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Petike the Taffer

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Everything posted by Petike the Taffer

  1. I'll be looking at your and my own notes, guys, and I'll try to work on this in the foreseeable months, when I'll have time. June and July is still busy for me in terms of my professional work, but after mid-July, I think I'll have more free time. Wish me luck.
  2. With my workload finally decreasing and having to stay at home far longer than I planned for this spring, I think I'll try to find more time for TDM as well. For the time being, I want to work on those audio projects.

    1. Anderson


      Stay safe!

    2. Petike the Taffer

      Petike the Taffer

      I've been safe and stayed safe. :) Enjoying the summer and working on some TDM stuff occassionally. I'll become more livelier here on the forums in the autumn/fall. :)

    3. Anderson


      Thank you and good luck!

  3. Okay, now I've noticed which files you mean. As soon as I'm in contact with ShadowCreepr again and she'll have enough free time to do more recordings, I'll ask her to try and make a new version of these. I'd really like to thank you for your help and advice so far. I really appreciate it. If everything goes well, maybe this project can get finished this spring, or at the latest, summer. I've been busy lately, but I'll try to pick up the pace.
  4. I am in a lowland region where milder winters often mean less or no snow. Nevertheless, even in this year's milder than usual winter, my location had a few snowy days and weeks. Last time this Tuesday. I might share a few photos later.
  5. As the holiday season is concluding, I will be getting back in the saddle with regards to this project. I'd like to thank Dragofer and all the others for their suggestions so far. Keep at it ! We still need to trim them down eventually, so that we have plenty of varied lines, but not too much, and then I'll move on to try some recording. On a sidenote, I am already starting work on another vocal set, this time for a merchant type character. Wanted to already back in December, but I was just too busy with life and other stuff.
  6. Happy new year to all ! All the best, and let's make it a good and fruitful year ! To kick off, I've decided to start a discussion based on the question in the title. Aside from the Thief trilogy (and TDM as its spiritual freeware cousin), what are some steampunk or steampunk-esque games that caught your interest ? Both in the past and more recently. Some that I've personally played and/or been impressed by over the years: Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura - this is a real classic for a number of reasons. If you can get over the somewhat lackluster combat, it has excellent, memorable writing and an oddly great sense of exploration. Of the games from the isometric, mouse-click control era of CRPGs, this is my favourite. I was fascinated by it already back when I saw the earliest reviews almost two decades ago, and after owning it for years and slowly playing through it, I still keep finding interesting things. The isometric era Fallout games were fine, but if I'm to choose whether they or this cousin of their's grabbed my heart more, the vote definitely goes to Arcanum. Even though it's an old game at this point, much of the voice acting, the atmospheric soundtrack, and the interesting quests (I even helped with resolving a feud between old friends, without fighting or bribes !) still bring my heart joy whenever I play it. Iron Grip series - a surprising favourite of mine. Unfortunately, by yet another already disbanded dev team. Though I think said devs tried doing too many things at once in their later years, including in the third game of this series, the first two games were ace. I also loved the setting they created for the series, one of its strongest suits, besides the gameplay ideas in the first two games. (Technically, the first is a total conversion rather than standalone, but it has the feel of an autonomous game.) The series' lore is still leaving a lasting impression on me, even many years since the original releases and the series going dormant. I don't think I've ever come across another game, before or since, that tried to focus on early 20th century war drama themes (in a context akin to the world wars, Russian civil war, warlord era China, etc.), while also being set in an entirely fictional world, rather than a thinly-veiled or alternate version of real history. There's also a strange whiff of Thief in two aspects of these games: They had a very timeless approach to cultural esthetics, and they had the definite backdrop of an epic, but weren't trying to tell an epic (focusing instead on very ordinary "heroes"). For some reason, that's the sort of approach I like seeing in fantasy steampunk media. (On a final sidenote, I had the pleasure to hear a live orchestral version of Christian Pacaud's mostly electronic OST for the first game. Even saved the video of the performance. As much as I liked the music in the two games, I was stumped at how an orchestral rendition improved things. Pity the devs never used that. It sounded amazing. Have a listen. That's the sort of slightly operatic bombat I expect from a serious war-themed steampunk/dieselpunk game.) Air Power: Battle in the Skies - Dynamix's Red Baron meets FASA's Crimson Skies, but somewhere literally midway between the creation of those two games. Created in the mid-1990s by Rowan Software, who previously worked on several historical flight sims, this was clearly a little passion project of their's and also a rather cheeky departure into a fictional industrial era world, though