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Really interesting stuff in this thread. Thanks for answering questions.

I'm curious to know if any of the performances on Broken Age have surprised you? I'd imagine that sometimes you cast people thinking one thing and get something else or take a chance and it turns out better than you ever expected.

Oh, definitely. Being surprised is my favorite thing. Jack is the perfect example of this. He cares so deeply about his performance, and really works each line to ensure he's getting every molecule of flavor and nuance. He's the most fearless and caring talent, and it takes a huge amount of courage and commitment. He's got tremendous integrity. There were a bunch of lines in Brutal Legend where what he did wasn't matching up with what I thought I wanted, and I would push him for something different. Many times this meant that we got a far more caring Eddie than the badass everyone thought he was (my influence - I'm fairly squishy). But many times, JB would say, "Yes, but what about X?," and he kept Eddie from becoming TOO squishy. For JB to care enough to question the direction instead of just saying, "whatever, video game, phone it in," meant that he re-awakened in me the excitement of collaboration, and the joy of saying, "Ooh! yeah! What's that? What happens if we go there?" It's the true spirit of collaboration, and any time you get it from an actor, it's thrilling. Today we recorded Jamieson Price, who is a classically trained theater actor, and he laid down the gravitas on some lines that made me pretty happy. Directing is about knowing how to hold the reins and gently steer the horse, but also so much about knowing when to let the horse run.

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I know for legal reasons you can't put any scratch in the game as a bonus mode, but can you post some of your fav scratch on the forums?

I don't have access to the scratch. Sorry!

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1. please excuse my terrible english ;)

2. I still remember the times, when adventure games came without voice-over (especially here in germany. there are some talkie-versions of indiana jones, etc - but here they were text-only). I don't know if games like monkey island, indiana jones, etc. would be better with a voice-over. The thing is: the more polished and explicit a game shows stuff, the more you see what the creator wants you to see and the less you can use your imagination to project your feelings/thoughts into the game.

BUT: after seeing you and the VO-sessions in this episode, I know that THIS game will definitely profit from the VO. It just shows how much you love your job and this will transfer into the game - I'm sure! It's a shame you don't see these things more often, because it definitely helps with building a connection between us (the gamers) and you (the creators). Can't wait for the final game - and this time - I will especially concentrate on the voice work :)

Thank you! And, your English is great.

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Hi there,

Loved the episode!!!

I'm wondering what microphones you use for recording - do you change it according to the voice of the actor? And second question, what advice would you give to someone recording voice in a non-professional (read: non-soundproof) studio :)

Thanks! For the DF titles, which are all single-interaction coversational, we use a vintage U-87 with an Avalon or a Neve. Mmm yummy warmness.

For all your home studio questions, definitely check out the amazing Dee Bradley Baker's amazing (2 amazings!) page: http://iwanttobeavoiceactor.com/your-studio/

This page is THE BEST and honestly answers so many questions, from a pro dude who has been around the block 1000 times and knows of what he speaks. Dee rewlz!

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Monitor, pre-amp and microphone. You get two great, one terrible. What do you pick?

Ok it's hard to make a great dilemma. But what are the essentials of recording a great voiceover? Especially if you are somebody who hasn't voiceacted and technical skills aren't that great.

I pick the bad monitor. It's the thing that's not going to make it onto the track. I can always listen on headphones (DT-770 ftw!)

I posted this elsewhere, but here's a fabulous resource: http://iwanttobeavoiceactor.com/your-studio/

Dee is the bestestest.

Yay, make something awesome!

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I get pretty emotional about it. Games!!!

"whatever, video game, phone it in,"

It's obvious you have a passion for your work, and it's good to see you recognize that a lot of folks appreciate the value in what you do, despite being aware of the still-prevalent attitude that video games are the entertainment equivalent of junk food.

I'm excited for the future of video games. For the inevitable continued maturation of storytelling in the medium, for a generation that grows up appreciating it as much as any other "consumed" media, for upcoming immersive technologies (like Oculus Rift), and for distant-horizon things that I can only hope come to fruition within my lifetime. The good things in that future depend on many different types of people, not least of which is artisans like you and Tim who are dedicated to their craft. ::hat-tip::

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Hi there,

Loved the episode!!!

I'm wondering what microphones you use for recording - do you change it according to the voice of the actor? And second question, what advice would you give to someone recording voice in a non-professional (read: non-soundproof) studio :)

Thanks! For the DF titles, which are all single-interaction coversational, we use a vintage U-87 with an Avalon or a Neve. Mmm yummy warmness.

