Lack of voice acting a deliberate decision?

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Empress Matilda

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I noticed on the demos there wasn't much (any) voice acting. Was this a deliberate design choice? Has using text allowed you to make the randomly generated quests both more complicated and more numerous?
I suspect the answer is obvious and yes but it would be nice to have it confirmed.
 

Darkgamma

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Voice acting isn't really important - at least not to me - and I feel text is more immersive. Voice acting can be okayish but not really worth the effort here since text can be just as good if not better.
 

Empress Matilda

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Voice acting isn't really important - at least not to me - and I feel text is more immersive. Voice acting can be okayish but not really worth the effort here since text can be just as good if not better.

No, I agree. I'm a big fan of Bethesda but I feel that voice acting in Oblivion and Skyrim has limited them in some ways compared to Morrowind which just had voice acting for greetings.
 

wolfing

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I prefer no voice acting, makes the game + expansions + modding much more flexible and I just skip the voice anyway.
 

Pyoro

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From the perspective of content-vs-budget no/not-much-voice-acting is an obvious choice, imo, but visual novels haven at least to me proven time and time again that good voice-acting (so not what we got in Skyrim ;) ) can make anything much, much more engaging. There's (sometimes) a difference between hearing someone actually scream or cry or getting angry or whatever and reading "(crying) blabla".
 

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I feel voice acting is the most immersive choice, but in the case of Runemaster, I don't think it would actually fit that well. I don't really associate voice acting with strategy games or top-down RPGs like this one. I mean, I'd like to see unit responses to orders like "Right-o" or "More work?" Beyond that though, I don't think Runemaster would be enriched by full voice-acting like that seen in Skyrim or Oblivion.
 

Wenla

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I don't need voice acting, but I need text, because English is not my native language, meaning that it may be that I don't understand (badly) spoken, important information, but I can read /understand better written text. And I think that I'm not the only one...
 

Wallain

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Voice acting isn't really important - at least not to me - and I feel text is more immersive. Voice acting can be okayish but not really worth the effort here since text can be just as good if not better.
It's also expensive. I'm glad they did not do it for Runemaster, it doesn't suit the game and it would probably be annoying for modding as well.
 

Mauer

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The thing is voice acting in an RPG is probably not profitable for a smallish sudio like PDS. I'd think voiceovers in all dialogues would limit what they can do with them in order to keep the cost down too.

I'd bet most people skip dialogue as soon as they're done reading it half of the time, and almost always when they're on their 3rd or 4th run.
 

Pyoro

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There's however from what I gather also a growing number of gamers that simply don't play games that don't have voice acting 'cause they don't want to read "walls of text". Well, obviously you can't satisfy everyone anyways (turn-based combat probably scares away the same people...), but it's something to keep in mind nonetheless when making a game ;)
 

darthfanta

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The game's not finished yet. Voice acting may come later I presume.
 

aruon

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i prefer to have voice and text in most games, it adds a big amount of character, culture, depth, etc. if skyrim had no voices or unrealistic voices, it would basically just be "magical Scandinavia simulator with dragons time!"

i half expect general Tullius to start screaming "Ave, True to Caesar!" or "Et tu Dovahkiin?" while playing.
 

aruon

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Does this mean that there will be no parts where you fall down and bleed to death?

watch this for 10 minutes to pay for your crimes.:rofl:

 

Birken

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I noticed on the demos there wasn't much (any) voice acting. Was this a deliberate design choice? Has using text allowed you to make the randomly generated quests both more complicated and more numerous?
I suspect the answer is obvious and yes but it would be nice to have it confirmed.

It was a deliberate design choice as we rather would make the quests and dialog we want than just the ones our VO-budget would allow. Also as you point out it doesn't help to have to think about voice when building spoken text in randomized quests.
 

Empress Matilda

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It was a deliberate design choice as we rather would make the quests and dialog we want than just the ones our VO-budget would allow. Also as you point out it doesn't help to have to think about voice when building spoken text in randomized quests.

Thanks, sounds sensible to me :)
 

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No, I agree. I'm a big fan of Bethesda but I feel that voice acting in Oblivion and Skyrim has limited them in some ways compared to Morrowind which just had voice acting for greetings.
Agreed, it also critically limits modding capabilities (though I don't know to what degree, if any, Runemaster will be moddable). You can see the difference in the mods that were put out for morrowind vs Oblivion/Skyrim. Morrowind was dominated in large part by quest mods, new landmasses, characters and dialogue. Oblivion and Skyrim are dominated by visual mods, mostly, since it is very hard to do anything that would require new dialog without it sticking out like a sore thumb due to no voice acting or low-quality recordings.
 

Nyrael

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Agreed, it also critically limits modding capabilities (though I don't know to what degree, if any, Runemaster will be moddable). You can see the difference in the mods that were put out for morrowind vs Oblivion/Skyrim. Morrowind was dominated in large part by quest mods, new landmasses, characters and dialogue. Oblivion and Skyrim are dominated by visual mods, mostly, since it is very hard to do anything that would require new dialog without it sticking out like a sore thumb due to no voice acting or low-quality recordings.

As someone who still plays all three games and hunts every mod worth having, let me tell that this is a big wrong. All three have Visual Mods (and MW almost only them nowadays unfortunately) and all of them have an equal amount of Quest mods... which speaks a lot seeing as MW is much older and you'd expect it to have 3 times more than Skyrim, yet Skyrim actually has a LOT of quest mods, and almost all of them are voiced, both major and minor (and those that are not, usually get with the next release as someone volunteers to give the voices... as a matter of fact, I have 100 mods and I remember only one lacking VA). The most surprising part though is that they are all quality voices.
Not that VA-ing ever stopped anyone: most of OB quest mods don't have VA, yet they are still popular.
In other words, VA-ing doesn't matter to modders. And if the community is large, finding a VA is not even that hard.

Back on topic, I never expected PI to put in Voice Acting in the first place. For a small studio, that is too expensive and the return investment would be too trivial to be worth it. This is something left for AAA Devs who can afford it.
 

Talar

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I would have been surprised to see voice acting, at least for more than a few key quests that are always somewhere in the game. It's anyway only annoying when they speak slower than you read the text (I usually play with subtitles).
 

Mountain Man

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Quality voice acting like in Dragon Age: Origins or the Batman Arkham series can really add to a game, but that can also be very expensive in terms of both time and money. I've also heard developers say that voice acting can be very limiting, especially for RPGs, since you have to nail the script down so early in development because of the time it takes to record the audio and then create the animated cutscenes (if the game has those), and adding new quests or altering the dialog later is virtually impossible because of the costs involved.

For example, say that late in development, the developers realize that a particular town could be much more interesting if they fleshed it out with half-a-dozen new quests. If the game is text only then adding the new content is almost trivial -- a few kilobytes of text and triggers -- whereas a fully voice acted game probably wouldn't get the new content at all.

A compromise could be to have key moments voice acted and the rest of the game be text only. This is the way it was done back in the day in games like Fallout and Planescape Torment.
 
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