[MUSAI] Case Studies of Voiceover for Game Trailers and In-Game Cinematics

2021-07-23

 

Riot Games has announced that a large-scale event, “Sentinels of Light” for about a month from July 9. Along with this, a cinematic movie named “Before Dawn” has been released, drawing keen attention.

 

▶ 2021 Sentinels of Light Cinematic (Source: League of Legends – Korea YouTube Channel)

 

An in-game cinematic can create huge emotional connections. Opening cutscenes gives a heart-beating expectation that makes you hold the pad in both hands, and ending cutscenes remind you of the memories you’ve played and let the emotions stay in the heart. Also, the cutscenes at an interval between gameplay help you refresh for a moment and increase expectations for the upcoming story. Not only those in-game cinematics, but also the trailers became essential elements for marketing lately. They are created for the marketing purposes such as boosting users’ expectation before the release of the product and advertising events as shown in the example above.

After watching such fantastic cinematics, some of you might be wondering who recorded its voice-over and how it was made. In this article, we would like to share the tips about the voice localization of the above in-game cinematics based on the experience of Musai Studio.

 

Tips for In-game Cinematics Voice-over

As in the example above, Riot Game’s <League of Legends> franchise continues to release cinematics entertaining LOL users. We Musai Studio has been working on voice-over for these videos included the cinematic ‘Kin of the Stained Blade, Spirit Blossom 2020 Cinematic’ released last year.

 

▶ Kin of the Stained Blade, Spirit Blossom 2020 Cinematic (Source: League of Legends – Korea YouTube Channel)

 

Now, let’s take a look at how to record the voice-over for game cinematics. There are 3 points based on each section of the production like the following.

  • Artistic direction

From the early stage of the project, artistic director should analyze overall mood of the video and especially, make sure to have a clear understanding how the BGM and Effect set the mood in the video. In the recording session after analysis, it is most important to keep the mood in mind and balance the emotions flowing the whole video going well with BGM and Effect. A perfect understanding of games and characters is fundamental. If it is a video for marketing which has a vast storyline like <League of Legends>, a complete understanding of the characters in the game is necessary so that it’s available to apply the personality of each character to the cinematic.

  • Lip-sync

It is required to sync the lip movement of characters in the video for sure. Luckily, If the video is available during the recording session, that’s perfect. However, if the video is not ready for use, make sure to check lip-sync once the localized video is available.

  • Script Adaptation

Each script line, even for a short one, goes through numerous modifications during the script adaptation process for the immersive play. Besides, script adaptation is needed to check the length of lines for lip-sync.

 

You might think that it is similar to the animation voiceover work. Yes, it is similar, but the working environment is different. Most of the animation voice-over work is carried out based on the final version of the video that can identify the entire contents and stories. Even if it’s not the final version, provided recordable videos.

However, as you expected, it’s a rare case to have available videos regardless of the status of videos in the case of games. It is happened by many reasons such as delay of game development schedule, security, etc. Moreover, the cinematic video production is often outsourced, so the schedule could be delayed and changed a lot. It caused a lot of re-take recording after checking the localized videos.

 

Also, there are several kinds of in-game cinematics depending on the game genre. For example, when working on cinematics of the games which focus on live-action like <Call of Duty> franchise, the mood of game trailers and in-game cinematics also should maintain very realistic, avoiding animation style.

[Image 1] Call of Duty cinematics with Korean voice-over (Source: Call of Duty Official YouTube Channel)

 

Much more effort and skills are required for voiceover works for game cinematics. However, it definitely boosts the users’ interest in the game before launching the title, also makes it more immersive. We, Musai Studio fully understand the importance of cinematics on gaming and keep trying to make it better!

 

 

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