Now that all the dialogue for the various characters is in the game, I have been looking into getting voice-over clips created for each one. The obvious way to do this would be to get voice actors to record all the dialogue but at this stage (pre-beta) I am wary of spending the rather slim budget on material that may be discarded after review. This however gives me an opportunity to investigate other ways of creating character voice-overs.
I have been increasingly impressed in the last few years how much more natural sounding text-to-speech voices have become and there are even more advances in the technology when applying A.I. learned patterns to voice creation. I have had a look at a few online systems to create the character’s voices including murf.ai , voiceovermaker.io and narakeet.com . Each have their pros and cons but all create very believable voices and Narakeet has some very good accents which I wanted to incorporate to show how many people travelled in Roman times and didn’t all come from the local area.
In this release am not attempting to include any lip syncing but I have put together a few clips of the results from these text-to-speech services linked above. I will leave these voices in for the beta and get feedback about their suitability for the target audience (the students). The voices are getting so good now that I am seriously considering using them for the final game as they will be so much more flexible than recording live actors but see what you think in the video below.