You’ve made the world’s next hit video game. At least, you hope so! The stunning graphics, smooth gameplay, and compelling storyline all come together perfectly. Now you just need to figure out what your characters are saying and hire voice actors to record those lines. This is where your video game voice acting script comes in!
Thanks to the magic of hiring voice actors online, this process has never been easier.
Stick around, and we’ll walk you through how to build your script, how to hold auditions, and how to pick the perfect voice actor for each part.
But perhaps we should take a step back to the basics.
But if you prefer to watch a video instead, click here:
First of all, what is a video game voice acting script?
The vast majority of video games have at least a few characters who are best brought to life with real lines spoken aloud.
Your video game voice acting script is the document that contains all the lines you wish to have your voice actors record. Unlike, say, the script for a play, the lines do not have to be spoken in any given order. In fact, the voice actors don’t even have to be present in the same studio. As long as each voice actor records all of his or her lines, you can edit and splice them together to fit the timing when each video game character speaks.
This is especially handy in games that don’t necessarily follow the same chronological order on each play-through.
As a content producer, how do you put together a great script for your game?
Considering most games will require multiple voice actors, and each voice actor will have different lines than any other, you will likely end up putting together multiple video game voice acting scripts.
The first step is to decide what you’d like each character to say in your game. The end result will of course depend highly on the type of game you’ve made, but we’ll give some general examples so you get the idea.
If each voice actor’s script contains every single line for his or her character, but those lines don’t show up in chronological order inside the video game, it’s natural that the script won’t make sense when read from start to finish.
In fact, each character’s spoken lines, put into script form, will probably sound like random sentences and phrases to the outside observer.
Say for example that a certain character likes to shout warnings when a battle starts in the game. You don’t want the exact same line every time, right? If your character shouted “Get ready to fight!” every single time the player entered a battle, that player would more than likely finish the game on mute to avoid the needless repetition.
To avoid that, plan on varying your characters’ lines as much as possible.
Following in the same example, you may choose to have your voice actor record several battle-openers that can be played more-or-less at random whenever the player enters combat.
You might have the character exclaim things like…
- “Sir! We’re under attack!”
- “I think I’ve been hit!”
- “I’ve got eyes on enemies, just ahead.”
- “This could get ugly.”
- “Look out!”
- “Brace for impact.”
- “We’re outnumbered!”
- “Let’s hit ‘em hard.”
Longer scenes, such as cutscenes and narrations, might require a voice actor to record much longer lines that the short exclamations above.
For example, some video games contain long, movie-like cutscenes that may have one character speaking for several minutes at a time.
How do you hold video game voice over auditions to find the perfect voice actor?
In general, finding a great voice actor for each of your video game characters will follow a process like this one:
- Contact freelance voice actors or an agency that works with voice actors
- Review profiles and portfolios to find a few that might be a good fit
- Reach out and make contact
- Ask for an audition tape or example recording
- Listen to each submission and continue to interview your top candidates
- Hire your favorite voice actors
Very few voice actors will actually create custom audition material from scripts you provide. Instead, be prepared to review material of their choosing.
This can actually be to your benefit, as it allows you to see what range and talents each actor has. You might find out one voice actor is perfect for a part you hadn’t even considered him for.
What video game voice over casting tips can help you find the perfect voice actors?
If you follow the hiring steps above, finding your voice talent is often fairly straightforward. Use these tips to make sure the process goes as smoothly as possible:
- Have your script written before you hire voice actors. You must know the scope of work and the length the recordings will be in order to get accurate quotes.
- Research ahead of time what salary ranges you would be comfortable paying your voice actors in order to avoid tricky or uncomfortable fee negotiations.
- Have a clear idea in your head of what you want each character to sound like. That way, when you come across the perfect audition tape, you’ll know it immediately.
Sometimes, a voice actor’s strengths will be obvious. A wide range of accents, impressions, and character voices usually impress clients, so actors tend to highlight these talents on their resumes and in audition tapes.
Other actors, however, have nuance and depth beyond what even they may realize. If an actor doesn’t have a flashy portfolio but something about him resonates with you, that may mean he’s a great fit for a part in your project.