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DST Animated Series: Voice Actors or Instrument Voices...?


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I know Waoling mentioned this a little while ago but I'm not sure if there's actually anything official in the works for a DST animated series. Sure we get the animated shorts with most updates and I saw a tweet that mentioned if we really want a DST animated series we should be tweeting Netflix about it... which I might start pitching Netflix the idea on Twitter, just to see what happens... because if there was a Netflix series I would totally watch it. If a series were created I'm sure most current fans of the game would watch... but the objective should be to create something with universal appeal... something enjoyable for established fans AND people who have no knowledge of the game at all. A DST series that has universal appeal makes more sense for Netflix and Klei... ergo the cost of putting it into production makes sense.

And recently I've started taking some writing classes for people who want to develop content for TV, film, and web-series... and I often think about how a DST animated series would look, sound, and evolve. The story is pretty captivating... a diverse group of survivors trapped in the magical and menacing world of the Constant trying to find their way back home... reminds me of an animated version of "Lost" (a very popular TV series from ancient times).

My question is what would be better for the series with regards to the characters' voices: using voice actors or the instruments that currently voice them? Could an animated series capture viewers with no knowledge of the game if the characters are voiced by instruments? The body language of the animation would have to be very expressive and powerful to tell the story without words.

For greater appeal, I initially think that it would require voice actors... but an animated series using instruments as the voices is a "new twist"... and it would be cheaper to use instruments... but would Sponge Bob or Rick and Morty be as popular as they are if the dialogue came from instruments?

TLDR: What do current fans think? Would it be better to use voice actors or instruments?

Your feedback is appreciated and thanks for your time.

Sincerely,
MrWorm

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I really want to see Don't Starve become an animated series! My online presence is insignificant, but I'd happily add my little voice to the request for its creation, so keep us updated if you need signal boosting on Twitter or something. ^^

As for the voices, I guess a lot depends on the target audience. Voice acting would be generally preferable, but I've always loved the combination of using instruments for the character voices with their actual dialogue in text. It's been used beautifully in the game, and also in some of the animated shorts where characters even get their own fonts. It would certainly be an unique twist! I doubt DS would be targeted for children that can't read, so that wouldn't be a problem. And when considering translation, normal subtitles could still be used. On the other hand there is the question of accessibility. Voice acting allows visually impaired people to enjoy the show much better, as an example.

But DS has always done a great job at visual storytelling, even with no dialogue or text at all, so that's definitely an option. But I feel like the mainstream media might be hesitant to do something so unusual and having character voices would appeal to a wider audience. So in conclusion, I'm fine with either, but these are some things to consider. ^^

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Copy that GameHun20 and JeMiChi, I like the idea of instrumental voices too... as stated it does offer a "new twist" to an animated series. Plus there are lots of movies that use little or no dialogue that were very successful... like Boy and the World... A Quiet Place... Disney's Fantasia only uses instruments... this could be Klei's Fantasia.

 

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This is an interesing topic, we had at least one short where the survivors actually talked instead of using their typical instrumental voices, and IMO, also if it was quite good as always like every klei's short, I didn't fit quite well the game's spirit. Also a Don't Starve animated series would be really enjoyable mainly by the people that at least know about the game, so even if the voices would make it family friendly, kids would not be interested because they wouldn't know from where it comes, I guess. In the end I want to say big up to biip boop voices

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Thanks for the reply H, and I hear ya... the main audience from the start would be fans of the game... but you never know what will catch on once word-of-mouth and the internet start spreading something new around. With the fascinating characters and deep lore of DST AND the use of instrument voices... might be something more people would get into. Parents might see it as a "baby-Einstein material" show since the art style and instruments would give it an "artsy and intellectual" vibe... and I assure you parents love feeding their kids' brains that kind of stuff.

So if we can just pace the story telling of each episode right... might be able to capture the attention of both kids and adults alike... THEN they might start playing DST and BAM! They're hooked on the game and the series... in theory/hypothetically speaking...

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It would be really great to see a DST animated series. I feel like voice acting would be awesome, but at the same time I would not be mad if it was instruments. I think instruments could work really well if there is text sort of like how JeMiChi described it. As long as there is a show I would be happy :D

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57 minutes ago, Squidyfoo said:

As long as there is a show I would be happy :D

Agreed Squidyfoo... and it's interesting that the only times we see dialogue as text... is when Maxwell or Charlie are talking. Our two main protagonists... and love interests.

