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#1 Rhyos Beoulve

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Posted 24 November 2002 - 06:32 PM

I wonder if there is any way some sort of voice acting could work here? It would be awesome for me to try to contribute to this project, but voice acting is about all I can do. My comp can't even run the Geoscape thing!

#2 gangsta

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Posted 24 November 2002 - 06:56 PM

Well don't feel bad alot of people are having that prob with the geoscope thing right now. Sure red knight will fix that as soon as he figures out why. :)
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#3 The Rookie with a Additude

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Posted 24 November 2002 - 08:32 PM

Hmmmm, not much i can do in this subject, for reasons that concern none of you

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Posted 24 November 2002 - 10:31 PM

Well, it can't run it because it's just a P2 400 with a TNT1. ^_^``
But yeah, I was wondering if there would be any sort of unit responses. That could prove to be both funny and annoying. o_O

#5 Rhyos Beoulve

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Posted 24 November 2002 - 10:36 PM

:uh: That was me. o_o

#6 Raven Squad

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Posted 01 May 2003 - 06:12 AM

Are we going to make troops respond or are they mute like in original ufo. I know it could get irritating if they always said "yes boss" when selected them, but if they see enemy they could say something. Same for interceptors and landing crafts. When they close enemy they could respond something.
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#7 Cubik

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Posted 01 May 2003 - 08:17 AM

Nice idea, gives the game more life.

#8 Guest_drewid_*

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Posted 01 May 2003 - 08:37 AM

should be cool. I'm sure we can find enough people who can voice act well enough.

What about localisation? We should be OK for a Swedish version. ;D

Male and female as well.

#9 Raven Squad

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Posted 01 May 2003 - 08:54 AM

Yeah it would sound quite stupid when female agent replays deep bass voice :D . About localisation imo english should be enough. Tho we could make russian agents speak with russian accent and so on...
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#10 Guest_drewid_*

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Posted 01 May 2003 - 08:59 AM

That would be neat.

It has to be said localisation is a complete nightmare.
especially if you want it to sound good.
Written stuff is still a pain, but it's a little easier.

#11 Cubik

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Posted 01 May 2003 - 09:11 AM

But please! No Americans should be allowed to try to speak with a Russian or German accent. That should be left to people living in those countries :D .

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Posted 01 May 2003 - 09:48 AM

LOL

Very true

#13 Extralucas

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Posted 01 May 2003 - 10:54 AM

It would be great to have soldiers saying something with their native accent and even greater to tell something in native language when see an alien, or kill it etc.
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#14 Cubik

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Posted 01 May 2003 - 10:57 AM

"and even greater to tell something in native language "

Yes, it would be cool, but it throws the whole concept of using the radio messages to get information overboard. Not everyone understands "Alien spotted" in Russian.

#15 Deimos

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Posted 02 May 2003 - 08:43 AM

But you'd learn pretty quickly :D and you would have the little flashing icon as a visual indicator that an alien had been spotted.

"Achtung Achtung (no idea what the german word for alien is)"

Sounds of plasma fire.

Sounds of German soldier dying :P

It is a good idea have reactionary sounds but we should avoid going overboard on it. I'd hate to have a situation where every time a player clicks on a unit it replies "yes boss" or something similar. It got annoying in RTS games every time a unit was selected. Apart from that it wouldn't fit in with the abstract nature of the turn based game.

Voice acting (if done right) would sound amazing if there was a replay function on the end of mission page, like in Gran turismo where the player can watch the whole battle unfold in realtime with voices and such, but that is something for the wishlist.

#16 Extralucas

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Posted 02 May 2003 - 09:04 AM

"and even greater to tell something in native language "

Yes, it would be cool, but it throws the whole concept of using the radio messages to get information overboard. Not everyone understands "Alien spotted"  in Russian.

