Will all text in the final game be narrated?

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Delicieuxz
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Will all text in the final game be narrated?

Post by Delicieuxz » July 3rd, 2016, 4:47 pm

I love the narration in the Alpha, and I love that I can listen to it without looking at my monitor... that I can fully focus on visualizing in my mind what the narration is telling, rather than dividing my focus between reading the text and thinking about it. I also find the narrator's inflection to be cool and add to the atmosphere and feeling of the words. I think it would be awesome to have full narration of all text in the game, so I'm wondering, will this happen?

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Re: Will all text in the final game be narrated?

Post by sparkee666 » July 3rd, 2016, 6:45 pm

there probably will be too much text to Narrate. I'm not to sure how many words there will be, but It was stated that there will be a lot. so full narration is probably a no.

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Re: Will all text in the final game be narrated?

Post by kilobug » July 4th, 2016, 12:28 am

No, it'll not happen, first because there is way too much text as sparkee666 said (I remember a post from inXile saying there is currently more text in TTON than in the Bible), and second because TTON doesn't have a AAA budget but only an intermediate budget.

But I also prefer it this way, like PST, key lines with a well-crafted voice-over, rather than a full voice-over; it makes the voice-over moments shine more by contrast and make them more memorable, and it also speeds up the game (most people can read text faster than the voice-over, so full voice-over means you constantly have to slow down your reading speed, which after a while is boring).

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Re: Will all text in the final game be narrated?

Post by anonymous6059 » July 4th, 2016, 6:13 am

I've heard that they might have text to speech built into the game. I'm not sure how that works, but I believe they had it for Wasteland 2? So to answer your question, I'd say yes there is a chance that you will get full voice acting brought to you by Microsoft Sam. ;)
That is if you count text to speech as full voice narration. Personally, I think this is a must. Lots of people with reading disabilities could enjoy this game if they were to add this feature.

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Re: Will all text in the final game be narrated?

Post by dflatline » July 4th, 2016, 8:02 am

I hope not. It'd be nice but cost and practicality dictates less text if thats the case. I want as much text and lore as possible. How many words long was Planescape Torment I see the figure quoted often enough because its so impressive.

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sear
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Re: Will all text in the final game be narrated?

Post by sear » July 4th, 2016, 6:28 pm

It will be like Planescape: Torment or Pillars of Eternity - critical plot lines and banters etc. will be voiced, but we will not have full VO or narration for all text in the game.

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Re: Will all text in the final game be narrated?

Post by Delicieuxz » July 4th, 2016, 11:47 pm

OK, cool.

The text is really enjoyable in this game.

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Re: Will all text in the final game be narrated?

Post by anonymous6059 » July 5th, 2016, 4:24 am

sear wrote:It will be like Planescape: Torment or Pillars of Eternity - critical plot lines and banters etc. will be voiced, but we will not have full VO or narration for all text in the game.
So I guess that includes Text-to-Speech?
It would be very useful for those with reading disabilities.
Didn't Inxile have one for Wasteland 2?

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Re: Will all text in the final game be narrated?

Post by RadonGOG » July 24th, 2016, 4:59 am

sear wrote:It will be like Planescape: Torment or Pillars of Eternity - critical plot lines and banters etc. will be voiced, but we will not have full VO or narration for all text in the game.
Will you include the basic support for Fan-Made-Narrations?

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Re: Will all text in the final game be narrated?

Post by kilobug » July 24th, 2016, 7:00 am

RadonGOG wrote:Will you include the basic support for Fan-Made-Narrations?
My understanding is that they want to focus on TTON being an awesome experience "out-of-the-box", and won't divert any resource towards the game being "mod-friendly" - but they won't either do anything to actively prevent mods. So if the game is a success and has a dedicated fanbase, there will likely be a modding community around it, like there is one for Infinity Engine games, even if they never had mod support in mind when they made the games.

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Re: Will all text in the final game be narrated?

Post by sear » July 24th, 2016, 7:31 am

That's correct, we have no specific plans for mod support at this time. We're not actively hindering mods of course, and I'm sure fans will figure out how to make some cool stuff regardless...

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Re: Will all text in the final game be narrated?

