Category Archives: Interesting News

Diablo 3 Launch Center

The wait finally over: Diablo 3 is coming out tonight at midnight.

No doubt the hero of Diablo 3

Everyone and their grandma wants a copy of Diablo 3 to continue the age old battle against Spanish speaking demons. Don’t be like everyone else and just let the long wait to tonight’s midnight release seem like a hard waste of time. Spend the today prepping for the title so that you can be an expert when you finally hit the servers tonight.

Note: Mac users can play the game at launch too. Read on all computer gamers!

Get caught up in the story

Diablo has a surprisingly deep story. Each game’s plot is tightly intertwined with the plot of the previous game. Get caught up to speed to proceed straight to the loot tonight.

Keep up on all the classes, enemies, and quests

Walkthroughs are like dinosaurs; they used to be the coolest thing I could think of when I was a kid, but they can’t survive in the current world.

The best way to learn about Diablo 3 now is to visit the top wikis on the game. They will be constantly updated with tips and information on classes, quests, and more in the next couple of days.

The top Diablo wiki already has a huge wealth of knowledge on the movesets and builds of the Diablo 3 classes. Brush up on it today and check back for more info everyday!

You can also check out a wealth of information on the Battle.net electronic game guide.

Plan your build now

Their is already a skill calculator on Battle.net to plan out your character on any class. You can even calculate the progression of any of the three followers in the game. This also is a great way to understand better what the skills on the game are and how that mesh together.

Have a top build going minute one tonight using the official skill calculator.

Buy the sucker if you haven’t already!

Buy the game at Battle.net to still be able to play tonight at midnight. You’ll easily make a Battle.net account if you don’t have one. You’ll download the game electronically and can even install it today while you wait. That way you can launch the game immediately tonight at 12:01 a.m.!

You can still buy the game today and play it tonight without even leaving your home. Save your energy for fighting the forces of evil tonight.

Advertisements

Video Games May 2012

The gaming industry is always exciting. There is never a shortage of awesome new games, events, and innovations. That said, here are the biggest events happening this May (to my knowledge, and in my opinion):

May 9 Minecraft on Xbox Live

Officially made with joysticks in mind.

All the Minecrafty goodness of the original title is promised on Xbox. The  game supports Kinect play (I can only assume to yell your blocks into place). Most importantly, and most excitingly, the game features cross-platform play with the PC version of the game. Finally, Console gamers can enjoy the game with their PC brethren. PC folks can finally have even more noobs to make fun of.

May 15 Max Payne 3 for PS3 and Xbox 360

Either this is the cover of Max Payne 3 or Lawrence of Arabia. What an epic cover.

The latest outing from rockstar is set to be a gritty epic that spans years in-game. The storytelling is supposed to be amazing. Indeed, this is the first game in the series to have Dan Houser as the lead writer, the head scribe of most GTA titles and Red Dead Redemption.

The multiplayer is also poised as unique and intense. You form gangs with your friends, or public groups, to take on other gangs in deathmatches and other online modes. There are rewards and rankings for individual players and their entire gang. Equally interesting is the fact that gangs can be transferred between Max Payne 3 and Grand Theft Auto 5 when it is released.

Max Payne 3 will be released for Windows May 29.

Bullet time is back, baby.

May 15 Diablo 3

Many of the environments are destructible and some of the bosses are enormous.

The only thing that might stand in your way from buying Max Payne 3 is Diablo 3 (besides a bad economy). Rabid Diablo fans like myself have been waiting for the sequel to Diablo 2 for 12 years. Diablo 3 looks to bring back everything that we loved about the previous entries into the series: classic elements like hacking through oceans of demons, unique classes, and more loot than pirate crypt.

The new game adds features like in-game cutscenes, followers to protect your character that are more fleshed out than in the first game and will talk, and an auction house that allows players to trade in-game items for real money.

There is also the hardcore mode for the thrill seeking players (if your character dies once, they are dead permanently), and a PvP mode will be patched in later for those more murderous players that try of only fighting evil beasts.

