Have you been longing to give more drama and more engagement to your characters, games and stories? When your characters speak to each other, would you like them to give the impression they are actually speaking the words you hear?
Hi, we’re Chatterware.
We are a small UK based, Indie development team with specialists in audio and game design and story development. Today we are proud to bring users of the Unity Engine, a brand new way to give a voice to low polygon characters, in your games, stories, cut scenes, films and interactive experiences. This really is a game changer!
Introducing “Now We’re Talking!”.
“Now We’re Talking!” provides real-time, animated mouths, synchronised to voice clips, for any low polygon character it’s attached to, giving them a voice, so to speak. Using voice clips (data) to animate a character’s mouth, live, in real-time, in sync, has never been this easy! That’s not all, “Now We’re Talking!” offers a variety of mouth and lip combinations along with adjustable data parameters to enable just about every mouth to be unique.
Instantly select and load our preset default mouth data (which we provide for our voice pack clips) and get your character’s mouths working, ‘out of the box!’ Or make specific adjustments to give your animated mouths a personalised variation, it’s your choice!
We provide an asset which can completely generate, animate and adapt speaking mouths for many different kinds of low polygon characters, but we didn’t stop there. In this initial release there are three mouth shapes which provide different styles. You can choose the mouth style more suited to each of your characters on an individual basis. In future releases we will introduce sprite mouths and themed sprite mouth packs to provide even more flexibility for the developer. Current mouths can be re-coloured using provided materials or make your own and assign them. It is the same for the lips (both can be individually selected on/off in the Unity Editor inspector).
“Now We’re Talking!” provides more than just mouths. Each character has a whole set of parameters which can be individually assigned. There are provisions to set up ‘eye blinks’ and separate ‘expressive eyebrows’, each with only one click. We’ve also included options for ‘Dalek’ like flashing (swapping two emissive materials also in sync with voice clips), synchronised rotating objects slots to animate assigned character accessories, such as aerials or radar dishes. These features are especially helpful for science fiction characters, aliens, robots and mechanical characters.
Need an inanimate object, like a mountain, to have a mouth with which to speak to your player, in a deep, reverberant voice? No problem! Check out our full tutorial on how to set that up, exactly. Making adjustments to the pitch and adding a reverb zone are also covered in the tutorial. The whole set-up takes less than a few minutes!
“Now We’re Talking!” allows the developer to set up multiple conversations and have variations available which can immediately, depending on the player’s actions, switch between them. We call these separate conversations, NPC_Phases. Developers can set up as many as they need. Simply name each conversation (each conversation is a sample list containing the voice clips, in correct playback order) to initialise a conversation, simply send the correct conversation title using a ‘send.message’ command to the “Now We’re Talking!” script. Activating the voice and mouth to play in sync is as simple as activating the “NWT_PlayAudio” game object on the “NWT_Prefab”. Everything else is automatic.
If you want randomised phrases, it’s one click. We even provide a few professionally recorded sample voice clips to allow you to get started immediately. Chatterware will be providing extra purchasable themed voice packs as part of our ‘Road Map’ (see ‘Road Map’).
Do you have an NPC who hasn’t seen your player for 20 years or more? No problem using the one time only ‘Welcome Clip’ clip, your NPC’s first words can actually cover that,
“Well I never, I haven’t seen you in twenty years! Welcome stranger! Ha ha ha!”
…and then the NPC can move straight into their first conversation line from the current
NPC_Phase = “SetQuest001ForPlayer”
“So, what brings you to these parts, are you looking to earn some gold? I may have just the quest for you…!”
Each conversation line is then activated in the same manner, first deactivate the “NWT_PlayAudio” gameobject, then reactivate it for the next line of conversation.
There’s so much more to get into, once you start setting the parameters yourself and delving into the full featureset in the Unity Editor Inspector. It’s a very powerful system and with creative use it can be configured to significantly improve the engagement of your players and along with it, immersion in the game world you have created.
We hope you enjoy using “Now We’re Talking!”, we have had lots of fun developing the system so far and have a lot of additional features planned for it – please check the ‘Road Map’ elsewhere on our website.
We encourage everyone interested in the asset to join our Discord server and to follow us on Twitter.