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Episode 11: Ship It

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I really like the vibe from the the girl's village. The music there sounds great.

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Anyone know the name of that piano tune at the beginning of the episode?

Hi flaxans!

That's Mozart. More precisely, it's from the first movement of Piano Sonata No 11 in A major. (

)

Incidentally - and similarly to Peter's experience - this piece was frequently played on the piano in my house when I was growing up as well, so I had quite an emotional reaction when I saw the opening of this episode.

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Great episode. Very enjoyable.

Still find it weird that Double Fine didn't think their announcement would be taken to the gaming news site. Not saying that it was right, but it feels kinda naive if they actually didn't expect that to happen.

And about their announcement. You can choose your words much more carefully then what was done, without giving up the intention of full transparency.

Game still looks lovely anyway. :)

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Re: Game Length

They both have good points to a degree. Greg is coming from a "thermodynamics of fun" sort of position. It is true that if you put a set amount of content inside of a game container, shrinking the container can often set you on course for a fun explosion, whereas expanding the container without expanding the content just makes everything very, very cold and desolate inside. But obviously there comes a point where the shortness of the game goes BEYOND REASON. I mean, if this principle were true in the most absolute sense, then logically you'd just want to be making your game shorter and shorter all the time. Lots of content, short as possible. Grant Theft Auto with only one mission. PERFECT. Right?

Also, some games are more naturally suited to being short experiences. Geometry Wars? Super Crate Box? Jamestown? Those don't have to be long. They're all arcade style. While they may be stylized with "characters" and "environments" in their presentation (consider Jamestown here), implying a lot of story going on there, there's no real story being explored in gameplay terms. You never talk to anyone. You never explore the environment. You never solve problems (at least no problems that don't amount to shooting down guys who are also shooting at you). Jamestown is a game that can afford to have fewer areas with lots of content (unlockable ships, etc).

But Tim is right in the sense that with all games there IS such a thing as TOO short. And with particular kinds of games----in particular games that are supposed to be an adventure----having a minimum lengthiness to convey an adventure is usually ideal. You just could not have a two-hour Zelda game. To be fair, a game CAN get too big for its content. Fallout: New Vegas often feels that way (most likely due to its alleged premature release). And there are also some games that just don't know when to quit; e.g., there are a number of JRPGs that stop being fun and become work way before their ending arrives.

Unfortunately I can't agree or disagree with either Tim or Greg, because I haven't touched the game and don't know what it feels like. I'm tempted to err on the side of Tim and the Lengthiness party, mostly because adventure game, but in the end it all comes down to judgment, and I am not in a position to judge. Not yet anyway. I'm sure it'll be fine.

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On the voice acting, is there going to be much, if any, variation away from American accents? It was most striking in the samples of the girl's accent. The characters aren't supposed to be from America (from what I understand of the story) and they don't look especially American, so why record them as Americans?

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Anyone know the name of that piano tune at the beginning of the episode?

Hi flaxans!

That's Mozart. More precisely, it's from the first movement of Piano Sonata No 11 in A major. (

)

Incidentally - and similarly to Peter's experience - this piece was frequently played on the piano in my house when I was growing up as well, so I had quite an emotional reaction when I saw the opening of this episode.

Thanks a bunch!

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On the voice acting, is there going to be much, if any, variation away from American accents? It was most striking in the samples of the girl's accent. The characters aren't supposed to be from America (from what I understand of the story) and they don't look especially American, so why record them as Americans?

Did you miss the creepy animal with the British accent?

Anyway, they all speak English. Any accent they'd have would likely be a real-world accent with real-world connotations. That could be annoying or distracting (e.g., West African or ebonics accent for the girl).

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Awesome episode, as always!

Hope to see a full length documentary on the style of "Indie Game: The Movie" at the end of all this.

Keep up guys!

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On the voice acting, is there going to be much, if any, variation away from American accents? It was most striking in the samples of the girl's accent. The characters aren't supposed to be from America (from what I understand of the story) and they don't look especially American, so why record them as Americans?

Did you miss the creepy animal with the British accent?

Anyway, they all speak English. Any accent they'd have would likely be a real-world accent with real-world connotations. That could be annoying or distracting (e.g., West African or ebonics accent for the girl).

Yeah I caught the one British accent for Merick.

American accents are already real-world accents with real-world connotations, the connotations being that all the characters are American, which strikes me as bizarre given the story and setting.

A voice actor should surely be able to get something to work from outside of the accents of their home country?

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Awesome episode, as always!

Hope to see a full length documentary on the style of "Indie Game: The Movie" at the end of all this.

Keep up guys!

Naw, I believe this is both longer and better than Indie Game: The Movie.

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On the voice acting, is there going to be much, if any, variation away from American accents? It was most striking in the samples of the girl's accent. The characters aren't supposed to be from America (from what I understand of the story) and they don't look especially American, so why record them as Americans?

Did you miss the creepy animal with the British accent?