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Been interested in the topic for years, and would still love to see a full-fledged series pitched and funded.  I do believe it has the potential to be universally appealing, especially with the way the style has adapted over the years.  However, the direction of the plot would seem to be the biggest and (subjectively) the most important decision. If the show were to revolve primarily around DST, and hop straight into Charlie's ascension/Cyclum, then you'd run the risk of alienating new audiences who are unfamiliar with the plot of base game/Adventure Mode + William Carter puzzles.  Even the slice of life formula requires some sort of setup... so that's always been the question on my mind.  It's rather finnicky!  

But, for the voices, I do believe it'd be better to lean into actual voice acting with occasional homages to their instrumentals.  Perhaps through sound-cues for each character, a sort of mini-theme that'd play for their introduction or work in tandem with another score.  Maybe some leitmotifs... there's a lot they could do with the instrumentals, but ultimately I think they should support the voices instead of replacing them entirely.

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Having actual speaking roles would basically be a necessity for any story heavy animation, but I think that a more shorts type of show would still do really well and work alongside instrument voices much better. Sounds to be expressive but to focus on the animation rather than the story, something akin to... Happy Tree Friends I guess lol.

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I don’t think an animated netflix series would gain too much traction without voice acting.. 

Willow, Wilson & Maxwell have all had voice acting in animated shorts so it’s not unusual for the franchise..

But in game? This is both a Yes & No..

No because the instrument vocals is a staple part of the DS franchise & i would deeply miss them if replaced with voice acting.

but on the other hand… Yes for the Reading Impaired who could really use Audio guidance in playing & understanding the game (people like my sister who has dyslexia & can’t read)

As an added reason for Yes to voice acting: Walters campfire stories/The little bit of Drama stage acts would be significantly less annoying.

Friendly reminder that even though the cartoon Charlie Brown had several characters (adults, Snoopy, Woodstock) that couldn’t talk, it still needed to have narration and voice acting at some point (the children)

If a Netflix series was made- they couldn’t continue to tell the story without it I don’t think!

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Tbch I would love for a full show to be developed without any speaking. It would make it really unique, and Klei already introduced the instrument voices as a great alternative to voice acting. I just think of the potential, and normal voice actors and all just seem dull in comparison.

We can have the narrator tho. Everyone loves him.

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I think it'd be more creative and more true to Don't Starve's identity to not have voice acting.

How about instead they do what some of the old animated shorts did and have it play more like and old time classic silent movies - before sound was invented (they could cheat though and still have the instruments). Just use minimal text dialogue and have it be more reactionary based storytelling. This format also fits in better to the lore and timeline of the game.

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Gi-Go, Sudoku, ArubaroBeefalo, BezKa, Mike23Ua, MadMatt, Well-met, and DoeEyedDarling,

Thank you for the feedback, that is all very helpful.

And I did some digging on how to properly pitch a series to the Netflix Buyers... you put together a Pitch Packet and then have a Literary Agent or someone with experience in the field of TV, film, or web-series present it.

1. The Pitch Packet looks easy enough and as my script writing class is about to end with a 3-week break before the next one begins... making a packet will be an excellent thing to practice in the down time. I will provide a copy once it's finished.

2. There are plenty of Literary Agents on the internet but... the best way to do business is with people you have a preexisting relationship with... does anyone know anyone with TV, film, or web-series experience...? Perhaps the current animation team has a friend of a friend who knows someone... any referrals are appreciated.

NeverHurtstoTry,
MrWorm

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We saw a potential pilot with the "Inevitable" short. 

Personally, I'm fine with Emmet as Maxwell. He was hilarious as Lord Sludge and the unimplemented Newton from Oxygen Not Included. 

We'll see.

Oxygen Not Included prequel series, a Griftlands mini series, or Global Action Team would be fun too.

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DajeKotlyar, Lino, Minespatch, and Cheggf,

Your feedback is noted and appreciated... and I might have spent some time during work last night putting together a Beat Sheet for the Pilot Episode which is to be included in a Pitch Packet. A Beat Sheet is basically a simple and concise outline of what's happening. Here are the "Chapter Titles" for Acts I-III.

Prologue: The Train Wreck
Chapter I: King Takes Pawn
Chapter II: Pawn Takes Rook...

Characters involved: Charlie, Maxwell, Wilson, and Woodie... with cameos from Wolfgang and Willow.

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I would say yes to voice acting.

Voice acting really is an under-appreciated job and can really breathe life into the characters that are portrayed, that's why the Death of Kevin Conroy really hit home for a lot of people, he was THE Batman, and people grew to know Batman because of his voice. Well-written characters go hand-in-hand with memorable voices and separating one of the two would take away a huge part of the character. I know Wilson as a trumpet, but I also loved hearing him in "Inevitable" too, being able to hear his tone of voice and comedic humor better than ever.

All in all, I guess it really comes down to how Klei would want their characters portrayed if they chose to adapt DS to TV, and I'll be excited for the result regardless.

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