I apologize for the quality of this video. I took it late in the day yesterday on my iPhone 3GS while visiting Sim for simulation) with other characters on screen. Their newest game, (due out September 29, 2009 on Wii and Nintendo DS) is an epic adventure game with a story line and a crime for your Sim to solve. What this video shows is how voice interaction is added to the game. Before yesterday I’d assumed this was all done electronically by a computer. Wrong! There are actors, producers and audio engineers who painstakingly create the voice interactions in a studio as they observe snippets of the game scene. The woman in the video provides direction to the actor who is in a soundproof booth. You can hear her coach him in how she wants the lines delivered. Each scene has a number of different variations recorded and they use Simlish which is a made up language exclusive to the Sims game.
Simlish is a fictional language featured in EA Games’ Sim series of games. It debuted in SimCopter, and has been especially prominent in The Sims, The Sims 2 and The Sims 3. Simlish can also be heard in SimCity 4 and SimCity Societies, but far less frequently. Civilized Creatures in Spore can also be taught to speak Simlish. It also featured to an extent in the Firaxis game Sid Meier’s SimGolf. Designer Will Wright was conscious of the need for dialogue in the game, but thought that using a real language would make it sound too repetitive and would also be too costly to hire translators for world languages.
(coming September 29, 2009 for Wii and Nintendo DS)