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walkeraj
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Orz voice and music remix. A sample and a query.
« on: January 22, 2013, 01:20:18 am »

I really loved SC2, so seeing this project come to fruition and reach a fully-playable state has really warmed my heart and allowed me to introduce a new generation of gamers to perhaps my favorite PC game of all time.

One of the things I've found really intriguing since starting the new version are the remixes and the modding possibilities.  I've noticed that there seems to be a great deal of time being spent making this version mod-friendly (though it doesn't quite seem to be all of the way there yet).  I've had an idea for a nifty remix pack and would be interested in finding out if it's possible.

Specifically, one of the things that always struck me as odd about the game was how... jovial the Orz seemed.  Given that they were designed to be ambiguously moral and sort of creep the player out, their goofy Scooby-Doo sampled music and their happy terms always seemed a bit dissonant to me, so I thought I might try my hand at a re-imagining of the Orz by changing their music and dialog.  I've mocked up a sample of what I'm thinking like here, along with new background music: http://whereisandy.com/media/audio/orz_remix_dialog_sample.mp3.  (note: this is a rough sample recorded on a laptop mic in like two minutes, any final version would sound much better).

I've had success with replacing their background music already.  This was easy enough by making a new zip/uqm that followed the conventions of the other remix files, but I'm wondering if I'd be able to successfully make a .uqm that replaces their dialog .oggs as well.  Can this be done?
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Re: Orz voice and music remix. A sample and a query.
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2013, 01:38:15 am »

Honestly, that sounds to me like some sort of old man who's a mixture between creepy and Buddha (I think I'm thinking of a particular character from some sitcom, but I'm not sure who). The Orz aren't like that; they're creepy, but they're extremely outgoing (perhaps even childish), and that's part of what makes them creepy.
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walkeraj
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Re: Orz voice and music remix. A sample and a query.
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2013, 01:43:50 am »

I see your point, I just always thought the notion of "appendages" of a larger, extra-dimensional being was much creepier and Lovecraftian than the scooby-doo music conveyed, and that their seemingly-childish nature was more the result of the translator's inability to fully articulate the signal it was receiving on account of how truly alien it was.  Still, food for thought, and thanks for your input.

Still wondering if such a project would even be possible, though.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2013, 01:49:36 am by walkeraj » Logged
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Re: Orz voice and music remix. A sample and a query.
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2013, 02:39:08 am »

I personally think the dissonance is a big part of who the Orz are. The contrast between the jovial, friendly exterior and the Lovecraftian horror that they really are somehow makes them even more terrifying. Of course, the reason that UQM is moddable is so that people can do stuff just like this - if someone doesn't like something in the game, they can change it for themselves, and share it with anyone who happens to agree. Smiley
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walkeraj
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Re: Orz voice and music remix. A sample and a query.
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2013, 05:26:51 pm »

True, but I wouldn't want to go too far against the intentions of the fellows on Groombridge.  That said, I'm kind of liking the way the simple music mod sounds (even with the original voices), so maybe I'll just release that instead: http://whereisandy.com/media/audio/uqm-orz-music.uqm
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Re: Orz voice and music remix. A sample and a query.
« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2013, 06:22:18 pm »

There's such a thing as going too far. The Orz are big-time creepy in Star Control 2 because of the implications of the things they (and certain other races) say, and because of their relationship with the Androsynth. That's all you need to establish the tone. Then you meet a race of impossibly positive and happy-crazy fish-like aliens who spend their every bit of dialogue talking about fun and joy, only to turn brutally violent if you push them about the thing you are the most curious about (the Androsynth). They become scary because of the contrast, not despite it.

Storytelling in games is a fine balance between a lot of different factors. Not only must the dialogue and overall story be good, but the voices need to sound right, the music must fit, and the gameplay must support the narrative (if the Orz ships were total pushovers, nobody would take them seriously). That balance can be ruined by many things. As you say, the wrong music or the wrong voiceovers can ruin the effect. The problem is that you're upsetting the balance with your remix attempt. Once you start adding creepy music and creepy voices to the creepy story and creepy dialogue, the whole thing turns into a parody of itself, and it's no longer possible to take seriously.
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Re: Orz voice and music remix. A sample and a query.
« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2013, 11:48:29 pm »

Once you start adding creepy music and creepy voices to the creepy story and creepy dialogue, the whole thing turns into a parody of itself, and it's no longer possible to take seriously.

Hey, that's not necessarily a bad thing. Look at the Ilwrath! Cheesy
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