My Time At Portia

My Time At Portia

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Meezy Oct 30, 2018 @ 6:30pm
Voice-actors treatment issue! - Update -
UPDATE:

Here's a new update on the situation. I have been contacted by the developers both here and on twitter that they have sent an e-mail out to all of the voice-actors to elaborate on the situation and address their concerns. I also changed the title because I admit it looked very angry which admittedly, I was. However, now that communication has been established again between the voice-actors and developers to hash everything out, I want to make it clear what I am trying to do here.

I want this game and developer to succeed and I think if they take the constructive bits out of this thread to heart, they will, especially because of how well they treat their community and how hard they work on this game. I can tell they REALLY care. As a voice-actor who has worked with numerous indie-developers, I understand how hard it can be and that they are on a budget and I understand it's a learning curve. All I'm asking is they take some of that respect and apply it to their voice-actors too. I did not make this thread with malicious intent, I made it because judging from what the voice-actors said about their communication, this was really the only way for them to be heard and I think it's important to spread awareness. The reason I am speaking on behalf of them is BECAUSE I am not involved with the project and the voice-actors WANT to be part of this project and we can lose our parts and potential pay-checks just by mentioning our concerns, it has happened several times before. I am not familiar with this developer but I am explaining how most indie voice-actors feel when it comes to speaking up on issues in general, regardless of who they work for.

All in all, I appreciate the development team for responding to this thread fairly quickly and addressing the voice-actor's concerns via e-mail shortly afterwards. I hope this communication continues so everyone remains on the same page.

I hope everyone continues to enjoy the game. This thread can be locked now!


--------------------------


Hello.

Seeing as it's nearly impossible to get a proper response from the development team via e-mail or twitter, I'm bringing this issue straight to their forums because you, the consumers, also deserve to know how mistreated the voice-actors who worked on this game were and still are as they plan on holding more auditions as they introduce more characters. I will try to keep this brief but informative on why their treatment of indie voice-actors is unacceptable.

https://www.globalvoiceacademy.com/gvaa-rate-guide/ <-- Please look at this rate guide so you can be aware of how much a voice-actor is SUPPOSED to be paid when working on a video-game such as this. What a lot of indie voice-actors do when an hourly rate is not practical or agreeable for an indie company(which is understandable) is an x-amount per line, but even then, this company has completely underpaid their voice-actors and their business practices have left MUCH to be desired. They'll treat their voice team like garbage but put on a different face with you all, which is just disgusting and unacceptable.

The complaints I have received about this company and their treatment of their voice-actors are:

- Originally, they didn't intend on paying voice-actors at all until a big fuss was brought on about it and rightly so, because they're charging everyone $15 for the game and are clearly having good success!

- Not paying on time and paying a ridiculously low amount for a lot of work (for example, being paid only $50 for 100+ lines of voiced dialogue if not more, even if you did x per line and went low, such as $2 per line, you would still be getting at least $200.)

- Changing deadline of auditions spontaneously which they have done once before and have been warned NOT TO DO on the website they post their casting calls. This is a huge inconvenience for voice-actors and it is just common knowledge this is a bad thing to do in the voice-over industry. ->
http://voiceacting.boards.net/thread/2853/time-portia-extra-steam-switch?fbclid=IwAR2vXwcSLkqhFzIBMzM4suBa530UojaeKx6TtRVKzo1lnNpPF51XNue_4aQ&page=2

- Not being responsive with voice-actor's e-mails.

- Voice-actors turning in lines well before set deadline and still to present day, not receiving their money many months later.

- Being vague and shady about how much work was involved until voice-actor was hired and practically 'baited' into doing it all then getting low pay for it.

- Recasting characters without informing voice-actors who were already chosen for those characters.

- Instead of paying their voice-actors accordingly with the money they've earned from this game so far, they're using the money to go to cons which only adds emphasis that they don't care about their voice-actors.

- They had a very successful Kickstarter but for SOME REASON can't afford to pay their voice-actors a reasonable amount and also ON TIME!? https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1757963851/my-time-at-portia-an-enchanting-sandbox-simulation

-They made $146,697 AND MORE from sales for this game, but they can only pay their voice-actors $50-$100 each. Really?

- So I continue to get complaints that voice-actors were paid their initial $50 for the first lines they sent, but now that they've recently submitted 400+ lines, SUPPOSEDLY they're going to get paid but only AFTER the game has been released officially without being told how much. UNACCEPTABLE.

