[Backer Build 5] Voice Acting Feedback

First off, overall, the amount of content in this build compared to previous ones is overwhelming. I’m super happy that you’ve pushed release date back, as it means you have time now to polish such a huge game!

I wanted to raise this feedback, as it has been niggling at me the whole time I’ve been playing. The voice acting for the soldiers, while a welcome addition, has been taking me out of the experience. There are some great gameplay twists in this game that really help the player feel like they are commanding a group of human beings, rather than expendable lead dispensers. I don’t think this is helped by the current crop of voices, however.

The soldiers are facing enemy threats, they have a constant supply of adrenaline - they’re either tense, waiting for a threat, steeling themselves having seen one, or they’re in action mode fighting them off. As a result, I would want the voice talent to sound like they’ve just got done sparring with a Pandoran in pretty much every line they deliver. The voice acting in Mutant Year Zero was what the player empathy for the characters lived or died on, in Firaxis XCom the voicing did its job, with whispers adding to the tension when moving concealed units, and emotive lines adding emotional payload to the risks the soldiers were taking, as well as soldier losses and moments of panic.

I get the impression that you’re taking more of a heightened dialogue / Joss Whedon-esque approach compared to those two games; I think I’ve heard my soldiers utter “Maximum Effort” when I’ve ordered them around a few times, which brings to mind the Deadpool films more than anything else. It’s clearly a subjective note, but in my house, my wife and I both came to the same opinion of the voice acting in particular, so thought it would be worth raising here.

The vocals I’m hearing in this Build seem to detract from immersion, if anything. I can’t help but hear someone delivering a line, rather than talking. If a soldier says “What’s the plan?” it should sound like they’re at least a little bit eager to know - their life will depend on what the plan is, after all. Sometimes the line is delivered so casually, it feels like a day-to-day interaction, over lunch or something. The lack of any radio crackle also pulls me out a little; my soldiers all seem to have Blue Yetis tucked in to their helmets.

Overall, I’ve seen far more changes that enhance than I’ve had a problem with, but this one has been a real bugbear. I initially missed the action percentages rather than action points, but I then saw that movement can still be broken up over several inching movements, and that it’s possible to have 2.2 action points remaining - keeping functionality, but enhancing familiarilty for new players. Great stuff! It just seems to be a great idea, so I didn’t feel the need to write a long post about it - every time one of my guys says “Taking aim.”, and I audibly reply “Are you?” though, I get a twinge that I should write something to you.

Hope that makes sense!

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The vocals are just placeholder. We put them in because it is better than nothing. The male voice is Simeon Dotkov, our in-house sound designer and musician. The female voice belongs to a friend of some of the devs in the studio.

We’re in the process of hiring professional actors to record the lines for the finished game.


Fantastic! Definitely a great first crack at the voicing, then. I’ve done some small-scale amateur v/o work in the past, and know how time consuming and tiring it is! :+1:

It’s even more impressive when you think these voices are native Bulgarians who have English as a second or even third language.

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Definitely. Part of the reason I assumed they were final was the extent and quality of the recordings. I’ve played games by little studios on a small budget, where they’ve committed to fully voiced characters, and used devs and friends before.

BB5 is way higher quality, plus the sheer number of lines made me think you wouldn’t show that much love for the backers, to then bin before final release!

In fact, just remembering game voicing clearly done by friends of devs I’ve heard, and actors working in their second language (90s Japanese import titles in particular) - yes. The actors here have done very, very, very well. :open_mouth:

Considering that it is yet another thread tackling the issue, I am not sure that this is 100% true, even though a brief read of BB5 release announcements should clear this up.

Though I suppose, if there was no VO we would see threads about lack of it instead.

In reality, the main purpose of adding the VO at this stage is to test that events trigger correctly. Every bark has to be triggered by something happening or something being selected in-game. Many actions have a number of possible barks which cycle randomly and some actions have barks which only trigger a certain % of the time (such as selecting a soldier). There are also different barks depending on how many will points the soldier currently has.

Adding in these VOs lets us collect feedback to make sure it’s all working.


Always prefer VO to text myself, and silent soldiers would feel a bit sterile. Would agree with this.

Ah, yeah - :man_facepalming:t2:

Yep - I’ve not seen any problems in this regard.

Great idea! :slight_smile:

That’s a cool, logical reason I haven’t thought about. Learning stuff like that it the main reason I really enjoy following crowdfunded projects.

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Yeah, those were cool. 1 WP soldier trying to keep his focus is priceless.

Is there any possibility these VOs might be kept in game, even if as an easter egg you have to unlock with a code or something? I like “Bulgarian Mode” :3


Maybe Snapshot could leave them as an option in sound menu? :slight_smile:


I, too, like the placeholder voices. It’s OK for voices to sound real rather than like superheroes. Trust me, real soldiers have non-theatrical voices and accents too.


That’s hardly relevant, in a highly abstract medium, about secret organizations fighting virus mutating living creatures into monsters. :blush:

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Yes, I too have now ironically grown fond of hearing my soldiers quote Duke Nukem. :raised_hands:t3:

As long as they sound like real soldiers, as opposed to real game devs, I agree. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

It would be great to have some funny voices, too :slight_smile: Maybe mods later?

Like Worms Armageddon? Geordie, Aussie, Emo Squirrel, that kind of thing?

I’d love it if you could select an individual voice for each squad member.

That kind of thing, it would be a nice bonus.