Post by Zombra » July 24th, 2016, 11:21 am

Too bad, I would love some kind of text-to-speech implementation. There are some VERY good speech synthesizers out there nowadays. It really burns me how game devs are always complaining about how expensive voice acting is, yet they refuse to buy one program that could make their games fully voiced with the flick of a switch.

Of course, a synthesizer is no substitute for a real actor, but the sooner we start using this kind of stuff, the sooner it will get better. Imagine if the industry had kept using FMV instead of developing graphics systems. All games would be super short today because of the cost of hiring actors and making "rubber suit" monsters. Let's move on from having to record every line one by one.
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Re: Will all text in the final game be narrated?

Post by kilobug » July 24th, 2016, 1:56 pm

Zombra wrote:Too bad, I would love some kind of text-to-speech implementation. There are some VERY good speech synthesizers out there nowadays. It really burns me how game devs are always complaining about how expensive voice acting is, yet they refuse to buy one program that could make their games fully voiced with the flick of a switch.

Of course, a synthesizer is no substitute for a real actor, but the sooner we start using this kind of stuff, the sooner it will get better. Imagine if the industry had kept using FMV instead of developing graphics systems. All games would be super short today because of the cost of hiring actors and making "rubber suit" monsters. Let's move on from having to record every line one by one.
Well, I really don't want to have "text-to-speech" - voice-over has lots of drawbacks, it slows everything done (since reading speed is usually higher than speaking speed), it forces the pace, ... It is a great addition to a game, if and when it's well done by voice actors that add personality and emphasis to the key moments of the game - like in PsT. But a dull, expression-less, mechanical text-to-speech ? That would greatly break immersion and pacing.

I do understand that it might be useful for people with visual impairment, and therefore I would be fine with it as an option de-activated by default (while regular voice-over would be enabled by default), but I'm not sure it can be done in a very significant way - like, how would you handle all the possible answers ? Voice-over the line over which the cursor hangs ? And then how would you handle the rest of the exploration interface, the interacting with the environment, for people which visual accuracy don't allow to read text ? Customizable font size would cover nearly all the same cases, for much cheaper.

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Re: Will all text in the final game be narrated?

Post by Gizmo » July 25th, 2016, 1:13 pm

It's amazing to me that no one (afaik) has used built in speech synthesis to voice an AI; like ZAX in Fallout, or some library terminal... Not a major headliner, like Yes Man in New Vegas, but something that is perhaps filled with personnel files or data logs... like the terminals in Fallout (again).

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Re: Will all text in the final game be narrated?

Post by kilobug » July 26th, 2016, 12:35 am

Gizmo wrote:It's amazing to me that no one (afaik) has used built in speech synthesis to voice an AI; like ZAX in Fallout, or some library terminal... Not a major headliner, like Yes Man in New Vegas, but something that is perhaps filled with personnel files or data logs... like the terminals in Fallout (again).
Probably because the cost of licensing a text-to-speech engine and the sample sound files it requires, and then integrating it into your codebase, is more expensive than paying a voice actor for minor lines.

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Re: Will all text in the final game be narrated?

Post by anonymous6059 » July 27th, 2016, 6:08 pm

kilobug wrote:
Gizmo wrote:It's amazing to me that no one (afaik) has used built in speech synthesis to voice an AI; like ZAX in Fallout, or some library terminal... Not a major headliner, like Yes Man in New Vegas, but something that is perhaps filled with personnel files or data logs... like the terminals in Fallout (again).
Probably because the cost of licensing a text-to-speech engine and the sample sound files it requires, and then integrating it into your codebase, is more expensive than paying a voice actor for minor lines.
Really? You can download a Text to speech program that will read your emails, facebook, and news to you. So what makes it so hard to cross the two? Seems like one heck of a business opportunity to me. All you'd have to do is have the text highlight-able or register somehow just like it does with freeware. No license would be necessary. You'd just have to say "hey if you want the text to speech to work you'll have to download x, y, or z software". Seems pretty simple to me.

