Phonetic Arts Launches PA Preview at GDC 2010

1st March 2010. Cambridge, UK. Phonetic Arts today announced PA Preview, a new application that enables game developers to create placeholder dialogue automatically. Phonetic Arts said it would launch PA Preview at the upcoming Games Developers Conference in San Francisco, March 9-13.

Recorded dialogue is often added late in a game’s development making it difficult to design, pace and test scenes in the early stages of production. PA Preview addresses this problem by providing a comprehensive system for automatically generating the dialogue. PA Preview works by using Phonetic Arts' state of the art Generator technology which can take any written sentence and generate its spoken equivalent.

PA Preview ships with three voices as standard which developers can morph using Phonetic Arts’ VoiceAdapt technology. This gives developers freedom to create as many unique sounding voices as they wish, and also to make these voices suit the characters in their own game.

Often the collection and recording of dialogue is an involved logistical process which can tie up an audio engineer full time. PA Preview by contrast is easy to use and can be used by any member of the development team. In particular, the script writers themselves can preview, test and adjust lines as they see fit.

Paul Taylor, Chief Executive Officer of Phonetic Arts said“One of the most frequent requests we have had is for a system that will allow games developers to hear the dialogue early in development. Given the cost of recording real dialogue, it clearly makes sense to bring as much prototyping and dialogue development as early as possible. This greatly reduces the risk of having to re-record the real dialogue at the end of the production process.”

Phonetic Arts has been working with a number of developers already using PA Preview:

Jesse Joudrey, CTO, A.C.R.O.N.Y.M Games, commenting on PA Preview’s use in an upcoming Wii Title:“Many games today are developed under intense time pressure and rapid production cycles. PA Preview has been invaluable to us, and meant we could get convincing dialogue much earlier than normal with our tight scheduling requirements. This allowed us to jump ahead in our production schedule without waiting on studio time or or talent availability for pick-ups.”

Tom Colvin, Audio Director, Ninja Theory:“We used PA ScriptPreview extensively as part of the alpha testing for Enslaved. It worked amazingly well and allowed us to do a full alpha-testing program with voices.”

Chris Nuttall, Executive Producer, nDreams“Our Developers typically don’t get any audio, now they can not only hear the dialogue at every stage of development, they can make any changes needed for a scene straight away.”

Phonetic Arts was founded in 2006 by Paul Taylor, Ian Hodson and Anthony Tomlinson. Its goal is to revolutionise the computer games industry by allowing computer games to generate natural speech dynamically. PA Commentator is just one of the possible applications of Phonetic Arts technology for games.

Phonetic Arts will be at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, March 9-13 2010. Contact Steve Tyson +44 (0) 845 234 1224 or by email steve.tyson@phonetic-arts.com for a private demonstration of the technology


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