Anyway, they all speak English. Any accent they'd have would likely be a real-world accent with real-world connotations. That could be annoying or distracting (e.g., West African or ebonics accent for the girl).

Yeah I caught the one British accent for Merick.

American accents are already real-world accents with real-world connotations, the connotations being that all the characters are American, which strikes me as bizarre given the story and setting.

A voice actor should surely be able to get something to work from outside of the accents of their home country?

Yes, American accents are already real-world accents, but making the voices mostly American would easily establish the accent as the "standard". These standard accents are widespread enough in the media world that there would be no jarring real-world connotations from this.

Mixing in a whole bunch of crazy accents would be jarring and associate these otherworldly characters with real-world locations. Meanwhile, if they're mostly American, the player accepts American as the standard and those "real-world" connotations fade.

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the player accepts American as the standard

This has never actually happened for me. I can't speak for other non-Americans, but upon hearing an American accent I think straight away "that's an American." Given that the music achieves a mix of Scandinavia and Africa without being jarring, I would expect the same of the voice actors.

This could well just be me though. It still feels like a loss of mystique for this fantastical setting to have loads of American voices inserted into it, but if other people see American as a sort of universal standard then I guess it would still make sense.

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the player accepts American as the standard

This has never actually happened for me. I can't speak for other non-Americans, but upon hearing an American accent I think straight away "that's an American." Given that the music achieves a mix of Scandinavia and Africa without being jarring, I would expect the same of the voice actors.

This could well just be me though. It still feels like a loss of mystique for this fantastical setting to have loads of American voices inserted into it, but if other people see American as a sort of universal standard then I guess it would still make sense.

You'd prefer unbridaled foreign fetishism by Americans?

I dunno, "Scandinavia" and "Africa" mostly ends up sounding mysterious and tribal to me, which is appropriate considering the characters are blacks.

Feeling good about this? I hope so.

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I really like the music. It really touched me and it's not even in the game yet!!! I guess music has this strong power to get into people feelings. I can't wait to play this game!!!!

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the player accepts American as the standard

This has never actually happened for me. I can't speak for other non-Americans, but upon hearing an American accent I think straight away "that's an American." Given that the music achieves a mix of Scandinavia and Africa without being jarring, I would expect the same of the voice actors.

This could well just be me though. It still feels like a loss of mystique for this fantastical setting to have loads of American voices inserted into it, but if other people see American as a sort of universal standard then I guess it would still make sense.

You'd prefer unbridaled foreign fetishism by Americans?

I dunno, "Scandinavia" and "Africa" mostly ends up sounding mysterious and tribal to me, which is appropriate considering the characters are blacks.

Feeling good about this? I hope so.

I'd like different accents yes. I don't mind that the voice actors are American. Professional voice actors should be able to do accents beyond just where they grew up.

Edit: Your post is shockingly racist. I don't think the conversation called for that in the slightest.

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the player accepts American as the standard

This has never actually happened for me. I can't speak for other non-Americans, but upon hearing an American accent I think straight away "that's an American." Given that the music achieves a mix of Scandinavia and Africa without being jarring, I would expect the same of the voice actors.

This could well just be me though. It still feels like a loss of mystique for this fantastical setting to have loads of American voices inserted into it, but if other people see American as a sort of universal standard then I guess it would still make sense.

You'd prefer unbridaled foreign fetishism by Americans?

I dunno, "Scandinavia" and "Africa" mostly ends up sounding mysterious and tribal to me, which is appropriate considering the characters are blacks.

Feeling good about this? I hope so.

I'd like different accents yes. I don't mind that the voice actors are American. Professional voice actors should be able to do accents beyond just where they grew up.

Edit: Your post is shockingly racist. I don't think the conversation called for that in the slightest.

Well, your thought processes are implicitly racist. Can you figure out how?

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Well, your thought processes are implicitly racist. Can you figure out how?

No. The conversation stops here. This forum is not for racist posts.

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Well, your thought processes are implicitly racist. Can you figure out how?

No. The conversation stops here. This forum is not for racist posts.

Pardon me? If you don't want to be accused of racism, don't ask for exotic accents to titillate your sense of foreignness and mystery.

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the player accepts American as the standard

This has never actually happened for me. I can't speak for other non-Americans, but upon hearing an American accent I think straight away "that's an American." Given that the music achieves a mix of Scandinavia and Africa without being jarring, I would expect the same of the voice actors.

This could well just be me though. It still feels like a loss of mystique for this fantastical setting to have loads of American voices inserted into it, but if other people see American as a sort of universal standard then I guess it would still make sense.

I dunno, I'm South African and an American accent in any form of entertainment comes across as neutral to me - years and years of pop cultural dominance, I guess.

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the player accepts American as the standard

This has never actually happened for me. I can't speak for other non-Americans, but upon hearing an American accent I think straight away "that's an American." Given that the music achieves a mix of Scandinavia and Africa without being jarring, I would expect the same of the voice actors.

This could well just be me though. It still feels like a loss of mystique for this fantastical setting to have loads of American voices inserted into it, but if other people see American as a sort of universal standard then I guess it would still make sense.

