Jump to content


  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Nandemonai last won the day on April 28 2020

Nandemonai had the most liked content!


Recent Profile Visitors

The recent visitors block is disabled and is not being shown to other users.

Nandemonai's Achievements

Fuwa Elite

Fuwa Elite (7/11)



  1. SubaHibi is out. The one that's not out is Sharin no Kuni. Full engine replacement, last word was 'hopefully no more than 6 months'... last December. Oof. And yes, I'm a backer, and I'm not particularly happy about the delays, either. I'm sure it's just as thankless for Frontwing. They've almost certainly lost money overall. Never mind Kickstarter's cut and taxes, they've had to spend huge amounts of time (i.e. money) on an interminable slog that has to be way over budget. And the best they can possibly hope to accomplish is leaving a bitter taste in everyone's mouth.
  2. No, they're not consistent. If they were, they wouldn't have let Persona 4 onto Steam; it ambiguously implies MC-kun has sex with his girlfriend(s) if you max her (their) S-links. And they would have updated their "we will allow anything that isn't trolling or illegal" statement to clarify what else they will ban for, since clearly that is not true. Instead, they have attempted to reap the benefits of appealing to the no-censorship absolutist crowd by claiming anything goes, when it's not actually true. They have Standards & Practices (just like every other publisher in existence), they're just lying about it. They'd get flak. First, for merely openly saying they have S&P, the anti-censorship crowd would get all up in arms. Second, the particular standards they have chosen are pretty hilariously inept to boot. They would bar a video game adaptation of Romeo and Juliet or the Bible, in a society where American Pie makes a quarter billion dollars. They want to have their cake and eat it too. They've refused a handful of Western developed games too, like that Pickup Artist "game". Their public "statements" attempting to "justify" their actions, in light of them pretty obviously doing something they made a commitment not to do, are nonsense. They want the benefits of censoring things that might hurt their image, and the benefits of taking an absolutist no-censorship stance. So they have chosen to be dishonest.
  3. Slowly. I've been avoiding posting an update mainly because it's mostly not good news, but I doubt it's likely to change at this point. Darklord Rooke has disappeared. The last I heard from him was before Covid and he was more or less disengaged from VNs except for this project (which he seems to have disconnected from sometime after that point). Looking back at the work I did, I did the best I could using the (limited) tools available at the time, but it's not something I'd want to release. So I've started retranslating the game from scratch (in between retranslating / editing SKM from scratch and, you know, life). I'm in the middle of chapter three. So even if DR were to pop up again, what he'd done would be of questionable usefulness anyhow. So I'm just going to fly solo. I'll finish the (re-)retranslation myself, then edit my own work. The good news is the tools programmer for SKM has given me a preliminary editor I can use to proceed with redoing the TL while he builds a toolchain.
  4. NekoNyan might want to rethink their PR strategy (inasmuch as a cash-poor company like a VN translation outfit can afford such a thing as a PR strategy). Someone who's interested in DracuRiot didn't know that they'd announced the cause of the delay four months ago. That's kind of the whole point of PR: to make sure interested people, and folks who might be interested, know what's going on and remember / look forward to the release.
  5. Missing option: Translation quality. A bad translations can go so far as to take what could have been a good game, and smother it (like Cross Channel). Good translations can take what might have been an average game, and make it something truly great (see: Chrono Clock).
  6. Steins;Gate. Demonbane. Tokyo Babel. Shadows of Pygmalion.
  7. Localization companies have a lot of constraints. The business requires co-operation with the Japanese side of things. No game can be released without the consent and involvement of the rights holders. The Japanese IP holder can't just sign on the dotted line and take easy royalty money. They have to do work. Legal work, chasing down VA contract clearance. Graphics work, uncensoring the artwork and finding original assets. Programming work, updating the game engine to handle incompatibilities with Western OS default settings and the fact that Western languages use characters that, in Japanese, nobody ever uses so you're free to use things like apostrophes and commas as game scripting commands. Witness Kara no Shoujo and Koihime initially releasing with no VA because they couldn't afford to pay the VA fees. Witness a certain game I know of not ever getting an editing pass to fix issues, even though company staff privately admitted to me they wanted to - because the Japanese side didn't want to give the localizer their script compiler, and didn't want to be bothered because they'd already provided one fix and seemed to feel 'why jerk us around fixing one thing at a time'? Witness Pulltop, releasing Princess Waltz under Jast USA (great game by the way) then deciding to start MoeNovel. Or Jast USA getting Steins;Gate but not being the ones to release it on Steam, or anything else by them. Navel pulled out of a partnership with MangaGamer to release Shuffle! on Steam all by themselves. The licensors have a lot of pull, and they absolutely will use it. And the truth is, VNs sell a truly pitiful number of copies in English. Koihime had no VA because they didn't think the game could sell two thousand copies. It eventually did, after close to two years. After they decided to cheat a bit and include the size of their hard copy print run in the 2K (assuming it would eventually sell through) because they didn't want to do a hard copy release of it with no voice. Things are somewhat better if your game can get on Steam, but after Steam opened the floodgates suddenly there's lots of games on Steam and so few nowadays get the eye-popping sales figures IMHHW or Nekopara did once upon a time. So even though sales are declining slowly but steadily in Japan, as mobile inexorably cannibalizes everything else people used to spend money on, they're still - even far removed from what they used to be at the peak, like they are nowadays - still far higher than they are in English. This makes it a tough sell for most companies.
  8. Heh. Back in the day it was the Peach Princess forum (since after Jast folded, they reorganized under that name for a few years).