For all your home studio questions, definitely check out the amazing Dee Bradley Baker's amazing (2 amazings!) page: http://iwanttobeavoiceactor.com/your-studio/

This page is THE BEST and honestly answers so many questions, from a pro dude who has been around the block 1000 times and knows of what he speaks. Dee rewlz!

Aha, amazing!!! Thanks so much :)

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A bit of an odd question, but many years ago not many game devs stored recorded audio in good quality, or simply ditched the masters (foolish thing) so I'm curious to know how do you guys at DoubleFine store your recordings, do you keep the masters and if so what quality are they in? Like 96Khz/24bit or higher?

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That reminds me, ever keep the really good bloopers? *hint hint* :)

I remember Black and White released a series of voice over bloopers on their website a long time ago.

Good stuff! :D

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A bit of an odd question, but many years ago not many game devs stored recorded audio in good quality, or simply ditched the masters (foolish thing) so I'm curious to know how do you guys at DoubleFine store your recordings, do you keep the masters and if so what quality are they in? Like 96Khz/24bit or higher?

Hi there! We record 44/16, and yes, we keep everything. Sometimes during development, we'll find we need a different read so we'll go back to the sessions to find alternate line reads. But beyond that, I feel it's important to hold onto this stuff because there's so much more that goes into making something than just the end product... Or maybe I'm just saying that to justify my pack rat nature! When I worked in the Sound Dept. at LucasArts many years ago I catalogued all the source material for our sound effects (foley, field recordings, etc.) I hope all that stuff didn't end up in a dumpster. :(

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A bit of an odd question, but many years ago not many game devs stored recorded audio in good quality, or simply ditched the masters (foolish thing) so I'm curious to know how do you guys at DoubleFine store your recordings, do you keep the masters and if so what quality are they in? Like 96Khz/24bit or higher?

Hi there! We record 44/16, and yes, we keep everything. Sometimes during development, we'll find we need a different read so we'll go back to the sessions to find alternate line reads. But beyond that, I feel it's important to hold onto this stuff because there's so much more that goes into making something than just the end product... Or maybe I'm just saying that to justify my pack rat nature! When I worked in the Sound Dept. at LucasArts many years ago I catalogued

all the source material for our sound effects (foley, field recordings, etc.) I hope all that stuff didn't end up in a dumpster. :(

Hi all! My apologies for being AWOL. Sooooooo much work has been happening!

We do archive everything, on both drives and burned master sessions. We record in 48/24 and downsample when we deliver to Malena (after editing) so that they'll fit in the game. We record at a higher quality in case there's ever a "special edition" or "greatest hits" where higher fidelity will fit on people's drives. We actually recorded "Sam & Max" and "Day of the Tentacle" in 22/8 because no-one could imagine there would ever be a "special edition." Now, I wish we had them in a higher resolution.

Darragh O'Farrell, who was the guardian of the LucasArts Voice Department and its assets after I left, probably made certain that all the DAT tapes we recorded (thousands) were archived well. There are two separate temperature controlled and highly organized Archives buildings which are HUGE and were specially built to house assets for all Lucas properties. Disney takes the same care with its IP, so I have little doubt things were preserved. As the Skywalker Sound archivist for 12 years (I was the guardian of Ben's historic and new Star Wars fx for the prequels), I can tell you that we even still had archives of elements from things he'd captured in the 70's. Creativity = romantics = savers of things. "It should be in a museum!" - Indy.

Malena is the Wrangler-of-Everything and Keeper-of-Voice-Assets for Double Fine, and is kicking patootie to make sure we're well set up for the future. Voice Production (and most other things) would not happen without her, and Tim and I would definitely be eating rice krispy treats and laughing too much (and be late). We love Malena! Yay!

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Howdy sweet backers!

Thank you for asking such great questions! It's faster to answer a bunch of them in one big go, so please forgive me for not quoting them in-line.

Question about Jack's jazz-like "riffing": All actors have different approaches. JB is unique in that he's an extraordinarily talented musician, and really "jams" until he finds the right melody. If you watch his film work like "Bernie," he creates these incredibly powerful, nuanced performances that are super deep and have had a long time to be researched. For us, when he's creating the work in a cold read environment and pulling it out of thin air, you see the fearlessness and willingness to jump off the cliff, have fun, and work the material until it's everything we want. That he's not only capable of but super successful using both approaches: "jamming" and "researched," and rocks both, really showcases his huge range and his courage. It's risky to riff, and to be totally open to b-roll while doing so. We're super privileged to have him on board.

