Google+

Welcome to The Sims 2! Part 37

Saturday, July 24, 2004 - 23:00

Greetings Sim Fans,

A certain species of geek may be quick to point out that Klingon is the fastest growing new language on the planet, but those of us involved in the making or playing of The Sims games know what the real score is – Simlish is enjoyed everyday by hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people! Will Wright knew how to keep the bar low on getting people fluent in the language of The Sims – give it emotion! Even though the language may lack formal structure, that doesn’t mean that recording all the vocal parts of the game was a slapdash, haphazard affair. No way! In fact, a tremendous amount of care and planning was required to get your Sims spouting the language we all know (sorta) and love. Here to shed a little light on the process is Claire Curtin, one of our super-talented Game Designers, and Robi Kauker, our Audio Lead. Take it away, Claire & Robi:

----------------------

With all the new updates and gameplay options in The Sims 2, there are several features that players of the original The Sims will recognize. One of the cornerstones of the Sims identity is the gibberish language we call Simlish. This time Simlish is back, with new voices representing each of the age ranges. We’ve included a few samples to give you a sneak preview.

A quick bit of Simlish history: when The Sims was originally designed Will Wright wanted the language the Sims spoke to be unrecognizable but full of emotion. That way, every player could construct their own story without being confined to a Maxis-written script (to say nothing of the mind-numbing repetition). We experimented with fractured Ukrainian (one of the original The Sims designers was a native speaker), and the Tagalog language of The Philippines. Will even suggested that perhaps we base the sound on Navajo, inspired by the code talkers of WWII. None of those languages allowed us the sound we were looking for – so we opted for complete improvisation, originated and performed by some SF Bay Area professional actors whose specialty was improv; Stephen Kearin and Gerri Lawlor.

So now it is five years since Simlish was born, and the tradition is carried on by an additional nine actors performing all the age range voices: baby, toddler, child, teen, adult and elder. The auditions were held January through May 2003 with over 100 actors from SF and LA trying out. We selected a highly talented cast and quickly got them to work recording many full 8 hour days, recording voice to over a hundred animations a day, resulting in thousands of takes a day.

With such a huge amount of voice data -- 40, 620 samples at the moment -- our pre- and post- production processes have been streamlined to get the voice into the game so it can be listened to, assessed and either re-recorded (in rare cases) or hacked (constructed out of similar-sounding files). Currently there are at least six Maxoids dedicated to getting the sound effects and voice in the game.

And even though I said Simlish is not a language per se, there are some common words that we directed all the actors to perform. If you listen closely, you’ll hear a word that means baby (nooboo), another for pizza (chumcha), and another phrase said during the Dirty Joke interaction that isn’t exactly defined, but just seemed to fit. That one was invented by Liz Mamorsky, our elder female voice.

Check out these samples and see the talented Claire and Robi themselves!

The Sims 2 The Sims 2

Maishuno! (You’ll see what that means when he game comes out on Sept 17th)

Facebook Comments Box

Advertisement

News Archive

Mastodon - Mastodon