I dunno, I'm South African and an American accent in any form of entertainment comes across as neutral to me - years and years of pop cultural dominance, I guess.

Well, at least once they stopped doing dubs like "Die Man Van Staal" :P

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Thanks for the latest episode!

Reading the discussion about voices, I am fine with whatever decision Double Fine will make. It would make a sense if the female protagonist was dubbed by someone non-white. Just one thing, please avoid using voice actors with British accents as much as you can. It's absurd to hear them in almost everything nowadays despite none of these games have been made in the UK nor settings or characters are British.

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Well, your thought processes are implicitly racist. Can you figure out how?

No. The conversation stops here. This forum is not for racist posts.

Pardon me? If you don't want to be accused of racism, don't ask for exotic accents to titillate your sense of foreignness and mystery.

The guy who implied Peter McConnell was demonstrating implicit racism for having African influences in the music score of a scene where a girl has brown skin (as if that and not something completely different affected Peter's decision-making process) is accusing someone else of being racist?

I think people should all stop accusing each other of being racist in this thread. It's getting a little silly.

RE: DOODINTHEMOOD'S INITIAL COMPLAINT

Actually, that does make a sort of sense to me. I'm an American, of course, but I'm interested in linguistics and language patterns as they occur in various contexts. It's always been interesting to me, for example, that musicians around the world performing blues music---no matter what their native language/accent---will often sound more American when they sing, because that "voice" is sort of identified with the form. A lot of rock musicians use non-rhotic pronunciation of their Rs for some reason, no matter if their native pronunciation is extremely rhotic. Stuff like that is interesting.

And did you ever notice that in a lot of fantasy films, for some reason everyone has English accents? Lord of the Rings? English accents. Star Wars? English accents. It's like the English accent is the "official accent" of fantasy films or something. Sometimes stuff like that just happens, and when you notice it, it's weird, and you can't un-notice it, but that's just the way it is.

As for this game in particular, I don't think the argument really holds water that the accents shouldn't be American considering the game's setting, because the game's setting is total fantasy. It isn't set in Africa or Europe or China or anywhere we know of. It exists in a completely separate fantasy world that could literally be anything. Maybe they all do have American accents there? Or maybe they all speak something more similar to Klingon? Who knows?

They have to speak something, though, and no matter what they speak, it's going to sound weird to someone. A lot of Europeans dislike the American accent (often affected by their view of America/Americans in general), so it would make sense that they might like another accent. Some of them are maybe just sick of everyone having an American accent all the time.

I think I'd like a different accent just to spice things up and make the characters seem a little more foreign, which is not to say from a particular country, but just from another place that I'm not familiar with. I don't want a specifically french or german or swedish or american or english or whatever accent. Maybe just a totally made up accent. Or a totally obscure one. Could be nice. I could go for that.

But you don't want something that's going to draw too much attention to itself either.

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I don't understand what you're saying... You're saying that because I implied it was racist (but not necessarily problematic) to have an African theme for the black girl, I can't also say that it IS problematic to request "foreign-sounding" accents for your fantasy characters to lend them air of mystery and exoticness?

I mean, it's all foreign fetishism by rich people, at the end of the day. If cartoon characters imitating some minority's way of speaking English makes you feel excited and adventurous, then the game has achieved its goal. "Spice" things up indeed.

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But you don't want something that's going to draw too much attention to itself either.

"av yoo ay leesonce for zis minky?"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=93ZDOcU2TL4

Interesting thing about the different genres being apparently tied to different accents, middle earth being British and so on. From that regard, adventure games would definitely be an American genre - the classics featuring American pop culture references and so on.

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I don't understand what you're saying... You're saying that because I implied it was racist (but not necessarily problematic) to have an African theme for the black girl, I can't also say that it IS problematic to request "foreign-sounding" accents for your fantasy characters to lend them air of mystery and exoticness?

I mean, it's all foreign fetishism by rich people, at the end of the day. If cartoon characters imitating some minority's way of speaking English makes you feel excited and adventurous, then the game has achieved its goal. "Spice" things up indeed.

...?

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Thanks for the latest episode!

Reading the discussion about voices, I am fine with whatever decision Double Fine will make. It would make a sense if the female protagonist was dubbed by someone non-white. Just one thing, please avoid using voice actors with British accents as much as you can. It's absurd to hear them in almost everything nowadays despite none of these games have been made in the UK nor settings or characters are British.

Wha..? I'm sure you would be fine with all the characters being voiced by Americans now, wouldn't you? Despite the fact that the characters are not, in actual fact, American.

Can you clarify why you don't want British voice actors? Personal taste perhaps?

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Back on the topic of how ace this instalment was, it was ace!

Ace it was. :D

Well done 2PP!

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Adventure games would definitely be an American genre - the classics featuring American pop culture references and so on.

I think that the mainstream adventure games are definitely an 'American genre' as you say, but nowadays Adventure games thrive in Germany and that's where I associate Adventure games to.

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