Poll: Voiceovers, accents and archaic language


#62

Your poll lacks a proper amount of options.

I fully agree with you that having Shakespearean English does not make any more sense than any other language, except the language that was used by the people living there at the time of course. Thus, using a modern English would be preferable since then the player will easily understand that it’s only supposed to be a translation, not how they actually would talk. However, I can not for the life of me see how US or “International English” as you say, whatever that may be (Yes I have heard the term before yet no one has ever succeded with telling me exactly what it is. People from different places will speak with different accents, there are no universal dialect), would be better than using English accents. I assume that what you mean with “the language everyone around the world understands” is that most people in the western world are used to hearing American accents on the television and other forms of media and entertainment, however, I’d say this is actually a bad thing. Since we’re so used to hearing it in modern contexts, it would just be off-putting and break the immersion hearing it in a medieval environment. English accents, however, are not as commonly heard, mostly due to the fact that England only has a sixth of the amount population as the US, and we’re a lot more used to hearing it in a medieval setting, making it feel a lot more natural in the world the game is set in. It also sounds a lot more beautiful. An example of this is Game of Thrones where they use British accents but a rather modern vocabulary, and it works perfectly. Now imagine if they used American accents. Is it just me or does the thought of that makes you want to attend a Westerosi wedding as well?

On another note, while I don’t mind you writing the story in Czech, please hire a good, professional, native English speaking writer to write ALL of the dialogues. I would be incredibly disappointed if the dialogues are as terrible in this game as they were in Skyrim, a game which you claim to hate. A rich and beautiful language, that still feels natural, is required for me to fully enjoy a story driven game, with a few exceptions. It’s, of course, very important to hire talented voice actors, which I’m very much expecting considering it was one of your stretch goals.

Summary: You should’ve included an “I prefer modern English with English accents, but with some archaic words and phrases” option since it’s the best way to go. Don’t underestimate the importance of writing good dialogues or having good voice actors. All in all, if your Story, dialogues and voice acting come even close to the brilliance that is Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, your game will be amazing (assuming you don’t fuck up the world design and gameplay).


#63

Fully agree with @Hiner and probably many others on this thread. The idea of having International English, be it spoken with either an American or British accent, for a game set in medieval Bohemia would just feel very wrong.

Especially coming from a development team that’s been so heavily invested in historical accuracy since KCD’s inception… well it all just seems totally out of character for me.

Don’t get me wrong, I agree that English would be the preferred language here, but I think that it should be spoken by Czech / German natives. That way it’s still contemporary and therefore easily understood across the international markets (from a sales perspective); and yet players can get a better sense of immersion from the ‘regionally’ accurate accents.

Best of both worlds? :smile:


#64

No American accent please. It doesn’t have to be what you call an shakespearean accent but make it a British accent. So many dialects to choose from.

But once again not American.


#65

wenceslaus can have american accent :smile:


#66

I would like to have the NPC to speak English with an accent (Czechs with a Czech accent, Germans with a German accent etc.)


#67

My preference is this: 1) czech language 2) old english 3) modern english (the english must not have an american dialect).


#68

Definatley not american english. as it breaks the immersion… I think Czech with English subtitles or old english like you showed in the play through of the original game would be awesome


#69

My thoughts exactly!
It would be best to keep all other languages accept Henry´s native tongue in their original form - German, Latin, French, Polish, Italian or Cuman and only put subtitles to the languages Henry as hero could actually understand. And only fully understandable (localized) language should be when people are speak in hero´s native (Czech) langue. For that main language there should be option to use English sound for international audience (with british actros) or Czech sound for locals and those who prefer it for its autencity.

That way it would be shown how in was almost natural for some people to be bilingual and having Czech/German conversations without translating.

