Author Topic: Has a FFVII Voice-Over Project ever been attempted?  (Read 19734 times)

ff7heart

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I can guess that it would be a mammoth project if anyone ever thought about doing it! But yeah, just wondering if you've ever heard of anyone even mention such a project before? I know we all have the possibility of a remake to look forward to, but in any case, that seems a long way off!
Would such a project be possible? I mean, technically? I'm new to the entire mod/patch etc scene, but would it be possible to include voice overs? Hmmm... I wonder!
If I wasn't a 16 year old kid with exam-overdrive to contend with, I might have actually thought about starting this up.
It would have collapsed within hours, of course, but hey, I'm the eternal optimist :]

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Re: Has a FFVII Voice-Over Project ever been attempted?
« Reply #1 on: 2008-05-24 13:40:11 »
Wouldn't that be imposiblle?
What with FFVII havign all it's files already, wouldn't it require creating new files/archives, and packing them into the games directory?
I just ask because I would think that would make the game incapable of running.
Something no one would surely EVER want. :-)

Sefurosu

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Re: Has a FFVII Voice-Over Project ever been attempted?
« Reply #2 on: 2008-05-24 13:56:27 »
If you could could make it run like ff7 music, outside the actual game, where it just intercepts, say, the level data and uses that to select what file to use, it should be semi-possible. Not realistic, but possible.

obesebear

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Re: Has a FFVII Voice-Over Project ever been attempted?
« Reply #3 on: 2008-05-24 15:23:29 »
It theoretically could work I'm sure.  But there would most likely be some terrible loading times.

Izban

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Re: Has a FFVII Voice-Over Project ever been attempted?
« Reply #4 on: 2008-05-24 23:24:23 »
well its quite possible all you really have to do is get the map files and get them to trigger a noise and you make that noise the speech.

i think meteor the program that is would be capable of adding the code to every scene, can be done but you would need lots of time some good voice actors and it would more then double the size of FF7 on your hard drive, its a case of too much effort for not enough gain, don't get me wrong if someone did it i would probably download it but i wouldn't be the one to make it.

Mesden

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Re: Has a FFVII Voice-Over Project ever been attempted?
« Reply #5 on: 2008-05-25 03:36:04 »
I'm a Voice Actor and will voice some of the Characters for free if anybody wishes to attempt this.

I can be contacted either by E-mail (Undernet01(at)Shaw(dot)ca) or by MSN (Mesden84(at)Hotmail(dot)com).

My voice wouldn't be a fit for Sephiroth, Barret, Cid, Vincent, Cait Sith, Tseng, Etc... Their voices are either too deep or too aged... But I'd be able to ace Cloud, Zack, Reno, and Rufus. Send me a shout if anyone wishes to get this started.
« Last Edit: 2008-05-25 03:52:12 by Mesden »

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Re: Has a FFVII Voice-Over Project ever been attempted?
« Reply #6 on: 2008-05-25 08:59:47 »
My voice is rather deep, I reckon I could pull of Sephy. ;-)

Marc

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Re: Has a FFVII Voice-Over Project ever been attempted?
« Reply #7 on: 2008-05-25 18:55:04 »
Hahaha.

Nice idea.

I'd also be able to volunteer to voice given a timetable to work with.  My voice is not a deep one either and I'm by no means professional but I could gladly do NPC's and such or whatever you guys would see fit.

Warning though, I speak English perfectly but I do have an accent as I'm not a native English speaker.

But before getting into all of this, I think we should ask ourselves this question : would an amateur speech patch (even if some professionals are on board, not everyone would be) actually improve the game or make it worse ?  As for myself, wrong deliveries, wrong emotions in a given scene and wrong casting totally takes me out of a game.  The first Grandia and Tales of Eternia are good examples of this.  I'm asking myself if these two games would have been better off without voice overs as an example.

As for the technical side of it, in order to reduce the size, MP3's would be a logical choice and ff7music could most likely be used to handle the playback if Ficedula agrees with it as, from what I understand, it already can intercept the calls the game makes and start its own sound engine on cue so I think it would be the easiest way to make this work.  It would need some modifying obviously though.