- The fact I have to bring this to the steam forums is pretty ridiculous too.

I understand most of you really enjoy the game and I too, was interested in purchasing the game for a while, but after I discovered how wrongly treated many of my voice-acting friends were while working on this game, I cannot support this game until they start treating their voice-actors better. Even as I type this, more and more complaints are coming to me so I will update soon. I hope you all understand why I am bringing this to light. If you put time, energy, and sweat into something, you expect to be treated justly and fairly, and PAID accordingly. Voice-actors do this professionally as a career and they can't do anything with your lousy pay of $25-$50.

If I manage to get the attention of the developers, you have made a really nice product and a good portion of that is thanks to the talented and dedicated voice-actors who helped bring the beloved characters in it to life. Many indie developers who haven't had as much success as your game have still managed to pay and treat their voice-team correctly. So why can't you?
Last edited by Meezy; Oct 31, 2018 @ 12:52pm
Originally posted by Luminaire:
Originally posted by Meezy:
I'm going to tell you why a third party is involved. Many of the voice-actors are scared that if they share their concerns, they will no longer be allowed to participate in the project, and some of them have told me they have TRIED to reach out just to be ghosted. I am not doing this for funsies or drama, I am doing this because I want to help these voice-actors out, that's all. Like I said, I really liked the look of this game and was going to buy it when it came out of early access. I was even going to audition but that stopped when I found out from multiple actors that they were very dissastified with how things were being handled and we all have been burned many times before.

I can understand that fear, and I don't fault you for it.. It's just that it does make things difficult..

The company does struggle with communication, and they might not always be aware that they may not be handling things in the best manner... If you've had a friend or associate of some sort who feels this way, could you please have them email me at luminaire@pathea.net with how they feel and what they wish for? As much information as possible would help..
I can try to assist in figuring this out and hopefully come to a resolution. Beyond that, i'm just not sure what more is expected. We are trying, and we acknowledge that we fail sometimes. We just need to know how to fix those failures.
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Showing 16-30 of 52 comments
Meezy Oct 31, 2018 @ 12:09am 
Here is your current casting call of the roles available: http://voiceacting.boards.net/thread/2853/time-portia-extra-steam-switch?page=1&scrollTo=13773&fbclid=IwAR17c8jutu1LypRcdw355rbf3AXCnVJ2W4TrBC5e_rukQzw4B-UyN1Y3eYo

And here is your older casting call with the VA's names under the characters who earned that role: http://voiceacting.boards.net/thread/1572/closed-paid-portia-steam-switch

I can point one out immediately, Mike Varker, but there are more that you're going to have to go find.

Here is also a link to this tweet with some replies saying they were recasted without being told and when they tried to email, they were ghosted: https://twitter.com/voicesofmelody/status/1057448200234328064

It is not my job to keep up with the people you've cast, that's your's.

You also did not say that isn't how you would pay either. Once again, there was no contract and this is when contracts come in handy because it protects both parties and tells both what exactly is going to happen. My anger is the fact you can't admit to your team's blatant incompetence and disorganization. You claim you don't cheat people, but there are voice-actors from one of your previous projects called "Planet Explorers" who would beg to differ.

This anger is not just from a 'few' voice-actors, that just shows how out of touch you are with them. Even if it was just a few, you deem this acceptable?
zede05  [developer] Oct 31, 2018 @ 12:26am 
Mike Varker still works on the game as Presley, try again.

We auditioned several people for a role, they send in a few lines, we pick one. We announced the person that got selected. Again, no one that we know of got changed. I'd think players would know this one as they'd be the first to mention character's voice changed.

Also, tell me of someone on Planet Explorers that we didn't pay on time? Seriously. Stop extrapolating everything into accusations.

We don't find it acceptable that a few of them think this way, that's why we're going to fix the issue with the voice actors that we're working with.

Also, do we have issues communicating with the English world? Of course, as long as we're a Chinese studio, we'll always have that issue. And like I said, we're doing the best we can there.
Last edited by zede05; Oct 31, 2018 @ 12:31am
Karmadon Oct 31, 2018 @ 12:30am 
I'd like to stress the fact these voice actors have no qualms sharing any problems they face with the game devs. Bearing that in mind, I will withhold purchasing and urge all my friends to do the same until the issue is resolved, according to them and not the game devs.
Meezy Oct 31, 2018 @ 12:36am 
Originally posted by zede05:
Mike Varker still works on the game as Presley, try again.

