I remember growing up when video games were first starting the transition to include voice acting. I played a lot of JRPGs and was hugely in love with the Final Fantasy series. Starting each new game was a joy. It felt like jumping into the start of an amazing adventure. The first time I played Final Fantasy 10, however, I was met almost immediately with an unexpected feeling of disappointment. I was not at all a fan of the new voice acting. I felt strongly that including those real voices made the game a worse experience and that video games in general should never have voice acting.
I probably held that opinion for a few years, but I have since transitioned to the other side. What I discovered is that bad voice acting absolutely makes a game worse, but good voice acting completely transforms a game. Can you imagine playing through Portal, The Stanley Parable, or a Duke Nukem game without their voice cast? Let’s bring the comparison full circle. The Final Fantasy 7 Remake is an amazing game. The game play is solid and fun, but for me, it’s the characters themselves that really sell the game. The voice actors have done an incredible job of bringing depth to the characters and helping build emotional connections to them. I would not want to play that game without the voice acting.
Suffice it to say, I think choosing good voice actors is critical. For Hint specifically, I believe including voiced lines is something that will help the game stand out and be a more enjoyable experience than it would otherwise. The voice actors have a tough job, though, as they won’t get the benefit of any kind of character model onscreen helping to portray emotions or give meaning to their words. I wanted the puzzle guides to be fun, interesting personalities but also allow for player preference in who they might want to accompany them. Therefore, players will have the choice of which AI companion they would like to play with.
So, without further ado, let me introduce Hint’s two puzzle guides.