Jump to content
Plk_Lesiak

Blogs, articles, videos about editing (VN and otherwise)?

Recommended Posts

39 minutes ago, Zakamutt said:

Not if you're good enough. It may not be optimal, and I still get editors for my projects, but if you can write your translation naturally you don't actually need an editor to avoid serious problems.

Of course, few fan translators are at this level, and probably quite a few professionals either are not either or are not paid enough for trying to be worth it.

Well, true. But still, there aren't many cases in which an editing run is a bad idea, unless the editor sucks in some particularly spectacular fashion. :>

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Plk_Lesiak said:

Also the idea that having high-quality prose is not as important as making translations is kind of gross. We're talking about interactive fiction here, I know people often don't care about polished writing that much, but still...

Damn dude. How is it gross?  The idea of having high-quality prose is very important. Is it more important than making translations? Ummmm no, do you know remember my previous rant about the purity spiral of translators who are waayyy too pedantic about shit. 

https://forums.fuwanovel.net/topic/21633-if-you’re-a-fan-translator-thank-you

10 hours ago, Plk_Lesiak said:

Suuure, but how many hundreds of hours you want to invest in this vague possibility? Translating is a difficult and work-intensive job and if it's meant to meet proper quality standards, it needs an editor anyways. Raw or self-edited translation will always have serious problems.

I love how you are looking for profit in an industry that is virtually broke. If one polish dude comes to you and says “thank you @Plk_Lesiak for translating Saya” or something smaller then that should be enough, right? You made it possible for someone to enjoy a VN. You literally one of the people I look up to because you actively making visual novels popular in the west. We’re fans here. Not business people. We’re here because we love the medium. Plus, if you really wanted to make some cash. Just learn how to code like me. Be a scripter or an artist so you can offer commissions for devs. I only know ONE paid editor, and he’s been doing this for free since 2014 and recently started being paid at 0.06 cents a word. Maybe you can go up one those publishers like Sekai Project, Moenovel, etc. They always need translator and they will pay better than what I and many other EVN devs can offer you.

 

17 hours ago, Infernoplex said:

Which JVNs? Only titles from popular companies do well. Most just fall into obscurity, hence so many bankrupt eroge developers in the past few years (and some just shutting down VN development altogether despite not being out of business). This wouldn't have been happening if VNs were very profitable, now would it? Most titles don't make a bank. Some do, but not all.

18 hours ago, Happiness+ said:

I mean how to companies become popular in the first place. You’re downplaying the success of Clannad, MuvLuv, Steins;Gate, Ever17, Eden, Higurashi, etc. I know most of us are jaded but come on. How can people expect VNs to stay niche? That does not make any since. 

 

17 hours ago, Infernoplex said:

That said, the way it's going now, I find it unlikely for VNs to reach anime kind of popularity. At least not in the next 5 to 10 years, it won't happen. Maybe in some distant future, some kind of boom happens, but there's a bunch of reasons why I don't see that happening yet. Anime and VNs as mediums of entertainment are fundamentally different in many ways. Maybe history will prove me wrong later, but for now, I believe that VNs will never reach that kind of popularity as anime has it.

At least you’re being honest here. Most people are a lot more certain about the so-called demise of the medium especially from r/vns. But what’s your data? How do you know that? I came from VN conference 2019 and saw data rising regarding the popularity of mobile-first visual novels. Kickstarters for EVNs have grown significantly since 2014. @BunnyAdvocate Isn’t there any data regarding the popularity of VNs over time to westerners? Because if you’re right @Infernoplex, then come five to ten years time. Fuwanovel would a desert. The VN publishers would be broke. Watercress and Nachi wouldn’t exist anymore. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Happiness+ said:

If one polish dude comes to you and says “thank you @Plk_Lesiak for translating Saya” or something smaller then that should be enough, right? You made it possible for someone to enjoy a VN.

But @Plk_Lesiak is quite right when he says that almost anybody here, that could be interested in VNs, knows English already - it is really widespread. So Polish translations of VNs would be curiosity at best.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, adamstan said:

But @Plk_Lesiak is quite right when he says that almost anybody here, that could be interested in VNs, knows English already - it is really widespread. So Polish translations of VNs would be curiosity at best.

