• Exploring Animalese – Immersive & Dynamic Dialogues: To Hire or Not to Hire

    Exploring Animalese – Immersive & Dynamic Dialogues: To Hire or Not to Hire

    Attribution: This image is partly sourced from the Animal Crossing: New Horizon video game. The sourced material is utilized for the purpose of illustrating and discussing elements related to the game. All rights and credit for the sourced material belong to the respective copyright owner(s) of the Animal Crossing series.

    When brainstorming on the creative journey of game development we always stumble upon the ever recurring dilemma: to hire or not to hire.

    Today’s topic: hire a voice actor for dialogue or not?

    A great alternative to hiring voice actors, that not only adds a sprinkle of charm to a game but also keeps budgets dancing happily is.. drumroll please.. the “synthesization of dialogue.”

    As an example, enter the whimsical universe of Animal Crossing: New Horizons – a game so enchanting it makes you grab your bags and set off to an enchanting uninhabited island to build out a village for yourself and your anthropomorphic friends. Just imagine: the in-game time and seasons sync with the real world, creating a fully immersive experience. It’s like a virtual vacation where events, activities and even the animal villagers’ behaviour change based on the time of day and current season. How insanely cool is that?

    The heart of this lovely video game? Animalese; the language spoken by these adorable friends found in the Animal Crossing series, where each letter spoken is matched and synthesized with the basic sound of the letter in the language you chose to play the game in.

    Sure, it might lead to a few mispronunciations, but that’s part of the irresistible charm!

    Each character has its own distinctive pitch, and when text scrolls swiftly, the rate speeds up, adding an extra layer of delightful madness. Happy villagers speak in higher pitches, spreading joy, while the moody and tough characters speak loooow, spreading a more serious and less enthusiastic vibe. It’s like a symphony of emotions, while retaining immersion of what is an absolutely adorable atmosphere.

    Now, how did we go about creating a type of Animalese of our very own? We whipped up a video showcasing just this. By first recording each letter in the alphabet, pairing vowels with a consonant and consonants with a vowel, then merging the results to create a dialogue sounding remarkably similar to that of Animal Crossing.

    Tip: If you want to give it a shot yourself speed up the initial development process by downloading using our basic phonetic alphabet sound pack.

    So, dear developers, while we haven’t discussed everything in this article and video, we hope that this has given you a taste for what is possible. We highly recommend giving Animal Crossing: New Horizons a whirl for a fresh source of inspiration. A heartfelt “thank you” to Nintendo for gifting us this lovely gem of a game.

    And who knows, maybe this topic deserves a follow up in the future. There are endless possibilities with this way of having your video game characters speak irresistibly cutely. Feel free to let us know…

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