Voices bring the Ship of Heroes Story to Life

Jun 12, 2024

Ship of Heroes has always been a story MMORPG, and in the past, we have published about the backstory, the major characters, the setting and the many challenges that humanity faces in the future.  We decided a few years back that providing character voices for our NPCs was much superior to text-only, which is used in many older MMORPGs.  In fact, quite a few older MMOs now have player-created voice-over plugins, because voicing the story is a widely popular feature in good MMOs. We’re keeping the text and the speech bubbles for those who like them, but the voices convey a lot of nuance.

voice and text bubble

Our first set of voices for Ship of Heroes received mixed reviews when we rolled it out a few years ago. People loved the voice idea, but they wanted some improvements to be made in the voices themselves. Since that time, we’ve looked at quite a few options. Today we are announcing that we have replaced the old voices with much superior new voices, giving a real improvement in the quality of the story telling. We’ve also expanded the total number of spoken lines, and the number of individuals speaking, to improve immersion.

Money, money, money!

In the video that accompanies this newsletter, you can hear a few of the new voices. Many dev teams wouldn’t actually show a video without explosions or combat, just to illustrate an upgrade in storytelling mechanics. But we’re really pleased with this upgrade, and we thought we’d share it with you today.

​An impatient woman of action.

The accompanying video is a scene from the story arc that introduces mages and magic aboard the FHS Justice. This arc has a lot of politics in it – players get different results and hear different dialog depending upon how they play the arc. There is also an element of discovery in the arc. So, the voiced lines give the players clues to what may be going on in the background between the senior mages who lead factions within the magical population of the ship. Again, the voices are important to telling the story in a subtle way.

The F.H.S. Justice is a galactic trading partner.

We think the player-character should have an important role in the story. If you save the world, when you return to your mission contact, they should say “Great work, you saved the world!” The voices make this much more real. Voices also help the player understand why they need to save the world in a way the written text struggles to deliver.

Grateful for your heroic help!

In an MMO, other characters matter to the story as well. In a good story, the other heroes, and the NPCs are doing things while you progress through your challenges. The voices and dialog help to convey this complexity. Hearing the bantering dialog we often put into the game makes the NPCs seem more real. This is another huge advantage of having NPC voices for the dialog.

Unfriendly banter…suspicious!

We’re continuing to polish our content and add features to make Ship of Heroes even more fun to play. Stay tuned for more updates in the near future.

Help others discover Ship of Heroes

Technical Notes

 

1. When your team takes a mission from a mission contact, everyone on the team can hear the dialog (not just the team leader) and can see any associated text pop-ups as well. All of you are getting the mission together, and the voiced discussion, questions and answers, make a lot of difference.

2. Settings in the menu allow players to select what they hear: sounds, music, voices, or any combination, or none at all.

3. The hero’s name is written in the text, but not voiced to avoid mispronunciations.

4. Adding player avatar voices is under consideration for after launch, but we will want to take the pulse of the community before we offer up this kind of upgrade.

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