Question about how to "jam" with actors: All actors are different and have different needs. It's my job to "sniff out" what they need, in the same way that any support person has to assess someone they want to help. My job is not to poke with a stick (well, sometimes), but to know what people need to hear when they need to hear it. If someone is a crabby pants, scared, angry, bored, or however they arrive in the room, I need to figure out what they need in order to get to the place emotionally that the scene needs. I do not play the role of asshole, however (well, once, when I ran out of patience with someone). Generally, as a midwife, the goal is to make the pregnant woman feel safe & relaxed. Yelling at her to get the baby out doesn't help anyone. Directing is also "I'll show you mine if you show me yours." As a director, you have to show yours first. If I want someone to be goofy, I can't be afraid to be goofy. I have to be willing to take as many risks as I'm asking the actor to take. Asking someone to bare their soul by themselves simply because they're being paid is a crappy way to be a human being. Actors are giving me a gift. I need to honor it.

Question about the Creative Director not liking my casting choice: We talk about it. It often leads to greater insight for both of us, and sometimes a deeper understanding of the character and an entirely new direction. Sometimes, however, it doesn't, and Creative Directors make choices I dislike. In that instance, I just cringe and hope the well-cast games on which I've worked balance out the ones where some of the voices are, despite my best efforts, bad.

Question about Animal Crossing: I haven't gotten it yet. I should. It's so rare that I'm not working (between Ubisoft and DF, I work about 16-18 hrs/day these past few weeks/months/lifetime), and when I have a day off, I generally sloth around in a spa (wet environment = no electronics) or kill some freeking d00000000des (headshot! pam! VIDEYA GAMESSZZZ!). Which is why Animal Crossing will make me a better person.

Question about how much Voice Actors would like to know in advance: It depends on the actor. They definitely DON'T need to know the entire design bible, backstory, what the dog's name was (unless it was Indiana), when they ate their first cupcake, etc. Unless it's relevant to the events in the game/scene, it's not useful. Do I need to know that Guybrush Threepwood loves licorice? Is it in a puzzle or dialog tree anywhere (aka "is this information of use to the player")? If no, then no. It's absurd when writers try to add a bunch of irrelevant data to "flesh out" a character to no end. Does this information help the player or move the story forward? No? Cut it. Same with giving the actor info. They want to know: how stressed? how relaxed? How loud/fast/angry/in love/crazy/calm/smart/covered in bees am I? Key question: Is this information important in that moment? Because we're creating a series of moments. They definitely need to know the arc and what they should be setting up (e.g. John, who kissed Jane in Scene 1, will be totally creeped out in Scene 5 when he finds out they're related by blood! Dun dun duuuunnnnnn!), but keeping it simple keeps the actor focused on the moment. Real life is lived in visceral reactions in seconds/minutes/hours...moments.

Question about more videos: Yes! They will be made. The actors are awesome. 2PP only shot this time when Tim was in the studio with us. Most of the stuff, I record with just the actors. We'll try to get the cameras in for that - I think it's in the works. And yes, Hynden is adorable. Oh man. Wait until you see her super charming-ness. I can't wait!

Question about bloopers: Maybe? We laugh most of the time, but these folks are such incredible pros that there are honestly very few bloopers. I think we may have burned our best candle with the p-o-o talk in the doc already. There really just aren't that many. Maybe we can put together a "laughing our butts off" reel. That's definitely something we do a lot!

Question about MI2 & the hint line: Yep, I'm Chester in the game. But you were probably talking to the lovely Tabby, who is one of the sweetest people to walk the Earth. Go Tabby!

I'll try to answer more often here. As we're getting closer to finishing Act I, I'll have more time to hang out. Unless I finally get Animal Crossing. :D Thank you again for all the awesome questions!

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Hi Khris! Thanks for taking the time to answer all these questions. Your answers make for some great reading!

According to one article I read, your appearance in MI2 was given the nickname "Chester" because of an in-joke... My question is: What was the in-joke? :) (It's a shame you didn't get to work on the Special Editions of the Monkey Island games. You could have cast yourself in the role!)

Thanks again. You seem like an awesomely talented voice director -- I wish there were more like you out there so I wouldn't want to turn the volume down on certain games. (See MI:SE.)