"Alien Spotted"... Well not only this. I was thinking about something like saying "KURWA!" (very nasty polish swore) when hit by alien or see much of 'em = situtation is getting hard. It could be connected with soldier's characteristics (calm one would just say 'Alien Spotted' but other one, with lower morale, could say "OMG!" or something such)

Still I'm not sure is it possible (well, I'm not project member so maybe I should just shut up? ;) ). Im not sure how game would be distributed but file loaded with sound files sure gonna be huge. (not everyone is able to download files with few mb/s).
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#17 mamutas

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Posted 02 May 2003 - 10:08 AM

Take a Warcraft series for example: they will never had a such success without those funny voices and speeches.
I think all ideas suggested are great. Here is summary of what I saw:

- unit is saying something when he/she is clicked
- unit is saying something when he/she is spotted an alien
- different voices are used: male and female. if possible each unit speaks with some accent depending of his/her origination (russian, japanese, afro-american)
- there will be number of sounds for the single unit, so they will not be repeated too often.
- internation units should say something in their original language.

I do not think that units should swear unless we want to be rated R (using KURWA in Poland will sure get the game that rating).
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#18 Cubik

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Posted 02 May 2003 - 10:16 AM

"I do not think that units should swear"

Eh... the agents are in a life-and-death situation, don't you think that it's resonable that they swear once in a while?

I personaly don't have a problem with an R rating on the game :P

#19 Anglachel

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Posted 02 May 2003 - 10:31 AM

Will Smith- "Oh no, you did not shoot the green #$&^ at me!"

Edited by Anglachel, 02 May 2003 - 10:32 AM.


#20 mamutas

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Posted 02 May 2003 - 10:41 AM

"I do not think that units should swear"

Eh... the agents are in a life-and-death situation, don't you think that it's resonable that they swear once in a while?

I personaly don't have a problem with an R rating on the game :P

I do not have problem with swearing, I agree it will add reality to the game. B)
I just wanted to mention that it will affect game rating and that is something I did not see discussed on the threads yet...
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#21 Deimos

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Posted 03 May 2003 - 05:42 AM

We'll probably keep swearing out of it but not for reasons of censorship. People of all ages should be able to enjoy this game and we'd be potentially cutting off some of the younger players if their parents decided that because the game has strong language in it, they can't play it.

Mamutas, warcraft is a different genre to xcom. I agree the voices in that game did make it better, but that doesn't mean that xenocide would be any better for it. Having soldiers replying and talking all over the place will spoil the forboding atmosphere that made xcom so successful.

If we are going to have any unit voices I think it should only be in response to really important events like spotting an alien or going beserk or panicking or dying. The soldiers are meant to be elite special forces that hav been transferred to xenocide. They aren't going to say anything unless it is really needed.

#22 hArk

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Posted 03 May 2003 - 06:43 AM

To have less talking as possible makes sense for high-tension game style
Only have talking when it fits in to the high-tension style for eg.

Gasps,OMG’s or just report in when they spot an alien
Have them yelling and screaming some gibberish when they go berserk with blaster fire sounds over top
Whimpering when they panic etc.

#23 Cubik

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Posted 03 May 2003 - 09:50 AM

So they should be entirely silent when they fire wildly around themselfs? Does that sound beliveable to you?

#24 Extralucas

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Posted 03 May 2003 - 01:52 PM

We'll probably keep swearing out of it but not for reasons of censorship. People of all ages should be able to enjoy this game and we'd be potentially cutting off some of the younger players if their parents decided that because the game has strong language in it, they can't play it.

Mamutas, warcraft is a different genre to xcom. I agree the voices in that game did make it better, but that doesn't mean that xenocide would be any better for it. Having soldiers replying and talking all over the place will spoil the forboding atmosphere that made xcom so successful.

If we are going to have any unit voices I think it should only be in response to really important events like spotting an alien or going beserk or panicking or dying. The soldiers are meant to be elite special forces that hav been transferred to xenocide. They aren't going to say anything unless it is really needed.

Im not sure are they really special forces, at least in original game. Commando with 10 bravery? Aw c'mon...

There could be language filter like in Fallout series. (Ofcourse I don't think it's a good argument, but my only at the moment). And I've got some stupid Idea here. Release it in a silent version, with polite, nice, silent boys around, and prepare chat version patch wchich would be adding rest of stuff.
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#25 revenant4

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Posted 03 May 2003 - 03:12 PM

This is a little off subject but instant replay would kick a.s.s.
That way you could watch (in slow motion)as your Laser beam smacks right into the alien scum... :laser:
That was a great idea Deimos!!!