As for the form of speach I agree with Dan - it should be more or less contemporary so it would feel natural to hear and thing about while avoiding any distictly modern phrases and those “ya elder style” jibberish as it would only make it feel forced and silly. Also avoiding accents for people speaking “the main” language would be good - let those be british or czech actors speaking as they normaly would. Only meaningfull useage of forein accent is when foreiner in the game is speaking the Main language and vice versa (You can tell a great difference when germans are trying to speak Czech and other way around)

Perhaps there might be even a mixage of languages in the style of assasins creed, but in oposite way - single words now and then translated to the main language of the game when foreiner uses commonly known word in dialog. But this could be used rather in subtitles (in brackets) than in spoken sound…


#70

Hi there i did reply on Facebook… but for the life in me i can’t find my post to repost here… weird

1st off… not in American… i did see a post from an American on this thread and he said the reason why better than i ever could. and one point that steers me away from being able to accept American accents is America didn’t exist at the time this game was set.

What is international English? there is only one English and thats the one originating in England… to be fair american english is more or less identical but they pronounce and spell thing slightly different for instance words like colour (english) color (american) and words like realise (english) realize (american) the list goes on

i think full blown Shakespearian is a no no. at school we studied shakespeare and his writing and dialogue are so archaic that each reader has their own interpretation of the language far too confusing plus shakespearian writings and language wasn’t how people spoke then it was a theatrical language heavily elaborated upon. so i agree with a lot of people that Shakespearian would be highly confusing even for English people like me.

The second option is more like what it should be for me. but not international english and I’m unsure what you mean by this. do you mean a hodgepodge of different english accents so for instance american, uk, australian etc… if so that for me is too eclectic and would spoil the immersion of the game.

I think it should for english players be voiced either in English (UK) maybe choose a regional accent works fine for Game of Thrones where the Northerners are portrayed and voiced by my native dialect of Yorkshire though it is very loose but very distinctive.

i do like the idea that any foreigners to the story should either be voiced in that language with subtitles e.g. latin

but i also like the idea that the game could be voiced in english for uk/us market but spoken in an Czech accent… that would be really good for immersion.

Solely in Czech would be very limiting for international gamers and reading subtitles would be hugely distracting.

What ever you choose i am sure you will make the correct decision. but for me i boils down to story, character, dialogue, actors, delivery.

The storytelling and quality of voice talent needs to be second to none each and every word needs to be correct and spoken in a believable manner, you need to employ an english speaking casting director for each language you will be recording audio for, also would recommend the same for script writers for the dialogue to ensure the quality of language used… i have not played the game yet to my shame as i don’t own a windows pc at present but sometimes the dialogue seems out of place, not real life enough… i know this is all WIP and thats cool… but as with movies the actors make or break a story and the dialogues and acting is pivotal to success…

This is a hard topic to qualify and quantify… but a very important one as the wrong move with voice talent and dialogue could make or break the games success… as i said i am sure you will make the right choice and deliver it in glorious quality…

But in short

English spoken in Czech accents with a mix of modern language but also some more eloquent old sounding phrases thrown in…


#71

I prefer archaic language.


#72

100% this.

Since there are many people, including myslef, who are confused what “international english” is actually supposed to mean, could you please clarify it, @Hellboy? I’d also like to ask for more detailed reasoning why you think that specifically british accent is bad for the game? What does make british accent worse than american accent for instance ? Because how I see it, there is no accent that really “makes sense” for medieval Bohemia, using english language is pure (neccesary) pragmatism no matter which accent is used, so I don’t exactly understand the argument about “making sense” either.

As I already stated in my previous post, I think that british accent is more fitting for a historical setting and as @King_Abraham_III pointed out, Game of Thrones series is imo great exmple of that. Anyway, no matter which accent you will eventualy choose, please, don’t mix different accents.

And one more thing, I really love that you name Sapkowski’s books as inspiration, because his use of language is simply masterpiece. In this regard, I’d like to suggest one thing he uses in his Hussite trilogy - occasional latin words and even whole sentences. I think it would be really refreshing if clergy and maybe even nobility sometimes used latin sentences when speaking. It would be a nice touch, as it is in the Sapkowski’s books.


