Character Names

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I use a voice synthesizer all the time in Windows. I am a terrible email writer. I have awful spelling but worse, I tend to leave the ends off of words. Something like "wouldn't" suddenly becomes "would" and this often gets me in to loads of trouble when having conversations with friends. Something like "I wouldn't have sex with my grandmother" takes on very different meanings...oh come on, you all have those discussions with friends...right?

Anyways, I used TextAloud http://www.nextup.com/TextAloud/ It sound better in Vista than XP if you just use the built in voice. I purchased some AT&T Natural Voices and they sound loads better. I am in Canada and bought a UK voice...thought it gave some class to the bovine sodomy forums. Anyhow, check it out, there are examples of the voices there to listen to. I am not sure how much memory it uses, but it ain't much. It also uses zero CPU cycles when not reading. Certainly something like this could and SHOULD be used in games.

You'd have to tweak some, maybe using some of the examples people have given. Mine reads Qqq%kblk as Q, Q, Q, percent, B, L, K (but fairly quickly)...I think it needs some vowels. As an example, I just had it read this post, it sounds great, it only seem to sound a little strange on the word "loads".

Puss in boots? how about Speedy Gonzales lol

(totally not offensive at all)

Im liking the robot idea. Like the robotic voice from portal, not too annoying yet calm and creepy.

the most annoying encounter I've had with a game where you have to put in your own name is Star Ocean for the PSP (the first one). In that game you can enter whatever you want as a name, but the voice acting all uses the name Roddick, it took me about an hour to figure out that Roddick was you and not some unknown other character.

pissed me off to the point that i had to go back and change my characters name to Roddick.

Yahtzee should put the robot with a voice synthesizer into Fun Space Game: The Game.

How's that coming along by the way?

KotOR and KotOR2 were dancing around the self-naming bit, and I think ME came up with a reasonable compromise of saying you /are/ Commander Shepard. You just have another name nobody uses.

Honestly? I don't really mind games following a more book-like approach, where they try to develop a story. It just doesn't work out in sandbox games as previously elaborated.

And before anyone asks (lol nobody's going to), I feel that there are a few different ways of relating video games to other media for the sake of classification of the story. Movie-like games focus intensely on their set pieces and can be a little schizophrenic while carrying on an overall story (see: CoD4:MW and its jumping between American/British protagonists), whereas book-like games take a little more time to settle in, and take advantage of the medium to deliver more information, or experiences, than you'd receive from a movie-like game (see: practically any non-jRPG, notably the Fallout series and Planescape: Torment).

Basically, like the difference between Harry Potter: The Book, and Harry Potter: The Movie.

Hey, everyone usually says the book was better than the movie.

ReZerO:
the most annoying encounter I've had with a game where you have to put in your own name is Star Ocean for the PSP (the first one). In that game you can enter whatever you want as a name, but the voice acting all uses the name Roddick, it took me about an hour to figure out that Roddick was you and not some unknown other character.

pissed me off to the point that i had to go back and change my characters name to Roddick.

Step 1: Name your character Riddick
Step 2: Imagine yourself tearing out someone's throat every time they mispronounce your name
Step 3: ????
Step 4: You're still pissed off.

I think it's awkward but pretty much unfixable.
Picking your first name but being referred to by last name or title is a decent compromise.

Veldt Falsetto:

Aside from Left 4 Dead (I can't really talk about it, not played it) All these are just floating hands with weapons. Does anyone in TF2 talk or have a backstory? Gordon has backstory but that's it, Chelle may as well be anyone else (though she is a girl so I guess that's something new)

The characters don't actually need back story in order to be loved and well, have character. They are not just silent hands holding guns, since in L4D and TF2, the characters frequently talk. Of course, in TF2, all conversations have to do with the present action which is going on, but in L4D, the characters in both games carry out numerous conversations which were more than shouts about the zombie infestation.

