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I am planning to get my game dialogue trees voiced. Something like this:

enter image description here

However I am not sure how can I hand in the dialogue scripts in any understandable format for both me and the voice actor.

The image example from above is probably done by hand in photoshop and I dont have the time to bother with all of that. The plugin I am using does not have the full text in the separate boxes and even if it did the only way to show that to the actor is to make multiple screenshots and then combine them to one big image.

I have found a few separate programs for this, but they would require the various voice actors to install some unknown software to their machines... and I dont think any of them would want to risk that.

So to my question... What is the professional way of doing this ? I would prefer an online tool that doesn't require any installation or if I can convert all the dialogue boxes to one big image.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Can you tell us what plugin you are using, and how you author the dialogue for it to use? With that info, we can better suggest ways to work with it to get the script output you need. \$\endgroup\$
    – DMGregory
    Commented Jul 19, 2021 at 11:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ I am using "Dialogue system for Unity" made by Pixel crushers. I am really new to it though. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 19, 2021 at 12:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ Btw, I am not sure about the latter part of your question but I have been using a tool for a while to generate AI voices for my YouTube channel content. A lot of it is animation. I think you might be able to try it instead of going for a voice artist. The tool is called Wavel AI and they do have a voiceover feature which they claim game devs like you use a lot. I am not sure about the quality of the voices will work for you. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Dec 27, 2023 at 7:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ Note that use of generative AI content may cause a game to be ineligible to publish on Steam. It's useful during production as a placeholder before you have the lines recorded from voice actors and implemented correctly (at a AAA studio I worked at, we'd play with robo-voice characters for much of production), but risky to ship as a final asset. Turning to AI expressly to get out of paying a human being for their work also raises significant ethical issues. This does not answer the question that was asked, which is how to format interactive dialogue into a script usable by human voice actors. \$\endgroup\$
    – DMGregory
    Commented Dec 27, 2023 at 10:44

2 Answers 2

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The professional way of doing that is to give the voice actor a script. A simple text document with all the lines you want them to say. You might also want to use this as an opportunity for adding some stage directions to the script (how they are supposed to say things) as that might not always be obvious from context.

The voice actor will then either give you one audio file per line or a single audio file with the whole script as you wrote it. Cutting that audio file into separate clips is then your job.

How do you generate that script file from your dialogue tree assets? In a comment you mentioned you are using this asset. I haven't used it myself (and I am not going to pay €37.96 to find out), but one of the bullet points in the feature list reads "Export screenplay format, voiceover asset list, CSV, Chat Mapper, and more". That's the option you might want to find and try out.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I have worked with few voice actors and know how more or less to write a script. What I didn't knew was if I can generate a diagram like my image from above. If I choose to go with just a flat script the context of what the characters are doing is pretty much gone. Even with adding additional explanations to it. It would have been better if the actor could see that diagram. As for the export options none of them exports a diagram. I could import it to chat mapper or smth and get diagram from there I guess. Btw the plugin is not bad for 38€ it has much more options than just a simple dialogue \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 19, 2021 at 16:23
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    \$\begingroup\$ @theCodeHermit I don't think that a voice actor could do much with such a dialog graph. I think it might create more confusion than understanding. A linear script they can just read from start to finish in one session is much easier for them to work with. \$\endgroup\$
    – Philipp
    Commented Jul 19, 2021 at 16:28
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Philipp: And notes on the appropriate tone of voice can be included alongside each line - the whole dialogue tree isn't really necessary for that. \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Commented Jul 19, 2021 at 20:38
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According to their documentation, the plugin supports exporting dialog in a variety of formats. For something you can hand off to voice actors, you probably want to look at the Screenplay Format.

Exporting Screenplay Format

conversations in standard screenplay format for interactive dialogue. For maximum flexibility, it exports one text file per language and uses tabs to ident properly.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks. I tried that, though it just exports a text file with the script there. It is kinda confusing. I mean it is going to work, but I was hoping for a way to show the dialog diagram to the actor rather than a flat script. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 19, 2021 at 16:26
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    \$\begingroup\$ You asked specifically for the professional way to approach the problem. Screenplay format is the usual default for film, TV, & games. Professional voice actors are more likely to have experience with a standard format used for their work & that's very likely why the export tool included it as an option. If you want to know how to export the entire dialog as one large image, I recommend posting a new question & focusing on that. \$\endgroup\$
    – Pikalek
    Commented Jul 19, 2021 at 18:34
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    \$\begingroup\$ At my previous (programming) company, we used something similar to screenplay format for all of our speech menus. The key is that every single recording needs to have sufficient context/notes/comments, to give the actor the context about which words to stress, and leading/trailing edges, what emotions to project, etc. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 19, 2021 at 20:04

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