Star Wars

Recording VO for a video game is usually pretty lonely work, with the actor or actress locked in a small room by themselves, reading lines into a mic while the folks in the recording room offer feedback. With EA's upcoming Star Wars game, the team is taking steps to improve that process in a way that should make game narratives more believable than ever before.

One of the masterminds behind the original Uncharted trilogy, Amy Hennig is now hard at work on a brand new Star Wars game that's hoping to raise the bar in regards to character interactions. It's a really simple solution, actually, though Hennig admits that pretty much nobody in the industry actually does it. In short: Put everyone in a room together and let the tape roll.

There's no such thing as ensemble recording in games, really, and that's dumb, when you think about it, because acting is really reacting and, when you're recording one actor doing a scene, they need to be reacting to something.

This insight comes to us from a recent interview with Hennig over on Glixel. Hennig's thoughts are basically a crash course in game design, covering everything from what she's doing behind the scenes with the new Star Wars game to what it takes to make any game more compelling.

This all ties back to conversations Hennig was having a couple of months ago in regards to the cast of the upcoming Star Wars title. Speaking during PAX West, Hennig discussed the importance of an ensemble cast in the Star Wars universe. Using Indiana Jones as an example of a leading character with additional cast mostly there to support them, Hennig talked about how the various Star Wars properties tend to feature a group of well-defined characters that can stand on their own two feet. From the main movies to Rebels and the upcoming Rogue One, Hennig argues that the stories work so well because of diverse casts of interesting characters. And that's exactly what will drive her upcoming Star Wars game, too, and so she felt that something needed to be changed in the recording process in order to help that come through.

Any voice actor worth their salt will be able to, well, act. They know the lines that are being fed to their character and how their character might respond. However, no amount of acting can make up for actual experience, right? So doesn't it make more sense, Hennig says, for the crew to be in the same room, actually reacting to one another? How might one's performance change if they knew how everybody else in the production was reading their lines?

Combine all of that together and Hennig expects that the upcoming Star Wars game will offer something unique for players to experience, complete with a cast of characters that feel like they are in the same room because, you know, they actually were.

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