much like IG, a grounded and non-magical one. The plot is clearly inspired by early WWI dynastic shenanigans, but the airship and aircraft technology is far more 1920s and early-to-mid 1930s, to the devs' creative credit. While AP:BitS is a fairly charming game on the outside in terms of presentation and esthetic approach, and the flight sim gameplay wasn't bad, I feel it was a little too before its time. The tech available then just didn't do it justice, and British developers of the era being far smaller and not having much of a budget, it's no surprise this never really took off (pun intended). Still, along with the really cool PC adaptation of Crimson Skies, some five years later, this was one of those works that cemented my childhood love for the idea of being a sky pirate. Dishonored series - not that surprising, given how its DNA is also tied to Thief for inspiration, even though it's a lot more actiony in terms of gameplay. Though they went for a fairly obvious 18th/19th century aesthetic for this one (and in the first game, Corvo is basically a steampunk Edmond Dantes), I still liked most of their spins on the technology, culture and society in the installments. The whale-oil as a power source idea (even for guns !) might seem a bit silly at face value, but based on their inspiration in whale oil light sources of real history, it at least has some real tech grounding. I can appreciate that in any fantasy setting, even one as weird as this one. (I think the familiar-but-weird tone is what it shares with Thief very well).
  7. @chakkman @Dragofer Guys, please leave me some time to breathe. I want to enjoy my holidays, and I unfortunately still have a lot of stuff to deal with until the 24th. I even wanted to work on another experimental vocal script and get it posted here in another thread, but it's been delayed. Now, as for the Pagans, while I'm open to other voice actors, I volunteered to do the male AIs myself. I don't have to fake a foreign English accent. I don't have a very thick accent, but it is clearly a non-native speaker accent. This would be particularly ideal for the tribesman subset of the vocal script. If I manage to do these recordings, it will be really weird hearing my own voice in TDM, but c'est la vie.
  8. Guys, guys, I am sorely disappointed by the lack of "we's, be's, we's, woodsie's" style speech for the TDM pagans ! For shame ! More seriously, I'll read your posts later this evening. My feedback is coming.
  9. That's easy. The spoiler button is to the right of the emoticon/smiley button. Add a spoiler, then make a few lines of space behind the spoiler's end tag, then click the button again and insert another spoiler.
  10. Fair enough, I thought so as well. It would be confusing. I'll try to make their English sound more contemporary in terms of adress, but still try to keep a certain folk-style tinge to it, where possible. That's cool ! I will still add you lines to my overview here on the forum, just for the sake of completeness. I do agree we could work on further additions in that Google Doc, and once we're satisfied, finalise it as a vocal script ready for use. However, bear in mind: We don't need a vast array of phrases for each situation. The more rarer situations need, at most, two unique responses/lines, given what the vocals scripts of the other established AIs already contain. We don't need ten different lines for relighting a fire, when one or two will do just fine. The bulk of unique responses should focus on stealth situations and the like. I would also like to thank you for all the help and feedback so far. You've provided some great quality contributions. One more thing: If any of you guys get the feeling I am not responding immediately or every single day, it's because I'm still a bit busy before the holidays. Not just home stuff, but also some personal things, meeting with friends I see rarely, or writing to them... Trying to find some time for myself... That sort of thing. I am here and I will try to respond in time and regularly, but sometimes I'm either a little busy or tired. But I'll have more full time for TDM soon enough.
  11. Right, so here are a few samples of the new .wav recordings SC has sent me. She's managed to get rid of background noise, I listened closely and they all sounded crisp. The early test recordings from November have been disposed of, we're not going back to those. I have several more of these (two or three times as many, in fact), but I've only chosen a few. As we have tight upload limits for attachments here, and I can only fit a single .wav file into each post, I don't want to do twenty posts in a row. http://www.mediafire.com/file/hpzkvlht7dqn2oc/Preliminary_female_player_vocals.zip/file https://www.dropbox.com/s/b58hep54e198unz/Preliminary female player vocals.zip?dl=0 So I'm providing a link to a .zip with the files, as available above. If there are download issues, use the second link, please.