May 22 Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Future Soldier for PS3 and Xbox 360

Just hanging out and shooting people with my robot buddy.

One of the most critically acclaimed squad-based shooters of all time is debuting its newest game. Future Soldier is set in the near future. Gadgets like tactical cloaks to make you nearly invisible exist as well as crazy robots that look like Metal Gear’s granddaddy.

As always, the emphasis is on squad cooperation and tactical planning more than just running and gunning, but the gunning part looks fun too. If you like shooters or squad games you should check this title out.

May 2012 looks pretty awesome for video games. Play on, my friends, play on.

Purdue Gaming LAN Party Boiler Frag 4.0

If you’re interested in LAN parties, then you need look no farther than Purdue. Boiler Frag 4.0 will be occurring next Saturday, April 21 at the Purdue Armory starting at 12 p.m. noon and raging until the next morning. Boiler Frag, hosted by Purdue University Gamer Group, is the largest LAN party at Purdue each year.  This going to be THE gaming event at Purdue that you won’t want to miss. Tournaments will be held throughout the whole day and prizes will be awarded all day.

PC and Console Welcome

Both PC and console tournaments and playing will occur at the fourth annual Boiler Frag. PC tickets must be bought in advance for $20 and then your seat must be registered online. You can inquire about PC tickets at info@pugg.net. Better hurry if you want to participate in the PC playing as there are only 11 PC seats left as of this posts publishing. If you want to play PC, you’ll have to bring :

  • Your computer, (1 tower & monitor or 1 laptop)
  • Ethernet cord (Don’t forget this!)
  • 1 set of Periphals (keyboard, mouse, etc.)
  • Headphones (No speakers)
UPDATE: PC tickets are sold out! Console tickets are available infinitely at the door the day of.

Console tickets are sold at the door for $15 dollars. The only thing that you need to bring is a USB if you want to use your profile as no online downloading is allowed. You also cannot bring any custom controllers other than arcade sticks.

Even the chairs look sleek and futuristic.

Tournaments

This why you’re here (besides meeting and playing with other great gamers). Check out some of the tournaments already decided on. (Watch out, they’re all single elimination!)

PC

  • Starcraft II, 1v1
  • League of Legends, 5v5
  • Battlefield 3, large teams
  • Quake 3, TBA
  • Others to be anounced

CONSOLE

  • COD Mw3, 4v4
  • Halo Reach (Covy Slayer), 2v2
  • Halo Reach (Jousting), 1v1
  • Mario Kart, FFA
  • Super Smash Bros Melee, 1v1
  • Street Figher X Tekken, 1v1
  • Mass Effect 3, Team Time Trial

Other tournaments will be decided by you, the gamers, this Monday on the PUGG Facebook page. Cast your vote so that you can show off your mad skillz. Help me vote for a speed petting competition in the Skyrim My Little Pony mod.

Prizes

I’ve been told that their will be awesome prizes rewarded throughout the day. The website promises “slick computer cases to wicked apparel”. I’ve also been told that PC and Console gamers will receive different prizes. A slick computer cases doesn’t mean much if you don’t have a gaming rig. PUGG knows this and they’ll get you the hook-up with the things that you want.

Food

The icing on the cake (maybe literally). As much as I love gaming, this is what won me over. FREE FOOD! That almost pays for the price of admission by itself. Hotbox is serving pizza at 6 p.m. and breakfast will be served at 6 a.m. That’s right. This event is raging all night.

Drinks are free the entire party and there is a snack bar until 3 a.m. The snack bar does cost money, so bring some cash for it. I’m as disappointed as you that I can’t eat my body weight in snickers for free. Still, these are some amazing food deals.

It's cool. The soda's free.

What are you waiting for?!? Get ready for Boiler Frag 4.0! This event will be crazy. Between the tournaments, prizes, free food, and awesome company you’ll be in gamer heaven. Leave it to PUGG to lead the way there. Check them out on Facebook and Twitter.

Are you planning on going to Boiler Frag next Saturday, or are you planning on making a mistake? Let us all know below in the comments!

Lost Planet 3 announced/ Why you should care

Who cares?