Going on a limb here as I'm no programmer but I would think that the game engine should make a call referencing to a certain part of the game script in order to pull the right text (in scene.bin if I'm not mistaken) so it would be likely that these calls could be intercepted to start the right sound bite through whatever program would be used for playback without modifying ff7.exe at all (à la ff7music).  The trick is going to be to find out what are the actual calls the program makes for text and interpret them to actual events (so in other words, find out how the game ID's event to show the right text so the speech player could intercept those and start the proper MP3).  A mapping of the text might already exist though since I know people have been playing with the dialog before for various patches.  There might also be info somewhere as to how the game fetches text.

As such, using ff7music could be beneficial to use as it already starts ff7 in a way to intercept its calls, already has a list system to associate sound files to events in the game and already has a sound output system.  Obviously, this is Ficedula's program so he would have to agree (and most likely lend a hand to the programmers understanding his code) so it might not be possible to use his program but that would be the #1 solution in my book (or a similar program if not possible ff7music).

Another issue would be that the text is hardcoded into the FMV's so for these it would actually be necessary to code the calls for the speech into the game.  That's the only part I see that actually requires modifying of the game.  Unless, again, the calls made by the game to start a fmv can be intercepted to determine what fmv it is starting and put in a timer to play the required speech file.  That implementation could easily be off-cue though so that might not be the best way to go at it.

Overall, I'm thinking the big parts could just be to add a layer on top so it should not be impossible.  Obviously, I'm no programmer and I could be totally in left field on this as this is just educated guesses from what I've read over the years, so if someone more informed reads this, feel free to correct me.

Mesden

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Re: Has a FFVII Voice-Over Project ever been attempted?
« Reply #8 on: 2008-05-25 19:11:45 »
Hahaha.

Nice idea.

I'd also be able to volunteer to voice given a timetable to work with.  My voice is not a deep one either and I'm by no means professional but I could gladly do NPC's and such or whatever you guys would see fit.

Warning though, I speak English perfectly but I do have an accent as I'm not a native English speaker.

But before getting into all of this, I think we should ask ourselves this question : would an amateur speech patch (even if some professionals are on board, not everyone would be) actually improve the game or make it worse ?  As for myself, wrong deliveries, wrong emotions in a given scene and wrong casting totally takes me out of a game.  The first Grandia and Tales of Eternia are good examples of this.  I'm asking myself if these two games would have been better off without voice overs as an example.

As for the technical side of it, in order to reduce the size, MP3's would be a logical choice and ff7music could most likely be used to handle the playback if Ficedula agrees with it as, from what I understand, it already can intercept the calls the game makes and start its own sound engine on cue so I think it would be the easiest way to make this work.  It would need some modifying obviously though.

Going on a limb here as I'm no programmer but I would think that the game engine should make a call referencing to a certain part of the game script in order to pull the right text (in scene.bin if I'm not mistaken) so it would be likely that these calls could be intercepted to start the right sound bite through whatever program would be used for playback without modifying ff7.exe at all (à la ff7music).  The trick is going to be to find out what are the actual calls the program makes for text and interpret them to actual events (so in other words, find out how the game ID's event to show the right text so the speech player could intercept those and start the proper MP3).  A mapping of the text might already exist though since I know people have been playing with the dialog before for various patches.  There might also be info somewhere as to how the game fetches text.

As such, using ff7music could be beneficial to use as it already starts ff7 in a way to intercept its calls, already has a list system to associate sound files to events in the game and already has a sound output system.  Obviously, this is Ficedula's program so he would have to agree (and most likely lend a hand to the programmers understanding his code) so it might not be possible to use his program but that would be the #1 solution in my book (or a similar program if not possible ff7music).

Another issue would be that the text is hardcoded into the FMV's so for these it would actually be necessary to code the calls for the speech into the game.  That's the only part I see that actually requires modifying of the game.  Unless, again, the calls made by the game to start a fmv can be intercepted to determine what fmv it is starting and put in a timer to play the required speech file.  That implementation could easily be off-cue though so that might not be the best way to go at it.

Overall, I'm thinking the big parts could just be to add a layer on top so it should not be impossible.  Obviously, I'm no programmer and I could be totally in left field on this as this is just educated guesses from what I've read over the years, so if someone more informed reads this, feel free to correct me.

It would be up to a Director to get it correct.

Mesden

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Re: Has a FFVII Voice-Over Project ever been attempted?
« Reply #9 on: 2008-05-25 22:20:59 »
Well, I definitely support this idea and would love to be involved as a Voice Actor.

