For a class project, a group of game devs got together, with help from their friends, to create a mod for the popular StarCraft game. The team used a StarCraft Campaign Editor tool, which allowed them to change the layout of the maps, storyline, and make custom voiceovers for the characters.
Looking back on the project, Ryan Houghtelling, a team leader, reported, “Although we referred to our Campaign as a ‘StarCraft Mod’, it was not a Mod in the generally accepted definition of that term. Usually, a Mod requires modeling, animation, Foley, and custom scripting or coding. In a sense, reworking the original game it spawned from and adding your own touch or interpretation - all the while working with the actual game engine. However, it was much different in our case because we were working with a campaign editor and not an actual game engine. This fact prevented us from customizing the game too much. Anything relating to graphics was locked down and many things such as map size, intros, and scripting options were predefined and unchangeable.
We found the one truly original thing we could change about the campaign would be the voiceovers. That sent us down the path of creating some interesting characters and filling the ingame with plenty of stand-in parts. And that’s where most of our efforts went.”
The team posted ads on campus for voice actors and put on two rounds of auditions.
“We kept everyone on that impressed us, eventually finding places for all of them. The first round was just reads of the mainstream scripts to see the range and ability and listen for the kind of voices we were wanting. By the time the second round of auditions came, the scripts were ready. We had each person read for the different characters we thought they might work for. Everyone almost naturally fell into the roles and there was little deciding to do on our part,” Ryan said.
The team created a website to promote their Campaign at: http://ci.uact.edu/
The website also serves as a place for game documentation, which helped for the voice actors to study. The web site also provided a board for beta testers to post their findings, and a means for news updates on the project.