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Voice recording?

posted May 25, 2012 21:27:44 by madings
For people who write mission scripts... What do you do for voices? I have a lot of "info dump" text at the beginning that would be far more pleasant to come in the form of a transmission message played on the big screen instead of having the comm officer read text to everyone. But I can't record multiple people. I'm not a professional voice actor who knows how to put on fake voices to sound like different people. So unless I want every ship captain and every station manager to sound like they're all the same person I either need to recruit others to record the blurbs or I have to use voice modulators, which all tend to sound comptuery and fakey.

One difficulty I'm having is that the same friends I might ask to record the voices are the same people who I want to run through the mission, and the voice blurbs can contain spoilers.

For the time being I have the voice blurbs typed in as comm messages, as a placeholder until I solve this problem.

Other than that I think I have it ready to release. There's still some things I dislike about how it works, but they're not easy to change without better support from the scripting engine itself. For example, I'd like to have the wormholes "suck" items slowly toward them, but that requires that I be able to perform vector calculations given coordinates and stuff the resulting values back into the properties, and the support just isn't there to do that. So instead I just have to give them a wide "zone" of effect and live with that.

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7 replies
Mike_Substelny said May 27, 2012 01:13:09
I use Audacity. It can change voices in pitch, tempo, speed, etc. It can't do accents or anything like that.

You should be able to find voice actors here on the Artemis forums. Just ask. Try to give them sparkling, witty dialog.

You can have wormholes suck named objects toward them. Simply create the objects at known locations and do all the vector calculations before writing the script. You can also make asteroids as generic objects that get sucked slowly toward your wormholes. It's possible to do it with mines and nebulae but it would take a lot of programming (creating and destroying each one individually to simulate movement).
"Damn the torpedoes! Four bells, Captain Drayton!"

(Likely actual words of Admiral David Farragut, USN, at the battle of Mobile Bay. Four bells was the signal for the engine room to make full steam ahead).
madings said May 27, 2012 05:54:04

Every attempt I've made to use Audacity to alter my voice ends up sounding way to robotic. Like a badly done autotune song. I used pitch changing and warbling to make one altered voice -the computer voice where that robotic effect makes sense. For any human voice it just didn't seem to cut it. Then again I'm not a sound engineer so I don't understand the majority of the options and filters in Audacity.

The wormholes themselves also drift and move which is why it's giving me such a problem. One of the biggest limitations of the mission script system is that it is incapable of using anything other than string literals hardcoded in the file. So it's impossible to say things like "if object A's X coordinate is less than object B's X coordinate". You can add, subtract, and clone a property to another object, but you can't put them into a variable, and you can't write a comparator statement where the value="..." bit is referring to the value inside a variable rather than a literal string you decided ahead of time. This requirement that everything be a literal decided up front is the biggest limitation of the system right now. It might help speed things up to never ever have to evaluate a variable value after loading the file, but it's quite crippling and makes it impossible to do anything non-trivial in a "mission script". Even just a simple syntax like: value="{cargo ship}.{positionX}" would be a vast improvement. Just putting a thing to parse any string formatted thusly into the internal equivalent (not just in value="..." but in *any* parameter anywhere - do it universally to all strings read in anywhere in the XML file) would be a massive boon to the system, and it would prove that it might be possible to hook it up with a better language later after that hurdle is passed. But the first hurdle is to make sure the game internals can deal with doing all those lookups on the fly fast enough to be functional.

[Last edited May 27, 2012 07:00:51]
MatthewWhiteacre said May 27, 2012 15:22:14
Have you considered just asking people on this forum to do basic voice recording and send you the audio files? You could send out a script (with only the one persons lines), maybe including some lines that you won't use, but might obfuscate the storyline, thus not ruining the mission for everyone who was a voice actor.

Some of us, like me, who are just getting into mission scripting, might be willing to trade one recording for another.
dhmholley said May 28, 2012 16:58:18
Have you considered just asking people on this forum to do basic voice recording and send you the audio files?

This. I'm sure you'd have people happy to do recordings for you, depending on what level of quality you're happy to accept.

For reference I am willing to do recordings; due to having a deep voice and English accent I may be best suited to villains. ;)
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Mike_Substelny said May 30, 2012 13:41:28
You haven't said what type of objects you want sucked into your wormholes, nor what type of objects the wormholes are. With Generic Objects and Ships you can use the AI Stack to make things move toward each other.
"Damn the torpedoes! Four bells, Captain Drayton!"

(Likely actual words of Admiral David Farragut, USN, at the battle of Mobile Bay. Four bells was the signal for the engine room to make full steam ahead).
VinayKapadia said Jun 01, 2012 20:40:58
I'd love to help do voice recordings as well. I am a male, I don't have a very deep voice, and I am Indian (I don't have an accent, born and raised in America, but I can do a good one).
William said Jun 06, 2012 03:59:59
I would be willing to do voices. I am a theatre geek, and I can do some melodramatic stuff. I have a deeper voice and a Midwestern American accent. I do not, however, have a decent microphone outside of my headset...

Whatever the case, best of luck to you for your mission!
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