Tsetra

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Re: Has a FFVII Voice-Over Project ever been attempted?
« Reply #10 on: 2008-05-25 22:25:26 »
There's plenty of good voice talent who'd probably be willing to work on a project like this. The problem is actually inserting them into the game. You could probably look to other communities for help on voice acting, so you'd get the best results. pixietricks from OCRemix came to mind immediately as someone who could probably voice a female character well, and be willing to do such a project. But like all projects, you need to show you can pull it off and have some charisma to bring in the talent.

Mesden

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Re: Has a FFVII Voice-Over Project ever been attempted?
« Reply #11 on: 2008-05-26 00:13:33 »
There's plenty of good voice talent who'd probably be willing to work on a project like this. The problem is actually inserting them into the game. You could probably look to other communities for help on voice acting, so you'd get the best results. pixietricks from OCRemix came to mind immediately as someone who could probably voice a female character well, and be willing to do such a project. But like all projects, you need to show you can pull it off and have some charisma to bring in the talent.

There's plenty of good Voice Over talent, Yes. The problem is you can't get a Voice-Over Actor who is Union-based, and most talents would want money for a project this big. You'd need to find people who'd be willing to do it independently. If someone would like to program this, I have sources for individuals who would love to Voice-Over for a project like this, and I definitely have experience as a Voice-Over to be a Voice Over Director to make this a success. (Just throwing ideas out there.)
« Last Edit: 2008-05-26 00:18:05 by Mesden »

revenile

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Re: Has a FFVII Voice-Over Project ever been attempted?
« Reply #12 on: 2008-05-26 06:57:41 »
I'd do it, hell I've had practice at it.  When I played the game with my friend watching we did a 2 actor voice over of the whole game.  I don't think my voice would be right for the deeper voiced characters, and isn't good enough for cid, but like Mesden I could do like Zack, Reno, maybe Tseng and Rude, and rufus as well.

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Re: Has a FFVII Voice-Over Project ever been attempted?
« Reply #13 on: 2008-05-26 07:35:09 »
I still stand by I could do Seph, as my voice is deep, I talk in a good enough pitch, hey presto, Sephy.

And, I'd do it for free on weekends. :-)

ice_cold513

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Re: Has a FFVII Voice-Over Project ever been attempted?
« Reply #14 on: 2008-05-26 08:49:49 »
Hi all

I remember seeing a snes game, that got Voice-Over mod that was a RPG
I would be willing to do some Voice-Over's

the in-game movies can be done right now

But before we all start saying, i want this part or that part.
That we try and get a Voice in-game

If it truly can be done

You would need
Some people to get the game to take the Voice's
Some girls to Voice-Over
Some deep Voice people
 
I think that deep Voice's are good for Cid and Barret
I feel that Sephiroth would sound mad when speaking normally then sound crazy later on
some-thing like Jack Nicholson in the The Shining or batman as the joker

Master Ridley

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Re: Has a FFVII Voice-Over Project ever been attempted?
« Reply #15 on: 2008-05-26 09:52:06 »
I don't think Sephiroth should sound anything like Jack Nicholson.

ice_cold513

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Re: Has a FFVII Voice-Over Project ever been attempted?
« Reply #16 on: 2008-05-26 10:07:13 »
LOL same here

I was talking about the way he start off normal, in the shining then by the end. He giving off that crazy feeling

tho that might take some doing for some-one who never did Voice-over's before

What i think im getting at is we need some people. Who can make you feel that they are there in-game counter parts

ficedula

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Re: Has a FFVII Voice-Over Project ever been attempted?
« Reply #17 on: 2008-05-26 11:27:28 »
Aside from the issue of how good such a mod would be, I'm afraid to say that FF7Music really wouldn't be any use for this. It doesn't monitor what the game is doing very closely at all - all it really knows is when the music track changes. (The same technique can be used to find out when the location changes - but not anything more detailed, like which line of dialogue is showing on the screen...)

This isn't to say that couldn't be done; it could, but it would require a completely different method of hooking into the game.

Synergy Blades

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Re: Has a FFVII Voice-Over Project ever been attempted?
« Reply #18 on: 2008-05-26 14:27:59 »
The Meteor topic has a few posts on this.

Marc

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Re: Has a FFVII Voice-Over Project ever been attempted?
« Reply #19 on: 2008-05-26 14:35:22 »
Thanks for the feedback Ficedula.

I've been trying to understand how the game dialog works to see if my theory was correct on how to go at it (which is proving kind of hard since I have no programming skills ... at all) and reading Gears, I see you contributed some info to the Dialog and Event Field Format.  Would you have any suggestion as to how this could be handled ?

