Wednesday, November 14, 2007

2 Weeks, 250 Strings

Well, there are approximately 535 strings of storyline left to translate. This means that, in about 2 weeks, the translator has knocked out about 250 strings. That's great progress, and if we can keep up that pace, it might be done by Christmas time. There's no deadline or release date set, but that might be a nice goal for another test release.

This progress is great, but we're running out of room in the game for all the English letters, because the English takes up more space than the Japanese. At the moment, it looks like the origin/flavoring text that shows up (as the second page) on the cards might get axed to make some more room. This text is often a quote from the card's character or some tidbit about the character. I think it's nice stuff to have around, but it's not an essential part of the game. It's removal will create needed space, and it will also mean that there's less text that needs translating. If you have a strong reaction to the removal of this, let me know.

We're getting low on topics to blog about. We need some more comments and questions so that we know what interests you and can have something new to blab on about.


Booger said...

To be blunt, the goofy secondary text on the cards is something that appeals to me most about character-themed card games, so I guess I would have to say that I, for one, would object.

But I'm getting the idea that balance is key here, and if it means excising that data for more stability and ease of difficulty then fuck yeah, chuck it. Just my opinion, of course.

Booger said...

Sorry, I meant to say "ease of negotiation". I'm an idiot.

Flavor said...

Thanks for the input, Booger. Where's your blog, by the way? I think you mentioned it before.

Yeah, the two big issues are ROM space and speed of translation. I have no problem adding the English text for the card's flavor text if we overcome those two issues.

From the (re)start of the project, I've told the translator to save those particular strings until after the storyline is complete. Then, we'll see if he wants to continue them or not. If he does, then I will try to come up with a way to store more text in the ROM. I have an idea how to cram more in, but I don't want to attempt it until I know that I'll need the space and that people care. Well, at least I know one person cares. :)

Oh, and there is a chance that we'll run out of room even without the flavoring text. In that case, I'll have to come up with a way to fit more in.

bvhnl said...

How about squeezing some extra out of the 2 unused font-pages?

Matteo said...

I just followed the link on insertcredit..I would love to get this for the NGPC. Actually, I have seen in it in a shop in Osaka, but it was too expensive. I wouldn't mind paying for it, but not 100 pounds or so.
Is this going to be really playble on the NGPC? It's too good to be true.Matt

Flavor said...

bvhnl: I hadn't thought about that, and at first it sounds like a nice idea. The main problem will (most likely) still be some text left in the game that won't get updated. If this text pointed to one of the other symbol tables (font pages), it would get screwed up. The other thing is that each symbol table isn't really all that large.

Besides the plan to cut out the flavoring text of the cards, I have two other ideas. The first is to put some strings in another area of the ROM that I found that seems unused. I have also toyed with the idea of making the ROM larger. Though, I am concerned that increasing the ROM size might mess up some emulators that expect "normal" NGPC ROM sizes.

Matteo: It definitely should be playable on the actual NGPC, but to do that, you'll need a flash cart of some sort. They're not real easy to find at the moment. I'd love to see it come out in some official capacity, but I assume that nobody (meaning any company) cares enough about it, anymore.

bvhnl said...

@flavor: you might be right there, best leave the extra font space for perhaps an easter egg :)

I don't know how large the ROM is at present, but keep in mind that some would like to transfer it to an actual devcart (like me). So the ROM should be padded at least to the accepted sizes. Emulators are usually more forgiving in this area.

If there is actually free space somewhere inside the rom, that would be a good thing. Depends on how fractured it is of course.

A third option would be to re-read the English texts by someone else. Kudo's for the translator of course, but the art of saying the same with less and/or shorter words is different. The translator has 1 focus: "Translate so it (kinda) fits in the same space".
If some one else who is good in the English language, re-reads the English texts he/she might shorten it down and perhaps makes it even some texts stronger.
Again, kudo's for the translator, but it is the same as someone else is proof reading a concept text; they always find stuff...

Flavor said...

bvhnl: Well, just to let you know... The translator submits his translations, and then I edit them down. As far as I know, he is a native English speaker. He does, however, make an effort to stay as close to the original text as possible. Sometimes this leads to long text, but usually, I think, it's better because it maintains the feel of the original game.

I can't immagine getting someone else to re-translate it all at this point. Anyway, you seem rather interested in the text issue. Are you against the idea of cutting out the card flavoring text to save space?

bvhnl said...

@flavor: I would simply leave it for the next version. Deliver this one to the public without the extra card texts, 95% of everybody is happy.

There are bound to be issues in the first release, stuff you wouldn't have thought of or came across initially.

The risk to prolong your release deep into the next year, because of the additional texts is pretty high.
So finish this in 2007 and do a new release in 2008 with all the good feedback you got from v1.0. And next year 100% is happy.

Matteo said...

Thanks for your reply. I understand that it will not easily playable on a NGPC, but what about other systems? LIke DC for example?
The problem is that I am PC illiterate! I am useless at using the PC for anything other than emails. Anyway, one thing i was wondering, how are you funding this project?

Flavor said...

Matteo: Heh, nice question. :)

There is no "funding" for this project. It's all donation-based. I donate my time because I view it as a hobby. Calden, the translator, donates his time for his own reasons. Various others have worked on the project, too. I think they all do it out of love for CFC and the NGPC.

Personally, I don't expect (or even really desire) to get paid for my hobby work. Though, I would like to see Calden get something out of the deal. I mean, if he can use it as experience to get real translation jobs, that would be excellent. See, he's not into CFC or NGPC at all, but he's been awesome to work with even though he gets very little in return.

Oh, and you asked about an e-mail address. Try I'll reply to the other thread, too.

Flavor said...

Oh, and if anyone sends an e-mail to that address, post a comment to this blog. That way I'll know to check that e-mail account. Otherwise, I just assume it's all SPAM there. Maybe even add something like [CFC2English] in the subject line of the e-mail.

Oh, and I forgot to answer your question about DreamCast. Yeah, this should run on the DC. I don't own a DC, so I can't tell you how to do it. Though, I do know a guy that ported RACE (the NGPC emulator) to the DC and it should run CFC2English just fine.