Lost Planet 3 is lighting up every gaming website for a good reason. It might just be the next big thing in the survival horror genre.

Sure, the first two entries into the series weren’t all that amazing. The after buying and playing the first Lost Planet I decided to give it a personal rating of, “Meh.” The second game received pretty bad reviews and I avoided it at all costs. All logic would dictate that no one should care about Lost Planet 3. Heck, I didn’t expect the series to ever get another sequel. Everyone should pay attention to Lost Planet 3 because…

It’s Different

The first two Lost Planet games were third person, squad-based shooters. Lost Planet 3 is a game that is supposed to place just as much emphasis on survival horror and exploration as it does combat. Oh, yeah and the game’s protagonist is essentially a blue collar mechwarrior. That got your attention, didn’t it?

The game has all the elements that it needs for greatness (according to Gameinformer and ign sources).

  • Detailed graphics to whisk you away into the world and amazing character models and faces to bring you into the game emotionally through visuals.
  • A mysterious and dangerous icy world setting that requires exploration of dark and dangerous locations to unravel its conspiracy filled past.
  • Unique aliens that can be absolutely enormous and require unique ways to destroy just like in the previous Lost Planets.
  • A fun protagonist that is just the right amount of badass, snarky, and vulnerable to make a Tony Stark in space with a much bigger Iron Man suite.
  • Mech suite combat against massive enemies.
  • To top it off, survival horror elements like tight, eerie corridors and an environment that could kill you at any time.
The Awesome Trailer 


The Setting

Home sweet PLEASE DON'T EAT ME!

The setting is a the foreboding, ice-swept E.D.N-III. This is the same planet that the other two Lost Planets take place on, but Lost Planet 3’s events take place before those in the first two games. (They just blew our minds.) The unforgiving planet is home to frequent ice storms and nasty aliens called Akrids.

The Plot

The future will have beards

The game stars a construction mech worker named Jim. Jim is no action hero, he’s just a guy that signed up for a crappy job on a scary planet to save up money for his wife and kid off-world. Jim communicates with his family through videos sent to him. This establishes a real sense of empathy and motivation for the character. Jim is tasked with moving equipment around with his mech and scouting the planet. He is told that he is one of the first explores of the planet, but he keeps discovering old frozen bases that seem to be part of a dark conspiracy by the company that he is working for.

The Survival, The Horror

Young love...

Sections of the game where Jim is on foot can be downright terrifying. Indoors, Jim walks through dark, tight corridors of eerily abandoned settlements that shouldn’t exist. These sections are already being compared to Dead Space. That’s a good thing in my book. Outdoor sections on foot are just as dangerous. Jim has no compass or map on foot and can freeze to death if he is out in the elements for too long. Radio transmissions also become increasingly faint as Jim moves away from his mech. At any moment a snowstorm could annihilate Jim or Akrids could burst from the ground or frozen walls. You must always be on edge.

The parts of the game spent inside a mech are no cup of tea either. The combat is faster and more powerful, as Jim can kill some massive enemies in his mech and wade through Jim-sized enemies like they aren’t even there. The combat still feel dangerous, as the mech is no combat mech; it’s built for moving things and drilling. As such, your mech has no guns. It only has melee moves and its giant drill to kill enemies with. Even more terrifying, the mech rig slowly freezes outside. Jim must leave the mech to melt the ice periodically or the rig will freeze to the point where it can no longer be used for the rest of the mission. Finally, the mech portions of the game are in first person. This severely limits your view and can disorient you in the huge machine.

The Naysayers Point

Let’s just get this out of the way. The game is published by Capcom but developed by Spark Unlimited. Spark has only ever made three games. None of them were good. I think that this promising reimagining of a mediocre series is a chance to equally reimagine a less than stellar development company. (But that might just be the PR training in me.)

Why You Should Really Care

HELLO!

Lost Planet 3 seems to have great graphics and promises to have a strong story. Most importantly, it features fun, tight, and varied gameplay. The horror situations indoors are very different from the still terrifying survival situations outside in the cold, which are in turn, very different from the mech portions of the game.