We auditioned several people for a role, they send in a few lines, we pick one. We announced the person that got selected. Again, no one that we know of got changed. I'd think players would know this one as they'd be the first to mention character's voice changed.

Also, tell me of someone on Planet Explorers that we didn't pay on time? Seriously. Stop extrapolating everything into accusations.

We don't find it acceptable that a few of them think this way, that's why we're going to fix the issue with the voice actors that we're working with.

Try again?! Did you not look at the pictures or links I provided for you? Mike Varker was cast as THREE characters. Presley, Sanwa, and Liuwa. It is all right there in the friggin' picture! He was not e-mailed that the two other characters he was also cast as were getting different voice actors. Like hello?

Oh my god, you guys can't take any accountability can you?


zede05  [developer] Oct 31, 2018 @ 12:39am 
There are 7 brothers that look the same...we're casting for the other 3.

...

Try again?
Last edited by zede05; Oct 31, 2018 @ 12:39am
Meezy Oct 31, 2018 @ 12:42am 
Originally posted by zede05:
There are 6 brothers...we're casting for the other 3.

...

https://imgur.com/sNopT3Z How many brothers do you see with voice-actors names underneath them in this picture? The picture from YOUR OLD CASTING CALL.
naikarrah Oct 31, 2018 @ 12:46am 
@Meezy:

Who are you to complain about this, when it sounds as if you are not a party to any agreement for voice-acting with this company? Do you have some capacity as an industry, management, or legal representative?
all your accusations appear to be based on one-sided hearsay, and some minimal, and BIASED internet research. you realise that this could leave you potentially open to a libel suit in a foreign nation?
1. who works for a foreign company on an unfinished project **WITHOUT** a contract of any kind?
2. who complains about being paid/not paid for completed work when the project is not only incomplete, but is subject to change or even withrawal at any time?
3. who on earth publicly posts potentially slanderous accusations against a foreign company when they are not even directly involved in any possible conflict or misunderstanding?

reality check: if those voice actors undertook work on an unfinished script and performed work without a contract specifying payment, specific work performance, and time lines then they should at least have gotten actual stipulation to those terms in writing with the signatures of the employer or employer's legal representatives. otherwise, they should have consulted an attorney before performing any work so that thereis a clear understanding on both sides of what is required.

Please understand, i sincerely hope with *all my heart* that the voice actors involved get proper recompense for their time & talent! they add SO much to the NPC characters and the game as a whole! i also understand how difficult it can be to work with a foreign company where business traditions may be VERY different, and i also know that terms must be ironed out in some form of writing so that **BOTH SIDES** have a clear expectation of what is required from them and under what circumstances.

bottom line for me is that, unless Meezy has some official or legal capacity to make accusations and complaints on behalf of independent individuals who work for this dev company, Meezy should tread carefully and be as diplomatic as possible--NOT come off as a snide, offensive, ball-breaker out to ruin a great game dev's reputation. just sayin'...
Last edited by naikarrah; Oct 31, 2018 @ 1:04am
zede05  [developer] Oct 31, 2018 @ 12:48am 
Okay...that hurts, let me ask around.

Ok, seems like there was a discrepancy between the designer and the director on the lines for the brothers. Seems like an honest mistake though. We'll take off the new pictures.
Last edited by zede05; Oct 31, 2018 @ 12:59am
MegaMan Oct 31, 2018 @ 1:00am 
Meezy Oct 31, 2018 @ 1:04am 
Originally posted by naikarrah:
@Meezy:

Who are you to complain about this, when it sounds as if you are not a party to any agreement for voice-acting with this company? Do you have some capacity as an industry, management, or legal representative?
all your accusations appear to be based on one-sided hearsay, and some minimal, and BIASED internet research. you realise that this could leave you potentially open to a liable suit in a foreign nation?
1. who works for a foreign company on an unfinished project **WITHOUT** a contract of any kind?
2. who complains about being paid/not paid for completed work when the project is not only incomplete, but is subject to change or even withrawal at any time?
3. who on earth publicly posts potentially slanderous accusations against a foreign company when they are not even directly involved in any possible conflict or misunderstanding?

reality check: if those voice actors undertook work on an unfinished script and performed work without a contract specifying payment, specific work performance, and time lines then they should at least have gotten actual stipulation to those terms in writing with the signatures of the employer or employer's legal representatives. otherwise, they should have consulted an attorney before performing any work so that thereis a clear understanding on both sides of what is required.

