The voice of Pier

The Frisians are proud of their heritage. Several initiatives like Afuk and Praat mar Frysk have taken up the task of maintaining and promoting the Frisian language. When we started prototyping Cross of the Dutchman, we came to the topic of music and voice acting. One of the main goals we had set for ourselves is to create an authentic and believable experience in CotD, and so the decision was quickly made to have all characters talk in their native language. This means that the game will feature Dutch, Frisian and even German voice acting, depending on the people Grutte Pier encounters on his quests. We feel that having the characters speak in their native tongue will hugely improve the feeling of authenticity in the game and that in turn will help improve the overall experience as well!

Mei in tútsje fan Grutte Pier

Mei in tútsje fan Grutte Pier

Immediately after making this decision, we knew that lots of players would play the game not being able to understand the spoken language(s). It was an obvious choice to localize all subtitles in the game and its story into all the primary European languages (English, French, Spanish, German, Italian and Dutch). Unfortunately, we do not have the budget to do voice acting for all of those languages, but it is something we would like to add once there is enough demand for it, and once the game has proven to be successful.

We also know that, a lot of Dutch folks regard the Frisians as cocky and stubborn, especially when it comes to their language. However, movies like Apocalypto, Pans’ Labyrinth, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, Der Untergang and Blackbook all feature actors speaking in in their native tongue, and in each case it helped create a believable atmosphere for the location and situation of the movie. We hope that when the characters in Cross of the Dutchman speak in their own language, it will help do the same for our game as well.

7 Comments on “The voice of Pier

  1.  by  USSGreatePier

    Subtitles should work fine… In fact multi-language dubs are actually kind of a sad thing… Look at cartoons these days, for instance… I slowly learned to speak English by watching cartoons back in the 80’s with Dutch subs. Nowadays you get silly dubbed versions of English shows and cartoons. Ridiculous.

    Anyway, I’m not a huge fan of dubs, go for subs :) It keeps the feel the same for everyone…

  2.  by  Thagarr

    “Das Boot” is another fine example of this, I have seen that film many times in both the original German with subtitles, and the overdubbed English version. The German language version is far superior, and the dubbed English version just comes off as a very weak impersonation. I agree, you have made the right choice with this one!

  3.  by  mrBrander

    Totally agree, though we’ve grown accustomed to subtitles and therefor don’t have any problems with reading and watching at the same time. Other countries… not so much. English, german and french speaking countries are notoriously picky about having subs. So I hope this won’t put them off too much!

    But for the sake of authenticity I think this is the best choice we could’ve made!

  4.  by  Remco

    I was thinking about some good examples yesterday, but Das Boot definitely fits in that list.

  5.  by  HappyHeinrich

    What does the Frisian language sound like?
    If it anything near ancient Aztec it is going to be a game of epic proportions, that’s for sure!

  6.  by  Remco

    In my opinion, it sounds closer to (old) English than to Dutch or German.

  7.  by  Stefan

    There is the possibility that the ancestors of the people in England were speaking Frisian instead of the Anglo-Saxon language (as all the people around the Northern Sea did, and on some islands still do). Some say that England would still speak (old) Frisian if William the Conqueror didn’t conquer England in 1066 AD. That is something of epic proportions don’t you think!?

Leave a Reply