Game Development Reference
should be very sure that voiceover is worth the time price you'll have to pay on top
of actor fees, studio time, mixing, and sound design.
Whenever possible, hire professional actors. They have trained a long time to
learn their craft, just as you have yours, so trying to do it yourself, or with your
friends or co-workers, is often an embarrassing exercise in futility. Remember: the
only thing worse than no voiceover is bad voiceover.
Finally, if you've gotten great VO from professionals and it all works out great,
make sure you've expressed your intentions for the VO with your programmers. In-
tegrating VO attached to game events isn't simple; the programmer must make sure
the lines don't overlap or that including them won't mess up another area of his code.
It will also affect the total file weight of the game, which can be a vital consideration.
The average file weight of a downloadable game can be around 50 MB, but a Web-
based game has to be much smaller as the load time must be as fast as possible. Your
programmer may have to stream that audio in from external files—again, something
he should definitely be notified about up front.
Casual games are a fairly new market, and as such the landscape is constantly in flux.
Keep your eye on what some of the better casual games are doing and see how people
are including writing in innovative ways. Don't be afraid to push the boundaries of
casual game writing, but always try to remember that in the end it needs to be an
enjoyable experience for the player. If in beta testing you realize that flipping through
dozens of story screens is exasperating to the player, don't be afraid to rip it all out
and go back to the basics. The main idea is to make the game more fun and easier to
understand. If you haven't accomplished either, you haven't done your job as a casual