Video game voice over jobs are some of the most sought after in the voice over industry. It’s not surprising though. Voice over gaming offers voice actors the opportunity to be paid well and work on large projects. Many video games are global phenomenon and have substantial fan bases. This post focuses on video gaming voice over jobs, but is part of the how to become a voice actor series.
Video Game Voice Over Jobs
Video games have come a long way from the 8-bit adventures. Soundtracks that were once comprised of beeps, buzzes, and tinny music now feature orchestral scores and complex sound effects. Today’s video games have more in common with movies than they do with the video games of the past. One of the most profound advancements in the world of video games is the use of voice acting to tell their stories.
Video game characters are complex characters. Like movie characters, video game characters are only as compelling as the actors who portray them. Actors make characters memorable. Video games are an immersive, interactive experience while films offer a more passive form of media consumption. The acting in a video game, though important, is not the central focus of a game like it is in so many movies. Like Holywood, their are some big studios that produce games like EA, Nintendo and Activision Blizzard.
Voicing for a video game is a very demanding type of voice acting. The video games have characters that are presented as real people and in addition you may a host of different characters. As a voice actor, you truly have to create a believable and conversational delivery for the characters you create. A further complexity is that depending on the game, you get to portray different aspects of a character based on player choices. When a player makes choices about a character, they need to feel that the voice still fits.
For smaller games this can be created on the fly. However, with a big title like Halo that’s been around for 15 years, there’s a lot of lore and that’s already been established. The biggest challenge is making sure that it’s all in keeping. For big and established titles video game voice over jobs are rare. Actors are used on a long terms basis because of the continuity of the character and their experience.
Another aspect of gaming is motion capture. How does doing motion capture change how you approach a role? The physicality of tasking part in motion capture immerses the voice actor into the role. The voice actor is creating all of the physicality as well as the vocal nuances. Any little physical tick that you have often gets expressed in the voice. For these reasons video game voice over jobs tend to go to experienced voice actors or actors.
Video game voice over jobs are nonlinear! Your script will have only your lines. Spitting out line after line, rather than connecting with another actor and allowing a script’s lines to organically become an organic conversation, requires an actor to think differently. The dialogue in video games is often short, punchy, and might be presented to players between long periods of active game play. Because of this, each piece of dialogue must be able to stand on its own. In many cases, voice actors are not even given full scripts to work from, making it difficult to decipher the intended feeling behind the lines because of the lack of context.
Examples of Gaming Voiceover – Performed By Peter Dickson
Each line is recorded in a variety of ways to express different emotions, attitudes, energy, and so on. The delivery for each line is attached before or after one or more other lines. This is because, when a game is played, the exact sequence of your lines will depend on how the player moves through the game. Regardless of the path a player takes, the continuity of the voiceover must be consistent and appropriate for the events taking place in the game. Before applying for video game voice over jobs it’s important to research and thoroughly understand the industry.
Video Gaming Voice Over Jobs – Practicing The Art
Video games are usually action-oriented and often include scenes that depict violence or death. When you play a video game character you may find yourself being directed to “die” in a dozen different ways. How would your character sound if he died from being hit by a car? By being stabbed Shot? Hit on the head? Blown up? Each time you will have to express these differently so that each death sound different.
The best way to learn how to voice act for a video game is to first of all play one. Be aware of the flow of the game and listen to the different voices, their character and how the voce actor conveys the scene and emotion. Next, practice and practice and practice. Take a course on Video Gaming voice acting as well to help – this is part of our membership plan along with over 15 other courses.
Getting video game voice over jobs is tough. You have to be dedicated and focused to succeed. With perseverance and the right approach you could be the next rising star int his amazing industry.
Other types of voice over jobs you might find interesting:
For more information on voice acting visit our series of posts on how to become a voice actor