Aug 07, 2023

How to Build End-to-End Pipelines for Voiceover and Localization with Gem

During the game development process, managing voiceover (VO) and localization (LOC) pipelines efficiently is crucial for creating immersive gaming experiences.

For most game studios, manually tracking VO and LOC means handling hundreds of thousands of lines of dialogue in spreadsheets and word processors. Sounds painful, right?

That’s because it is.

The manual VO and LOC processes are susceptible to mistakes from human error, version control issues, and time-consuming manual updates. These lead to inconsistencies and delays. The sheer volume of dialogue lines multiplied by the regions and languages that need to be supported makes this an unruly beast to tame. So, what are the other options?

Studios can significantly reduce errors, save time, and improve the quality and consistency of dialogue implementation in their games by leveraging the right tech. Backlight Gem offers studios a new approach to VO and LOC workflows. In this article, we will explore how Gem is making it easier to manage these areas with the release of its REST API and how you could potentially use it for end-to-end VO and LOC pipelines. 

Creating an End-to-End Solution With the Gem REST API

A REST API holds significant advantages over a simple export API for a dialogue system in a game pipeline. While a simple export API may be able to export dialogue data in a specific format, a REST API provides a more comprehensive and versatile solution. With a REST API, game studios can not only export dialogue data but also establish a way to round-trip data with a bidirectional connection with other systems in the pipeline. 

This kind of connection allows for seamless integration, real-time updates, and the exchange of information between the dialogue system and various other tools such as audio middleware, version control systems, game engines, project management tools, and more.

The REST API's flexible and standardized interface allows for more efficient collaboration, streamlined workflows, and better synchronization of dialogue assets, scripts, translations, and associated metadata. This level of interconnectivity helps game studios to master their dialogue systems, improve overall productivity, and deliver immersive, captivating narratives.

Top 3 Ways to Use Gem’s REST API for Your VO & LOC  

  1. Extract Project Data. Extract data from Gem projects, with some level of automation and granular targeting, in a way that is accurate to the state of the project at the time the request is made.
  2. Manipulate Project Data. Manipulate that same data at an element level from outside of the Gem system, and round-trip that data back to Gem to keep everything aligned.
  3. DYI Solutions. Build your own solutions using Gem’s API to integrate Gem data at the element level into 3rd party tools. 

More Integration Possibilities

Now that we’ve covered what the Gem API can do, it’s time to look at some real-world use cases you could employ by setting up your own integration with popular solutions used for VO and LOC pipelines. The integrations mentioned below are not possible out of the box (at the time of this writing), but they are possible. And flagging the potential here will hopefully inspire you to think about how your pipeline could become more efficient.

Integration with WWISE or FMOD

Backlight Gem's REST API integration opens the door for connectivity with audio middleware such as WWISE. An integration like this could streamline the process of integrating dialogue and voice assets into the game engine. Through the API, teams will be able to easily synchronize dialogue lines with appropriate sound events, transitions, and interactive elements within WWISE. 

Enhanced Collaboration with Perforce

Perforce is a widely used version control system in the game development industry. By integrating Perforce with Backlight Gem's REST API, teams could ensure that all versions of dialogue scripts, voice recordings, and associated assets are managed. This will ensure that everyone is working with the most up-to-date assets, reducing conflicts and maintaining consistency throughout entire projects, for the entire team. 

Streamlined Workflow with Unreal Engine or Unity 

Backlight Gem's REST API integration could also extend to a game engine like Unreal Engine. By connecting Backlight Gem with Unreal Engine, dialogue lines could be directly imported into the game engine, saving time and preventing errors from manual entry. This integration will allow for real-time synchronization between Backlight Gem's dialogue management system and the game project.

Enhanced Project Management with JIRA and Confluence

The REST API integration could also be connected with project management tools like JIRA and Confluence. If configured correctly, this could lead to smoother collaboration between teams, like writers, translators, and project managers. Through JIRA, tasks related to dialogue localization, script revisions, and voiceover recording schedules could be tracked, assigned, and monitored. If connected to Confluence, it could serve as a centralized hub for project knowledge to open the door to better communication and teamwork. 

The Stage is Set for Dynamic Integrations

Backlight Gem's REST API offers greater potential in managing VO and LOC pipelines in game development. The direct connectivity offered by this will streamline processes, eliminate manual tasks, enhance version control, and better collaboration between technical and creative teams. 

With the option to integrate Gem into existing tech stacks, the door has opened for studios to explore and build end-to-end connected pipelines. Additionally, by leveraging the Gem REST API, studios can stop using workflows that rely on spreadsheets and word processors as they find a better, more automated, error-resistant approach. With the right combo of integrations in place, the possibilities to improve how a studio works will inspire teams to innovate on their day-to-day processes.

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Published by Backlight August 7, 2023