German players can enter a new world of aural immersion, with fully localised German voice acting now available in Conqueror’s Blade!
A team of dedicated professionals worked tirelessly to bring the German language to life through the game’s units and heroes. Featuring the talented tones of Jean Paul Baeck (Borderlands 3, Ghost of Tsushima, The Last of Us 2), Anja Taborsky (The Last of Us 2, Hearthstone), Oliver Wronka(Final Fantasy XV), Vincent Fallow (Cris Tales), direction by Tim Hennemann (Rainbow Six: Siege, Watch Dogs 2), and guidance from German Localisation Specialist Linda Weikert, join us aswe explore the journey, process, and people behind the scenes who helped bring these new voices to life in-game.
Bringing Characters to Life in a New Language
Adapting voiceovers that were originally in English to an altogether more wordy language like German can be tricky, but some of our talented actors faced no challenges in that area. Anja Taborsky, who provides the voice for female Units, describes it as “just different. When I develop the character myself, I have more freedom. It's easier for me to bring in my own ideas. When I adapt, I stick to the original as much as possible. And if it's good—which it always is—I can just ‘hang on’ to it, and it goes by itself.”
Jean Paul Baeck takes the same positive approach, expressing that while the adaptation can be challenging, “in the end, it’s twice as much fun”. Oliver Wronka argues that it “actually makes the creation of a character much easier, because there's already a voice actor who has taken the trouble to give the character a voice.”
Each voice actor has their own process of bringing the characters of Conqueror’s Blade to life in German. Anja takes on her posture and puts herself in the situation she is in, while Oliver tells us he “transform[s] my own body in my imagination into that of the character and then see what kind of voice and language comes out of it.”
Vincent also enjoys the transformative approach, describing voice acting as “kind of like restaurant quality fast food. You have zero prep time. You need to make great choices instantly. You have to be good and fast. Just like fast food—but gourmet.”
But when it comes to directing these talents in their new roles, how does director Tim Hennemann approach bringing the Units and Heroes of Conqueror’s Blade to life in a new language for the game? Tim explains that a lot of this work happens in casting and selecting voice actors. “You look at the roles and what characteristics they have. In the case of Conqueror’s Blade, it was especially important that the roles differ from each other in attitude and voice, even though they have very similar texts. That's why we needed particularly versatile voice actors who could cover as wide a range as possible.”
Working on Conqueror’s Blade
With voice actors and a director that has worked on everything from Rainbow Six: Siege to Ghost of Tsushima, the range of genres, settings, and themes that encompass these different games is vast; so how did the people that lent their talents feel working on Conqueror’s Blade compared to other titles?
Oliver Wronka, who worked on Final Fantasy XV, describes the distinction between voicework for fantasy characters and historical ones as almost non-existent in its approach and says that “every character has to be believable in their own way and sound accordingly, whether they exist in a fictional universe, in a parallel world, or in the past.”
Jean Paul Baeck describes his experience from the perspective of a voice actor and offers that “these different works are actually not that different from each other” and explains that he prefers to “orientate myself exclusively on the information given to me about the game and my characters by the director and the developers.”
Direction is a key part of bringing out the best in voice actors, and Tim Hennemann was the man for the job of implementing German voiceovers in the medieval-inspired Conqueror’s Blade. Having worked on futuristic or present-day games such as Rainbow Six: Siege and Watch Dogs 2, adjusting the speech to fit the time period takes great care and attention. “We take care to avoid anglicisms that are firmly anchored in today's linguistic usage, and in return, leave in some phrases that one would rather not use today,” explains Tim. “However, we have to intervene with some things that would sound completely silly in the context of today's language.”
Also on hand to lend her expertise was German Localisation Specialist Linda Weikert, who “joined each recording session to provide answers for the team and actors regarding the game or the text lines”. Linda also suggested re-takes of voiceovers if necessary and spoke highly of the “great atmosphere during the sessions”. In fact, Linda enjoyed working with the “professional [and] friendly” actors and director so much that “testing the unit and hero lines in-game afterwards was bliss, not only because I recognised the voices from the sessions but also because there are so many funny lines which reminded me of the great time we had.”
Acting With A Voice
Hearing characters in your favourite game speak in your own language can be as exhilarating as it is immersive, and although the voice actors cannot be seen, their vocal talents can transform a game for the better, adding an entirely new dimension to the experience. As challenging as it is fun, being a voice actor is a multi-faceted job, so we asked the actors what their favourite part of their work was.
Jean Paul Baeck and Anja Taborsky agreed that being able to “slip into” different characters and roles is the best part, with Anja adding that she can be “anything from a shy girl to an evil murderess”, and although it can be exhausting, the variety of work is “just fun”.
Vincent Fallow describes the life of a voice actor as “a wild ride”, explaining that “some days may be slow, and on some days you’re working so much that you’re begging for a break—and if you’re really lucky, you even book your dream roles.”
We hope you enjoy the new fully localised German voice acting in Conqueror's Blade. Update your game to the latest version to experience a new level of aural immersion!