What’s won me over most is the promise that the title will indeed be a survival horror game. I love survival horror games for the heart-pounding and unique situations that the great ones put you through. The game wouldn’t be scary if it was just the same as the last survival horror game. It’s very rare to see a new survival horror series in a world where we have Resident Evil 6 to look forward to (and even then it’s an argument if it even is a survival horror title.) I’m thrilled at the opportunity to be frightened and awed in a new setting with completely new characters to me. We really don’t know what to expect, which makes the horror all the more  real.

I’m excited about the announcement of Lost Planet 3 and you should be too.

6 Best Video Game April Fools Jokes 2012

As you all know, we gamers have the greatest sense of humor on Earth. It’s probably only topped by our modesty. Naturally, when April Fools rolls around game companies and companies that specialize in video game merchandise have some great April Fools jokes. Here’s some of the best of 2012 in case you missed them earlier this week.

1. Mars Effect – Mojang and Notch

Notch Mars Effect April Fool's Joke

Lawsuit sold separately

Notch, the owner of Mojang, the company that created Minecraft, created a website called marseffect.net. The website described the team’s newest project, a title called Mars Effect. Mars Effect is obviously a jab at the series Mass Effect by Bioware and EA. This joke is very funny and bold because it also pokes fun at a lawsuit against Mojang that was recently settled. The lawsuit was over the percieved similarity between the name Mojang’s newest game, “Scrolls”, and that of the Bethesda RPG series “The Elder Scrolls”. (Yes the case was settled, thank God. Notch and co. get to keep the name.)

Notch directly made fun of the lawsuit while describing how Mojang reached the decision to name Mars Effect. “After several weeks of trying to come up with a good name for the game, we finally decided not to learn from previous experiences and pick a name that’s already kind of in use by a huge existing franchise.” He added, “After playing around with names like ‘Elight’, ‘Wind Commander’, and ‘Steve Online’, we finally settled on the very catchy name ‘Mars Effect’.”

Mars Effect further made fun of Mass Effect by saying that it would include, “waist high walls” and “a game ending that makes sense.” Dang! You need ice for that burn?!?

As of writing this article, marseffect.com is no more. …probably due to a cease and desist comment.

2. Blizzard Kids – Blizzard Entertainment 

Blizzard put up a website full of what looks like half a dozen 90’s educational children’s computer games based on their franchises. By far the funniest is a typing mini-game called “Zergling Teaches Typing”. The description of the game reads, “Skzzzt! Brnnchh! W’rkncacnter! Learn these and many other important zerg vocabulary words while also dramatically improving your words per minute and keystroke accuracy. (Ages 6 and up)”

As I played the game I wished it was a real typing game. Just image how fun it would be to learn Zerg!

Check out Zergling Teaches Typing here!

3. XPPX9001 – Turtle Beach

'Nuff said.

Turtle Beach makes gaming headsets. They finally decided to make the most ultimate headset and and eyeset(?). The XPPX9001 is described as, “the most technologically advanced piece of gaming equipment ever devised.”

It’s specs include:

  • 360 speakers that can all be controlled separately
  • A nine-inch super-thin polymer display screen that displays 1080p video
  •  both audio and video to the headset from a single HDMI connection, running between 600Hz and 11.6 jiggawatts
  • connect to two consoles at once and allow you to play PS3® with one eye and Xbox 360® with your other

Blow your mind here.

4. Mass Effect 80’s Cartoon – ign and Harry Partridge

(Insert necessary, “It would have a better ending than Mass Effect 3!” comment.)
5. Skyrim Electronic Dragon Shout Hoodie – Think Geek

Perfect for casual Friday.

Think Geek made the ultimate hoodie for those in mountainous Skyrim.

In addition to making you look like dovahkiin, the hoodie’s features include:

  • 100% cotton hoodie to protect you against the harsh Skyrim environment
  • Iron helmet face mask hood, includes horns
  • Electronic dragon shouts from powerful built-in speaker
  • Features all 20 shouts available to the Dragonborn
  • Dragon souls not required to unlock shouts

The hoodie only requires 4 AAAA batteries (not included)

Pretend you can buy it here.