  9. I started translating VNs having read 0 in Japanese. (My first project is Nocturnal Illusion, whose official loc was so bad I still did a better job.) My editor found dozens of questionable-looking lines that, upon going back and rechecking, were pretty amateurish and awful errors. (I mean, I am an amateur.) On my next VN - SKM - I've noticed a big improvement from when I started versus now. Like anything you'll get better with practice. I often spend significant lengths of time struggling to figure out a mere several lines of fairly complicated Japanese. Sometimes it's 'what does this mean?' and Googling idioms I don't recognize and whatnot, and sometimes it's 'I know what it means, how do I express this thought in English in a coherent way that reads well?'. Expect it to take a lot longer than you thought it would (even if you were already thinking it would take a long time).
  10. Fan projects, by their very nature, do not ask permission. They simply do what they want. If you want to join a specific fan translation project, you should talk to the people running it. Getting their attention might be hard; a place like this is a good place to try to get in touch. If you have a specific game you want translated badly enough to do it yourself, and it doesn't have a project already, this is also a good place to come looking for a group to start one. But you don't need anyone's permission to post here. There is no licensing board of amateur translators you need to worry about either. Just do it. There is one catch. (There's always a catch.) If you want to start a new project to translate game X, but no one else wants to work on it, you'll have a problem - in that you need a programmer who can create tools to extract and re-insert the scripts. If you aren't that programmer, you'll have a hard time getting started. It is, in fact, possible to have a would-be project fail because you can't find anyone. The project forum is full of abandoned and incomplete projects, most of which floundered for exactly that reason. Fan TL projects have three key skills: Tech, to get the scripts out of, and back into, the game. Translation, to produce intelligible scripts. Editing, to make those scripts fun to read. You have one of those key skills. You should be good.
  11. Project is definitely not dead. I have no other news at this time.
  12. Paying a language tutor to tell you what you did/didn't get right might be a worthwhile endeavor. Using MTL is not. If you already know enough Japanese to tell 'oh I should clean this up to be more standard so the MTL can figure it out' or 'this looks like an idiom, lemme google.jp this and see' then you will be more accurate than the MTL, making it mostly useless for that purpose.
  13. That was the number I got when I googled the going rate in general. I know the rate for VNs was much lower, but wasn't sure how much I could share. I mean, just because I'm not under NDA doesn't mean people on the grapevine I've been talking to aren't. Then I remember this: This confirms the 1-1.5 cents per character figure.
  14. Gameplay elements are a lot harder to design and test and get working. That means they cost a lot more money. These games are made on shoestring budgets. There are companies that specialize in 'gameplay titles' out there. And most of the time, those titles are not known for having a strong story. In other words, it's pouring a lot more dev resources into something that's not the core selling point of your game (which is, pretty much like you said, a novel with added production value). These guys make money by being happy to be the niche players. Or to put it another way - your point is essentially the same reasoning publishers use when they say 'Graft a multiplayer mode onto game X! Just freaking do it, we don't even care if it makes sense, gamers like it!' Sometimes that works out (Mass Effect 3) and other times, not so much (Resident Evil 3). These companies are like Atlus (well, before Sega bought them). They know how to survive in a low-volume market. If they wanted to make mass-market-appeal games, they'd be making a different kind of game entirely. Not every game has to be mass market. If you want to know 'why aren't there more releases in English', here's your problem. There are a decent number of games. Heck, there's some you haven't even listed (like Koihime Musou, or Aselia the Eternal, or - and I'm being serious here - Persona 4 Arena). I've been around since the early 2000's, and I converted into a paying customer when I found out a VN was lucky to sell a few hundred copies. The numbers I hear nowadays are they're lucky to sell two thousand. These games are absolutely popular enough already in English. Just not with people who actually pay. I'll put it this way: The raw untranslated script for SKM is about 6 megabytes. Rounded down to 5 to account for repeated text and punctuation, etc - at 5 cents per character (very low end of the going rate) and 2 bytes per character that's $250K. How many copies do you need to sell to make that back at $40? 6250. Then there's licensing fees, and we know that MangaGamer said 'if the original KM doesn't sell 2000 copies, we can't pay for the voice so we'll have to remove it'. There's more voice, so bump that up a little. You're probably looking at 8500-9000 copies just to break even. And now you know why MangaGamer hasn't done it. They can't pay the translator a decent rate. They'd have to find someone willing to be significantly underpaid. But suppose for a minute Koihime had sold - instead of the probably 2500-3500 copies it likely sold (it sold > 2K, they added the voices back) - 6 or 7 times that number. Then licensing the sequel would be a no-brainer. It would have been out years ago, probably. Furthermore, every game that was remotely worth releasing would be getting licensed and released. It's the same story with other text-heavy Japanese products. RPGs were a niche product. Every time an RPG was released in English, the company releasing it was taking a risk. And then FF7 came out, and it was one of the first videogames to do cinematic awesome cutscenes well, and it was absolutely in the right place at the right time to do gangbusters. Prior to FF7, RPGs had been building in popularity slowly, but post-FF7, an audience was there and realized 'maybe I should pay more attention, this looks nifty'. Post-FF7, most major JRPGs got translated (but not all). The same thing happened again a few years later, when the quirky-and-cutesy-Japanesey style games caught on. First was Disgaea, which was an amazing game and sold out instantly and Atlus reprinted it and then NIS (the makers) founded NIS America, which has gone on to do very well. Then Recettear sold hundreds of thousands of copies on Steam, proving to everyone 'no really, people will buy the weeb shit'. VNs don't need to be made into something they're not in order to start selling. In fact I'd wager they're already starting to sell. Look at the huge uptick in otome releases, and console releases.
  • Create New...