I’m currently working on my very own indie game where I had to find 4 voice actors. I’ve heard a bit about Fiverr but did not have any previous knowledge on how to actually hire and direct talent. Fiverr is where I started my journey and I came to believe that Fiverr is actually a decent place to start looking for people.
If you are working on a cutscene and need to work on the pacing and mood of your scene, you can hire somebody for 5$-$10 to read around 100 words. You won’t be able to use the recordings in the game though as licensing is not included and usually an extra $40 in that price range.
Having a real person read your lines helps you tremendously to further determine what you want and don’t want from a voice actor. I found 2 of the 4 final voice actors in my game on Fiverr. It’s really a random hit or miss on this platform as the ratings and price do not really reflect the quality you can expect. I had people for $50-$100 sound bored and asleep while people for $20 really sold their lines. I am hesitant to give out bad ratings on Fiverr as I don’t want to be responsible for ruining somebody’s livelihood or even burn an industry contact – we all have a bad day after all. I believe many of my game development colleagues feel the same. The selection of voice actors is a little bit limited. I looked for an English-speaking voice actor with a Latin American accent for my character Pablo Escobeer and I did not find a lot of options.
The thevoicerealm.com is another website I checked out to find a quality voice actor for my game. The selection of voice actors seems bigger. You can submit your lines on the website along with some direction and a couple of voice actor will read your lines for free. The quality of voice actors varied a bit with some of them being truly amazing. That talent comes with a price. The license for using that voice in a video game is $115 for 100 words. This sounds like a good deal, until you realize that this does not even allow you the creation of a YouTube video featuring your gameplay footage. That license is $200, which feels like quite a lot for an indie game budget. The restrictive licensing and the forced indirect communication with the talent caused me to refrain from hiring somebody from thevoicerealm.com.
Another option I can highly recommend is social media. I found a really talented voice actor here on Reddit and another one over at Twitter with the handle @VACastingRT. Tweet your voice acting requirements mentioning @VACastingRT and find your inbox full of voice actors wanting to audition. The price ranges here from $20 – $250 as you encounter voice acting enthusiasts and seasoned professionals.
I found working with voice actors to be really fun. Just be friendly and communicate your expectations clearly. Don’t leave them on read if you have trouble deciding which one to hire or if you have already decided to hire somebody else. There is always another project and another opportunity to work together, so be as respectful as you can be.
Quick shoutout to @lalaboowelsh, @Isaakwells, @TonyrayVA and @StevenPFortune for helping me with their amazing voices!
You can check out their work in Run For Cover!