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Game Wizard

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Author Comments

This is my submission for the 11th Newgrounds Voice Acting Contest, submitted... about 13 hours before the deadline.

The theme of the contest was "My First..."

These were the additional limitations placed on the contestants by our exalted host, JaShinYa:
■ Each entry had to be a minimum of 2 minutes long and a maximum of 6 minutes long
■ Each entry had to have at least 3 different voices
■ Everything had to be done by the contestant (no help from anybody)
■ All sound effects and music had to be royalty free
■ We were forbidden from modifying the pitch of our voice (naturally), but filters and effects were fine

Knowing that this sketch would be audio-only, I knew that it would be extremely challenging for the listener to maintain spacial awareness (especially if they had to keep track of 3 characters). To solve that problem I decided to make the whole thing revolve around a phone call. In trying to think of situations where you talk to multiple people over the course of the same call, I came upon the idea of a call-center and that led me to remembering those old Nintendo Game Counselors. I combined that concept with the common complaints about dealing with automated phone systems, and suddenly I had my story outline.

The biggest challenge was trying to plan out the rapid-fire conversations I wanted these characters to have; I've never actually performed as two characters talking to one another, let alone a conversation like this one where the characters are constantly bickering and refusing to stop talking after being interrupted. It was a very rewarding problem to solve, and one that I probably wouldn't have ever dealt with outside of this contest.

The performances was recorded with an ART M-One going through a Saffire 6 mixer/preamp thing, and was then edited entirely in GarageBand.

Special thanks to JaShinYa for organizing the contest, and to all the volunteer judges and other contestants. After lurking NG for 13 years, I've finally submitted something because of you.


VAC 11 Judge Review:

Hahahahahaha! Nice entry! That made me smile. Great story, great acting, perfect mixing to really provide a space. You wasted no second of time and always advanced the plot forward. But, I thought sometimes you advanced a bit too hastily as your voices talked over each other a lot, which is funny because a lot of people do the opposite. I just thought it sounded both natural and a tad unrealistic. I wonder if your call center guy did not have the phone effect, would he sound a little more similar to your caller voice? Maybe not, you did a good job of differentiating them while still having them both sound natural. Really great idea for the plot and a hilarious ending. I think that’s all I can say about this. Fantastic work!

People find this review helpful!

First I need to say that this piece is like an estranged sex child between the old Nintendo power hot line and modern day automated phone systems. The voices are believable and well acted. I am not sure if you meant for it but there are a few odd noises from the man asking game questions. It seems like the technical service guy voice kinda went from his own to a bit "super" then back to his normal voice and back to a little flamboyant. The end seemed to just kinda well end. I wish there was a little closure it just feels like a jump cut. Almost like there should have been an end line that vanished. All in all pretty good.

People find this review helpful!

The voices are mostly very distinct and varied, especially the Game Wizard's delivery. Though I can see how some reviewers think the person calling for assistance has a more whisper/raspy quality to his voice. It does aid in differentiating his voice, that's for sure, but it didn't seem like the best voice type to implement.

The writing is also good, too. The conversation between the tech support and the individual is fluid and often times hysterical, though a part of me wished that you incorporated him saying that it's his first time calling for tech support in the beginning. Otherwise, not a lot of people might be able to distinguish this for suiting the theme of this contest.

Lastly, the mixing was pleasant. It didn't go overboard, and some of the instances where you applied it, especially when he interrupts the Game Wizard by pressing 1, was perfect. Good job on also applying the music in the background and not having it at a level where it's distracting. It's the best volume, and it really does suit the situation.

Overall, nice work. I think you do stand a good chance overall in the competition.

People find this review helpful!

Heheheh, "No, you don't hit START." Love it! This was very fun. I enjoyed the game wizard concept and the ancient gaming scrolls idea, quite comedic. Very nice job. I have nothing to complain about. Good range, good acting, good writing. Thanks for sharing this with us!

People find this review helpful!

Overall, entertaining and fun to listen to :) I really like the Game Wizard's voice and delivery, though the caller's voice annoyed me a little because it sounded like a whisper-scream. I guess it makes it easier to differentiate the characters, which you otherwise did fairly well, though I'm not sure if that raspy not-quite-a-shout voice was the best option. The character chemistry between the caller and operator sounds pretty natural. Your mixing is fantastic, and I especially like the "Press 1!" interruption, and the "insert game title here" pauses. I liked the touch of the music playing in the background during the call with the operator, too.

Only problem... I don't really see how it fits with the theme. I guess you can stretch it with "my first time calling tech support."

Best of luck :)

People find this review helpful!
grhmhmltn responds:

Ahaha I'm glad this is the first review, both because you're very kind and because you've brought up a pretty glaring issue.

The idea is that this is his first time calling the Game Wizard, which is what that interruption is trying to highlight. It's totally a stretch (especially when compared to the entries like "My First Kill") , but I'm hoping it's not stretched to the point of losing me points :/

I'll take your feedback re: screamdude to heart. I've been watching the NG VA community from the sidelines for a while now, so I really appreciate that you (in particular) would take the time to write such a thoughtful review. Thank you.

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Credits & Info


3.84 / 5.00

Nov 15, 2013
1:53 PM EST
File Info
6.8 MB
2 min 59 sec

Licensing Terms

Please contact me if you would like to use this in a project. We can discuss the details.