These four weeks will be bundled into a single blog post to avoid repetition. The first week (7) was Progression Week, while the other three were in college. This is also a shorter blog post than usual, as now was the time to really focus on getting our project together. As a final note, our deadline has been extended by two weeks to give us more time. However, we cannot have any more time, as it would then be extending into our Final Major Project.
All of the pieces have been written and successfully edited. It proved to be useful, as I was able to keep all pieces within 500 words. If not that, then 50 words over but no more. A lesser amount is fine, and can be more easily confined to one page, but too many words may have an unfortunate effect on the booklet.
I’m most happy with the fluidity of the dialogue, as I felt I did a good job in that department. I have one game in particular to thank for that (which will be more heavily referenced in my Final Major Project), Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc, for their fast-paced dialogue only sections – Class Trials.
(Warning for coarse language.)
Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc (Spike, 2010)
(Note: This was copied from a public forum Let’s Play of the game. As such, I kept the icons to distinguish between different speakers. I felt it’d be easier than using their names, just for this post.)
As we can see, there is no narrative to provide description for actions. While it is a visual-orientated game, the fluidity of the dialogue can’t be denied. This is a room where at least fifteen people could be all talking at once, thus the speaking character changes often. They all have a distinctive voice, which allows the tone to be set easily.
This sense of flow and style was the major inspiration behind my story’s dialogue, giving each character a recognizable tone. Amelia was snarky and sarcastic, using her common sense to argue against her two co-workers. Ryuu was casual and playful no matter the situation. Akemi was straight to the point and ruthlessly cold, even when handling sensitive topics.
Visually, I didn’t have…a whole lot of trouble. I contacted several artists I know to get help for my work, as I wanted it as perfect as possible. Some have already given me their pieces, as seen below.
However, some have yet to come back to me. Despite our constant communication, there have been numerous issues on their end due to real life and their own school work. I am prepared to come up with alternate solutions, but I really don’t want to if I can help it.
For visual inspiration, I didn’t look at one particular source. Instead, I looked on the social media website Tumblr. As I’m familiar with the site (like the back of my hand), I know for sure that there are many ‘pixel aesthetic’ posts – pieces of art done in a pixelized style with various pleasing colours such as pastel pink, dark purple, blue, etc. I pulled a few to show off, here.
By looking up ‘pixel cityscape’ and narrowing it down to purple pictures, I found a good retro style that fit with the tone of the writing – a seedy, old-fashioned yet still futuristic world.
During the beginning of week 7, I contacted the person I could use for Amelia’s voice. As I was confident in doing Ryuu’s voice myself, I only had to find Akemi’s voice. That occurred on week 10. This makes me worry, as I need to have audio done for each chapter! There isn’t much to say here, other than I have a few chapters worth of audio from Amelia’s actor.
The process was extensive in the first place, however. Not on their part, but on mine. To begin with, I made a document housing character profiles including brief summaries of who they were and their style of speech. This conveyed a clear message of who that person was, allowing me to pick my voice actor carefully and know exactly what I wanted. This also told the actor about the character, so they knew what general voice to put on.
Here, we can see the basic information of Amelia Valentine. Name, gender, age, pitch, if she’s formal or not. Her voice description was given its own paragraph, and I included a small joke here that will be elaborated on later. The summary gave an overview of Amelia herself, and the sample lines were hand-picked to best display her character. They also allowed the actor to send me a small audition file, so I could hear them testing out the character’s voice and get my approval.
Additionally, I went through each piece and created a separate Google Document that housed a specific character’s lines for that story. For example, they were titled…
#0 – Direction (Ryuu)
#0 – Direction (Akemi)
#0 – Direction (Amelia)
This is a screenshot of one document, Amelia’s.
There are several parts to note. Each document had the same set of guidelines, including name pronounciation, how the document is laid out and what to do for recording. Having each character’s line recorded separately would make things incredibly easy later down the road, and I needed to have their names clear. That way, I could organize the files and know what to use for what time. Compressing it into a .zip file would make transfer easy, and wouldn’t distort the file’s quality.
The joke included above, of ‘Veronica Sawyer’ being crossed out on Amelia’s voice description, is a reference to Heathers. More specifically, Heathers: The Musical. Having listened to several songs of the musical before, I particularly liked the main character – Veronica Sawyer- and her voice. It was snarky, American and contained the right amount of ‘bitter common sense’ that felt fitting to me. She was the main inspiration behind Amelia’s voice and, by extension, part of her character.
Veronica’s voice can best be heard in the opening song ‘Beautiful’, as it is sung entirely by her. Link here.