Here's another tale from the trenches.
The choice of characters was another big issue between OL and Ubi. We wanted character, they wanted semi naked chicks. I'll concede to them that perhaps naked chicks do help sell games (although oddly enough they don't have any in Assassins Creed & that sells ok), but I didn't think we needed 3 identical naked chicks.
I will try to post a picture of one of our original line-ups when I get back to the UK, but meantime, I will have to describe them.
Our first characters were alot more in keeping with The Ship characters - as in a bit wacky, although kind of also in a more up to date style (better models & more cartoon palette).
The bowler hatted British Banker. In hindsight, we'd all like to kill them (in the UK)!
The dumb American Janitor (think Cletus from the Simpsons). His voice would have been good.
The Granny (she was my favourite) - she was so sweet & innocent looking! "Would you like some Murder with your pie?"
The Cad - based on a "famous" British actor who played bounder type characters, called Terry Thomas if you want to look him up.
The Russian Cossack - he was odd, ill grant you.
The Japanese Schoolgirl - she was very cute, pigtails, and a cute teddy bear backpack. Her character was morphed into the Goth. I argued we could have both, but they didn't get why a Japanese Schoolgirl was cool. Dear god...
The washed up Elvis Impersonator - he had big flares and big lapels.
The Nerd - he was like a 1950's nerd, with tank top, bow tie, and crew cut hair.
The hot Secretary - a hot secretary (doh), kinda like daphne from Scooby Doo, only hotter.
Those are all that I can remember for now, maybe more will pop into my mind.
As for audio, as someone has said elsewhere, it's a shame the characters don't have their own speech (instead of generic sims sounds). Well, we did try. Each of these characters was to have their own speech.
For instance, the Granny was to say "oooh dear" and "what a nice young man", etc. The bimbo was to say things like "damn, I broke a nail" and "does my hair look nice?", etc.
While an inevitable part of game development is that ideas get put forward, and some get rejected, as you can see, our entire line-up, worked on for perhaps 6 months, was cut. And, there seemed to be no dialogue around why, other than we had to be sexier (um - whats sexier than a japanese schoolgirl - of legal age of course! :P). The blind leading the sighted, as it turned out. A bloody frustrating time.