As we were fleshing out more voices, Ian and I had both felt that unique voices for each of the main story’s heroes would be a cool thing to try. Ian gave Yosef a shot and we all unanimously loved it. It’s got a really fitting vibe for him.
Yosef is a demi-clops, meaning he’s part cyclops and part man. His past is somewhat mysterious as is his present. Meeting Yosef for the first time can be unnerving to some players. He’s always at the ready and seems questionably okay with just about anything that occurs. One subtle joke in Yosef’s design is that he prefers ranged attacks and yet he clearly lacks the depth perception required due to having just a single eyeball.
Interview with Ian Moreno
- Did you receive any direction from our team for the character(s) you voiced? If yes, what was requested?
- What was your creative process in creating the dialogue for your character(s)?
- What was your favorite part of creating the voices?
- What’s your favorite piece of gibberish?
Not too much. Dan and I had been discussing Yosef’s character for awhile. He needed to stand apart from Horatio, hence someone else doing it. I had this idea for him that I remember pitching to Dan one night early on in development. I had this voice in my head that drew from Scottish, Irish, and Scandinavian languages and pronunciations all the while dipped in cosmic awareness and cyclops lore. He’s a fighter though, so there had to be something daring about how spoke but still reflective. It was always going to be a mish-mash and not blatantly be one thing. I could hear the voice in my head and was in no way ready to explain to someone so one night I took a stab at it. But like with anything, what you see or hear in your head and what you initially create are rarely 1:1.
Like I mentioned, I had everything conceptually done, but when it came down to execution I had to experiment with different approaches. One ingredient, and this was direction given to both Ashley and Piper, was to first have the line in English. That way you inflect and emphasize as if you’re saying it in a language you understand and can inject emotion and meaning in there… ehhhh to a degree. Next was to have a few catch phrases or words that were specific to Yosef. Then of course, pronunciation of certain gibberish. Yosef for instance has a lot of hard “ka” sounds.
So with all this in mind, I did two sessions… and… they were terrible. Wasn’t working, sounded way out of place. I mean, there were a few things in there, but the voice wasn’t right. I think I played the work in progress for Dan, just to show him the direction, but that it was totally not working.
So then I did two things. First was to figure out the timbre and why it wasn’t working. A lot had to do with how they juxtapose with Stamper’s voices. The two interacting sounded like a charismatic figure yelling at a person with over emphasized pronunciations. Super weird. So I went into the booth, softened some syllables, and screamed every line. That helped it not only take on a new form, but something that can stand next to say Horatio, and it didn’t sound like me (I think) or the other character. Even with the prior takes, I was pitching it, adding chorus… it was an overdressed salad. This one had something guttural.
Second thing I did was incorporate some Stamper lines into Yosef’s vernacular. But tweaked pronunciations and added in other words. The idea was to have someone who spoke a language that was different, yet similar because it’s in the same family like say the romance languages. So I grabbed a few lines, would listen to them, thought of the English translation in my head, then would do some varying pronunciations/accents to get into character and then just belt the line out.
I would say just getting to help breathe life into a character in general. There was always collaborative world building and we all saw eye to eye (pun intended) who Yosef was. From the initial ideas of the kind of cosmic awareness, to the dialogue and character writing Erin has done– a lot has gone into these characters, so really it’s just an honor to lay down some tracks. So that and just the process and ritual of getting into character. It took work and iteration, so it feels good.
And there’s something romantically funny about a grown adult inside a hot, dark, enclosed booth, late at night, sweating, yelling and making himself laugh.
“Mmmmmmmm soydee ka-ray” or “goo-new za-za” or “who-goo-na-naya”
Here are a few VO clips from the game!