Star Wars: The Old Republic is the first fully-voiced MMOG ever, but how much dialogue does that exactly add up to and how is BioWare even able to record all of it?
BioWare isn't going to try to hide the fact that, aside from "ambitious," the best word to describe their endeavor to make Star Wars: The Old Republic the first fully-voiced MMOG in history is "crazy." The process of producing SWTOR's dialogue, from the writing to the recording and everything else between and afterward, has been a "crazy odyssey," wrote director of audio and localization Shauna Perry.
Just exactly how crazy and epic an undertaking is this? Simply knowing that every single character in an MMOG speaks at least some dialogue is a pretty wild idea to wrap your head around, so consider these factoids: The script runs into hundreds of thousands of lines, which translates to what Perry estimates is "at least 10 KOTORs recorded back to back" and "approximately 40+ novels worth of content." There have been hundreds of voice actors on the project, who have recorded in cities around the world.
So how does one go about producing that much dialogue? Obviously it starts with the writing, which obviously comes out of BioWare's esteemed team of scribes. The story's written, edited thoroughly, and then worked into scripts for the actors. There things get complicated because the nature of the dialogue is non-linear, so there has to be a lot of careful direction and guidance for the actors to understand the context of the lines they're speaking.
Naturally, when you're working with recording dialogue, not everything makes the cut. "In the end, while the script calls for hundreds of thousands of lines of dialogue, we will actually have recorded much more than that," Perry wrote. "And by the time this project wraps, we will have completed easily over a thousand four-hour voice-over sessions!"