Talky Morrowind

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Okulo
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Joined: 05 Feb 2012, 16:11

Re: Talky Morrowind

Post by Okulo » 04 May 2016, 11:43

Chris wrote:There's mods for Skyrim that add NPCs that you'd be hard pressed to tell apart from the vanilla game, too. Interesting NPCs being one example, as well as large scale quest mods like Moonpath to Elsweyr, Helgen Reborn, and Falskaar.
I was a voice actor for Falskaar and it's pretty damn clear that we were a very different troupe from Bethesda's voice actors. Had we been mixed in with Skyrim's worldspace, it would've been easy to pick us out because finding good voice actors is real fucking difficult. (Though RockPaperShotgun said that we were on the same level as Bethesda's VAs. Thanks, I guess?)
Chris wrote:Conversely, it's not as simple to just add new fitting NPCs to Morrowind as some make it out to be... it's not hard for me to be able to pick out lines and NPCs added by LGNPC, for example, due to things like spelling errors, bad punctuation, out of place dialog, etc.
Two of these are fixed with proofreading. The third is a bit too vague for me to comment on.

The thing is with adding voice acting is that you're adding another layer of complications to it. When you mod for Morrowind, you only need to write. When you're adding voice acting, you need to write, find good VAs, and coach them. It takes a lot more time and energy, and the chance of failure is much higher.
Chris wrote:While it's undeniably harder to make new NPCs fit in with voice acting, it definitely adds to the atmosphere to have NPCs that can actually talk to you.
Watch how long it takes for people to stop listening to the full dialogue because reading the lines is so much faster.
Last edited by Okulo on 04 May 2016, 13:17, edited 1 time in total.

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GreyFox
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Joined: 16 Apr 2016, 22:41

Re: Talky Morrowind

Post by GreyFox » 04 May 2016, 12:11

Okulo wrote: The thing is with adding voice acting is that you're adding another layer of complications to it. When you mod for Morrowind, you only need to write. When you're adding voice acting, you need to write, find good VAs, and coach them. It takes a lot more time and energy, and the chance of failure is much higher.

Watch how long it takes for people to stop listening to the full dialogue because reading the lines is so much faster.
Yes and YES.

Chris
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Joined: 04 Sep 2011, 08:33

Re: Talky Morrowind

Post by Chris » 04 May 2016, 18:11

Okulo wrote:
Chris wrote:Conversely, it's not as simple to just add new fitting NPCs to Morrowind as some make it out to be... it's not hard for me to be able to pick out lines and NPCs added by LGNPC, for example, due to things like spelling errors, bad punctuation, out of place dialog, etc.
Two of these are fixed with proofreading.
Sure, they can be fixed, but to fix it takes time (how long has the LGNPC project been going for now?). Unfortunately, time becomes that much more necessary when it comes to doing quality work, in any field, and it tends to be in short supply for free projects. (Case in point, it took me far longer to compose this response than it should've, with all the edits and proofreading, to try to make sure I'm coming across correctly).
Watch how long it takes for people to stop listening to the full dialogue because reading the lines is so much faster.
I only skip dialog when I'm getting the same line again and again. When I'm role-playing, I'll tend to only skip voiced dialog when my character would actually interrupt them. With text, I'm more likely to skim and jump back and forth over the lines on both new and repeated dialog, and consequently it really throws off the pacing of the conversation because there's no flow to it. It's just their series of lines laid out for each topic I select.

And that brings up another issue, the lack of speech context. Think of how character dialog works in a book -- it's not just the characters' lines in a paragraph dump. There's plenty of non-dialog text to help control the perceived tone, relative pacing, and actions that occur during conversations, which would be inherent to voiced "real-time"(animated) dialog, but is completely missing in Morrowind's dialog (and indeed, most text-based RPG dialog I've seen). There's a lot of information exchanged during human conversations, which range from subtle to overt and subconscious to conscious, and it takes quite a bit of skill to take that much information and strip it down into digestible chunks that flow well and read well while still containing the necessary information (where "information" in this context includes tone, body language, pauses, and other such details people pick up on aside from the actual words being spoken).

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Okulo
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Re: Talky Morrowind

Post by Okulo » 07 May 2016, 10:16

Chris wrote:Sure, they can be fixed, but to fix it takes time (how long has the LGNPC project been going for now?).
Yes, literally a couple of minutes to find the line and to correct the error - try that with a voice actor.
Chris wrote:I only skip dialog when I'm getting the same line again and again.
Good, but you're not people in general. In general people read ahead of the voice and just press through when they're done reading.

The rest of your post is not even specific to text-based games, nor does it solve any of the issues that we were talking about.

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