Thursday, September 07, 2006

Solid voice acting in games = better experience? Of course!

Kotaku's Eliza Gauger brings attention to an article on the importance of quality acting in games.

The article reflects on how the process has grown. About a decade ago, minor facial animation was just beginning to improve our experience. It was much needed, as the lack of expression often affected dialogue as well, forcing more telling than showing.

I remember when recorded voice began to become commonplace for games. The inexperience of the voice actors was extremely noticeable in the beginning. These amateurs often sounded like they were forcing their lines, over-doing it, or not even paying attention.

Today, gamers expect a fuller experience, much like an interactive movie. I know I do, no thanks to games like Final Fantasy, Xenosaga, and Indigo Prophecy. Thanks to evolving technology, we can get video game characters that are animated directly off wire-frames built on actual human movement. With more accurate facial expression seems being added to that, some immersive games are bound to be on the horizon. Bioware's Mass Effect (Xbox 360) is likely to set an example.

Console wars or not, today is a great time to be a gamer. Our experience is evolving.


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