Well, I don’t know if they are polish only readers though. I can only imagine that. Unless most poles already speak damn good English already. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Happiness+ said:

Damn dude. How is it gross?  The idea of having high-quality prose is very important. Is it more important than making translations? Ummmm no, do you know remember my previous rant about the purity spiral of translators who are waayyy too pedantic about shit. 

https://forums.fuwanovel.net/topic/21633-if-you’re-a-fan-translator-thank-you

1

I don't think we'll ever agree on this. I accept, of course, that having stuff translated is important, but it doesn't mean every kind of accessibility is worth the same. You have a VN in English and Spanish? It can reach the vast majority of Western otaku. You add German, French, Italian? It might still be significant. You add Polish, or, I don't know, Swedish? Pretty much irrelevant. I won't tell someone not to do it, of course, but for the VN community as a whole, such projects have little meaning. On the other hand, the quality of versions most people will actually read is VERY important if VNs are to be treated seriously.

1 hour ago, Happiness+ said:

I love how you are looking for profit in an industry that is virtually broke. If one polish dude comes to you and says “thank you @Plk_Lesiak for translating Saya” or something smaller then that should be enough, right? You made it possible for someone to enjoy a VN. You literally one of the people I look up to because you actively making visual novels popular in the west. We’re fans here. Not business people. We’re here because we love the medium. Plus, if you really wanted to make some cash. Just learn how to code like me. Be a scripter or an artist so you can offer commissions for devs. I only know ONE paid editor, and he’s been doing this for free since 2014 and recently started being paid at 0.06 cents a word. Maybe you can go up one those publishers like Sekai Project, Moenovel, etc. They always need translator and they will pay better than what I and many other EVN devs can offer you.

2

Nope. I won't spend hundreds of hours translating or editing something that I know a dozen people will ever read. I understand there are people that are way less petty and I respect that a lot, but that's just not me. It's not even about cash in this context, it's about putting your effort where it matters the most. I won't enjoy work that I don't believe makes any sense, no matter how huge of a VN fan I might be.

And of course, the VN niche is poor, editors are paid shit money. But it's not like they don't exist and when I read VNs, including those that had a paid editor, I don't believe they are not needed. Also I'm not sure the "be an artist" advice is very helpful in this context. Or in any. I'm not desperate to "get into the industry", I was asking about this topic because it's something I'm (somewhat) confident I can do.

Plus, I'm quite sure by this point many EVN devs are in this for the money or, at the very least, they want their games to be profitable. I can believe people releasing free games for NaNoRen0 are not, but that's not the whole EVN market.

Edited by Plk_Lesiak

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Happiness+ said:

How can people expect VNs to stay niche? That does not make any sense. 

They managed to stay niche in Japan for their entire lifetime tho and still are

being less niche does not make them not a niche

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Plk_Lesiak said:

You have a VN in English and Spanish? It can reach the vast majority of Western otaku. You add German, French, Italian? It might still be significant. You add Polish, or, I don't know, Swedish? Pretty much irrelevant. I won't tell someone not to do it, of course, but for the VN community as a whole, such projects have little meaning. On the other hand, the quality of versions most people will actually read is VERY important if VNs are to be treated seriously

 How many  developers actually know Thai. The southeastern language.  Watercress is actively looking for people who can translate in that very obscure language.  And most EVNs are like way less than an hour long.  Your argument will make more sense if someone was asking you to translate like ever17 for 500 bucks or the higurashi for $1000.  Eventually all your hours you put into it will be below minimum wage.  However, those visual novels have a huge following.  It all depends, I’m surprised you haven’t even addressed the fact  you could just go to the damn publishers. 

 

6 hours ago, Plk_Lesiak said:

I won't spend hundreds of hours translating or editing something that I know a dozen people will ever read.

 The funny thing is about this is that you won’t spend like 100 hours on a really short Japanese visual novel.  And most often than not you will be on a team so It won’t be like just you cracking in all of these hours by your self. 

