31/07/2009 04:31:20 AM

Aion, as an MMO, features numerous nonplayer (NPC) parts to voice. Every character speaks a greeting and a farewell when a player interacts with it. Many characters have additional or extended spoken parts in Aion's cinematics. What each character says and how it is said has to fit with both the serious, epic fantasy tone of the game and the idiom of the language being voiced. The spoken dialog has to also fit with the timing of the animation in a cinematic (the length of the spoken part--when a character speaks and stops speaking) and a character's gestures, emphasis, interactions with other characters, and the mouth movements of the character animated. Read on to find out more about what voice localization in Aion is all about.

Stacie Magelssen, writer, editor, and resident Elyos expert for Aion, worked tirelessly in the studio with the voiceover actors. "One of the greetings for human youth NPCs we recorded was 'Your hair is pretty.' We had one particular actor in, Fred Tatasciore, who had picked up a script page from the previous actress's session by mistake." Stacie shares. "Of course, the first line on that page was, 'Your hair is pretty.' Fred proceeded to read that line in his very deep voice, completely deadpan, and then threw in my name at the end: 'Your hair is pretty, Stacie.' It was hilarious. It became a running joke. From then on, we had almost every actor and actress read us the same line for outtakes. I now have Fred's recording of the line set as the ringtone on my phone, and it cheers me up every time I hear it!"

"Your Hair is Pretty" Outtake

Aion has more cinematics that most MMOs or other computer games. MMOs usually reserve cinematics for big reveals and the climaxes of major storylines. Aion does that and more! It has cinematics for side stories and the stories that flesh out the world (love stories, side quests--the memorable stuff that really fleshes out a fantasy world). Aion also uses cinematics as helpers for the game. Aion could show you what a rice bag looks like as a cinematic, or show you a flyover of a village you are looking for so that you recognize it.

Just to give you an idea, the Aion voiceover localization process involved:

• Approximately 200 speaking parts
• 200 voiced cinematics/cut scenes
• 8,000-10,000 lines of dialog
• 45,000 voice audio files
• Three weeks of recording time (not including additional voice pickups

The dedication and care of the localization effort for Aion shows not only in its written word, but also in the dialog and the acting of the voiceovers for the characters and cinematics. It's an unprecedented, polished, mindful effort. The people working on it love games, love the story of Aion, and love what they do, and the joy and fun they had shows in their carefully crafted effort

If you' kept a perceptive eye on our twitter feeds (@aion_ayase, @aion_amboss, @aion_liv, @aion_xaen) today, you are bound to have sprung across a few samples that we sporadically shared both on Twitter, via fansites and on Facebook. If you didn't, don't worry, you can find most of them here:

Balder, Asmodian high priest
Asmodian man
Elysean Lepharist woman
Elysean Lepharist man
Mau Interpreter

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