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An enchanting Adventure/RPG set in a magical realm. Master spells, battle foes, and quest forth in this full-length game.
3,157 backers pledged $125,174 to help bring this project to life.

Voices for the Voiceless

Posted by Himalaya Studios, Inc. (Creator)
Greetings backers!

First of all, sorry for not posting a progress update sooner. We know you’re all eager to hear where development is currently at, regarding the game’s status. 2017 has largely been dedicated to a single, monotonous, time-consuming, and very repetitive task, which doesn’t make for very exciting updates, other than to say, “we’re still working on it”. At this juncture, we’re still not exactly where we’d expected to be as 2017’s draws nearer to an end -- but we’re pretty close! So, it’s time for another update. 

What’s the Skinny?

 We’ve been fully-invested in the voice casting and recording process for Mage’s Initiation since February 2017, which has turned out to be a colossal task. It has honestly been much more time-consuming, and a far larger project than originally expected. We’ve also had to start funding the voice acting from personal money outside of the Kickstarter project, and there have been some delays between recording sessions, as sufficient funds had to be accrued to hire each actor. Voice acting is something we didn’t fully account for during our original Kickstarter campaign, but we didn’t want to run a second one for the same project. For these reasons, voice-work and lip-syncing has been a constant, but rather frustratingly slow-moving process. Mages is also the game with the largest amount of spoken/recorded and lip-synced dialogue of any project we’ve ever developed. So, there's that factor, too!

The script has a word-count of just under 235,000, equating to approximately 520 pages. There are 37 speaking characters in the game, including the playable protagonist, D’arc. As of right now, we have 6 characters left to record and lip-sync lines for. Two of those are major NPCs who have just recently been cast and the actors are currently preparing to record their lines. Three are minor NPC characters who have only a handful of lines and are yet to be cast. And last of all is D'arc, with over 5,700 lines alone, whose recordings will be left until the very end. 

After the character voices are all recorded and lip-synced, we’ll need to conduct another few rounds of beta testing, just to make sure that everything’s in working order, and so that fresher eyes can catch anything peculiar we may have missed. Then we should be off to the races and ready to start preparing for release after that. Our current projection for a release time-frame is late Q1 to early Q2 in 2018. 

Survey Time

If you’re at an applicable tier, please be on the lookout for the Kickstarter surveys that we’ll be sending out shortly pertaining to your project rewards. We’re not ready to send any swag out just yet, but we just wanted to get the ball rolling well in advance, so that backers will have adequate time to complete their surveys and provide their details. This will allow us to hit the ground running when the time arrives. 

We often receive private messages and e-mails from Kickstarter backers notifying us that they’ve moved. The good news is that Kickstarter now permits backers to change their shipping address - even after submitting the survey. Changes can be made all the way up until we notify backers that we’re ready to send items out. So, if you need to change your address at a later date, there’s no need to contact us directly. Simply make the change via the Kickstarter survey and it will be updated. (PayPal backers who change their shipping address after submitting the form will still need to notify us via email, however, as we're using a Google Form for that).

Back to work

We aim to have another update (as originally planned) once all the voices have been recorded, with some information about the cast of characters. Until then, we’ll keep plugging away at the last of the bunch.

Thank you to everyone for your continued patience as we ride this project out to the end.

Keep an eye out for the shipping survey in your inboxes shortly.


The Himalaya Team

Martin Mouritzen, xlynx, and 31 more people like this update.


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    1. Peder Johnsen on

      I can't remember if I filled in the survey or not, and can't seem to find it in my inbox, if it arrived in spam it's probably long gone :(

    2. Joe Rundin on

      Anyword on if surveys are out yet?

    3. Jeremie Lariviere

      thanks for the update

    4. Missing avatar

      Irenaeus on

      I remember when 2014 felt so far away in the future.

    5. Himalaya Studios, Inc. Creator on

      @Tomimt: Yeah, I had considered taking that approach, but ultimately decided that it would be like releasing an unfinished project. Motivation-wise, it'd also be more difficult to push out a voice pack as a later add-on, after the game's already been released. I'd rather just get it over and one with in one fell swoop - without having multiple balls up in the air simultaneously, as we still have the mobile ports to focus on after this.

      @Joe Rundin: We're going to have to contact Swag Everest winners individually, as several of them didn't back the project at high enough tiers to be sent a shipping survey.

      @NotDomo: The D'arc figures all the same design. Just the colour of his clothes differs between the classes. Some comparison images are here:

    6. Chris Skuller

      Thanks for the update, but in the future, it would be preferable to post anything rather than nothing. Just a post that says "Yep, still working on voice acting. Much harder than we hoped." would do.