Why don't they just do what they did on Medal Of Honor: Allied Assault were they covered up the fact none of the protagonists friends, bosses or allies knew his name, so they just hid it by calling him 'pal'.

It's obviously just one of the little things that devs don't think there;'s much point or importance to and thus find it much easier to merely hedge their bets without bringing in any voice synthesising software/coding. Think how long the argument over whether to keep Link mute (and other Zelda characters mumbling)has gone on. One of the most widely recognised figures in games and they haven't given him a voice despite a vast number(though possibly still the minority in this case) asking them for it. I imagine far fewer of us have demanded a method of inputting a name into a game that actually gets used by NPCs and narrators so I'm not shocked at the rarity but suspect it's more to do with them not wishing to have games interspliced with names from the darker side of the English language.

I mean, hopw many people would take things a hell of a lot further than "Twattycakes"? Add in that even JRPGs are now often on line as well as SP games and the troubles accompanying a rude nom-de-game grow tenfold, no? Never underestimate the conservative attitudes that abound when a game is destined for Live or PSN-even if the populace of said systems is hardly the cleanest forum for verbal exchanges between members to start with. For the time being I feel we'll be stuck with a cross the board gamut of differing choices with fully recognised names continuing to be a rarity.

BTW-The original Nier IS the EU/NA/AUS "manly" version. the Japanese/androgyne version was the one made for a specific one country market, as I understand it. Of course the western one may only exist in the first place as part of the spurious(IMO) desire to westernise Japanese games at SE but if they're patronising us westerners they're certainly patronising their own countrymen as well. I doubt it's a step forwards but you have to think it's a bloody odd way to carry on if neither character is what the original vision of the game contained.

I like the way Mass Effect worked around this. By letting you choose your first name, but always keeping your last name as Shephard. That way characters always call you Shephard or Commander. It works well. :D

The only way we're getting a game where you can input your name, but also hear it spoken, is if we get a nice set of super-dedicated and nearly crazy voice actors willing to redo every single line of dialogue with your name in it over and over again with different names each time. Or, at the very least, record the names over and over in several different tones. The problem with the former is not just that it would take so many hours, but that the developers may not be able to afford all of those hours. Furthermore, half of the disc space would be taken up by sound files. The problem with the second one is it would just be boring, and I doubt you could find a voice actor willing to do it.

Also, a voice synthesizer would just sound wrong until we move a little farther along with sound technology.

Deus Ex did something to go around this thing. You picked you "real name" and everyone addressed to in by your "code name" when speaking to you. And your real name was mentioned in several (text) documents about your past and what-not. It was pretty cool.

miraclefilms:
Actualy, there have been a lot of advancements in voice synthesizers. We're very close to the indistinguishable to human speech.

Check this links:

http://www.loquendo.com/en/demos/demo_tts.htm

http://www2.research.att.com/~ttsweb/tts/demo.php

http://www.acapela-group.com/text-to-speech-interactive-demo.html

The rest of the links is common voice synthesisers but that loquendo site WOW that is some pretty amazing stuff the voices are very life like! you can still hear the mettalic twinge in the voices but it is stil amazing maybe in 5 more years they will perfect it. thanks for the links. :)

i just realized that if we do one day get synthesizers to work well enough, we could eliminate the need for voice actors, we could put so much more lines into a game, give each and every single npc their own voice, even give the character their own voice for dialogue, and the studio would save a lot of money and time to put into other parts of the game.

This is easier in Japanese, because they have a syllabary instead of an alphabet. In English, no letter makes the same sound twice. Granted, there's no real reason we can't build a pronunciation of a name if we know, say, IPA, but that's a lot of work for a gaming company who probably doesn't care.

The lovable broken robot is awesome, though. I'd totally play that!

The_root_of_all_evil:

The_ModeRazor:

Sol_HSA:
The sad truth is, voice synthesizers suck.

Arby and the Chief beg to differ.

LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL UR MOM BEGS TO DIFR.

I really hope they manage to get a new series of that done.

As you wish my lord... they will be done.

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