 

6 hours ago, Plk_Lesiak said:

Plus, I'm quite sure by this point many EVN devs are in this for the money or, at the very least, they want their games to be profitable. I can believe people releasing free games for NaNoRen0 are not, but that's not the whole EVN market.

Ehhhhhhh......  I don’t know what developers you’ve been talking to but my friends surely don’t think this will be full time.  In fact, I don’t know any studio aside from maybe top hat who would prioritize profit above anything else and their development cycle.  Many studios are kind of like fan  groups who decided maybe we should start making VNs ourselves because it’s fun. 

 

 This is really fatalistic.  I don’t know any developer that would downplay translation over editing. It’s usually the other way around like our users have pointed out earlier in the thread. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, Zakamutt said:

They managed to stay niche in Japan for their entire lifetime tho and still are

being less niche does not make them not a niche

  Last time I checked, niche markets don’t get production for full movie series. Furthermore,  less niche is always better at what point does it stop being niche.  It’s been increasingly less and less niche over the years.  I fail to see your point here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, Happiness+ said:

  Last time I checked, niche markets don’t get production for full movie series. Furthermore,  less niche is always better at what point does it stop being niche.  It’s been increasingly less and less niche over the years.  I fail to see your point here.

T-M makes most of their money off of FGO, and their last remotely pure VN release of any note was in 2012 (mahoyo). The VNs are still niche. It just so happens that Japan likes adapting things from other mediums a lot.

If what you want to say is that VN-based anime and games are popular, whatever my dude, but I think that's pretty misleading.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Zakamutt said:

If what you want to say is that VN-based anime and games are popular, whatever my dude, but I think that's pretty misleading.

I mean, how? 

What I consider niche market, truly is EVNs. Because nobody knows what they are. But in Japan, people know what visual novels are. Especially if they are anime fans or something like that. However, most people, even other otaku in America don’t even know about western visual novels. 

I don’t understand how JVNs are still niche, when Unlimited Blade Works had a movie. Then a damn good anime series by a reputable company. Then a movie series about what’s considered to the “best” route in fate stay night.

If you wanna say F/SN is an outlier, cool, fine, I know. But I don’t understand is how can an entire medium remain niche when people are pouring money into it. If it was niche than fuck, Subahibi wouldn’t had that amazing kickstarter. 

“But subahibi bombed initially, Happiness+” Yeah because that whole VN was advant garde shit. Don Qxionte was not profitable, but that did not stop literary scholars from considering it one of the best novels of the western world. How the fuck does a JVN that bombed horribly in 2010 in japan amassed a kickstarer of over $100,000 in a few months for a English release? I’ve seen American indie games get funded for less.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/frontwing/a-wonderful-welcome-for-visual-novel-wonderful-eve

My point here is that JVNs aren’t niche compared to EVNs.

Now, Mahoyo is different. I wouldn’t even use that as an example if I were you. Because A. It’s not that well known even amongst nasuverse fans like tsukihime. B. Type-Moon usually doesn’t localize their VNs in America like some companies do with Sekai or moenovel C. The fan translation group underwent burnout immediately upon taking it up. I talked to Herkz about it, but like I told @Plk_Lesiak, translation isn’t usually done by one person. You need a team to divide labor. 

1 hour ago, Zakamutt said:

T-M makes most of their money off of FGO,

But before that, how did TM make their money to launch F/SN in the first place? Oh yeah Tsukihime. Unless you have data that JVNs have been declining over the years, you’re pushing the cart before the horse.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Plk_Lesiak I'm not sure if your original question was ever answered, so I'll hop in and see if I can help out :)

In regards to tools and resources, here's a list of some with small descriptions, in no particular order.

