Making a Dota 2 Announcer
Dota announcers work as a database of responses to specific events: "your top tower has fallen", "opposing team bottom barracks fallen", "courier slain", and so on. Custom announcers can be created by recording lines for each of these events, replacing the default announcer's voice for each of them. Currently, the easiest way to create a new announcer for submission is to work from the given template spreadsheet, which lists all of the events requiring voice and their criteria.
Download the Sample Announcer spreadsheet
and the Sample Killing Spree Announcer spreadsheet
You should record your original audio in PCM .WAV format with 16 bit depth and a 44.1khz or 48khz sample rate. This will provide the highest quality result for the final in-game audio.
To reduce the size of your initial workshop submission and make it generally easier to move around and work with, feel free to compress your audio into .MP3 format using a program such as SoundForge or iTunes before upload. If your submission is accepted, we will contact you for the original high-res .WAVs.
Package and submit the spreadsheet to us as a workshop item through the game client. If your directory of .WAVs is too big to fit into the upload quota, you can upload them to a file-hosting service such as Dropbox and provide us with a link inside the submission.
Variety, intensity, and brevity are the keys to a successful announcer.
Every line you record will be heard many times by every player that activates them. In one game, a player might hear fifteen "tower has fallen" events, three "Roshan has fallen" events, and over thirty "your [building] is under attack" events. For an announcer to remain fresh after many games, each event should have as wide a variety of available lines as possible. The Juggernaut announcer has about three variations on every line; the Dr. Kleiner announcer has as many as five for some of them. The followup mechanism gives you an easy way to create lots of variety by allowing the announcer to mix and match a base event ("your top tower has fallen") with a different set of followup lines ("that doesn't look good for you").
Go big with your performance! Your announcer gets its chance to be an interesting character for a few words at a time. Bringing lots of intensity to each bit of dialog helps make your character unique. But it's important to also record at least one "straight" version of each main event in your character's voice, to help keep the really big ones fresh. For example, if your Renaissance Faire Announcer has a line such as "Behold! Thine top tower doth find itself beseiged!", also record a basic "Your top tower is under attack" in the same voice. This will help keep your over-the-top lines from becoming repetitive, since they can be mixed in with the straightforward lines at a lower frequency.
Remember that Dota is a chaotic game and things happen very quickly. Try to keep your announcer's lines short, since the interval between a tower falling and a hero saying something else may be only a few seconds long. Long lines can be distracting to players, who are trying to focus on keeping their hero alive. Longer lines also become repetitive and tired more quickly.
Spectator-only lines, which are heard only when users equip your announcer while watching a game, have more leeway in length and content, since spectators aren't focused on cutting through noise to hear game-critical information in the same way that players are. You may mark any line as being spectator-specific, so that spectators and players can hear entirely different dialogue for the same events. In the sample spreadsheet, players hear "your tower is under attack", whereas spectators hear "radiant's tower is under attack" for the same event.
Editing the Announcer Spreadsheets
After recording your .wavs, you should fill out the spreadsheet to specify which .wav files go with which events. The following example indicates that you would like to play "announcer_battle_begin_02.wav" after the "game start" horn honks.
||The battle begins!
You may specify several lines for the same event, such as this example from the Dr. Kleiner announcer:
||I've never seen Radiant's structures looking so fortified.
||Radiant's structures are beautifully fortified.
||Radiant's structures are fortified.
||Radiant's structures are fortified. There appears to be some sort of magic at work.
In this case the engine will pick from one of announcer_fort_rad_01, announcer_fort_rad_02, announcer_fort_rad_03, or announcer_fort_rad_04 to play when the radiant ("good") team uses the glyph of fortification. Wherever multiple rows have identical criteria in their third column, they are considered to be alternative lines for the same event.
In some cases the third column of the spreadsheet has multiple criteria. These three criteria together define the particular event that the line responds to; the wav will play only if all of them are true. In the example above, announcer_rax_fall_yr_top.wav plays when a tower has been killed and it was in the top lane and the "kill" was not a deny.
||Your top tower has fallen.
||IsTowerKilled IsTopLane IsNotDeny
Certain optional criteria can be added to a third column to further specify when you want a wav to play: for example, you can use IsSpectator to define a wav that plays only for spectators and not for players.
||Dire's bottom barracks are under attack.
||IsBarracksAttacked IsBadAttacked IsSpectator IsBotLane
Certain event types are "followup" lines that optionally play after other event lines have played. In this case announcer_victory_01.wav will play after the "radiant victory!" or "dire victory!" line has played. This lets you mix and match lines for more variety like "The Radiant's Courier has been killed... Who would pick on such a defenseless creature?" by recording the "courier killed" and followup parts separately.
||A foregone conclusion, I should think.
