Video games have become an integral part of our culture over the last several decades. The combination of technological advances and a new emphasis on social technology have led to great opportunities in the gaming industry.
Gaming may have changed greatly in the last thirty years, but one thing remains the same: voice-overs are still capable of making or breaking otherwise excellent games.
As such, it's essential for game creators to find the perfect voice-over artists and for voice artists to get in the game if they want to be excellent actors in this genre.
There are two primary types of work available for those specializing in video game voice-overs: acting and narration.
Role-playing games often feature thousands of lines of dialog, requiring voice actors who know how to keep the game lively and full of surprises. Voice actors often need to record the same line in multiple ways so that the gamer's experience is varied and unpredictable, especially if a certain action, question or response is repeated many times.
Games of all types require narrators to instruct beginning players and inform more advanced gamers of their progress. There are many different ways a video game voice actor may need to use their voice.
In addition to talking to other characters, voice actors in video games may need to scream, yell and making exertion sounds. With video games becoming more and more cinematic, it takes a special kind of actor to suspend the disbelief of their audience. Some voice talent are also required to participate in motion capture sessions where their physical movements are recorded.
It takes a unique style to pull off the video game voice-over. There are a lot of amazing voice-over artists out there, but not all of them are equipped with the style necessary for the realm of gaming narration. Ideally, the video game voice-over artist will have a voice that is expressive but also capable of portraying authority. For narration jobs, gaming producers tend to prefer deep male voices – especially those that suggest the background of a warrior. However, newer games geared to alternative demographics are now on the hunt for talented female narrators.
In addition to providing narration, voice-over professionals may be called on to create convincing dialog. The ideal type of voice for dialog will vary greatly depending on the nature of the game. Volume, timbre and accent may all be taken into consideration as the video game creator searches for the ideal voice-over professional. Think of cut scenes. These scenes, though not heavy on action, are still important because their focus is on developing and moving the plot through conversation.
Sometimes video games are created to complement a feature film that has already been released. One example of this is Spider-man 2 where Tobey Maguire voiced Peter Parker and Spider-man just as he did in the movie.
Whether you're a video game producer looking for the perfect voice or an aspiring voice-over professional interested in the gaming world, you can find a wealth of relevant resources at Voices.com. Voice over artists can perfect the craft with the help of such eBooks as Getting Started In Voice-Overs and The Definitive Guide To Voice-Over Success. A valuable behind-the-scenes look at the gaming industry is provided in Voices.com's Gaming On The Go webinar. Have a question about video games or video game voice-overs? Check out the Answers section of Voices.com. No matter what you need to know, there's a resource at Voices.com capable of getting you the most up-to-date voice-over information possible.
Written by Stephanie Ciccarelli