    7. Dave, Shadowrunner on


      Fair enough. I understand running a successful KS is a fair amount of work and probably not even worth the time investment.

      I'm old enough to remember when games had no voice acting and recall enjoying a KQ game in the 90s with no VA so I'm of the opinion games don't really need VA. In fact I tend to skip through it if possible in games that do as I can just read it.

      However, these days maybe I'm in the minority and most gamers expect VA. I don't know. I think maybe in hindsight limited VA might have been a nice compromise. Oh well. Hope it pays off for you in the long run.

    8. KSimms ✵ ✵ on

      I love Himalaya/AGDI and every game they have made. I know this game will be very solid, and I wish them the best!! This game is a lot more ambitious in many ways than other games with much larger budgets.

    9. Missing avatar

      PixelBoy on

      @ShadowNate "A very long script does not necessarily mean great things, and people tend to appreciate succinct and short dialogue, especially in dialogue based games."

      Whoever gave you that idea? In point-and-clicky kind of games going through dialogues is really the heart and soul of the whole genre. Of course the dialogue needs to be well-written fo sure, just a mass of text in itself won't do much good.

      As far as the subject of recording voices goes, I guess the most time-consuming thing is lip-synching. I have been doing some preliminary planning for my own game idea, and it became very obvious very soon that even attempting lip-synching would take so much time that it's not even a realistic option. Any indie-resourced game that can actually make it happen is achieving quite a lot, actually.

    10. NotDomo on

      Where can I find pics of the mages so I can informedly choose a figure for the survey?

    11. Joe Rundin on

      Considering the results Rogue U has shown even with its second Kickstarter you guys are doing fantastic.

      @Tomimt If they had released with out the voices theyd be guessing at the lip flaps at best and they would have a hell of a time going back to fix every single one in the game after voices were added.

      ETA on Surveys? I assume Ill have to pester someone for my Swag-Everest one :D

    12. Tomimt on

      Considering your initial budget, a number of lines you need to voice is pretty big indeed and it sucks that you've ended up postponing the release because of the extra expenses it has caused.

      All things considering, it might have been preferable to release the game without voices at first and do a post-release voice patch at some point. That might have even given you some additional revenue to work with the voice work.

    13. Himalaya Studios, Inc. Creator on

      @Dave, Shadowrunner: Running a second Kickstarter campaign would have been a lot of work, which would have also eaten into the post-release profits even further. I'm not even sure it would have sped-up the voice casting process by a great degree in the grand-scheme of things. It's just a time-consuming process. A lot of the "down" time has also been due to actor's reviewing the contract, back and forth negotiations, and such. However, we also made certain promises at the beginning of the Kickstarter campaign that we wanted to stand by.

      @ShadowNate: We did cut down the script quite a bit based on feedback received during beta testing. So originally it was much more than this. You're quite right, though, and we'll try to make future games not so... wordy!

      @ Arthur E. Orneck: Yup, that's on the cards for the next update!

    14. Arthur E. Orneck on

      Any info on what voice actors have been hired? Perhaps next update can be a listing of who the voice actors are and a general non-spoilery description of their role?

    15. ShadowNate on

      It's maybe too late to suggest this, and it's your project after all, but when voice-overs and lip synching become such an issue, budgetary- resource- and time- wise, I think it'd be best to have considered significantly cutting down the spoken dialogue to a more manageable size.

      A very long script does not necessarily mean great things, and people tend to appreciate succinct and short dialogue, especially in dialogue based games.

      I guess what I'm saying is that unless you feel that voice acting and spoken dialogue is going to be one of the prominent features to promote the game (it really shouldn't be in my opinion), it makes little sense to invest so much time on it, outside your development time estimates and budgetary constraints.

    16. Jer Wallis on

      I mean if you need a voice actor that will record for free... #volunteers

    17. Dave, Shadowrunner on

      Honestly, running a second Kickstarter to help fund voice acting would have been preferable if it would've meant getting the game released even a bit sooner. I'm normally someone who tells developers take as long as you need, but TBH this one has tested my patience a bit and I've begun to doubt whether it would ever see release.

      It's funny, when I backed this project however many years ago, I pledged for a physical copy. Now I have a PC that doesn't even have a disc drive. Oh well. Glad to hear we're maybe 6-9 months from the release date.

    18. Michal Lange on

      Uff, When I first backed this project, I was 17 years old. Now I'm nearly finishing uni and at a completely different stage in my life. I never expected getting this game as I enter my mid 20s. Still good to know that the game is finally wrapping up and that we can expect it relatively soon.

    19. xlynx on

      What a marathon. I hope the voice acting isn't burning a hole in your pockets.

    20. Martin Mouritzen on

      Thanks for the update! :)