Characters and you
6 Oct 2023 · Viktor Tohver Stridh
Your game wouldn’t be the same without your Characters and that goes for Speechless too. Being the cornerstone of your project they’re key from the very beginning to the end, sharing your journey from the import of the script, prototyping with AI and hiring a voice actor.
Characters are created in one of two ways, both up to your preference. The first and most common is that they’re created during the script import process. During the import, you’ll be prompted to create Characters corresponding to the information entered into the ‘character’ column. Upon creation they’ll populate your character tab. The other way is to manually create a Character through the ‘Create character’-button located in the Characters section.
Characters are one of the richest containers we use in Speechless and an empty Character page might feel like a daunting task to take on, so let’s break it down.
- Name - Pretty intuitively, this is the name of the character. It’ll be used when sorting by character in the Lines view and is all around the Character’s unique denominator.
- Gender, Age, Accent - In addition to being core to the character itself, this is primarily useful information to bring with you in the casting process.
- Archetype, Style, Backstory, Personality - Fields mainly used for giving direction to a voice actor later on. Also used for the AI-generative lines which we’ll get into later.
- AI Voice - Whenever prompted to generate an AI voiceline for this Character, this will be the default choice.
- Voice talent shortlist - Upon shortlisting a voice actor for a Character, they’ll show up here to give you an easy overview of the prospective talent you’ve got in mind.
- Audition lines - These are the lines you feel are key to the character and you want the voice actors to act out when you approach them for an audition. Our recommendation is 4 - 5 lines, showing the range of the character – different moods, different situations.
- Character sheet - This exports the information you’ve provided as a .pdf file, useful for both internal use and when communicating with a voice actor. You’re able to share it with them directly in the chat view, either upon the initiation of the contact or whenever you feel it’s the time to do so later on.
- Clone - This will clone your character. Keep in mind that the original will keep all dependencies and the clone will have none. You’ll be prompted if you’d like to duplicate the Character’s line.
- Delete - Completely removes the Character from your project. This decision is final and will delete any dependencies that the Character has such as their Lines so make sure that you’ve kept that information elsewhere if you’d like to keep it.
Giving an overview of your Characters you can easily navigate to the relevant events, scenes, lines, and AI voice associated with each Character. In addition you can view the Characters archetype, gender, age, and style. Clicking on a Character takes you to their character sheet. Clicking on their events, scenes or lines takes you to the respective place with a preloaded search for that Character. Pressing the play button in the example column reads out the Character’s audition lines with the associated AI voice actor. Additionally, there’s a search function. The text search covers name, archetype, gender, age and style. Below you’re able to find characters associated with a corresponding event, scene or session.
Exploring your project, you might have stumbled upon the innocuous little green ChatGPT button in the Line container. This button aggregates information from your Character page and what’s contained within the line and spits out suggestions for new lines! Useful for game jams, countering writer’s block or just generating some additional shouts before a recording session.
Characters are one of the cornerstones of every project. Entering all the information a character has improves the project’s readability, overview, and workflow. So don’t be afraid to show some character and give them some love!