 

6. Assassin’s Creed Kinect Announcement – Fan Made

Just lol. Give this cast and crew a spoof Oscar.

 

Dishonorable Mention: Half Life 3 available of Steam – Valve

Valve wins the meanest April Fool’s joke by getting fans hopes up by announcing suddenly that the long awaited Half Life 3 was available for purchase on Steam. So many dreams were crushed that day. Shame on you Valve. Shame on you. We’ll probably never forget how sad you made – oh hey a funny video about Assassin’s Creed Kinect!

You may only be able to get Xenoblade Chronicles this week

This is the box for the special edition of Xenoblade Chronicles. The included Classic Controller Pro™ is said to enhance the experience but is not required.

If you live in North America and have any interest in JRGPs at all, you need to check out Xenoblade Chronicles. When the title released in Japan it was heralded as “the best thing to come out of the…genre in five years”. With a Metacritic score of 92, Xenoblade Chronicles has lived up to its hype.

Xenoblade Chronicles is being released in the United States and Canada for Wii on April 6. This is great news. The unfortunate news is that Nintendo anticipates that after selling well for a core fan base that there will be little interest in the game. Rumors have been floating around that the game can only be purchased in North America through GameStop and the Nintendo website. Rumors also hold that that game can only be purchased if you preorder it.

That’s right. Rumors say that you cannot buy Xenoblade Chronicles unless you preorder it through GameStop or Nintendo.

The title costs $49.99. The special edition costs $64.99

What makes Xenoblade Chronicles great? 

Check out the ign.com review video of the game below to catch some of their favorite features.

A list of improvements the game has on the standard JRPG compiled by fan Louisgod include:

  • No consumable items. No potions, phoenix downs, anti-venoms, none of that poo poo.
  • You regain HP automatically as soon as a battle is complete.
  • No MP. Your attacks ‘cooldown’, so as soon as they’re available, you can use them again.
  • Adjustable day/night clock. Need to be somewhere at a specific time? Set the clock exactly to that time.
  • No game over screen. If you die, you’re sent to the last game marker you passed.
  • Rewards for exploration, often in the form of experience.
  • Every piece of armor, clothing and weapon looks unique on your characters. Sometimes they’re really goofy but kinda fun.
  • Insta-warp from one map to the next. Are you near the end of the game but need to visit the beginning? Literally open a menu, choose that area, and you’re transported there.
  • Save any time, anywhere. There are NO save points; you can just about save anywhere you want.

My interest in JRPGs waned a long time ago like most people, but Xenoblade Chronicles is the type of game that could win me back. Don’t miss out on this gem; reserve Xenoblade Chronicles today.

Follow the links to buy at either  GameStop or Nintendo

ZOMG! The state of the undead in 2012

Zombies are always a favorite foe in video games. They’re disgusting, they’re scary, they remind us of our own mortality. It’s also fun that they make squishy noises when we stomp on their heads.

Purdue University is currently embroiled in its own zombie invasion in the form of the the dart tag game Humans vs. Zombies. (Which is quite frankly a surprise to me, I always thought that the two parties would get along.) Humans vs. Zombies ends tomorrow. Like most zombie outbreaks the humans will likely lose.

Luckily video games provide us with much needed zombie destruction and a glimpse at what it would be like if humans won once in a while. I’m not even sure how many outbreaks have been contained in the Resident Evil series.

Nothing to see here.

2012 has quite a lot of high profile zombie games. Let’s check out the zombie titles of 2012.

Worth sinking your rotting teeth into

Resident Evil: Revelations

Revelations has some of the best graphics of any game for the Nintendo 3DS. It’s a lengthy title that has plenty of good scares. Recent Resident Evil games have been as much action titles as survival horror. Revelations is an excellent handheld game and a return to the more survival horror and puzzle roots of the RE series. Oh, and the reviews have been pretty great with a Metacritic score of 82/100.