#73

I think option 2 would be best, but dear god do not use British accents! It is silly, British ≠ Medieval, please use czech/german accents. Skyrim almost did it right by making some nords have nordic accents (but they half-assed it), and the TV series Vikings does a decent job (sometimes). Unless the character is British, don’t make them sound British!

Using native accents will really set the game apart in the audio department, and it will appear more authentic. This game is supposed to be different from the typical RPG, please don’t make yourself sound like all the dime-a-dozen RPGs that many of us are tired of.


#74

Ich bin gespannt auf das ergebnis! :blush:
Aber dialog technish erwarte ich dann auch keine höchstleistungen mehr!
Interessant klang die sprache vom ersten Live Stream Video.
Also wenn überhaupt irgendwas auf englisch geredet wird!
Wie toll könnte es sonst noch klingen oder es übertreffen?!
Doch Interessant und anspruchsvoll ist nur eine variante.
Entäuscht war ich so oder so schon von der sprache, von anfang an.
Wurde ja schon am anfang gesagt das es keine authentische sprache geben wird.
Also ist es glaube ich auch völlig egal wie es klingt.
Falls die Stimmen in der Alpha auch für selbige NPC’s etc.
in der Beta/Final verwendet werden, bin ich schon ab v0.3 entäuscht.
Will nicht um den heißen Brei reden. :confused:


#75

Ich kann kein Deutsch… Englisch bitte? :smile:


#76

Hi,

I actually have done research into the literature and language from 1200s - 1480s. To me a fully modern English language and correct grammar would ruin this game. What alot of people don’t understand is Shakespeare actually overplays his own language almost to taunt and mock like he so loves to do, how you speak with thees or thous would be entirely dependent on your geographical location / cultural influence (regional accents, but they can indeed overlap.).

What alot of the speaking would be like in english would be is a more simplistic vocabulary than modern English, with some regional & cultural slang thrown in. Also, to address the language I’d recommend hire Czech vocal actors that can speak German, Latin, English, (or teach them their lines fluently and leave it at that) etc… etc… Subtitles are not a problem for most of us, who can not speak multiple languages. However I would also support a main language of English with Czech accents for easiness and wider market with Czech and different language options as a whole. Furthermore in the games, I believe in games a bit of foreign language is good in certain scenes for extra effect (you can see this in multiple games, note the Assassins Creed series also do this, and do it well.) Also, if you’re concerned about people understanding a Czech accent, when you guys speak to us in your video updates, I have absolutely no problem understanding you, very clear and precise (Excluding you Tobi, no-one ever knows what you’re saying :P).

Regards,
Warrior Rose.


#77

I have to agree with Warrior Rose. When I watch a Chinese movie (like Red Cliff) nothing spoils it more than an English voiceover that doesn’t suit the characters. Best watched in original Chinese language with English subtitles.

I would very much like to see this in original setting language with subtitles. As to the style of the language I too believe that using outdated language is not the correct approach as it sounds old, outdated and silly to us. For the men (and women!) living at the time the language is contemporary with all the regional slang you can fathom. Seeing as the player is trying to immerse himself in this world the language should also be contemporary. This way the player can feel as part of the story rather than giggling and struggling to relive an old play.

I really like the approach Game of Thrones and The Witcher games took for instance. They use modern language whilst avoiding some modern slang (none of that “yo wassup”) whilst using some words which have become obsolete for us (due to circumstance) like “m’lord”, “milord” or “my liege”. Seeing as the setting has a feudal system in place these words can be used again. They may be obsolete for daily us for us but everyone understands it and pretty much expects these words in such a setting.

If public insists in English spoken language option you should indeed use Czech voice actors speaking English because that is the regional language (Czech) and you as the player are the foreigner (even though your character may not be supposed to be) so the heavy regional accent is what you get for being the foreigner that forces the locals to speak another language. Using any other accent will place the setting in a different country altogether so don’t do it. It would be out of place. Make it feel as though you are there in their land. Sure it feels as if people are struggling with the language but I think that is a choice the player made by choosing English as game audio and is the equivalent of a tourist who does not speak Bohemian forcing locals to engage in English with him. If you want to feel like you belong, select the correct language! Everything will feel more correct in the local language (background chatter and so forth) even if you can’t understand everything. You have subtitles to understand what you need to understand.

