Video games are one of the most important mediums in the world today, but that wasn’t always so. Over the course of decades, they went from niche hobby to the $200+ billion giant they are today. And, while they cover as many genres as films, books, or TV, one holds a special place in the hearts of many gamers. Adventure games are known for creating fantastical worlds and memorable characters that capture the minds of young and old alike. Great adventure video game voice over scripts are going to be the foundation of any well-executed tale.
And why voice-overs, anyway? While some adventure-RPG hybrids like Undertale get along perfectly fine without voices, great vocal performances have been a staple of the adventure genre since the 90s. They enliven characters while providing them with an immediately relatable quality that gamers love. In fact, adventure games were some of the first to benefit from the movie-like quality of great voice overs.
And if you’re a little lost and don’t know where to start, don’t worry! That’s what this handy guide is for. Let’s get started!
The Importance of Adventure Game Voice Over Scripts
As you know, it all starts with the drawing board — in your case, the writing board. While the perfect adventure game character hasn’t been written yet, some have gotten really close. Characters like April Ryan or Guybrush Threepwood have a place of honor in the adventure game canon.
If you’re writing adventure game voice over scripts, then you’re going to be thinking about:
- The character’s qualities and personality.
- The way their voice sounds.
- Their most salient traits. How do these carry to the way their voice is supposed to sound?
- Their identity, ideas, thoughts, and the way they evolve throughout the story.
These are also great notes to have for any actor or actress that’s going to be portraying them too; a character may start off one way but end up on an entirely different path by the end of the game. Adventure games are known for being story-centric, so character development is a big part of creating a great script. This development should be clear when you search for the right voice performer for the job. After all, it’s no use if they’re fantastic at portraying one of the character’s qualities, but not the other(s). Most three-arc story structures rely on the premise of growth.
What’s the normal structure of video game voice over scripts? Usually, they’re longer than most — in fact, an adventure game may have scripts that are several hundred pages long, more than any movie. In fact, adventure games can sometimes take tens of hours to complete. In essence, you’ll be spending as much time with the world and characters as if you watched several seasons of a show. Video games and long-form storytelling are a match made in heaven. More so if you realize that interactivity also creates an extra layer of empathy.
So, while these scripts can require a huge amount of writing prowess and internal consistency, that’s for main characters. Secondary characters and bit parts may just take up a page or two of your script. Whatever the length of the script or the importance of the character, sample scripts for Bunny Studio pros are going to need more-or-less the same rough guidelines:
- Age Range, Gender, Style, Language, etc.
- Job Description (a description of the company and the type of game they’re making)
- Role Details (‘Fidgety Dwarf’; ‘Tactiturn Bus Driver’)
- Voice Performer Guidelines
Sample Adventure Video Game Voice-Over Scripts
Now that we’ve got the general guidelines down pat, let’s take a look at some samples. While actual scripts may be much longer, these samples are a great way to pick up the rudiments of what makes good video-game voice-over scripts. We’ve structured them in 15, 30, and 60-second sample scripts. If you’re an aspiring voice actor you can also use these scripts to practice your craft. (We also recommend you use existing adventure games to try and get a greater feel for how characters sound and act.)
Sample Script: The Great Gumshoe Mixup
Ideal Vocal Range: Mid 40s, Gravelly
Job Description: At Mama Box games we pride ourselves on creating believable gaming worlds. Our creations run the gamut from sandbox RPGs for adults, to storybook children’s adventures. The Great Gumshoe Mixup is our newest IP, aimed at adults from 20 to 45+. Our games always attempt to challenge players and teach them to think in creative, out-of-the-box ways.
Voice Performer Guidelines: Your name is Pat Huston, a two-timin’, hard-drinking, no-good gumshoe with only a few redeeming qualities. He’s our main character, and the one we’ll be following throughout the story (with the exception of a few optional sequences). At this part of the story, the down-on-his-luck detective is sitting in his office chainsmoking cigarettes and drinking cheap bourbon, when suddenly a mysterious character comes through the door and offers him a job.
