harada

I Wish More Developers Stood Up For Themselves

Think what you will about game developers and publishers, but they deal with a ton of crap. Constant scrutiny and criticism, especially in this day and age with Facebook and Twitter allowing for round-the-clock contact, would drive anyone crazy. Sometimes they deserve everything they get, but other times the detractors go too far, and they need to be put in their place.

Enter Katsuhiro Harada, the father of Tekken. Harada-san is hard at work getting Tekken Tag Tournament 2 ready for its September 11th release date, and based on what I played at E3 development is going swimmingly. However, that hasn’t stopped legions of people from going to Twitter and asking/berating him for various reasons.

Yesterday. Harada had enough. From Twitlonger:

I have something I want to say to the people who spam me with requests to “switch back(or Bring back) to the voice actors used previously”.
I believe that, before whining and complaining about everything, you need practice at taking a step back and analyzing things objectively. And also at being an adult.

First, the voice you were listening to was 16 years ago, during the PlayStation period. The current generation of consoles are totally different in how they play back sound; both software-wise, and the internal circuitry
The playback program is different, as well as the sound effects added; reverb and 5.1 are examples of this. The comrpression rate, as well as the sound rate, is different today. Are you playing games on the same TV you used 16 years ago? What about your speakers? Headphones? They are all the same as 16 years ago? I wonder if it will sound like the same voice as 16 years ago, even with that data..

Also, you are assuming the voice actors themselves can reproduce the voice the recorded 16 years ago? Many voice actors decline work because their voice has changed since the original role, some have even retired. Sometimes they won’t accept, even if we ask.
The recording studio and the equipment they use is also different. With all of this in mind, you still thing it is possible to recreate these voices?

Some might say “just pay them to reuse the voice data”.
But, often the voice actors decline this, or their agency declines.

For example, Brian’s laugh is the actual data from Tekken 3. As fans have requested, we’ve kept using the original, adapting the data recorded 16 years ago to be used on the PS2, and then PS3.
Even so, some people said it is a different voice in Tekken 6 than the original.
It can’t be helped they might think that. As explained above, even though the master data is the same, all of the equipment used in adapting it has completely changed. That said, it isn’t a good idea to try to reccreate the older recording environment because then the data sounds heavily compressed, with noise. More than that, it would sound out of place next to the voice data of the newer characters.
WHAT? You say some of the voices sound like they haven’t changed at all?
I guess you didn’t notice that the development team has re-recorded them, but made efforts for it to sound as close as possible to the original. And you probably didn’t even notice.

Do you know that all of the voice work for a character is not always done by just one voice actor? Using Brian as an example, the laugh you guys love so much uses the original data from Tekken 3, but the short kiai voice uses a different voice actor, and the “come on!” voice also uses a different voice actor. A lot of other characters also use different voice actors for the spoken lines and for the shouts.

I did the voice work for Marshal and Forest for 15 years.
However, I can no longer produce that voice after Tekken 5, so we had a different voice actor for Tekken 6.

The Tekken series has continued for 17 years. The development environment, as well as the environment in which you all play games, has changed.
There are so many characters, and we can’t keep using he same voice actors every time, for a variety of reasons.
I have even complied to the requests of you all spamming me to “bring back characters” from previous installments. You often say, “let’s show the dev team how sincere we are by buying 2 copies if they bring back character X”, but did you really go through with it? Expecting you to at least pre-order the game, I was met with more spam, after you apparently didn’t notice that Jun and Michelle actually return.

I still have some characters left to be revealed that comply with some of your requests, even “bringing back” several others. Even so, none of them are paid DLC. I will continue to sincerely comply with fan requests.
However, I can’t continue to engage the negative ones that, without knowing what you are talking about, or even thinking about what you are saying, blindly repeat “bring back, bring back, bring back…”
After this lengthy explanation, I will be quite surprised if there are still people who still don’t get it.

Thanks for understanding or not understanding. Whatever.

 

GOOD. It’s about damn time these people were put in their place.

Everything Harada says here is true: the people making these requests don’t know what they’re talking about. I’d safely bet that the people that attracted Harada’s ire have little to no game development experience, nor do they have experience in audio engineering outside of Audacity. How are they capable

Look, I have ZERO issue with constructive criticism. If you have a beef, and you explain that beef in a thought-out, respectful manner, then it should be treated with the same amount of respect. Respect begets respect, as it were. Constantly badgering someone on Twitter and whining about what you want and don’t want is NOT the way to go. Like Harada says above: “I believe that, before whining and complaining about everything, you need practice at taking a step back and analyzing things objectively. And also at being an adult.”

Let me ask you this: if you’re in a classroom having a group discussion, and another person raises his or her hand and makes a point, how do you respond? Do you raise your hand and offer an comeback, or do you stand up and shout WOW, YOURE WRONG, YOU SHOULD HAVE THOUGHT OF THIS THIS THIS THIS AND THIS, YOU [email protected]#$ING #@$#!!

Naturally, most of you should have chosen the former. Why then can’t we convert this mindset to how we approach game developers? Why must we badger them to get what we want? Even when we do get what we want, will we be satisfied, or are we so focused on singular desires that we are, as Reggie put it, insatiable?

Take the Mass Effect 3 Extended Cut. As I predicted, the extended ending that fans demanded, after the original ending didn’t suit their lofty expectations, was also criticized and berated to high Heaven, even though it addressed all of the major issues from the previous ending. BioWare even threw in a fourth Easter egg ending poking fun at themselves, but some players misconstrued the joke as a “petulant middle finger from Hudson/Walters.” BioWare had NO CHANCE of appeasing their rabid fan bases; part of me wonders why they tried in the first place.

It’s high time we called off our dogs and started addressing these people with some respect. After all, they’re only MAKING VIDEO GAMES FOR YOUR ENTERTAINMENT. They’re not in charge of important things like your house, your car, or your utilities. No, these people are using their creative minds to construct a piece of digital media for us gamers to play and enjoy. If we don’t enjoy what they’ve produced, fine, but that’s not an excuse to throw these people on the cross. Make an informed, respectful opinion and share that. Those that can’t are making the rest of us look bad, and that isn’t fair to the legions of gamers that know how to express themselves in way that doesn’t make us look like first-graders fighting over blue, red, or green construction paper.

Harada-san, the picture below is for you. I hope more developers follow suit.

 



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