#26 Raven Squad

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Posted 03 May 2003 - 06:47 PM

Yeah you could watch aliens dodge bullets in slow motion :P . Just like in Matrix :D .
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#27 GreatGold

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Posted 03 May 2003 - 07:02 PM

Im not sure are they really special forces, at least in original game. Commando with 10 bravery? Aw c'mon...

Hey -

In responce to the comment about 10 bravery. Yes, that is low, but these were soilders trained to fight and die on and in and against the realm of Earth. They are no longer is this position of security, no longer masters of their domains. I think its reasonable to assume that they need to start their courage and bravery from scratch, or at least from a lower level than when they fought Earth-based foes. Courage against the known, and that which you have trained for, is one thing...

I just think its safe to assume that the unknown they now face adds a little more...want...to their level of bravery than actual...ability. But as they become better acquanted with the situation it makes sense that they become more courageous.

I think it might be interesting to correlate the level of radio chatter, of the non-official type, to the bravery level they possess.

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#28 JohnEvans

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Posted 03 May 2003 - 10:06 PM

In response to the comment about 10 bravery. Yes, that is low, but these were soldiers trained to fight and die on and in and against the realm of Earth. They are no longer is this position of security, no longer masters of their domains. I think its reasonable to assume that they need to start their courage and bravery from scratch, or at least from a lower level than when they fought Earth-based foes. Courage against the known, and that which you have trained for, is one thing...


I agree. It's like H. P. Lovecraft..."The oldest and most powerful emotion of mankind is fear, and the greatest fear is fear of the unknown." I'm specifically thinking of the Call of Cthulhu RPG, with Sanity points that get drained by encounters with Alien Things. They're so alien that they get past your defenses, and can reduce the toughest drill sergeant to a quivering wreck...

...oh, wait. Lovecraft doesn't come in till the second game. My bad. :D

Anyway, I like the idea of a little bit of radio chatter. Though perhaps not to the level of every time you click on a unit. If each unit gets a randomly assigned "voice", of which there are several...and each voice has several sayings for each occasion...and the sayings are played randomly, with certain ones being more common than others...it wouldn't get repetitive for quite a while. (I hope.)

Also, visualize this: You're playing for the first time, you've down a UFO, your agents at the site sneak into a deserted barn, but there has been no radio chatter as yet...when suddenly "OH MY GOD WHAT'S THAT!" and your squaddie fires his entire clip in a frenzy!

With any luck, it'll at least surprise the player. :D

#29 revenant4

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Posted 04 May 2003 - 01:16 AM

GreatGold couldn't have explained that better about the bravery issue...I know I'd probably piss my pants the first time I saw an alien w/ a plasma canon pointing at my head...then after killing a few hundred of em it would get a little easier

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Posted 04 May 2003 - 08:58 AM

10 is low bravery? - depends on your scale.
Perhaps the average person is a 5 :D

Slo mo - cool idea. shouldn't be too hard to do either.
Borderline v1, but soo easy...hmmm...

SAS are trained to be silent going into places. Once the shooting starts there's not much point in being too quiet,
except to avoid giving away your position, and confusing your team mates with useless chatter.

#31 mamutas

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Posted 04 May 2003 - 01:57 PM

We'll probably keep swearing out of it but not for reasons of censorship. People of all ages should be able to enjoy this game and we'd be potentially cutting off some of the younger players if their parents decided that because the game has strong language in it, they can't play it.

Mamutas, warcraft is a different genre to xcom. I agree the voices in that game did make it better, but that doesn't mean that xenocide would be any better for it. Having soldiers replying and talking all over the place will spoil the forboding atmosphere that made xcom so successful.

If we are going to have any unit voices I think it should only be in response to really important events like spotting an alien or going beserk or panicking or dying. The soldiers are meant to be elite special forces that hav been transferred to xenocide. They aren't going to say anything unless it is really needed.