  12. Thank you ! Truth be told, the stuff I have listed in my opening post still needs some editing (e.g. the number of times some lines should be replicated, with different emphasis or diction). I'd also like to thank you for your own detailed suggestions ! I'll definitely go through these, consider them and try to expand my own post with the ones I feel fit best. You have a lot of real keepers in your suggestions, so I'm expecting I'll include a lot of them. Obviously, as this is a work in progress vocal set, we can still keep expanding it and trimming it down, until it starts feeling really right. Yes, as a I also describe to Spingheel below, and in my opening post, I am intentionally going for a "more general" feel for the Pagans, while also keeping in mind they will have some variations. Genuine old-school tribesmen will use some different turns of phrase than village or urban Pagans who worship in secret. (Looking at real world history, I think the latter, "secret" group wouldn't be that numerous either way, as most people were Christianised throughout Europe for most of the Middle Ages, after 1000. The only exception to this was your usual folkloric syncretism, where some pre-Christian folk rituals were still carried out annually purely out of tradition or ongoing superstition, even though the populace was firmly monotheistic and Christian. That's basically the situation we still have today, even in countries where these sorts of folkloric rituals haven't been that strong or visible for a long time. Though you also did have some "secret pagans" in the medieval and early modern world - the sorts that still engaged in (sometimes gruesome) folk magic - they weren't that common. Or they were otherwise Christian (at least nominally), but weren't above doing pagan rituals, if they were superstitious enough to think these would help. Corrollary to the more gruesome uses of folk magic rituals: I've read archaeology studies about cases of ritual murders happening as late as the 16th century, even in very civilised parts of Europe, among decidedly non-tribal people. As usual with faith, things can get complicated, depending on an individual's beliefs, worldviews and pragmatism. E.g. if someone who sees themselves as a monotheist isn't above occassionally engaging in superstitions that might harm or even kill other people, purely for the sake of some "good luck" ritual, they'll probably do it. Even if it is hypocritical. I think this would be nicely reflective of the fact that neither the Builder faith nor any "old gods" faiths in TDM's world are without flawed human behaviour. This would actually mirror the inspiration we take from Thief well: Neither the Hammerites or the Pagans of that series were shown purely as good guys or bad guys, they were simply people, flawed and fallible people. Equally noble-minded and craven/corrupt, depending on the situation. Sometimes, the same individuals did good and bad things, punctuating that whole moral greyness. Some characters of those factions were pleasant, kind, wise, others were thoroughly cruel and evil bastards. And with the stuff I mention above, I think TDM could be really good if it had antagonistic characters that sort of straddle the line between the old polytheistic faith and new monotheistic faith, being never entirely faithful to either, and causing tension and conflict as a result. Thank you kindly. This is exactly what I was getting at. Have a single vocal set, but like the others, allow for some (for lack of a better term) "sub-faction" variations. I'd also like to add I need to come up with a consistent rendering of using thou/thy/thee and you/your in the lines I wrote. Either the Pagan guy goes for the more archaic or folksy adress, or the more neutral one. I think he could use the more archaic stuff while greeting Builders (while keeping his distance) or certain other social groups, but that it shouldn't otherwise be used much, to avoid feeling forced.
  13. Yes, it is. The US and Canadian vocabulary also includes some traditional English and overall British terms that have become antiquated in the UK or shifted meaning since (the word "fall", for autumn, is a famous example of a now-antiquated-in-the-UK term). The high amount of "surname surname" style names in the US and Canada, to this day (whereas very rare now in the UK), is a consequence of a 16th-18th century fad (mainly among the English) to give sons personal names based on the maiden surnames of their mothers (in order to "preserve them", symbolically, even after marriage). Hence, even nowadays, you can have guys named Harrison Ford, and so on. That old tradition simply stuck for longer in North America, among some other antiquated-in-Europe elements of English. Also, the North American accents are not entirely identical to early modern English. They are just far closer-sounding, even today, than the phonetics of more standard forms of British English. The regional dialects of British English often still have a lot of the traditional pronunciation and accent elements that were taken to the New World centuries ago and evolved separately. I've heard a lot of the New Englander accents evolved from southern English local accents, heard among the early colonists, and were also influenced by later Scottish English, to a degree. The Texan accent, in turn, was apparently at least somewhat influenced by the Somerset regional accent from the southwest, among others.
  14. Loads of the vocal sets already have male voices with a North American accent. Especially the guards, if you listen to them. The New World has also been discovered in the TDM world, but that's besides the point. It's still a fantasy setting, so some anachronisms are tolerable. They have magic and an early industrial revolution, which is already ahistorical. (The North American accent thing for some characters is a homage to Thief.) I'd prefer a British accent for the Schemer. The British accent itself is unlike what an early modern English accent would sound like. Even Elizabethan era commoner English, like the sort Shakespeare used to a great extent, sounds quite unlike a modern British accent. A lot of the puns don't work in a modern British accent, due to different pronunciation ! Go back two hundred years earlier and you'll get lost even in Chaucer's relatively understandable Middle English.
