: Episode 2 Voicework Thread

Post by Rixithechao »

Sure thing! You could also try compressing it into a zip, rar, or 7z, I know at least the first two should be attachable as long as they're under the filesize limit.

And just generally speaking, if anyone wants to explore other options besides attaching to the thread or sharing over Discord, there's also
  • file-hosting services like google drive, dropbox, box.com, mega, etc.
  • audio-hosting services like audiomack or soundcloud
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Re: Episode 2 Voicework Thread (DEADLINE SET FOR THE BIG ROLE!)

Post by Rixithechao »

Apologies for the double-post, but I have an important announcement!

After some discussion, we've tentatively decided to stop accepting auditions for the role with the fully-voiced lines on January 1st, 12:01 AM CDT. HOWEVER, depending on how many submissions we get we may choose to close auditions early, in which case we'll make another announcement and give a 2-week grace period for remaining auditions. On the flipside, this is the holiday season and sometimes life throws you curveballs, so we're open to pushing the deadline back to accommodate people interested. If you'd like to voice the character but will be busy for whatever reasons, or if something comes up, let us know!
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Re: Episode 2 Voicework Thread

Post by ThemsAllTook »

Here's an audition using my normal voice. I don't actually know this character very well - I can try a different accent or inflection if you had something in mind and wanted me to record another take.
Is Uncle Broadsword British? I'm not sure I'd be able to just do a convincing British accent on my own, but I could probably mimic if I had an example to follow, even if it's just a bunch of examples of a particular person I could listen to who has the right sort of speech pattern.
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Re: Episode 2 Voicework Thread

Post by Rixithechao »

Since we're a little over halfway through the month, a quick update: we've decided to soften the deadline for the fully-voiced character a bit. We will stop accepting auditions for the role from new people at January 1st, 12:01 AM CDT, but anyone who has already auditioned will have until the same time on January 16th to submit any additional takes they want. We are still willing to make exceptions for people who can't record auditions before the new year, though, so if that's the case with you let us know!

Here's some additional resources that might help with the character; apologies for the delay in sharing them here!
First, Hoeloe made a text-to-speech recording as an accent aid:
https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/ ... xample.ogg

If you need more in-depth information, here's some videos on British accents; the first two are specifically for Received Pronunciation (RP) a.k.a. The Queen's or BBC English, but the third is a playlist of various different regional dialects.




If your attempts end up sounding more Australian for whatever reason, here's a couple extra videos to help you fine-tune them!

We still don't have any deadlines for other voicework, but we have filled a few roles (including the first boss,

Noctel

!) and have received a number of general-purpose sets with more potentially on the way, depending on the circumstances for one contributor. I don't know how to end this announcement and this draft has been just kinda sitting here unfinished for a couple days as neither I nor Hoeloe got around to figuring that out so I'm just gonna post it like this now and if folks have any questions we can follow up on those and amend more info and a better ending maybe???

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Re: Episode 2 Voicework Thread

Post by Rixithechao »

A quick bump with a couple articles on getting the most out of your recording setup:

https://voiceovertip.com/how-to-record- ... martphone/
https://www.soundguys.com/how-to-home-s ... get-38104/
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Re: Episode 2 Voicework Thread

Post by ThemsAllTook »

OK, I think I got the accent down thanks to the materials posted here. Here's a take two!
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Re: Episode 2 Voicework Thread

Post by Hoeloe »

ThemsAllTook wrote: 1 month ago OK, I think I got the accent down thanks to the materials posted here. Here's a take two!
Accent-wise that's almost perfect (only slight slip was in the word "economy", which ended up being pronounced more like "e-car-namy" somehow). It did come out a little monotonous though. It may be asking a lot but would it be possible to get a little more emotion into it?
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Re: Episode 2 Voicework Thread

Post by ThemsAllTook »

Sure, I can try. What's the overall tone of the scene? I can't quite tell from just the text who he's talking to and in what context.

I haven't voiced a role like this before, so I'm learning as I go along!
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Re: Episode 2 Voicework Thread

Post by Kshaard »

I'm really not expecting this to go anywhere, but here's my attempt at the speech!

I'm afraid the audio quality isn't going to get much higher than this with the equipment I've got, though it could probably be EQed into something slightly better maybe I don't know.
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Re: Episode 2 Voicework Thread

Post by Hoeloe »

ThemsAllTook wrote: 1 month ago Sure, I can try. What's the overall tone of the scene? I can't quite tell from just the text who he's talking to and in what context.

I haven't voiced a role like this before, so I'm learning as I go along!

The tone is pretty serious - he's trying to explain to Iris what his plans are in a desperate attempt to convince her that he's not evil, effectively.


Kshaard wrote: 1 month ago I'm really not expecting this to go anywhere, but here's my attempt at the speech!

I'm afraid the audio quality isn't going to get much higher than this with the equipment I've got, though it could probably be EQed into something slightly better maybe I don't know.
I really like this take! Mic quality could be a bit better, but you've mostly nailed the vibe of this speech I had in mind.
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Re: Episode 2 Voicework Thread

Post by Rixithechao »

As a reminder, if anyone still has a Big One audition to submit or wants to request the extension, y’all have a little under 5 and a half hours left to do so! I might not be available right when the deadline hits but I’ll be checking the time of any last-minute posts/DMs to make sure they’re not tardy.
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Re: Episode 2 Voicework Thread

Post by Rixithechao »

So I’m an hour late with this, but The Big One auditions are now closed! A massive thanks to everyone who’s auditioned for a character, whether it be this one or another member of this game’s absurdly large cast. To the seven people who auditioned for TBO or asked for the extension: you are all locked in as candidates for the role and have until the 16th to record or finalize your auditions if need be!

Hoeloe’s going to be away from her PC for most of this month, so chances are there’ll be a couple weeks between the final cutoff point and the announcement of our pick. For my part I’ll say that we got some good auditions so it’s likely going to be a tough pick, and I’m really looking forward to hearing everyone’s finalized takes on the character!

Thanks again, everyone, and a happy new year! Here’s to a strong start to 2023!
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Re: Episode 2 Voicework Thread

Post by Rixithechao »

Quick reminder to everyone that's submitted something for

Uncle Broadsword

but wants to give it another take, or has asked for more time to record one: you have a little under a week left to provide your finalized auditions for the character!
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Re: Episode 2 Voicework Thread

Post by Rixithechao »

Just under an hour now! If any candidates still have a revised audition they haven't shared yet, be sure to post it or PM it to us before 12:01 AM CDT!
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