Deimos,

I do not suggest to copy Warcraft, but I wished all the time that the soldiers would talk back to me while I was playing original game.

I am not saying that there should be chatter all the time. No. Indeed, I proposed something similar like you stated: they should say something in response to an action - in ones you have mentioned and maybe possibly during using some weapons (for example, 'Grenade is out'. I think in US army soldier must say it).

Anyway, this is easily chageable. I would suggest to implement voices for some most important actions first and then add more later.
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#32 Deimos

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Posted 04 May 2003 - 04:28 PM

I do not suggest to copy Warcraft, but I wished all the time that the soldiers would talk back to me while I was playing original game.

I am not saying that there should be chatter all the time. No. Indeed, I proposed something similar like you stated: they should say something in response to an action - in ones you have mentioned and maybe possibly during using some weapons (for example, 'Grenade is out'. I think in US army soldier must say it).

Anyway, this is easily chageable. I would suggest to implement voices for some most important actions first and then add more later.

Looks like we agree here :D

I think the saying is "Fire in the hole" when throwing a grenade, not sure though. I think it was used in Vietnam when they used to throw grenades down the vietcong tunnels to warn the rest of the fire team or platoon.

What would be a good idea would be is to have a voice command list which lists all the sayings we want to include. When we've done that we should get people to record them saying each saying in either their native language or in English with their native accent.

The quality would have good and set to something like 16bit 44khz mono. I say mono as I think the sound hardware would place the sound in the correct position or am I totally wrong ;)

To keep the quality high, ambient sound would have to be kept to the absolute minimum (which is pretty hard with a modern pc) I've read articles where using a thick blanket over the mic and the person recording muffles background noise. I'm sure a google on the subject will provide results :)

#33 red knight

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Posted 04 May 2003 - 04:47 PM

The quality would have good and set to something like 16bit 44khz mono. I say mono as I think the sound hardware would place the sound in the correct position or am I totally wrong ;)

You are absolutly right. Did i mention that before????? :blink:

Indeed if you want positional sound your source must be mono, for ambiental or positionless you should use stereo (but you can still use mono for that)...

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#34 mamutas

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Posted 05 May 2003 - 10:09 AM

That is a good conversation we have here.

I want to add one more thing to my original list up above:

- there should be different emotional levels of speech for the units. For example, 'low morale', 'normal' and 'high moral'. Here are the samples: "OMG! I see one of them!", "Alien has spotted. Be alert.", "Dudes! I see one of those suckers now. I will take care of it..."

Lets agree first on what parameters of the speech (sex, accent, morale, event, etc.) we are going to include and then create the matrix of phrases.
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#35 Raven Squad

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Posted 05 May 2003 - 12:06 PM

Quality can be quite low if we use radio phone like sounds. Would save some space too. About must say things, in Finnish army u have to say sertain things if u are going to throw a grenade. So everybody in ur squad can get in cover. Or they could end up like this :explode: :D .

Totally offtopic: Damn those F-18s. They are breaking soundbarrier too close, cos it feels like windows will break any minute. :cussing:

Edited by Raven Squad, 05 May 2003 - 12:07 PM.

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#36 Crix Dorius

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Posted 05 May 2003 - 03:48 PM

"Achtung Achtung (no idea what the german word for alien is)"

Sounds of plasma fire.

Sounds of German soldier dying :P

Alien = Ausserirdischer...

But we don't say that often because it is to long....

Most we say Alien, too.

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"Da ist einer !!!" - "There is one !!!"
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#37 JohnEvans

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Posted 05 May 2003 - 09:38 PM

I love all these ideas, though I think we're getting into post-v1 territory...not that that's a bad thing, of course...

Ideally, you want someone to be able to play without sound. Maybe their sound card has recently broken, and they haven't gotten around to replacing it yet. Or maybe they're deaf. So I think all the sounds should be "extras", they shouldn't convey any necessary information, or at least no information that isn't shown in another way. I remember playing UFO Defense without sound...I can't remember why at the moment...but when an alien was spotted, your guy would stop and the screen would center on the alien. And there would be something blinking, I think. :huh?: Anyway, my point is that it worked fine. So, as long as the visual cues are there, you can add sounds just as a "cool" thing. So it becomes non-critical, and probably quite easy to implement.

