GVAC, a new revolution for voices in games

If you haven’t been to Audio Atrocities, (http://www.audioatrocities.com/) you should hit it. The site exploits the now infamous usage of horrid voice acting in games. This phenomenon is still with us and is one of the greatest areas for improvement in our great industry.

To answer this need, the Game Audio Network Guild (G.A.N.G.) (www.audiogang.org) has formed the GANG Voice Acting Coalition, aka GVAC. Launched at this year’s GDC, this branch of G.A.N.G. was formed to address the needs of dialog professionals in interactive entertainment – and is here to assist in developing policy, highlight important issues, create communication channels, and evangelize the unique needs and issues surrounding the professional dialog production pipeline.

The GVAC steering committee is comprised of experienced professionals from many different disciplines of game audio, from acting to integration to casting to direction.

Just what are the issues?

GVAC is in talks with union representatives from both the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and the American Federation of Film and Television Artists (AFTRA) concerning contract negotiations and the many issues and questions surrounding union involvement in game projects.

GVAC seeks to educate the industry about current techniques such as ensemble recording and mocap + dialogue capture and new ADR techniques to deliver more compelling use of voice. Recent developments in such games as Mass Effect, Uncharted 2 and the upcoming Alpha Protocol demonstrate the need of a robust and effective process both for workflow and technology to allow for the greatest expression and dramatic impact from a game’s characters.

Is text to speech a viable technology? Is it even conceivable to synthesize voice in the near future?
These and more are being tackled by GVAC. Want to get involved? You don’t have to be a voice actor. Producers, designers, and directors alike are all affected by the issues surrounding voice in games. Join G.A.N.G. and be a part of this new initiative.