From what I could gather so far, the Flevel.lgp file will contain the info for each screen and will command the engine to go look into the dialog table to fetch the right text.

Also, the two following opcodes are the one calling up the correct dialog according to the wiki :

0x41 MPARA

   [0x41][bank_for_variable_id/bank_for_value][window_id][variable_id][value]
   Writes bank_for_value to 800E4214 memory bank variable array (size 0x08 0x01). This value will be used when we will copy field dialog to window string.
   Writes value to 800E4D48 offsets for variable array (size 0x10 0x02). This value will be used when we will copy field dialog to window string.

0x42 MPRA2

   [0x42][bank_for_variable_id/bank_for_value][window_id][variable_id][ [value] ]
   Writes bank_for_value to 800E4214 memory bank variable array (size 0x08 0x01). This value will be used when we will copy field dialog to window string.
   Writes value to 800E4D48 offsets for variable array (size 0x10 0x02). This value will be used when we will copy field dialog to window string.

So basically, we would need to watch these specific memory locations and detect the values, reference them to the dialog table which we had mapped previously and send the correct ID to a playback software which would launch the associated sound bite ?

After that, we would need to monitor the following opcode as well in case the user closes the text window before the end of the dialog to stop the sound bite and go on to the next one :

0x2E WCLS

   [0x2E][window_id]
   If window opened call "set_state_to_close" and then "manage_window_states" to close window.
   This opcode called until window closed (we can call this opcode from any entity).

Again, I'm no programmer.  I'm just trying to understand a way to do this from a technical standpoint with basically no previous point of reference.  Would this make sense or am I totally wrong about this ?

obesebear

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Re: Has a FFVII Voice-Over Project ever been attempted?
« Reply #20 on: 2008-05-26 15:22:30 »
This is a fun idea, but I fear the chances of finding voice talent that will improve the FF7 experience is going to be very difficult.
My suggestion is to recruit the voice over actors but only add voices to the more critical/important scenes.

There is a ton of dialog, which means a lot of people's free time and makes it more difficult to focus on quality and consistency with each scene.  Either way good luck to everyone who gets involved.

Mesden

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Re: Has a FFVII Voice-Over Project ever been attempted?
« Reply #21 on: 2008-05-26 16:40:02 »
Hi all

I remember seeing a snes game, that got Voice-Over mod that was a RPG
I would be willing to do some Voice-Over's

the in-game movies can be done right now

But before we all start saying, i want this part or that part.
That we try and get a Voice in-game

If it truly can be done

You would need
Some people to get the game to take the Voice's
Some girls to Voice-Over
Some deep Voice people
 
I think that deep Voice's are good for Cid and Barret
I feel that Sephiroth would sound mad when speaking normally then sound crazy later on
some-thing like Jack Nicholson in the The Shining or batman as the joker


Don't forget Cait Sith's Accent... I still think that was the wrong choice for Square to make...

Guys, the people in the Programming Forums brought up a good point. We would need to decide on the Cast BEFORE the Programming were to take place. To do that, we would need to Audition, choose our Voice-Over Actors, and present them to the Forums. Once we have a solid idea of who our Voice-Over Actors would be, it would be a LOT easier for a Programmer to say, "Alright, I'll be a part of this." With everything up in the air like this, it would be next to impossible for a Programmer to commit himself/herself to a huge project.

There are a lot of Programmers on these Forums who are just waiting to become involved with something like this, so it can happen if the willingness to proceed is strong enough from both sides.

Therefore, I'm throwing out a Casting Call to the Qhimm Community. This is to find Talents who are able to *voluntarily* commit themselves to voice-over a character role. Once we KNOW we have the Talents, I'm nearly certain a Programmer would step forward to implement this idea into the Game. I will make a new thread in regards to this, and post the instructions in there.
« Last Edit: 2008-05-26 16:44:00 by Mesden »

obesebear

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Re: Has a FFVII Voice-Over Project ever been attempted?
« Reply #22 on: 2008-05-26 18:50:06 »
Maybe contact this guy Crisis Core Fandub.

Mesden

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Re: Has a FFVII Voice-Over Project ever been attempted?
« Reply #23 on: 2008-05-26 22:57:22 »
I hope Ficedula gets involved as a Voice Over :)

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Re: Has a FFVII Voice-Over Project ever been attempted?
« Reply #24 on: 2008-05-27 02:57:17 »
So you guys are SURE you can make this work?