Worse than a losing all of your zombie limbs

Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City

It might sound cool to play a squad based shooter in the settings of Resident Evil 2 and 3. It might sound even cooler to play from the standpoint of the bad guys, Umbrella Corp. In reality this game is just about as fun a real zombie outbreak, which is to say that  it’s emotionally damaging and makes you consider whether it would be better to just die then to continue living in a world that would unleash such awful horrors on you. The controls of Operation Raccoon City are bad. The plot is bad. The game is bad. Avoid this title. Metacritic agrees giving the title a 54/100.

Worth your undead wait

Resident Evil 6

Did I mention that it is the Chinese year of the Resident Evil? The series will see yet another high profile release this year on November 20. The game will be played from the perspective of at least three main characters and promises to be both chilling and action packed. The plot focuses on the events that happen when the United States president finally decides to reveal to the American public and the world the facts behind the original zombie outbreak in Raccoon City from the first Resident Evil. The game will no doubt be a best seller and should have the quality expected of most block-buster games.

The Last of Us

Personally, I’m most excited about The Last of Us, the next big title from award-winning developer Naughty Dog. The game is set the near future when society has collapsed and most humans have been killed by a fungus that eats human brains and then controls their victims bodies. These fungus monster are truly terrifying in concept and are a breath of fresh creativity in the zombie genre. The Last of Us follows the story of a jaded, middle-aged man from before the fungpocalypse and the teenage girl that he is tasked to protect. The game has stunning graphics and promises to deliver the signature excellent storytelling and tight gameplay of a Naughty Dog game. Sadly, The Last of Us is a Playstation exclusive and cannot be experienced on PC or Xbox. The game has no definite release date but is rumored to come out late in 2012 or early in 2013.

So there you go Zombie fans! Now you know what zombie games to enjoy when you get to safe houses during the actual zombie apocalypse.

Can you really remote play PS3 games on your PS Vita?

We’ve all seen this amazing commercial of a guy pausing his PS3 and then having his game (MLB the Show) pop up on his PS Vita right where he left off. Or if you haven’t seen this black magic before, you will now.

This is crazy! It’s like what would happen if you handed a Vita to Harry Potter. “Awesomamos! There you go, your Vita is a PS3.”

Personally, I thought it sounded too good to be true, so I did a little research. Turns out, I was right in the short term, but perhaps very wrong in the long run. Let me explain.

Too good to be true

The rumors from Sony for a while have been that Vita will play all PS3 games. This couldn’t currently be farther from the truth. As of writing this article, no website or gamer has confirmed that a single PS3 game can be played on Vita. I have read plenty of forums where gamers have personally tested hundreds of Playstation games, many of them PS3 to see what plays on the Vita. In fact, even PS2 games don’t yet work remote play on Vita. Only Playstation and some downloadable titles can currently be remote played on the Vita.

But, Logan! The commercial showed that attractive, cool guy, that has a job that we can only assume is sweet playing a PS3 game on his Vita! True. But Sony has shown games being remote played on the Vita recently that cannot actually be played on the Vita. Case and point: Sony played Killzone 3 remotely at the Tokyo Game Show and you can’t play Killzone 3 remotely on Vita. Perhaps soon you will be able to play MLB the Show (from the commercial) remotely on Vita.

Some day it might be true.

The Vita is capable of playing most PS3 games from a hardware perspective, the games just haven’t been supported yet. Patches could make games supported, and I’m guessing that most popular, newer titles will come ready for remote play on the Vita. Until then, you can’t really anticipate your titles magically being updated to play on the Vita. It might be able to soon but there are no promises. I can’t even promise that Vita will ever play most future PS3 games. But what I can show you are videos of hacked Vitas actually playing PS3 games remotely.

Videos like this mean that it’s possible to carry a home console with you anywhere: that the amazing could happen.

Voice Acting in Video Games

"This article is going to be AWESOMMME!!!!"

It’s good to be back from vacation everyone! (Yeah right…) Admit it, you missed me almost as much as I missed you.

While I was on my road trip with my girlfriend I would read books to her while it was her turn to drive because I can’t afford books on tape on this blog’s budget. But reading a story in character voices got me thinking about another important medium with voices: the our beloved video game industry.

