Baldur’s Gate 3 has been one of the standout games of 2023. Larian Studios’ ultimate turn based RPG has captured the gaming industry in a particularly interesting way. A key part of the game is the companions players can meet along the way and add to their party. Among them is Lae’Zel, a ruthlessly violent Githyanki Fighter hellbent on finding a creche as quickly as possible.
We got the chance to sit down with her voice actress, Devora Wilde at Insomnia Gaming Festival and talked Baldur’s Gate, motion capture and getting regular work!
Can you tell me a little about how you got involved in Baldur’s Gate 3?
Very serendipitously and randomly, luckily as all these things happen. It was my first motion capture and voiceover job. I was looking for an agent at the time and sending off my reel. Then my agent, who wasn’t my agent yet, sent me the audition for this and I was like “oh it’s an audition for a voiceover”.
I had to do a self tape for it but I’m an actor, I do self tapes all the time. I did it and it was very casual. I didn’t really know much about the world so I thought it was a bit of fun. I ended up booking it and then my agent became my agent. Things started from there but that’s how I booked that role. It was the very first thing I ever booked.
I had no idea how big it was. If you’d have told me it’s this massive game, I probably would have freaked out and not done as good a job. But because I had no context and obviously, we didn’t know the game because it was code named, I just went with it. It paid off but I really didn’t know anything.
During the process, did you expect that the game would have the reception that it has?
No, not at all. Even when it came out in early access, people responded to it a bit. But I thought there were some fans out there but it didn’t seem like a huge reaction. Now that the game is fully out, obviously the reaction has been massive and I just didn’t expect that.
Also, because I didn’t really know it in the context of Dungeons and Dragons, that’s a huge universe. And now I know where it’s placed, I now realize why it’s so popular.
Have you played the game now that it’s been fully released?
I haven’t played the game! I need to play the game. I don’t have a PlayStation, I have a Mac but I don’t have a PC so I feel like I need to set myself up with the good equipment and then play the game. And find time to play the game. It’s a big time commitment.
Have you seen much of the video footage or your own performance?
I have yeah. I sometimes watch YouTube clips of things that people have put up because that’s my only real chance to see what I’m like in the game and that’s really cool to see. You can see the interactions with the other characters.
We recorded this game in isolation, we don’t record it with the other characters in the room or the other actors and so watching those clips gives me a chance to see what those interactions that I had recorded with nothing but myself now look like and sound like.
You did some motion capture for Baldur’s Gate 3, do you see yourself reflected in Lae’Zel’s mannerisms?
I mean, yeah I see the character that I created. The movements are obviously quite different to my own, like more alien, more jerky. But we did all the motion capture. Where the character is speaking as well.
How does that experience compare to projects like Total War: Warhammer and Battlefield 2042?
Well, certainly no motion capture for those projects. So that was very different and Baldur’s Gate 3 was just huge in scope compared to those projects. Even though Warhammer is a huge world as well and I’ve done different Warhammer things but it feels more spread out. There are loads of different stories popping up whereas Baldur’s Gate 3 is a snapshot of the world but it’s all in one, if that makes sense?
It was four years of my life. In Battlefield, I had quite a small role. In Total War: Warhammer, it was a large role as Ice Queen Katrin but I feel like Warhammer is a lot of the battles and the strategies rather than the cut scenes. Baldur’s Gate is a lot more focused on the cut scenes and character interactions. It’s a lot more dialogue heavy with a lot more hours. I’d say those are the main differences.
Which kind of project would you say you prefer as an actor?
I don’t know which one I prefer, they’re all different. They’re different characters, so from that point of view, it’s very interesting. With Baldur’s Gate, I’d be recording throughout these four years but it wasn’t like I was just on one project. I was doing that but then I was also doing Warhammer or stepping in to do something different. So I can’t say, they all have their own charm.
I think it was definitely nice to be on a project for four years. As an actor, it was solid work for four years. It’s your own character and something that you can call your own. It was the same team that you keep seeing over and over, which I really like.
Do you have any upcoming projects that you can tell us about?
I have a few things coming up but I can’t talk about them unfortunately. A few games and stuff, but nothing in particular that I can talk about!