Low quality sound samples might be good for producing a "walkie-talkie" atmosphere, like Raven Squad said. ^_^ Also...X-COM soldiers are recruited from all over the world, right? (I seem to recall their names showing evidence of many ethnicities.) So you could have different accents or even different languages, depending on which squad members were doing something. "Jawohl!" "Roger!" "Ryokai!"

#38 red knight

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Posted 06 May 2003 - 08:44 AM

I love all these ideas, though I think we're getting into post-v1 territory...not that that's a bad thing, of course...

That is what The Laboratory is for, discussing post v1 ideas...

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#39 mamutas

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Posted 06 May 2003 - 09:54 AM

I don't think that radio chatter is so difficult to implement for version 1.
You got all events in place, so you would just need to pick a sound file based on the provided parameters (nationality, sex, morale, etc) and play it. What is so hard about that?

I also agree, that sound cues must have appropriate visual cues. And vice versa. We can go very far here depending on what public we are trying to create product for. I have been dealing with accessibility (that means to make software accessible to vision/hearing/movement impaired people) for the last 2 years. We will be the first one though to do that for games, as I have never heard or seen any games saying 'we provide an accessibility in our product'. :) So, lets just stick to some sound/visual cues here.
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#40 Breunor

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Posted 08 May 2003 - 01:32 PM

Actually there are several games out there for the visually impaired, etc, but you're right to design the game where the audio cues are secondary to the visual ones. Using the autocombat system and including keyboard tabbing in the various buttons and dialog boxes, you 'd have the game adapted most of the way for the blind. When I trained the blind to use computers, it was surprising just how helpless a sighted user felt when you told them "you can't use the mouse".

I wasn't fond of hearing the same audio replies from units in RTS games for basic functions like moving, it wears thin pretty quick. If you reserve the audio just for important events- spotting an alien, somebody goes berserk, dies- then it doesn't get as repetitive. Since there's going to be background music as well, you don't want lots of chatter on top of that IMO. There's an opensource utility being developed that does text to speech conversion, once we get closer to release the audio quality might be clean enough to use it. Then your units can say anything that's passed to them via text, which saves space and allows for easier changes. You can choose gender and tone, rate of speech, etc. It's currently for Linux, so I don't know how easy it is to port. The post regarding this is here.

Edited by Breunor, 08 May 2003 - 01:34 PM.


#41 Guest_drewid_*

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Posted 08 May 2003 - 04:14 PM

I don't think that radio chatter is so difficult to implement for version 1.
You got all events in place, so you would just need to pick a sound file based on the provided parameters (nationality, sex, morale, etc) and play it. What is so hard about that?

implimenting the voices isn't difficult. The problem is all in the production of the data.

Its hard to find good voice talent who will do this for free, it's more difficult than "normal" acting. Doing it badly or in a amateur fashion will sound terrible.

It's hard to find a range of voices to do the different characters. (see above)

It's hard to write scripts for the sheer number of lines we would need in order to not get phrases repeating too often

Its hard to get it recorded consistently.

While we should use audiovisual cues for anything important it is also true that sound is a key part of the experience. It's very easy to underestimate this.

I'm not saying we shouldn't do voices, but it is a non-trivial and large piece of work and we should have our eyes open if we attempt it.

#42 mamutas

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Posted 08 May 2003 - 09:20 PM

I agree. I just want to emphasize, that coders must plan to use sounds in the game, which will (or will not) be provided later.
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#43 Raven Squad

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Posted 09 May 2003 - 10:57 AM

Maybe Xenocide website could have some info about our need of good voice actors (hint hint for Micah, Stewart :wink: ) . They could send short sample and we could select best ones. Or vote our favorites at here. With little editing i could try to make them sound same. As soon as i get good mic with portable recording device, i start recording some sound effects.
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#44 red knight

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Posted 09 May 2003 - 03:11 PM

I agree. I just want to emphasize, that coders must plan to use sounds in the game, which will (or will not) be provided later.

