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Echoes from the Borderlands – S1E4 – Voices

Greetings, Vault Hunters! In this episode of Echoes From The Borderlands, we are taking a side quest from our main mission and talking about the subtle art; the beautiful science of doing a funny voice and saying things like, “Shoot me in the taint!” Host Joel Watson is joined by Associate Director of Narrative, April Johnson, and Gearbox VOverlord, Joel McDonald to discuss all things VOICE OVER in the Borderlands franchise.


  • Joel Watson – Creative Producer
  • April Johnson – Associate Director of Narrative
  • Joel McDonald – Gearbox VOverlord

Hidden Morse Code

  • “Heroes come in all shapes and sizes” – The Secret of the Golden Flower
  • “You’re not thinking fourth dimensionally” – Back to the Future Part III


  • 00:00 – Intro
  • 01:35 – How important is voice-over in video games?
  • 03:30 – When did you first experience voice-over dialogue in a video game?
  • 07:50 – When was voice-acting first taken seriously?
  • 12:20 – Did Gearbox always have a narrative department?
  • 15:50 – Do the writers compete for jokes?
  • 19:20 – Do you punish the worst jokes?
  • 22:20 – Do we still record in a closet?
  • 23:25 – When was the shift from DIY to professional voice-actors?
  • 25:30 – Did you find any hidden voice-actor gems within the studio?
  • 28:15 – Was Borderlands 3 the last time we could do DIY bandaids?
  • 28:50 – What does localization involve, April?
  • 34:20 – Joel did you experience any weird dialogue stuff?
  • 35:33Pandora’s Box Advert
  • 36:44 – A lot of folks want to work in VO?
  • 41:30 – Do careers start with silly voices?
  • 42:33 – Do voice actors embody their characters?
  • 43:50 – Do the characters bring that meaty part in gaming?
  • 45:50 – What did you do before joining Gearbox, Joel?
  • 48:00 – What did you do before joining Gearbox, April?
  • 53:50 – Are there any plot elements in Borderlands that you put in?
  • 58:20 – Which actors do you want to work with?
  • 1:02:00 – Have other actors helped with the discovery process?
  • 1:03:10 – How much influence do you have as VOverlord?
  • 1:07:10 – What VO did you do April?
  • 1:08:30 – What VO did you do Joel?
  • 1:11:55 – Has VO improvisation changed the character?
  • 1:14:00 – How did the pandemic impact voice recording?
  • 1:19:20 – ICE-T in Borderlands 3???!!!
  • 1:24:15 – Marcus impression contest

My Reactions

  • This was an awesome side quest!
  • We could have had a burping Traunt?
  • OMG! Doing VO for 30 min and then noticing you forgot to hit record. Sounds like my Borderlands 3 recording session during the reveal event. Playing 3 hours and not having any footage… ugh

Behind the Scene Heroes:

  • April Johnson
  • Dakota Warren
  • Robert Fernandez
  • Hannah Terry


Wandermine – Get out of my head

Written by
I'm a Content Creator by day and a BattleBread Baker at night. I'll provide you with your recommended slice of entertainment! I'm a Gearbox Community Badass and a proud member of the official Borderlands & Tiny Tina's Wonderlands Creator Team (2K Games / NextMakers).

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