Simlish/gibberish speech generators?

Simlish/gibberish speech generators?

Postby c_xong » 18 Apr 2017, 02:39

Does anyone know of any open source simlish/gibberish speech generators, or games that implement these?

I'm referring to where instead of recorded voice, you have gibberish audio played while speech text is shown. The audio can even dynamically fit the text to varying degrees.
A very popular approach in the 90's is where a single sound effect is played repeatedly, with possible pitch and speed variations, in sync with text. This was used a lot in classic JRPGs, but also many other games like GTA 1/2. Here's an example from Shining Force II:

youtu.be/nEN4JpM90CY

Another approach is to have some stock gibberish phrase that's repeated, like in The Sims, KotOR, and this example here which is surprisingly effective:

youtu.be/so_QEz9W2dw

Here's a more complex approach, one that I'm not sure is widely used: http://www.zbogucki.com/portfolio/dialogue-generator/
It uses audio middleware and a sound bank of phonemes to get a variety of generated voices that matches text quite well.

And then there's a huge list of examples over at TVTropes: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/M ... ingSimlish

Are there any open source examples? I'm surprised I didn't find any. I'd like to see what different approaches people use and how they do them.
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Re: Simlish/gibberish speech generators?

Postby c_xong » 18 Apr 2017, 03:08

Well looks like I spoke too soon; found this Animal Crossing-like speech synthesiser: http://acedio.github.io/animalese.js/ the license is MIT

The approach is very simple; it assigns a sound for each individual letter and plays them with significant overlap between the letters, as described in this reddit thread: https://www.reddit.com/r/gamedev/commen ... e_blarble/
It mostly works even with English; I imagine it would work better with languages with more consistent phonemes. The downside is that it has a distinctive stutter-like sound which may not fit certain themes/moods.
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Re: Simlish/gibberish speech generators?

Postby Sauer2 » 18 Apr 2017, 10:20

BTW: What method was used for this one:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3RotjK246l4
Approach #2?
Is the length of the patterns usually set manually or can that be handled by software to support multiple text languages?
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Re: Simlish/gibberish speech generators?

Postby c_xong » 18 Apr 2017, 11:16

Sauer2 {l Wrote}:BTW: What method was used for this one:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3RotjK246l4

That sounds more like an advanced version of #1 - it's still using a single sound effect, but rather than a synthetic one like JRPGs, it's using a voice sample. The hardware randomises the speed and pitch. It sounds like the same one used in Banjo-Kazooie:

youtu.be/aHto2VPJn4Y

This isn't surprising; both games were made around the same time so the motivation would be the same: game consoles could handle audio samples but had limited space to store large amounts of voice acted content, so this was one way to save space (and money obviously). The guy who made this, veteran game composer Grant Kirkhope talks more about it here: http://www.gameinformer.com/b/features/ ... areer.aspx

P.S. are youtube embeds broken or am I doing it wrong?
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Re: Simlish/gibberish speech generators?

Postby Sauer2 » 18 Apr 2017, 11:47

Interesting. In that case I'm glad the PC version is a lazy console port, because that sounds hilarious.
c_xong {l Wrote}:P.S. are youtube embeds broken or am I doing it wrong?

I can't tell, since I use uMatrix and load the youtube frame in another tab. To help diagnosis: Are the frames/divs missing at all or is the player script not working correctly?
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Re: Simlish/gibberish speech generators?

Postby Julius » 18 Apr 2017, 18:30

This is a pretty interesting topic as it can really help story driven games that really have problems with silent dialogs.
The animalese.js example sounds a bit too close to english though and unless you want to go for something intentionally funny it is probably not a good choice.
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Re: Simlish/gibberish speech generators?

Postby c_xong » 19 Apr 2017, 01:16

I found a related open source project: https://github.com/mnater/hyphenator which is an algorithm that inserts hyphens at syllable boundaries, used in TeX, but you could in theory also use it to detect syllables as part of a gibberish speech generator.

I found the problem with youtube embeds; my browser is blocking them because the forums are HTTPS but the embed URL is HTTP. If I change the embed to HTTPS they show up again.
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Re: Simlish/gibberish speech generators?

Postby Sauer2 » 19 Apr 2017, 16:14

c_xong {l Wrote}:I found the problem with youtube embeds; my browser is blocking them because the forums are HTTPS but the embed URL is HTTP. If I change the embed to HTTPS they show up again.

Hmm, too bad HTTPS isn't just a HTTP mode and browsers could just assume its support.

Do you want to introduce the faux speech to CDogs?

PS: you got mail
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Re: Simlish/gibberish speech generators?

Postby eugeneloza » 20 Apr 2017, 07:45

I've been thinking about this topic for some time...
Each game would require a bit different approach to gibberish generation. E.g. one needs some funny gibberish, another needs serious one... One game would be "fine" with just one sound pitch-shifted, while another won't be fine even with "letter-to-letter" algorithm and would require processing diphthongs/syllables or something like that.
Some games even just used a "typewriter" sound to represent speech.
https://youtu.be/H_7QZ6Q-sHs?t=56s
Or just some random (sometimes annoying) sound
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oPyzaKoGjks
Actually my favourite is :)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CxQTmCA_KA0
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Re: Simlish/gibberish speech generators?

Postby charlie » 20 Apr 2017, 09:41

I would record 3 or 4 gibberish noises (or however many you want) which should be very short, maybe half a second each (you'll have to experiment) then just play them randomly using the length of the text to decide how long a chain of random gibberish sounds you want to put together.
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