Most immersive/compromising solution:
It would be interesting to have an alternative story line for those who choose another language than Bohemian and have locals treat them as foreigners whilst struggling to communicate in your chosen language with their thick accents. This would ultimately be the most immersive. You greet them (perhaps in the only Bohemian you know: a greeting), they reply to you in Bohemian and then you ask them in bad Bohemian/English (or other) to speak in your language. They react to your impertinence and speak to you in bad English (some better than others) with heavy accents. Locals that don’t have a part in quests only speak local language and can’t understand you whilst thinking lowly of the foreign scum roaming their lands.


IN SHORT:

  • Use original language (Czech) with subtitles in chosen language.
  • Use contemporary language whilst avoiding modern slang like “Yo 'sup” and bringing back to life some obsolete words and expressions like: “Liege”, “m’lord”, “milord” etc.
    -If you use English language use Czech voice actors, the worse their English the better.
    -Read: Most immersive/compromising solution above.

MistaX.


#78

OK I must admit. The first time I heard the Shakesperean english voiceovers I burst into laughter. “Find those knaves and bring meeeeee their heads!” and so on. BUT it kinnda grew on me as I watched it few times more especially after live stream during kickstarter campaign. I think that it would actually make the game more enjoyable for me. I am Czech myself so I would prefer well done Czech dubbing over english but I am afraid that that would prevent the game for reaching larger audience. If you are going to use modern english I would definitely recommend making it sound “more old” and as little modern as possible so the feeling is still there at least. But not in the way to make it sound lie american reneissance fair.


#79

"-If you use English language use Czech voice actors, the worse their English the better."
Jesus… alright, some new points:

  • take community feedback very seriously in case of game-mechanics (fighting, mini-games, what we do in the game). For example - sword-fighting - if creators and testers are playing it day by day for months, they might have already bias views on it and can’t have fresh (not 30+hours, already aquired skill in it) feel.

  • Do voice acting exactly as you described in the first post and with best voice actors you can manage (US, UK). You don’t get better performance/experience with worse actors, you just don’t and purposely putting Objectively bad voice-acting is just humorous. People at that time wouldn’t speak badly, they just speak normally for them, which is translated now into language that is used and is sold on most markets - english, in this case normal speaking english with some speacil words there. If you want to include german, latin. So, son of blacksmith understands and talks 3 languages? Or do you have to start writing quests specifically with this addional feature (not understanding language) in mind? Cmon, release date is already 6+months now from the original date, be real with yourself.

  • This is extremely bias poll also. Many people here (i’d go as far, as to say - majority of people) are czech and just will click it.

Developer already said, he wants to have pure czech voice-over, it’s just not gonna happen at the release of the game, maybe few months down the line. Then, you can experience something like playing Witcher in Polish with english subtitles. Not wanting everyting at once and rewriting game rules would be great for valid poll.


#80

I’d prefer 14th century archaic German with modern German subtitles…

Thanks. :stuck_out_tongue:


#81

Hi,

What makes you think ‘liege’ or ‘lord’ are obsolete terms not used today? I’m British and we actually use them a lot quite funnily enough. Also for the ‘milord’ and m’lord’ that is just ‘my lord’ said by someone who can not comprehend how to speak proper English (Associated with lower classes of people.)
Example:
A chav from Manchester or Cheltenham (nowadays) would indeed pronounce it ‘milord’ as they know no better and they think it’s all hip or something rather ridiculous, rather than say ‘my lord’ as everyone else would.

I’d also like to say I agree with most of your points, the immersive suggestion is a unique idea but I’m not sure Henry would have run to a country where there are daily raids and a foreign language so I’d reckon he can at least speak Bohemian as he shouldn’t have come that far. Also who still doesn’t use the word Knaves Turtle16? It’s a brilliant word!

Regards,
Warrior Rose.