Pick Mode Lines
Certain lines in the spreadsheet do not have a criterion column because the game engine plays them by a different route. You should record your own version of these lines and add them to the spreadsheet as well, but leave the third column empty.
||Choose your hero.
||You may now select your heroes.
||Your turn to pick.
||Enemy's turn to pick.
||Dire team pick.
||Radiant team pick.
||Your turn to ban.
||Enemy's turn to ban.
||Dire team ban.
||Radiant team ban.
||Radiant's team is complete.
||Your team is complete.
||Our team is complete.
||Dire's team is complete.
Mega Kill Announcer
Mega kill announcers have relatively few lines but follow the same general system as above. The sample spreadsheet is:
- Triggers at random intervals when nothing "interesting" has happened for the last few minutes (eg no heroes have been killed or seriously damaged, no buildings fallen, etc). Optional.
- Triggers when a Dire barracks has fallen.
- Triggers when Dire wins.
- Triggers when Radiant wins.
- Triggers when either team's barracks are under attack. Use in conjunction with eg IsTopLane and IsGoodAttacked to specify which line plays for which lanes and teams. See the spreadsheet for an example of use.
- Triggers when the player's team's barracks have fallen.
- Triggers when the opposing team's barracks have fallen.
- Triggers when the radiant team's barracks have fallen.
- Triggers when the dire team's barracks have fallen.
- Triggers when the player's tower has fallen.
- Triggers when a Dire tower falls.
- Triggers when a Radiant tower falls.
- Triggers when the enemy team's tower falls.
- Triggers when either team's ancient is attacked.
- Triggers when either team's tower is attacked.
- Triggers when the player's team gets mega creeps.
- Triggers when Dire gets mega creeps.
- Triggers when Radiant gets mega creeps.
- Triggers when opposing team gets mega creeps.
- Triggers 30 seconds before the game begins (eg when the countdown clock clock at the top of the screen reads '30'). Optional.
- Triggers 10 seconds before the game begins. Optional.
- Triggers after the horn honks. "The battle begins!"
- Triggers for an individual player a few seconds after their hero spawns for the first time. "Prepare for battle!"'
- Triggers when Roshan is killed by the Dire.
- Triggers when Roshan is killed by the Radiant.
- Triggers when Dire's courier is killed.
- Triggers when Radiant's courier is killed.
- Triggers when Dire uses its Glyph of Fortification.
- Triggers when Radiant fortifies.
- Triggers after the IsGameStarting30 line plays, if any. Optional.
- Triggers after the "battle begins" line. Optional.
- Triggers after CourierLostBad or CourierLostGood plays. Optional.
- True if the Dire team was attacked and the event is one of IsBarracksAttacked or IsTowerAttacked or IsFortAttacked.
- True if the Radiant team was attacked (during the IsBarracksAttacked, IsTowerAttacked, or IsFortAttacked events).
- True if the event is one of IsBarracksAttacked or IsTowerAttacked, and the attacked building was in the bottom lane.
- True if the attacked building was in the middle lane.
- True if the attacked building was in the top lane.
- True if the event is IsTowerKilled (or one of the variants) and the tower was killed by its own team.
- True only if the building was killed by the opposing team.
- True if the game has gone on for at least 45 minutes.
- True if the game clock is after 60 minutes.
- True if the game clock is before 10 minutes.
- True if it's daylight, false if it's night (or Night Stalker has cast his ultimate).
- True if the listening player is a spectator and not actively part of the game. Useful for sportscaster-like comments.
- True if the listening player is not a spectator.
- True if the listening player is on the Dire team.
- True if the listening player is on the Radiant team.
- True if Roshan has been killed at least three times.
- A random die roll, true one tenth of the time. Use to make some lines play infrequently (if for example you want a more rare variant of 'the courier has died' that doesn't play as often as the others).
- A random die roll, true one quarter of the time.
- A random die roll, true one half of the time.
- A random die roll, true three quarters of the time.