We oftentimes hear a lot about the graphics and gameplay of our favorite games, but rarely hear much about the very important voice acting process in video games. The voices can give the characters a sense of life that they just couldn’t have otherwise.

There are some awesome protagonists that don’t speak; I don’t want to diminish how awesome Gordon Freeman is. However, imagine a Half-Life that didn’t feature fantastic voice acting for all of the characters that Gordon runs into. Quite simply, giving our most beloved characters voices gives them a personality and spirit more than almost anything else in the development process.

How important is it?

SodaHead.com held a poll of 257 of their readers to see how important they thought voice acting in video games was. The result is that a clear majority of 221, 86%, of the readers thought that voice acting was important in video games. However, many held the belief that great voice acting alone can’t make a game good any more than great graphics can. Many gamers cite that the voice acting of games like the Uncharted series or Mass Effect series draw them in and make the game world seem much more real to them.

Voice acting used to be on the back burner for the video game industry. Voices would be provided solely by amateurs and the designers themselves. But times have changed. Gamers have spoken and decided that voice acting is important to new video games. So important in fact, that the highest profile voice actors can make millions. Speaking of which…

How much does the average voice actor make?

Voice Actors in the News blog shares the following salary statistics pulled from Careerbuilder.com:

– Voice Over Talent and Voice Over Announcer: $42,707.

– Voice Over Actor: $50,506.

– Voice Coach: $58,109.

That seems like a solid amount of money to a schmuck about to graduate from college like myself, but the reality is that many voice actors can’t get enough work to reach these median pays of those that can. For example, eHow states, “In 2009, voice acting agent Shomu Shirogane, who represents 1,600 voice actors in Japan, estimated that only 10 percent of his actors were able to make a living via voice work alone.”

Although there are many struggling video game voice actors, there are also plenty of vocal superstars. Higher paid voice actors can make $90,000 a year with the top paid actors making hundreds of thousands more. Celebrity voice actors appearing in small roles can receive up to $750,000 for one hour’s work, according to eHow.

I will take my payment in the form of three money rain showers.

Interestingly enough, this salary is not enough to entice most A-list Hollywood actors, so most video game movie tie-ins feature actors that can do good impersonations of the movie actor. It is also important to note that note that most video game voice actors don’t not get paid royalties. This means that whether a game grosses $500 million or $10 the voice actor is paid the same for their work. (Although higher profile games obviously pay much more before royalties.)

This potentially a lot of money. Sounds like it’s time to get involved with a…

Union

There is no specific union for voice actors in video games, but if an actor is in a union it is generally the Screen Actors Guild or the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. SAG and AFTRA actors can sometimes be paid more because they demand more consistent rates.

For example, most AFTRA video game voice actors make $780 per session. (A session is a four hour work day.)

Union actors are definitely a minority in video game voice acting. 80% of the voice acting are non-union projects which make them a good starting point for amateur voice actors, says video game voice actor and coach Kevin Delaney on his website. Sounds good, there can be good money and some opportunities to get into video game voice acting, but…

What does voice acting work entail?

Raise Your Voice Acting has anonymous voice actors explain their experiences. They share that video game voice actors have little, if any, preparation before reading a script. Most of their direction comes straight from the director as they are in the recording process. Voice actors generally sit or stand and speak into a stationary mic, but some games like the Uncharted series has their actors act out the actions of the game in order to better capture the real urgency of the actions in the actors voice and help to better motion capture the action to link it with the words being spoken.

Voice acting in the Uncharted series.

Uncharted is in a clear minority in how it is voice acted. Many projects have an actor read from a script with just a director present. Oftentimes, the other actors aren’t present. Sometimes, the other characters lines aren’t even provided to the actor to provide context on what the conversation is.

Because the actor is expected to read lines from a sheet of paper with sometimes little context and on the fly, the actor is greatly aided by a strong imagination and the ability to make bold vocal choices on the spot and in the moment.

