Adding voice acting to Ren'Py games just for fun

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eime-leen
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Adding voice acting to Ren'Py games just for fun

#1 Post by eime-leen » Mon Jan 09, 2017 10:59 pm

I'm really sorry if this is the wrong place to post this, but I don't know where else I could discuss it (and in that case, please remove this post).

I used to play Ren'Py games that I found on the Lemma Soft Forums and really enjoyed them.
I'd like to add voice acting to some of these (free/non-commercial) VNs, just for fun. (It will be edited in a video format, NO monetization)
My goal is only to share my love of Ren'Py games with more people, including ones who have never heard of Ren'Py before.

I chose Left of Center (viewtopic.php?f=11&t=20120) as the first Ren'Py game to voice. I was not able to contact TwinTurtle Games who made that game (The writer CheeryMoya is inactive) to ask for permission, but I still really want to go ahead with the project.
Some other VNs I remember playing include RE:Alistair++ (I think the game that introduced me to Ren'Py), (P)lanets, Doppleganger: Dawn of the Inverted Soul...

Anyways, just wondering if I could get a bit of feedback on the matter. Is this a good idea? Or should I not touch Ren'Py games?


Well, thank you for the fun memories back in 2013 here... although I never got to complete a Ren'Py game myself. :oops: Perhaps I can relive those memories and check out projects that are being created today.

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Re: Adding voice acting to Ren'Py games just for fun

#2 Post by papillon » Tue Jan 10, 2017 5:15 pm

If you just mean posting videos of yourself reading the games aloud and acting out the characters, this is almost certainly fine. Lots of people do this on youtube. Some ask permission, and some games give explicit permission, but in general as long as it isn't monetised most likely no one will care.

If you mean actually cracking the game code to insert voice files and redistribute the game that way, that's a bit touchier without permission. Some people might object.

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Re: Adding voice acting to Ren'Py games just for fun

#3 Post by Taleweaver » Wed Jan 11, 2017 6:23 am

Look at the license the games were published under. If someone publishes under a license that allows the game to be freely remixed (for example, Creative Commons licenses without the ND condition), you really needn't ask for permission (though I would consider it good form to ask anyway).
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Re: Adding voice acting to Ren'Py games just for fun

#4 Post by Mammon » Wed Jan 11, 2017 7:06 am

I think plenty of developers will allow you or even encourage you to do something like that, but maybe try doing it with a game that's not several years old (unless their creator is still active). Even if there's no problem between the ren'py versions of then and now, you already experienced the issue of actually contacting them.
If you're a voice actor who'll program their own voice into the story too and thus requires little to no effort from the developer, I bet you can find a lot of people willing to allow you to play around with their game under the terms that you stated here. In fact, you have such a large selection of games to choose from under these conditions that you could even start selecting them based upon your own abilities; assuming you're doing this alone you'll only have one gender to work with, unless you were planning to keep half the character cast silent or plan to do both genders anyway and damn the results?

Considering the large selection of games you could no doubt find willing to accept your plan, you might want to select a game you like with the factor that it only has a few characters that are mostly the same gender as you. For example a romance game with only the MC and two-three romance routes as relevant characters. Keep the protagonist silent and give the three of them one of your voices. I wouldn't really see how your plan would work out well otherwise, unless you were to find at least one more voice actor to help you on your endeavours.
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Re: Adding voice acting to Ren'Py games just for fun

#5 Post by eime-leen » Wed Jan 11, 2017 4:28 pm

@papillion - Right. I think I was just mainly worried about not getting permission/if I need permission for certain games. No, I definitely do not mean "crack and redistribute the game".

@Taleweaver - Thank you! I will look at the licenses as well.

@Mammon - I do wish I could have thought of it sooner. I wanted to voice this game in particular because it had meaning to me. That's right, the developer does not need to do anything - that's the project director's (me) job. :D Yes, I would attempt to find other (fitting) voice actors to help voice all of the characters. There is an online community just for this! Still, thank you for the suggestion.

Thank you very much for the feedback!

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