Game Development Reference
Recording the voices
At last you have arrived at the point where there are no more changes that
affect the dialogue - the bugs have been fixed and everyone is happy with
what you have created.You breathe a sigh of relief as the scripts are locked
and preparation for recording can begin. That could be the end of your
involvement in the project - job done, as it were - but it may well happen
that you become involved in supporting the recording of the voices, too.
Ideally - and particularly for a game with a lot of dialogue - a writer
should be on hand during the recording because there are frequent situations
which require the writer's skills and knowledge. Even well-written scripts
cannot always put the scenes into a proper context for actors who have had
no contact with the game before entering the studio. The writer should be
available to answer their questions, offer support and resolve any issues that
You have worked on the dialogue scripts so intently that you know them
inside out. You have gone over and over them, testing and re-writing,
developing the characters until the game is a vibrant work filled with your
dynamic dialogue. So who better to prepare the scripts for the actors?
How you do this will depend on the way the lines are to be recorded.
Many game projects simply record one character at a time, booking the actor
as required during the recording period. For a more dynamic recording
session, though, actors may be required to be in the studio together - an
ensemble recording - which gives them the opportunity to feed off each
other and fill the scenes with a vibrant, more naturalistic flow.
Whichever recording method is being used, you must always have a master
document that contains every scene in the game, including all the one-liners
and brief descriptive comments.You will need at least three versions of this
- one for yourself, one for the voice director and one for the sound engineer
who will later use it to check and create all of the individual line samples.
Master documents are useful for ticking off each line as it is recorded, making
notes of changes and keeping track of which of the recorded takes is the right
one to use. For some games, the master document can run to hundreds of