  • https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/purdue_owl.html Your one-stop-shop for literally anything grammar and writing. Great for both professional and personal work.
  • https://app.grammarly.com/ I use this tool to help with the proofreading that word/google won't catch. 11/10, would recommend, but don't rely on it alone!
  • https://www.thesaurus.com/ This site will help with both definitions and, well, anything any thesaurus would help with. 
  • https://www.google.com/drive/ For EVNs, Google Drive is standard. Studios that don't use it are very rare. Touch up with how docs and drive works, if you haven't already :)
  • https://lemmasoft.renai.us/forums/index.php The Lemma forums are great for stuff like this. Have questions? Looking for work? Here you go!
  • https://github.com/ A tool many use for script implementation. Some studios require it as part of their editing pipeline. Good to be familiar with regardless.
  • https://atom.io/ The best text editor you'll ever use. For real, use it! It even has Ren'Py in it as a recognized language.

Here are some skills that are generally required:

  • Editing Specific:
    • Firm grasp of the English language
    • Understanding of story mechanics/tropes/themes/etc
    • Firm grasp of character voice
    • Understanding of how to prioritize changes
    • Understanding of assets and how the Visual Novel medium works
      • For example, VNs are a visual medium. You don't need to describe the trees if they're already on screen, unless it's for a specific weight.
    • Knowing what natural dialogue sounds like, especially for voice-acted projects
      • All edited scripts, time allowing, should be read out loud before turned into the lead writer/editor/director etc.
    • Firm grasp of how people act and interact.
  • General Skills:
    • Time management
    • Communication (specifically with writers)
      • Including the ability to give constructive feedback 
    • Firm teamwork skills/understanding of the chain of command

To touch up on some topics mentioned in this thread:

I do not believe that non-native English speakers cannot or should not be editors for English games. They most certainly can, as long as they have a strong understanding of conversational English. If you've been part of the English speaking world for a long while, even if you didn't initially start with English, you still can edit. The important part is that you must understand how it works from a real-world perspective, both academically and conversationally.

Here's an excellent example: I've known people born outside of the US that moved over in their early twenties. Now they're in their fifties. I am not about to claim they can't edit. Another example: If you grew up in a multicultural/multilingual area, you're generally good to go. The internet is a wonderful place for that. Again, as long as you have a strong grasp of the language both academically and conversationally.

Also, to tackle another more controversial side of the debate I've seen here: VNs are not pure novels, they are not prose. They are specifically written closely to their cousins, the screenplay. In fact, the jargon is the same! We write a VN script. We are going to edit scenes. This jargon comes from both video game and screenplay verbiage.

Remember: in VNs, dialogue is king. Longform prose is not as useful, as VNs have a visual (and audio) element to them that novels do not have. Don't describe the tree in front of us if we can see it - unless it's important to the script in some way. The exception is, of course, for senses that we can't have even in games (smell, touch, taste, and if the VN doesn't have SFX or for accessibility reasons: sound).

Also: it is VERY BAD PRACTICE to have editors only proofread. Generally speaking, if I'm hired on to consult or edit for a studio, and they have editors only for proofreading, I see that as a massive, massive, MASSIVE red flag. I get it, we love the stories we tell. We want them to be our own, right? Well, actually, no. If we're releasing the VN to the public with the expectation that we'll get good reviews or sales (or if we want to make people feel something), then we need to understand that we must be able to kill our darlings. That is to say, when we make a game, it isn't (generally) a solo endeavor. If we have an editor just for proofreading, then we're shooting ourselves in the foot. Of course, if we don't care about how good the game is and just want to make something of our own, go for it! Everyone makes games for different reasons, and I am very fond of (most) any reason to grow the community!

Over the internet, there's a mountain of resources for editing, so I'm sure others can lead you to more useful resources. If you want to sit down and chat with me about editing, I'm always available! I've been working on (and editing) visual novels for half a decade. I also know a lot of bigger editors that you could talk to, should you have the need!

Feel free to catch me on our Discord: https://discord.gg/watercress (My name is WolfGameDev [Watercress]#1785)

 

Edit: Wanted to make sure I mention that these are just my opinions! We all have different experiences, and I don't want to devalue the other viewpoints. These are my opinions based on my experiences :)

Edited by TheForeverLoneWolf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, TheForeverLoneWolf said:

@Plk_Lesiak I'm not sure if your original question was ever answered, so I'll hop in and see if I can help out :) (…) 

Thank you, this was extremely helpful!

I also have a question: did you ever use the premium version of Grammarly? I'm using the free one for a while now and it's quite enough with the kind of writing I'm doing most of the time (reviews etc.), but would the additional features be worth when it goes to more involved work?

13 hours ago, Happiness+ said:

How many  developers actually know Thai. The southeastern language.  Watercress is actively looking for people who can translate in that very obscure language.

Thailand has nearly twice the population of Poland and English use is no way near as common there as it is with young Poles. I was speaking explicitly about European languages, not Asian markets. 

13 hours ago, Happiness+ said:

And most EVNs are like way less than an hour long.

No they aren't? Not commercial ones at least. I don't think even most game jam entries are this short nowadays, they're quite commonly on 30-40k words.

In general, I feel like we're talking about different things. You somehow suggest I'm hell-bent on working with EVN developers over official publishers (I never said that, I only suggested I wanted to do some of those to gather experience) and make super-broad statements on what EVN devs need & want without acknowledging the scene isn't that small or uniform any more. I don't really want to discuss translations and by this point it's an empty arguement, so let's just focus on editing from now on. I maybe can't convince you translating to Polish makes no sense, but I'm definitely not going to pick it up myself and it will be years before I feel competent enough to translate things from Japanese, if I ever get there, so it's not a worthwhile topic. :P

Edited by Plk_Lesiak

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Plk_Lesiak said:

Thank you, this was extremely helpful!

I also have a question: did you ever use the premium version of Grammarly? I'm using the free one for a while now and it's quite enough with the kind of writing I'm doing most of the time (reviews etc.), but would the additional features be worth when it goes to more involved work?

Thailand has nearly twice the population of Poland and English use is no way near as common there as it is with young Poles. I was speaking explicitly about European languages, not Asian markets. 

No they aren't? Not commercial ones at least. I don't think even most game jam entries are this short nowadays, they're quite commonly on 30-40k words.

In general, I feel like we're talking about different things. You somehow suggest I'm hell-bent on working with EVN developers over official publishers (I never said that, I only suggested I wanted to do some of those to gather experience) and make super-broad statements on what EVN devs need & want without acknowledging the scene isn't that small or uniform any more. I don't really want to discuss translations and by this point it's an empty arguement, so let's just focus on editing from now on. I maybe can't convince you translating to Polish makes no sense, but I'm definitely not going to pick it up myself and it will be years before I feel competent enough to translate things from Japanese, if I ever get there, so it's not a worthwhile topic. :P

@Plk_Lesiak Anytime! I don't use the paid version of Grammarly, to be honest. Money is always tight, so things like that just nickel and dime my account :P

As for game length, the average is 2-3 hours, roughly. Of course, this range is HUGE, but 20-40k is the range that I see most often. Smaller ones are pretty rare since short storytelling is a skill in its own, and longer ones require more resources, which many free studios don't have. A cool rule of thumb is that for every 10k words in a script, the game is an hour longer. 10k = 1 hour, 20k = 2 hours, and so on. Of course, this is a very rough estimate (and voice acting breaks this rule of thumb!)

As for translations, that's entirely dependent on the genre, the reach, the scope, and the target audience. Analytics really help with that. Right now, English/Spanish/Russian/Chinese/Portuguese (Brazil) seem to be the big ones to look for translations on, Japanese being another decent one to translate to (but not as common as you think - they have JVNs to read).

But I agree, this thread wasn't supposed to be about translation, just editing. If you need anything else, just say the word!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Plk_Lesiak said:

No they aren't? Not commercial ones at least. I don't think even most game jam entries are this short nowadays, they're quite commonly on 30-40k words.

In general, I feel like we're talking about different things. You somehow suggest I'm hell-bent on working with EVN developers over official publishers (I never said that, I only suggested I wanted to do some of those to gather experience) and make super-broad statements on what EVN devs need & want without acknowledging the scene isn't that small or uniform any more. I don't really want to discuss translations and by this point it's an empty arguement, so let's just focus on editing from now on. I maybe can't convince you translating to Polish makes no sense, but I'm definitely not going to pick it up myself and it will be years before I feel competent enough to translate things from Japanese, if I ever get there, so it's not a worthwhile topic. :P

ehhhh, okay. I just didn't know how small polish would be then. :rolleyes: Well, good luck anyway.

(I kinda wish some studios would adopt a better editing pipeline.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/17/2019 at 8:35 PM, Happiness+ said:

At least you’re being honest here. Most people are a lot more certain about the so-called demise of the medium especially from r/vns. But what’s your data? How do you know that? I came from VN conference 2019 and saw data rising regarding the popularity of mobile-first visual novels. Kickstarters for EVNs have grown significantly since 2014. @BunnyAdvocate Isn’t there any data regarding the popularity of VNs over time to westerners? Because if you’re right @Infernoplex, then come five to ten years time. Fuwanovel would a desert. The VN publishers would be broke. Watercress and Nachi wouldn’t exist anymore. 

Heh, don't twist my words :D

I didn't say the market for VNs will die. And I am not all that gloomy about VNs future. For all I've said so far about the subject, I don't think VNs are really doomed. What I said is that I don't believe they will reach a boom in popularity like anime did from your earlier analogy. The market for VNs will stay alive, in both Japan and West, one way or another. They may evolve and change throughout years, catering to different demographics of fans, platforms, etc. etc., but they will never really die. I think there's enough support for them to still be profitable enough (just not making major profits; very few will be making banks based off VN sales xD). In 5 to 10 years, we will still all be here. Fuwanovel will still exist (unless Tay decides to pull the plug out xD), and VN publishers will likely stay afloat, regardless of everything I said (I know only two or three VN localizers that have went out of business in the last 20 years - Hirameki International and I guess G-Collections + Peach Princess, both of which got bought out by JAST or something like that).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/17/2019 at 3:11 AM, Happiness+ said:

I think JVNs are more popular than light novels, but how many light novel adaptations we’ve had since SAO. 

Tons, lol. LNs right now are clearly more popular than VNs. On the other hand, most officially released titles are just your usual RPG isekai trash, and the entire genres are almost completely neglected. That's why I have to rely on fan-translations, even though their general quality is very poor.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/22/2019 at 8:20 AM, Infernoplex said:

Heh, don't twist my words :D

I didn't say the market for VNs will die. And I am not all that gloomy about VNs future. For all I've said so far about the subject, I don't think VNs are really doomed. What I said is that I don't believe they will reach a boom in popularity like anime did from your earlier analogy. The market for VNs will stay alive, in both Japan and West, one way or another. They may evolve and change throughout years, catering to different demographics of fans, platforms, etc. etc., but they will never really die. I think there's enough support for them to still be profitable enough (just not making major profits; very few will be making banks based off VN sales xD). In 5 to 10 years, we will still all be here. Fuwanovel will still exist (unless Tay decides to pull the plug out xD), and VN publishers will likely stay afloat, regardless of everything I said (I know only two or three VN localizers that have went out of business in the last 20 years - Hirameki International and I guess G-Collections + Peach Princess, both of which got bought out by JAST or something like that).

In all fairness, you did come across a bit fatalistic. You reminded me of those jaded JVN fans over at r/vns. Because I don't understand how VNs can remain unpopular as a medium. Everything you said asiade from that I agree with. However, it's a bit fatalistic to say, visual novels as a whole will never reach anime popularity. Especially, when we don't have any data on the matter. People said the same thing about comics, but now we have the MCU. Soooo yeah.......  

 

On 7/22/2019 at 6:24 PM, Dreamysyu said:

Tons, lol. LNs right now are clearly more popular than VNs. On the other hand, most officially released titles are just your usual RPG isekai trash, and the entire genres are almost completely neglected. That's why I have to rely on fan-translations, even though their general quality is very poor.

I don't really buy that because there's no data on this and I think isekai is a fad at this point. Are you talking about fan tranlators for VNs or for LNs because I cannot really say much on LNs. However, fan translations of VNs can be really good. Though, Fan-TLs are more of an art than science though, so arguing about translation quality is a bit pointless.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×