To say that Red Dead Redemption 2 development was kept under tight wraps is a severe understatement, but it's even worse for voice actors like Gabriel Sloyer who played Javier Escuella and couldn't tell a living soul about his work.
"Rockstar does a great job of keeping things secret. You can't tell your girlfriend or anyone what you're working on. And it's five years", Sloyer said. Voice actors were kept in the dark as well, although he says they figured it out as they went along.
Sloyer said that boots and language eventually rang a bell that it's a Western and it's not like Rockstar have other cowboy-themed games than Red Dead Redemption 2. He added that he wishes he did a better job comparing notes, because he'd have a better picture of what was going on.
Red Dead Redemption 2's voice recording sessions were a thing to behold though, as Sloyer says that "it's rare to work on anything for five years, but especially with such good people - not one naysayer in the bunch - and bond with them so well".
Interestingly enough, the voice actors retained Red Dead Redemption 2's dynamic in that they'd stick to their characters and even gather around Benjamin Byron Davis, the voice behind Dutch van der Linde, on their lunch breaks.
As for the Red Dead Redemption 2's recording schedule, actors worked for three weeks, before getting three weeks off. However, it's the improvisation that Rockstar encourages that made Sloyer's experience so notable.
"Unlike TV where I know what I'm going to do with little room left for spontaneity, on a Rockstar project it's - this is what I'm going to do, but it could be fucking anything else! I think this is what this scene is about, but as it doesn't tell me where I am, or even the other guy's lines", Sloyer said.
Sloyer is well aware of Rockstar's tendency to change things up in the last moment and says that voice actors were as confused as anyone at times. Nevertheless, that's still better than the Rockstar employees who tattooed the RDR2 logo before it was changed to Roman numerals. Ouch.