Please understand, i sincerely hope with *all my heart* that the voice actors involved get proper recompense for their time & talent! they add SO much to the NPC characters and the game as a whole! i also understand how difficult it can be to work with a foreign company where business traditions may be VERY different, and i also know that terms must be ironed out in some form of writing so that **BOTH SIDES** have a clear expectation of what is required from them and under what circumstances.

Who am I to complain about this? I am another hard-working free lance voice-actor who has to look out for her own butt as well as other voice-actors because once again, indie-developers show once more they don't care enough to take care of us when we ask the minimal amount, decent business practice and decent communication. My accusations are not heresay, I have complaints from several voice-actors who worked on this project but due to me respecting their wishes, I will not specifically share their names nor screenshots of their complaints unless given permission. Many online voice actors take on projects without contracts because as I stated, they are a very kind and trusting community. Who the heck are you to try and spin this around and proclaim it's the the voice-actors fault for taking on the job without a contract? Why the heck didn't the development team OFFER a contract? It is not a voice-actor's place to demand a contract, that is on the developers. I personally didn't audition for this so I can't answer those questions for you, but I imagine it's a combination of reasons why people wanted to participate in this project even without a contract. A lot of indie-developers don't do contracts from my experience, so who are you to question me about anything when you clearly don't even understand the voice-over online community?

Call it slanderous all you like, but I just called out the development team on something they completely mishandled which was them recasting characters that were already cast without informing the previous voice-actors.

Tell me, regardless if you signed a contract or not, if you decided to work on a game and put many hours recording and working on the game, you expect to be paid correct? Especially if you were paid for only doing a portion of it. Put yourself in the actor's shoes and quit blaming them for something that was the developer's fault. I'm not wasting anymore of my time with you.



naikarrah Oct 31, 2018 @ 1:18am 
@Meezy:

i **HAVE** worked with foreign companies before, and without contracts. Experience is a terrific teacher and i wisely learned from others that i needed to get some form of uneditable communication with specific expectations and requirements for both sides spelled out IN WRITING. it's an utterly logical common sense practice when working with ANY company, but when translation and traditional business practices will be an obvious hindrance it should be even more of a priority!

btw, you need to refresh your memory on the definition of hearsay...
you are not a direct party working for this company, nor did any of the information you may have received from anyone who is/has, come directly to YOU from the company itself. it's all second-hand, and only from ONE side. if the situation were reversed and the dev's were bad mouthing the actors in such a publicly offensive manner, i'd feel precisely the same toward them. it would seem that *they* have better manners and diplomacy though.
Luminaire Oct 31, 2018 @ 1:22am 
Hey guys, before this spirals out of control, I want to say that we don't have any intent on treating people poorly, or depriving of them of what they deserve. We've undergone a lot of new territory with this project, and have been overwhelmed with many of those areas trying to keep up with the community as well as our ambitions. We want to deliver something positive and full, and if we screw something up, we'll learn what we did incorrectly and try our best to fix it.

There are limitations to what we can do, as we are a small company, but we are trying not to make anyone feel their time and contributions are given back unfairly.. We messed up in that thread regarding deadlines, and tried to correct that. The reception was just much larger than we had anticipated, and we wanted to give as much opportunity to all that were interested.

We outlined our payment in what you've linked, and Zede has also come fourth and apologized for any miscommunication as well as stated that we would try to improve in that area, only to have you come back here and say that we're not taking accountability.

RIght now, there is the major issue of what is called Whistle Blowing, and coming from a third party... We're okay with hearing what we've done wrong, as we're always open to trying to do better, but coming from a third party - someone who is not directly involved with what they are bringing out to the public makes this difficult for everyone. Misenterpretations, misconceptions, and any other cross-translation issues that can occur from exchanges like this, make it harder on us, the people you are speaking for, and even yourself.

