Mages Acting Up
As most of you know, the alpha/beta test version of the game was released to eligible Kickstarter and PayPal backers in September 2016, and since then, numerous bugs of all types, varieties, and shades have been found, reported, and fixed. Beta testers/Backers have also provided some wonderful suggestions to enhance game-play, which we have happily taken on board. The result of this direct input is a much more refined product that caters to the thought process of actual thinking players. Feedback on the game has all been very positive, too, so that's something we're very happy about!
The beta testing process has actually started to slow down over the past few weeks, which means our testers have probably found most of the bugs they're going to find and that the game is finally in a stable state. We deviated from our normal production process with Mage's Initiation. In all previous games, we recorded voices and put them into the game before launching the beta testing phase. However, this time around, we opted to leave the voice casting and recording until last. The plan was to give beta testers a chance to review the dialog and let us know if anything could be reworded, made clearer, or if new lines should be added here and there to further explain and clarify certain puzzles or plot aspects. This has proven to be a winning strategy that saved us a lot of time, as it will minimize the amount of re-takes (pick-up recording sessions) we need to conduct with all our voice actors. In the past, it was always a major hassle, getting actors back after extensive parts of the script had to be changed, post-voice recording.
Speaking of which, we've recently put a lock on the text and dialog, and are now in full swing casting voice actors and splitting and lip-syncing all of their lines! The spoken script for this game is enormous, with over 5,700 lines (51,090 words) for the protagonist, D'arc, alone. There are approximately thirty-five NPCs in the game (give or take) and NPCs, on average, have between 100 and 300 lines each. So we have a colossal task ahead of us when it comes to separating, cleaning-up, and lip-syncing all of the game's speech audio. The job takes full, monotonous days of doing only that specific task - so, with that said.... better get back to it! And we'll be back with another update, most likely when the casting process is complete, so that we can introduce all of our new voice actors. Until then, keep castin'!
The Himalaya Team