  15. So, already a few weeks ago, I started writing a Pagan vocal script concept. I took the master template for new VS-s, wrote down ideas already brainstormed on the side, then read closely through the VS to see where some would fit, and what other lines I could insert and expand upon. I try to keep the lines short and snappy, but interesting enough. Before I even started, I read all the past discussions on this topic, made notes of other peoples' existing suggestions. Just to have a point of comparison, both for what I might try for my script, and for what I wouldn't (because it would not fit tonally). Much has been discussed on how to avoid making the Pagan characters sound like caricatures, either in speech style, or in overdone references to nature/deities/etc. They're not meant to be "New Age tree-hugger hippies", they're meant to be realistic-sounding individuals. As The Dark Mod's lore includes nuances such as Pagans being not only some yet-untamed "barbarian" tribesmen outside of the Empire, but also some hidden Pagans among the commoners in cities/towns and villages/rural hamlets, I had to account for that while putting together the script. You'll see more of my rationale once I expand this post in the near future, when I have the concept script fully ready. For the time being, let's just say I tried to avoid too many overt references to nature and pre-Builder folk religion. Ergo, as it wouldn't make sense for an urban Pagan from the City's narrow alleys and slums to talk about, e.g. mighty stags on a forest meadow (or something like that), I try to make any and all nature references more down-to-earth and subtle. Example, AI alerted and searching for a hiding tresspasser: "Where have you scurried to, little mouse ? Where, oh where, have you scurried to ?" No diminutives, no plant and magic references in every second word, but you still have this vague indication the guy in question might be more of a nature-worshipper in private than a Builder monotheist. (Not that Builder-faithful wouldn't have an appreciation for nature, it's just that the views of it would differ somewhat, on a psychological/cultural level.) There are some lines about spirits or natural forces and so on too, but most of the other lines are such that they could work for any commoner in a rural or urban setting. ---- This entire vocal script concept is readable below. For the sake of quicker readability, I have divided the entire overview with the use of spoilers, based on the sections of the vocal script. ---- BASIC INFORMATION ON THE VOCAL SCRIPT ("Pagan male / Tribesman") AI STATES: Relaxed AI STATES: Alert These barks are meant to tell the player that the AI has seen or heard something. AI STATES: Searching COMBAT AND PURSUIT FINDING EVIDENCE You have found or observed something that looks out of place. You aren't seeing or hearing the intruder directly, but something that might be a sign that one was here earlier. Greetings Since greetings can be made to friends or strangers, delivery should be fairly neutral. Also, there's no way to know whether the AI have seen each other once or twenty times before greeting each other, so typical "hello" greetings should be limited in favour of casual comments or questions that can be answered 'yes'. Greetings are not exchanged between sitting characters, so assume that the greeting is a quick one as AI pass each other. Not every greeting is needed for every vocal character. The thug, for example, has special greetings for female characters because he's a sexist pig, but not every character needs those. ---- Feedback ? I'd like to ask you to provide your own constructive criticism now. Feel free to provide feedback on the lines, try to give me constructive criticism on what could be improved, added, dropped, changed. I'm all ears. Sink your nitpicky teeth into this vocal script proposal. Final note Besides this particular VS, I also have one/two more in development, and I plan to start work on them soon.
  16. I see. And for a second there, I thought that was footage of an HD remaster of Hitman 2: Silent Assasin. ? Forgot they're making a follow-up to the episodically released Hitman from a while back.
  17. I have an utterly unapologetic love for The Big O. Without a doubt my favourite mecha anime. It's got style, got weirdness, a lot of humour (dry or overt) and I just find it a really amusing, surreal slice of entertainment. Yes, he's one quarter Phil Marlowe, one quarter young inspector Morse, one quarter discount James Bond, one quarter Bruce Wayne. Yes, his companion sleuth is basically a robot Batgirl. He even has a faithful butler and an older pal on the force. And once all else fails and the city needs defending, he blows sh*t up in a towering mecha of mysterious origins. Some of the music is jazz, some inspired by Queen. This should not work at all. And it does, at least for me. I love it. ? The series is completely nuts at times, but I love it exactly for that reason. It only takes itself as seriously as it needs to, and the homages to older mecha combat anime are very blatant, but actually fit the retro-esthetics of the series world. They even have a good Christmas-themed episode, which wasn't as snide a take as I expected. Given the season, it's interesting to see an anime that actually adds some heartwarming stuff via the guest characters of that episode. About the only thing I don't like about the series is the blonde femme fatale thief/spy. She's booooring. Unforgivable in a series with an android lady that never smiles, but is still a lot more amusing and lovable.
