Star Trek Online Responds to VO Query

04.11.2010

Subspace-Radio.net has published a Q&A with Star Trek Online Executive Producer Craig Zinkievich, which includes a question on the possibility of Cryptic Studios recording more voiceovers for the game in the future:

Q: [There’s] been a lot of talk amongst the [fan] community about the [possibility] of Cryptic [Studios] fully voicing STO. Is it a [possibility] and likely or not, what are the difficulties involved in that sort of undertaking?

A: Adding voiceover to a game is a four-pronged issue.

1) It’s expensive. There are union rules in place for voice actors, and the talented ones who belong to that guild deservedly make good money. That’s something you have to factor in as part of development. 2) It takes a lot more time to add voice to something. Do we want to slow down the content we release to add voice? Does that best serve our customers? 3) Do our customers really want a lot of voiceovers in MMOGs considering content is designed to be repeatable? 4) Localizing can be slow and costly.

Personally, I like voice in every game I play, but I’ve also read a lot of complaints about MMOGs that featured a lot of voiceover in the past. Times are changing, though.

To answer the question: It’s something we’d like to do, but it’s not high on our list of priorities, at least right now. We’re more dedicated to getting a lot of content out to people at a fast rate.

As previously reported, Star Trek Online has a minimal voiceover cast: Leonard Nimoy (the game’s narrator), Zachary Quinto (voices a holographic doctor in the game’s tutorial), and a sound-alike for the late Majel Roddenberry provides the computer’s voice.

Fans have launched a campaign via StarTrekOnline.com to persuade Cryptic Studios to hire more Trek “alumni” to reprise their roles.


Happy Birthday, Wil Wheaton!

07.29.2009

Wishing a very happy 37th birthday to Wil Wheaton, born today in 1972.

While most recognize Wil for his roles as Wesley Crusher on Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987) and Gordie in Stand By Me (1986), Wil has enjoyed a successful career as a voice actor starting as far back as 1982 when he voiced Martin in Don Bluth’s animated classic The Secret of N.I.M.H. He has since voiced several lead and supporting characters in video games (Grand Theft Auto series, Ghost Recon series, Everquest II) and animated TV series such as Aqualad on Teen Titans, Cosmic Boy on Legend of Super Heroes, Blue Beetle on Batman: The Brave and the Bold, and Mike Morningstar/Darkstar on Ben 10: Alien Force.

Wil founded an independent publishing company in 2003, Monolith Press. He is the author of three memoirs: Dancing Barefoot (Monolith Press, 2003), Just a Geek (O’Reilly Media, 2004), and The Happiest Days of Our Lives (Monolith Press, 2007). Most recently, Wil published Sunken Treasure: Wil Wheaton’s Hot Cocoa Box Sampler which includes a collection of his favorite pieces from his blog and books, fiction excerpts, a production diary from his guest role on Criminal Minds, and a script he wrote and performed at the ACME Comedy Theater.

You can drop Wil a birthday note via Twitter or through this post on his official site.


George Takei Interviewed

03.23.2009

George Takei (of Star Trek fame who has also been a guest voice on such animated fare as The Simpsons, Chowder, Kim Possible, Batman Beyond, Disney’s Mulan, and several video games) has been interviewed (most appropriately) by The Enterprise of Brockton, MA:

Continue reading: George Takei reflects on ‘Star Trek,’ fame and Howard Stern [The Enterprise]


Celebrate ‘International Talk Like William Shatner Day’

03.21.2009

Originally posted March 21, 2009:

In honor of William Shatner’s birthday, voice actor and impressionist extraordinaire Maurice LaMarche (Futurama, Pinky and The Brain) has declared March 22nd, 2009 the first-ever “International Talk Like William Shatner Day.” To celebrate this event, Maurice has recorded a video tutorial explaining how to do a proper Shatner impression. Originally posted as an exclusive to Maurice’s officially-endorsed Facebook group The Genius of Moe: Fans of Maurice LaMarche, Moe has now made the video available via YouTube:

Update: 3.22.2010: Maurice has posted a video for the second annual “International Talk Like William Shatner Day,” performing with “premiere” Shatner impressionist Kevin Pollak:

[Caution: Adult language.]

You’re also invited to join the original “International Talk Like William Shatner Day” group on Facebook, for which Moe serves as a group admin.

And of course there would be no “International Talk Like William Shatner Day” without the man (or “The Shat”) himself.

And so, I’d like to wish a very happy birthday to actor William Shatner, born March 22nd, 1933, and famous the world over as Star Trek Captain James Tiberius Kirk… and also known for his trademark style of dramatic pause-acting.

In addition to his long career in film and television, Shatner has also been performing voice-overs since Star Trek: The Animated Series aired in 1973 (which also gave us Shatner’s infamous “sabotage” outtakes). He has gone on to lend his distinctive voice to many other animated projects: Futurama, Eek! The Cat, Osmosis Jones, Over The Hedge, Atomic Betty, and video games from the Star Trek franchise.

Shatner’s 1968 recording The Transformed Man is my favorite spoken-word/Shakespearean/pop music/disco album. Years ago, when I finally tracked down a copy at the now-defunct Warehouse Music, the cashier tried to prevent me from purchasing the album — informed me that it was “absolutely not for sale.” When I asked why, he said, “Because it’s the last copy we have. And if we sell it, we won’t have anything else to play to chase customers out of the store at closing time.”

And of course, here’s the obligatory link to Shatner’s official site: WilliamShatner.com.