Well, this is quite exciting, isn't it?!
I'm trying out this nifty developer blog thing, and if things work out, I suppose this'll be the first new "Developer" blog post on Fuwa in close to.. two years?!
Now, here's hoping I don't screw anything up, but - I thought I'd only slightly selfishly just take this opportunity to simply introduce our project!
Then, maybe later it won't feel so out of the blue and intimidating to perhaps post updates with some interesting technical details, or general progress and such. Whatever.
There's also an open call looking for new contributors in the end : - )
What we - our team, pantsudev - are working on is an English translation of the 2019 yuri-guro visual novel Manakashi:
The actual thread about the project has been around for a while already, ever since last summer when I began working on it, and while you can look in there for more details and find me gushing on about stuff, let me just say that it's all in all been a very positive surprise how many friendly people and indeed contributors I've found from this community in such a relatively short time!
You could say that I'm not from around here - perhaps I had a previous identity in the VN game circles and related [image] boards at some point, but I've never really been a part of the tight-knit scene where some have known each other for well over ten years by now. Sure I've played and enjoyed my share of visual novels over the years, but I'm the kind of person who'll spend more time working on whatever projects I come up with than I do actually enjoying any finished products, mine or otherwise. So, one day, when I wanted to play a new yuri title and this interesting one didn't look like it was going to receive any proper localization efforts anytime soon, I figured I'd just take a look at the innards myself while brushing up on my own Japanese and creative writing skills. It wasn't a particular hurdle either, because I have an extensive background as both a developer and a gamehacker, and so here we are.
So, what is Manakashi, or True Love's Lily Dyes Red, as we've dubbed it?
You could look at the VNDB entry, but in a nutshell it's a rather dark yuri story with beautiful art, great music and excellent voice performances. And pain and blood and guts and heartbreak and tragedy. Certainly not everybody's cup of tea, but right up my alley. I guess if anything, apart from just making a Fuwa dev blog post for the hell of it, I'd like people to take notice of this pretty little title
As for our translation project, all in all I think we're making very good and rather quality progress for what we are, which is an absolutely tiny operation.
I never really thought anyone would join my crazy crusade, yet now I've made friends and have had multiple talented translators working on the project, roped in an ally to help with editing and organization, have done multiple testing/QA passes with trusty people, and can always ask for help with tricky writing challenges from friends and contributors much more talented than myself. Somehow I turned into a lead in a project that was supposed to be just myself fucking around for fun on spare time.
Now, if I was to plug something here at the end - apart from asking you to maybe follow our Fuwa thread and join our Discord if you became interested in this game, I would like to again put out a call for reinforcements! We're in a rather peculiar position where the translation is actually progressing much faster than the edit, and I don't really like that being the case. A translation without editing is essentially unplayable, and I'd much rather see the project progress in lockstep. The further these "phases" drift apart, the harder it is to catch up in a consistent fashion - in my humble opinion. It also strips us of a concrete amount of work done, to which we could point to and say, "yeah, this much of the work is done, this much of the game is actually playable in English right now."
Bluntly put, it doesn't matter if 50% of the game's lines are translated if 0% of it is ready to be played and enjoyed.
We're in dire need of an additional editor. An editor doesn't need to know Japanese, but has to be able to make the first-pass English prose flow like a real good novel, spot mistakes and continuity errors and always find more creative and succinct ways to put things. You could even pick a specific area, if you want - it's technically possible to focus on H- or guro scenes only, for example. In any case, if you're even remotely interested and capable - get in touch!
Alright, that's that - Here's to a great 2021, everyone!