  18. I was too poor to have a PS1 back in the day. ?? Though I did admire its library of games. ? I had to be a PC kid all the way, and I didn't even have my own PC until the early 2000s. I found watching these... entertaining. I only knew about the third one. Truth be told, Rogue Ops made me think of "okay mechanics, meh presentation and concept" (the protag especially comes across as grating, still riding that mid-90s triggered "babe in a tight suit" trend started by the oldest Tomb Raider games). The second one, Stolen, felt more interesting to me, but they really went all-out with the presentation and exposition. While it's not bad, I think they might have overegged it a bit. Not just the protag cat-burglar, but the sinister mayoral candidate. The brief TV interview with the guy had me in stitches. I kind of agreed with the fence-guy as he turned off the TV, not thinking much about the guy. At least this second game is a bit more self-aware and tongue-in-cheek. Still obviously cheesy, but a better kind of cheesy. On a mechanical note, Stolen has the same style of lockpicking as Death to Spies (just computerised in presentation) and I like their idea of you needing to put trackers on guards first, so they could appear on your minimap. A bit of extra work for a bit of extra challenge. The only reason I never bought either of the DtS games is because I heard they use StarForce, and that isn't good for me' drives. ? Having played their demos many times, though I am not into WWII games (outside of flight sims), I found the DtS games very enjoyable. Especially the variety and the need for a lot of precision. I still adore how one mission has me started with sniper or saboteur kit, then I gradually put it away, get a disguise, hijack a truck, enter an enemy base, try to explore, lockpick and infiltrate, while avoiding suspicion. While a Hitman clone at heart, that series really gave me the feeling of playing an old-school, pre-electronics spy, and even gave me the urge to write down a concept for a WWI era stealth game (I prefer that era of modern espionage). The enemy soldier voiceovers are a bit cheesy (and only sound native-speaker-y to my ears in the second one), but I took that minor bit of campiness as part of the charm. Commandos might be the best WWII stealther about a team, Death to Spies might be the best WWII stealther about an individual spy.
  19. To nitpick on the former: Why do you feel the Schemer accent shouldn't be North American-sounding or British-sounding ? I find that confusing. I think it would actually make a lot of sense for it to be done by a native speaker. The premise of this vocal script concept is that it's one of several personalities we already have in the core game. Among the TDM men AI, we have the "simpleton", "pro", "cynic", etc., and those are all archetypes, rather than a guard voice, commoner voice, etc. Springheel himself likes to stress we should always think of these scripts more generally, as human personality types, rather than voice of characters X or Y. For that reason alone, and because "Schemer" is not too specific a personality, I think a more anglophone accent, along with a very specific tone of voice / style of speaking, could fit this guy. It has to be distinct and memorable on its own, but not for the sake of cheesiness or too foreign-sounding accents. To nitpick on the latter, what even is a "Jewish accent" ? Yiddish ? Modern Hebrew ? Whatever accent historical forms of Hebrew had ? Honestly, aside from maybe local accent stereotypes, I have never really heard anyone (at least here in Europe) talk about a "typical Jewish accent". There's just nothing "internationally recognised" as any sort of typical Jewish accent, as far as I know. The whole "Jewish people as greedy/scheming" stereotype, aside from being completely unfair and stupid, is a baseless thing anyway, as the TDM setting probably has no analogue whatsoever of Judaism, Jewish culture, or a social class in the vein of people of Jewish faith or descent in medieval Europe. As I mentioned yesterday, I am game for writing a vocal script for this sort of personality. Not necessarily for voice acting it, all the more that I think a North American accent would actually be preferable to such a more generic character.
  20. Do you mean me ? Not yet, I'm afraid. However, for posteriority, I've copied Melan's and others' musings on this idea into some notes I keep for TDM voicework. Just to be sure I have some ideas if I ever get to writing a script for the Schemer concept. Currently, I'm trying to complete a vocal set for a male Pagan and for a foreign merchant type character (from the outskirts of the Empire). But I'm definitely thinking about looking into the Schemer concept as well, at least in terms of script.
  21. Welcome, SC. ? Hope you'll have a good time here. Thank you for all the contributions and willingness to help out.

  22. A very good narrative goal ! I have something similar planned for the main characters in my Partners in Crime series. On the other hand, I don't want to have too many in-game voiceovers or pre-scripted conversations in those missions, and I want to keep most of the character development to readables and what the situation is at the outset of each mission. At least in my case, I feel less is more, and being very precise in how many player-based VOs and conversations between characters I use in a single mission could yield better results to what I have in plan. Obviously, everyone has to approach their own works from their own individual angle. That's for the best.
  23. Not one for necros, but if anyone would want to discuss narrative elements for their FMs, I feel this is by far the best thread on the subject. Yes, it is old, but as the person who started it in the first place, I say to all FM authors, old and new: Feel free to jump in here and discuss things.
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