We can appreciate the effort, and as we have stated, we will try to do better here, but these conditions make that more difficult.
Meezy Oct 31, 2018 @ 1:23am 
Originally posted by naikarrah:
@Meezy:

i **HAVE** worked with foreign companies before, and without contracts. Experience is a terrific teacher and i wisely learned from others that i needed to get some form of uneditable communication with specific expectations and requirements for both sides spelled out IN WRITING. it's an utterly logical common sense practice when working with ANY company, but when translation and traditional business practices will be an obvious hindrance it should be even more of a priority!

btw, you need to refresh your memory on the definition of hearsay...
you are not a direct party working for this company, nor did any of the information you may have received from anyone who is/has, come directly to YOU from the company itself. it's all second-hand, and only from ONE side. if the situation were reversed and the dev's were bad mouthing the actors in such a publicly offensive manner, i'd feel precisely the same toward them. it would seem that *they* have better manners and diplomacy though.

Better manners and diplomacy? What a joke. They can't even respond to their voice-actors in a timely manner or even at all. If you knew anything about manners or diplomacy, you would know that they should be communicating with their team frequently and not forcing us to come to the stupid Steam forums to get our concerns heard. That is the ONLY reason these issues are coming to light and they're finally going address these problems. There would be no bad-mouthing if the developers would've just acknowledged they messed up and they were going to fix it instead of telling me I'm wrong over and over. These voice-actors are all their own people with their own businesses, they don't belong to a single company, and that's the immense difference between the devs and the individual free-lance voice-actors. If several voice-actors are coming together to say something is wrong with the way a company is handling things for them, then that's the case.
Meezy Oct 31, 2018 @ 1:27am 
Originally posted by Luminaire:
Hey guys, before this spirals out of control, I want to say that we don't have any intent on treating people poorly, or depriving of them of what they deserve. We've undergone a lot of new territory with this project, and have been overwhelmed with many of those areas trying to keep up with the community as well as our ambitions. We want to deliver something positive and full, and if we screw something up, we'll learn what we did incorrectly and try our best to fix it.

There are limitations to what we can do, as we are a small company, but we are trying not to make anyone feel their time and contributions are given back unfairly.. We messed up in that thread regarding deadlines, and tried to correct that. The reception was just much larger than we had anticipated, and we wanted to give as much opportunity to all that were interested.

We outlined our payment in what you've linked, and Zede has also come fourth and apologized for any miscommunication as well as stated that we would try to improve in that area, only to have you come back here and say that we're not taking accountability.

RIght now, there is the major issue of what is called Whistle Blowing, and coming from a third party... We're okay with hearing what we've done wrong, as we're always open to trying to do better, but coming from a third party - someone who is not directly involved with what they are bringing out to the public makes this difficult for everyone. Misenterpretations, misconceptions, and any other cross-translation issues that can occur from exchanges like this, make it harder on us, the people you are speaking for, and even yourself.

We can appreciate the effort, and as we have stated, we will try to do better here, but these conditions make that more difficult.

I'm going to tell you why a third party is involved. Many of the voice-actors are scared that if they share their concerns, they will no longer be allowed to participate in the project, and some of them have told me they have TRIED to reach out just to be ghosted. I am not doing this for funsies or drama, I am doing this because I want to help these voice-actors out, that's all. Like I said, I really liked the look of this game and was going to buy it when it came out of early access. I was even going to audition but that stopped when I found out from multiple actors that they were very dissastified with how things were being handled and we all have been burned many times before.
The author of this thread has indicated that this post answers the original topic.
Luminaire Oct 31, 2018 @ 1:34am 
Originally posted by Meezy:
I'm going to tell you why a third party is involved. Many of the voice-actors are scared that if they share their concerns, they will no longer be allowed to participate in the project, and some of them have told me they have TRIED to reach out just to be ghosted. I am not doing this for funsies or drama, I am doing this because I want to help these voice-actors out, that's all. Like I said, I really liked the look of this game and was going to buy it when it came out of early access. I was even going to audition but that stopped when I found out from multiple actors that they were very dissastified with how things were being handled and we all have been burned many times before.

I can understand that fear, and I don't fault you for it.. It's just that it does make things difficult..

The company does struggle with communication, and they might not always be aware that they may not be handling things in the best manner... If you've had a friend or associate of some sort who feels this way, could you please have them email me at luminaire@pathea.net with how they feel and what they wish for? As much information as possible would help..
I can try to assist in figuring this out and hopefully come to a resolution. Beyond that, i'm just not sure what more is expected. We are trying, and we acknowledge that we fail sometimes. We just need to know how to fix those failures.
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Date Posted: Oct 30, 2018 @ 6:30pm
Posts: 52