Category: Video Games
Language: English (United States)
Dialect: English (Midwestern)
Word count: 78 words (Pat Huston); 60 words ; 40 words
60-Second Sample Script
Pat Huston: Just another day at the office. *Pat yawns profusely while he takes a drag from his cigarette and downs a quarter-glass of bourbon without even bothering to exhale* Aaaaaah! Nothing like a little wake-me-up-juice to get the day going. *He stretches his legs over a beaten-down desk that we would be generous to say has seen better days, but hasn't.* *A knock on the door interrupts Pat's morning delight* Pat: *sighs begrudgingly* Come iiiiiiiiiin! *he lights another cigarette even though he's only half-done with the previous one* *Robert walks in, all business. Perfectly-attired in a matching suit and tie. He's carrying a briefcase and exudes an air of no-nonsense confidence.* Robert: Good morning, Mr. Huston. Pat: *through a thick cloud of cigarette smoke* If you're one of Doug's referrals, I'm not working lost and found cases anymore, I — *Robert doesn't let him finish his sentence* Robert: I assure you, Mr. Huston, you'll find our proposal to be much more... substantial than any of the foul morsels Mr. Michaels has ever thrown you. Pat: Alright, pal. Look, I don't know whether this cloak-and-dagger crap works in whatever Wall Street boardroom you crawled out of, but here in God's Coffin we like it straight. Like our bourbon. *He downs what's left in his glass*
30-second Sample Script:
*The bomb is only a few minutes away from exploding. Pat begrudgingly recites the meager bomb disposal training he received at the Academy to himself.* Pat: OK, Huston, think, THINK! What did the Sarge say? *He adopts a military-style voice* OK, maggots! This is a life-or-death scenario. First, you'll need to find the circuit's power source. *Pat falters for a second* How did it go...? *He adopts the Sarge's voice again* Then, you need to cut the colored wires in the order they come out of the source. *Pat finds the yellow wire first* Pat: I sure hope the Sarge knew what he was talking about, or this is going to be the shortest case of my career. Here goes nothing... *he snaps the yellow wire in half, and...*
15-second Sample Script:
*The girl from the fruit stall eyes Pat suspiciously. He approaches casually, his hands up as a sign of appeasement.* Pat: Don't worry, child, I'm not with them. *The girl breathes a sigh of relief* But I am going to have to ask you a few questions, you see? I'm looking for Rowan, and it's very important that you let me know where he is. His life and the life of ten more people depend on it.
Second Sample Script:
There are all kinds of adventure game voice over scripts that you could hire performers to do professionally. Here’s a second sample.
Ideal Vocal Range: Woman, young
Job Description: Pete’s Arcade is a company that creates fantasy-themed adventure games for children and teenagers.
Voice Performer Guidelines: You are Amapola, a forest fairy who finds herself in an enchanted part of the forest. Through trials and tribulations, Amapola slowly finds her way back home while guided by a benevolent forest presence.
Category: Video Games
Language: English (United States)
Word count: 100/ 55/ 28
60-Second Sample Script
Amapola: Oh no! I don't know this part of the forest, don't tell me I'm lost again! Rayaah won't like this, she won't like it one bit! *She takes a deep breath* But OK, no one ever gained anything from losing their heads, did they? What was it they said at the clearing? *She immerses herself in thought for a moment* "If you ever lose your way in the forest, first look at the trees around you. Then, take a moment to collect yourself and connect with the forest presence." *Amapola seems to concentrate for a moment. A light seems to radiate from above* Benevolent Voice: Hello, child. Amapola: *visibly shook* F-forest Presence? I-is that really you? I'm lost! I don't know how to get back home and I'm scared! Could you help me find my way back?
30-Second Sample Script
*Amapola eyes the contraption with a suspicious glint in her eye* Amapola: All right, I guess after all that work it shouldn't be dangerous to — *she's interrupted as the contraption suddenly chugs to life* Aaaaaaaaaaah! *she gasps for a moment and collects herself* That nearly scared me to death! *she kicks the strange device, which seems to continue chugging along merrily* Don't you ever, ever, ever in a million years dare to do that again, you big meanie! But I guess I've finally found a way out of this part of the forest!
15-Second Sample Script
Amapola: Wow, that was quite a turn of events! But even though everything's going great, there's something missing. *Her stomach growls loudly* That's it... it's past 5 and I haven't had any blueberry pie. *Amapola quickly catches a blueberry shrub out of the corner of her eye. She's got a mischievous glint in her eye. She smiles.*