Sound support is already planned and sorted out... where to put sounds is another thing.....

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#45 Deimos

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Posted 09 May 2003 - 05:04 PM

I'd say that it would be a good idea for advertising for voice talent and yes we should make it sound professional. However like Drewid said pro's aren't going to do this for free unless they are wanting to break into the industry and need portfolio material.

We could however like the art side of the project have people who are interested in contributing their voices to the 'radio chatter' are subject to peer review. I'm sure there are enough talented people here to work something out that we'd be proud of.

As for the quality regardless of how it'd sound in game and what quality level it is in there, the source sound has to be as high a quality as possible. Thinking of it in art terms you can't expect a 72dpi web image to print out on say A4 at a good quality. you'd need a resolution as high or at least double the resolution that you're outputting to, to make it look good.

Same goes for sounds if we have 22khz in game, then the source should be recorded at 44khz so whoever is modifiying the sound to make it sound like a 'radio phone' transmission has the quality overhead to play with.

I'd agree we'd have to get an asset list of sound events together before going anywhere near a microphone butI do think it would be possible to come up with something decent and avoid the cheesy 'deep voiced american' voiceovers I've heard in some games.

I think the hardest part of any voice acting direction would be to communicate the right inflection and tonality of the person speaking to get the right sound.

#46 Judge_Deadd

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Posted 11 May 2003 - 08:13 AM

Proposed radio talks:

- Alien spotted: "[Alien name] to my [direction]."
Ex: Snakeman to my right.
- Alien spotted near other soldier: "Watch out, [name]. [Alien name] to your [direction.]
Ex: Watch out, Zdanowicz. Muton behind you.
- Killing an alien: "Got the [alien name]."
Ex: Got the floater.
- Seeing dead soldier/be a witness of his death: "[Name]'s gone."
Ex: Zander's gone.
- Getting wounded: "Uh! He hit me."
- Fatal wound: "Ouch! I'm bleeding!"
- Dying: "Aaaaargggg!"
- Buying something online: "Hey! I got myself the new Microwave Thrower 40000! Oops... It's broken..." :D
- Arguing: :argue: "You! You won't catch any alien!"
"Watch out, an alien behind you!"
"Ha! I won't get conned thaAAARG!" :D
"This is why I love subtle humour, it's as dirty or as clean as the reader's own mind." -- Sinscale17

"Just imagine if you were really the XCOM commander. You'd build defence modules like there was no tomorrow. Because if you didn't, there really would be no tomorrow!" -- Aiki-Knight

#47 Guest_Jim69_*

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Posted 11 May 2003 - 08:20 AM

The sound quality wouldn't be a problem as long as it is universally at one quality.

Would some sort of mask be possible to give the voices a radio feel instead of crystal clear? This could solve the problem of it being recorded in different setups and could allow you to get everyone to send in different responses, and the best ones used.

#48 Deimos

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Posted 11 May 2003 - 11:18 AM

Judge, You're on the right lines but your scripting needs work. It's a bit on the flat side. It needs to sound more natural.

Jim69 don't worry about the differences in quality and it sounding crystal clear, there are programs like Goldwave which allow the user to tweak just about every aspect of the sound. There is a filter which makes voices sound exactly like it's been transmitted via a radio.

#49 Raven Squad

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Posted 11 May 2003 - 02:21 PM

And few dozen other programs that i have do the same. Aliens should be called with aliens, not floaters of snakemans. It would save a lot of trouble. Names would be impossible to do if we dont use some kind of software. Maybe they could have some numbers also to id them.
Yep, thats me who is posting here...

#50 Guest_drewid_*

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Posted 11 May 2003 - 03:37 PM

The best way to record conversation type chat is to record more than one actor at once. It's much easier for someone to sound natural if they are actually talking to someone.

Ideally they are in seperate spaces with a mike and headphones so you can record them on seperate channels.

Also they should be encouraged to stick to what the script -means- rather than necessarily what it -says-. They should find a natural way for them to say the same thing.

My 2p