There are some dangers associated with voice acting. The video game medium has a lot of characters that get harmed, die, or yell, so naturally there is a lot of screaming that can be rough on your voice. This is another reason why some actors in other mediums of acting avoid video game voice work.

Famous Voice Actors in Action

Here are some videos of some of the most famous video game voice actors performing:


Check out this video matching the voices of Batman Arkham City to the actors that voiced them. After the video plays links to tons of YouTube videos of high profile games with pictures and names of all the voice actors appears. Check out your favorites!

These are all high profile performers and titles, so they are not the norm. As the videos explain, actors rarely have nice prompters, rarely do their own motion capture, and rarely are even recorded in the same room as each other.

Now that we know some more about the awesome industry that is video game voice acting, we can give it a go ourselves if we want. Heck we can even try it out on websites like Voices.com. Give it a go! The worst that can happen is you help add to the long list of historically bad voice acting.

You might want to listen to that twice.

Killer Assassin’s Creed III details

(image from Wikipedia)

Details about Assassin’s Creed III have been popping out of the shadows constantly the past few days. To make it easy to keep up on the info about game I’ve put all the information that I know of in one helpful little article for you. So plug yourself into the Animus and learn a little about the future of Ubisoft’s biggest title.

(The following information is based off of a Game Informer exclusive from their brand new April edition and ign.com.)

The Setting

America in 1777. The colonies are gripped in the Revolutionary War with the English. The latest assassin seems to have sided with the American rebels.

The Protagonists

Assassin’s Creed III features a brand new assassin named Conner. Conner has an English father and a Native American mother. Conner was raised among his mother’s Mohawk tribe. Conner is in the same assassin order as previous protagonists, but it has not yet been explained how they came to be present in the Americas.

Desmond will be returning as the protagonist during present day. Desmond is no longer in a coma and will experience the memories of Conner through the Animus 3.0. (Those other two are so outdated.)

Secondary Characters (also known as “Cool Dudes from History”)

During Conner’s dirty deeds he will run into famous figures such as George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, and Charles Lee. Washington is said to be an important part of the story, while Franklin will play a role in designing new gadgets for Conner. I will be very surprised if this game doesn’t inspire the next generation of American historians.

Pictured: Benjamin Franklin just before he invented the electric assassin blade.

The World

The new game world takes place in the American frontier between New York and Boston. Locations that can be explored include Lexington, Concord, and Conner’s Mohawk hometown. The game world of Assassin’s Creed III is touted to be 1.5 times the size of  Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood. The game world looks to have a large amount of tree platforming in wooded areas. Both parkour enthusiasts and arborists agree that this is awesome. The world will feature weather effects for both summer and winter.

Gameplay

  • Platforming on trees and buildings will be possible.
  • Animals can be hunted and skinned.
  • Animal skins can be sold for money.
  • Money, in turn, can be used to buy weapons and property like in previous Assassin’s Creed titles.
  • Quests will be initiated by joining clubs. So far, at least a hunting club has been confirmed.
  • Thankfully, no tower defense elements like those in Assassin’s Creed Revelations will be appearing.
  • Multiplayer has not yet been confirmed.
The Tech
Previous Assassin’s Creed titles had the technology to run with 100 npcs on the screen at once; Ubisoft’s updated Anvil tech engine will allow for over 1,000 characters to be on screen at once. The tech and trailers indicate that some large scale battles will be occurring in the game.
Quick! Kill the guy in the red!

Quick! Stealth kill the guy in the red! (image from dipity.com)

The Promise

A March 5 Ubisoft press release stated Assassin’s Creed III is “the largest project in Ubisoft’s history” with a development time of  “over three years and twice the production capacity of any previous Ubisoft game.”

The Awesome Trailer

The Happy Gamers / Release Date

Assassin’s Creed III is releasing for PC, Xbox 360, and PS3 on October 30. The game has also been announced for Wii U, but a release date has not yet been given. It will likely be a Wii U launch title this holiday season.

Your Rants

How excited are you for Assassin’s Creed 3? If you have any nearly major system you can play the title. Are you planning on buying the game? Rant away!

%d bloggers like this: