Why Voices is the World’s Source for Creative Pros in the Gaming Sector
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Mayadem’s Teaching Games
Mayadem specializes in game-based education apps for children. They needed engaging voices able to teach children ages two and up about shapes, animals and colors, all while expanding their vocabulary. They needed voice actors from all over the world to dub their games into different languages in order to reach an international audience.
Need more content? As your project partners, we also want to help you get inspired and offer information on the latest tips and tricks related to your industry:
Frequently Asked Questions
Give as much general detail about your characters as you can to help the actor get a sense of who they are portraying, and have the voice actor read lines that don’t have other character or location names (or change those names for the purposes of the audition). You want to ensure you give the actor enough detail to get into character and give you an audition that you know will translate when they have full information, and being mindful of swapping out or removing identifying information can strike a good balance.
The more information you can supply a voice actor about the character, the better. This includes what the character looks like, what environment they find themselves in, what their storyline and personality traits are, any back-story to their development which is available, and more. Supplying your voice actor with an image or detailed description of the character’s physical appearance is extremely important as well. If you can also provide your voice actor with a storyboard or other scene-setting information, you will really help set them up for success.
Hiring authentic voices you can trust can be a challenge, especially when you’re looking for an authentic voice in a language you don’t speak. In order to ensure that you are hiring the most authentic voice for your video game, you will want to do your research. You can search voice actors by the language, accent or dialect you are seeking and take a listen to their demos to ensure they have the sound you are after. If they have completed work in the language you are looking for that is a good indication that they may be the voice you need for your video game project.
Historically, male voice actors tended to be favored in video games, but lately there has been a rise in the demand for female video game voice actors. In 2018, female voice actors dominated 43% of the video game voice acting industry, up from 21% the year before.
- Script delivery is key: The right voice actor will be able to adhere to script markups (such as pronunciation indicators) with ease and adapt to the flow of the project.
- Their dialogue is convincing: Volume, timbre and accent should be taken into consideration when searching for the ideal voice over actor. Think especially of cutscenes, which help to develop and move the plot through conversation.
- They have experience with video games or other performance-based genres: Video game voice actors are truly putting on performances with their voice alone. Finding a voice actor with experience in this industry, or someone who has demos that showcase their versatility, is crucial to setting up your video game project for success.
- Know your audience: Your listening audience may enjoy a certain style of voicing, expect words to be pronounced in a particular way, or be accustomed to hearing a specific voice type. Knowing this about your audience will help you to decide who should be the voice of your video game character.
- Consistent vocal performance: A video game project is a long term project. Finding a voice actor who is able to sound consistent throughout the whole game is crucial to an engaging gaming experience, especially if they have come up with a unique-sounding character voice, different from their normal speaking voice. Give your voice actors long pieces of the script so they can maintain the same read throughout.
There are ways you can help your voice actor nail their read of your script and create engaging and authentic character voices, just as you envisioned. Here are a few things you can do during the process to minimize the amount of revisions and retakes:
- Provide images to your voice actor: For the voice actor to really bring your video game character to life, it helps if you provide them with as many images as possible. An image of what the character looks like, or the scenery they will live in, will really help your voice actor give the most authentic and believable read possible.This could also include a storyboard to really help them get a sense of the game world and the storyline.
- Provide a piece of the dialogue (script) when auditioning voice actors: While you may not want to reveal the entire script, you should have all auditioning voice actors read a lengthy piece of dialogue in order to really get a feel of how they portray your character and if it is to the desired effect.
- Let them get physical: Giving voice actors a script that is complete with actions will allow your voice actor to perform those same actions in their recording booth. Does your character jump up and down a lot? Give those cues to your voice actor so they can consider that in their performance and really get into the context and mindset of the character.
- Outline the character’s emotional development: If your storyline is complex, it could help you voice actor immensely by providing them with a character development. This could simply be a few lines that tell the story of the character so that the voice actor has an idea of the emotion they should be portraying at certain points throughout the narrative.
If you have multiple voice actors who will be recording separately, it can be helpful to enable each voice actor to hear a vocal sample of their ‘cast members.’ You can do this by providing each voice actor with an audio file (audition, or snippet from a scene in the game) of each other’s reads.
When voice actors work together, their aim is to enhance the story and convey the message, along with ensuring that their voice fits within the end project seamlessly. By enabling each actor to hear their cast mates, you allow them to assess how their voice will fit amongst the other characters.