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Ahhh! Wall of text!

Just kidding, read through all of that so quickly. Thank you Khris for all of these super rad, interesting and detailed answers!

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It's absurd when writers try to add a bunch of irrelevant data to "flesh out" a character to no end.
But...but...Tim's character development spreadsheet!

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It's absurd when writers try to add a bunch of irrelevant data to "flesh out" a character to no end.
But...but...Tim's character development spreadsheet!

Haha. I thought the same thing at first, but then I thought maybe she meant that it's useless for the voice actor specifically to get all that information. I'm pretty sure it's priceless to a writer, writing good characters with believable actions and dialog.

As a side note, I'm currently watching season 2 of The Walking Dead and I think they would have benefitted hugely from Tim's writing technique.

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There's a difference between giving the characters a detailed background and putting it into the game.

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That reminds me, ever keep the really good bloopers? *hint hint* :)

I remember Black and White released a series of voice over bloopers on their website a long time ago.

Good stuff! :D

Like this one

@topic

Thank you so much for this, is really cool of you!

Just one small question, how much is the difference between paid voice actors and studio folks recording the lines?

Is it that big? Does it justify paying VO? I'm loving so far all the acting :D

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Always need good reference material in hand.

I apologize. I'll see myself out.

Smiles

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Now with Elijah Wood being officiallly announced as the voice of Shay, how did that come about? How long before the announcement was he cast?

And also, since he's 50% of the game's protagonists, how much text (or how many sessions) did he record already?

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It came about because he tweeted about the original Kickstarter when it was happening—he's a big adventure game fan—and so Tim contacted him through Twitter! I'll let Khris handle the other questions though.

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It came about because he tweeted about the original Kickstarter when it was happening—he's a big adventure game fan—and so Tim contacted him through Twitter!
Yeah, that's what I understood from the comments (and I remember reading an interview with him around the time of the first LOTR movie where he named "Monkey Island" to be his favourite video game). But I was wondering, did Tim contact him while the Kickstarter was still running? Was it pretty much a done deal by the time the Kickstarter was over? Were there actually any other actors considered at all? I guess it's a bit off topic from Voice Production, though he is one of the main voice actors now ;)

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I don't post on the forum as frequently as I'd have liked but I wanted to jump in and say that Khris easily steals every scene she's in - even with Tim. The level of enthusiasm and passion for games are so, so exciting! 2PP should do a sidequest :)

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I don't post on the forum as frequently as I'd have liked but I wanted to jump in and say that Khris easily steals every scene she's in - even with Tim. The level of enthusiasm and passion for games are so, so exciting! 2PP should do a sidequest :)

Pretty sure they will! ;)

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If everything is preserved in LucasArts, as you say, I hope that means that the Freelance Police recordings are still intact!

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Hi Khris,

My question is what advice would you give to aspiring VO actors? If you can give tips on how to get better and get roles in the industry? Especially for a beginner like me. It was a dream of my mine when I was kid.

Thank you in advance.

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Now with Elijah Wood being officiallly announced as the voice of Shay, how did that come about? How long before the announcement was he cast?

And also, since he's 50% of the game's protagonists, how much text (or how many sessions) did he record already?

Howdy, pals!

Thank you so much for all your great questions and especially for being so sweet about my goofy joy. I love games, actors, and good writing, so having the privilege of working with Tim for (shhhh) 23 years is the best job ever! We're still in our twenties, though, right? :D

EW has done 4 sessions for us, and rocked them all. I can't talk specifically about pay, but can let you know that there was no impact on the budget. AND he made us rice krispie treats! I could go on and on about E's ability to instantly grok and convey the best possible meaning of text, but there aren't enough words. It's the difference between a master violinist and a musician. There are notes, and then there are notes that you lean into and the first sound of it brings you to tears. The combination of talent + empathy, plus humility and kindness has created a genuinely extraordinary human being, both inside and outside the studio. We're SO grateful.

If you'd like to be a voice actor, the best resource is Dee Bradley Baker's iwanttobeavoiceactor.com. Dee is fantastic, works constantly, and was our voice of Rex (and all the other clone troopers) in the Clone Wars series. His page is honest, no frills, and isn't selling anything.

Thank you again for being backers and asking about voice acting. I hope you all have a wonderful and safe New Year celebration and holidays (if they happened at Thanksgiving or in the next few days). Merry life!

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Are there still voice actors yet to be announced? Is there anyone who you really wanted to get but it just didn't work?

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