Hell, you really shouldn't even need to download anything really. Just go flip on Microsoft Narrator and you're done. Now, getting Inxile to actually make this game accessible for gamers with reading disabilities is the real problem. Obviously this game is intended for people who can read and want to read. So I'm not saying that its something Inxile has to go and do, but it can be done and I really don't think its half as hard as you want to make it out to be. On a console it would be very hard, but on a PC I doubt it.

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Re: Will all text in the final game be narrated?

Post by Nekot-The-Brave » July 27th, 2016, 9:27 pm

kilobug wrote:
Gizmo wrote:It's amazing to me that no one (afaik) has used built in speech synthesis to voice an AI; like ZAX in Fallout, or some library terminal... Not a major headliner, like Yes Man in New Vegas, but something that is perhaps filled with personnel files or data logs... like the terminals in Fallout (again).
Probably because the cost of licensing a text-to-speech engine and the sample sound files it requires, and then integrating it into your codebase, is more expensive than paying a voice actor for minor lines.
Actually, you wouldn't need to integrate the program into your code base. Just pre-compile all text that is needed into soundtracks and put them into the game, like regular sounds.

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Re: Will all text in the final game be narrated?

Post by kilobug » July 28th, 2016, 12:37 am

anonymous6059 wrote:Really? You can download a Text to speech program that will read your emails, facebook, and news to you. So what makes it so hard to cross the two? Seems like one heck of a business opportunity to me. All you'd have to do is have the text highlight-able or register somehow just like it does with freeware. No license would be necessary. You'd just have to say "hey if you want the text to speech to work you'll have to download x, y, or z software". Seems pretty simple to me.
How would you plug the two ? How would you ensure they work on all platforms the game is released on ? Having the text "highlight-able" is far from being easy, when you're not using the system's font rendering, but using your custom OpenGL (or D3D) renderer, with the font rendering likely done on the GPU ? And how would you mix that smoothly with the actor-voiced lines ? And what about transient text from mouse-overs ? What about the lines of the Last Castoff you can select ?

You obviously aren't a software engineer, but meshing things together is not simple. Never.
anonymous6059 wrote:Hell, you really shouldn't even need to download anything really. Just go flip on Microsoft Narrator and you're done.
Not everyone is using Windows, you know. But that apart, it's the interfacing between the two that is far from easy.
anonymous6059 wrote:Now, getting Inxile to actually make this game accessible for gamers with reading disabilities is the real problem.
Allowing bigger font sizes, high contrast, ... would be much easier to do, and would cover about the same range of people with visual impairment - you still need enough visual capacity to be able to spot the details/icons/... on the environment.
anonymous6059 wrote:Obviously this game is intended for people who can read and want to read. So I'm not saying that its something Inxile has to go and do, but it can be done and I really don't think its half as hard as you want to make it out to be. On a console it would be very hard, but on a PC I doubt it.
It can be done, sure. But it's probably twice as hard as I imagine it to be - for my own 13 years experience of professional software developers, meshing code together and interacting between components not designed to interact is _always_ harder than it seems at first glance.

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Re: Will all text in the final game be narrated?

Post by kilobug » July 28th, 2016, 12:39 am

Nekot-The-Brave wrote:Actually, you wouldn't need to integrate the program into your code base. Just pre-compile all text that is needed into soundtracks and put them into the game, like regular sounds.
You would still need a commercial license of the text-to-speech software for it, it would need to integrate the software in your build toolchain (easier than in the code base, but still not trivial). But it would also have a major drawback of making the game much bigger - longer download time, more storage required, longer load times, ... (and people were already complaining that WL2 was too big).

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Re: Will all text in the final game be narrated?

Post by Gizmo » July 28th, 2016, 1:35 am

Doesn't Windows [2k through 10] have built in speech synthesis? [MACS also, at least back to OS 8; I don't recall about system 7].

The way to do it ~without speech synthesis, is to record the text as individual words (or tuppled variations), and a few of the most common groupings as entries, and play the assets with either key encoded transcriptions, or have the words themselves indicate the asset to play ~as they are parsed.

*This has the advantage that user mods could make use of the system as well.

It needn't be as complete as Tom Baker's monologue set [phoneme segments], used by British Telecom, but here is a sample of their having done it:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aFsOhJgCSpw

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