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VN engine porting for translation purposes?

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I’ve been pondering a bit about my personal goals on Japanese learning, and I’ve found that one of them is to be able to translate VNs, since in my native language there are very few translated VNs. While I can play them in English, I have meet several people that cannot do it.

However, one of the things that has been stopping me from actively researching about VN translation is the hacking part of it. Namely, how to obtain and repack the scripts. In this forum I’ve read that succesful translation projects are lead by the translators, which is why I choosed to focus in the language. But when looking for VNs to translate, I’ve been worried about whether there are hacking tools for the VNs I was planning to translate (in a nearby future, since I still need to polish my Japanese reading), since they are either console VNs, such as Akai Ito and a couple of PS2 VNs; or they are made into very old engines that might not support special characters, like the ones present in Spanish, my native language.

After browsing through the Sakura no Kisetsu VN porting thread, I’ve been pondering about whether porting VNs to a new engine (be it Ren’Py or something else) would be a good idea for translation purposes.

What do you think about it? Is it hard to port a VN to a new engine? What does it take to be able to pull it out successfully?

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what kind of game? is it a so called game-play one? bad news. how complex is the branching of routes? are the sprites animated?

what engine? some of them use plain text scripts which is great. then what is publicly available, just extraction/decryption? not even that?

so you need a programmer, and maybe a special tasks programmer.



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While it was more of a general question, I was mainly planning to hack the Kashimashi ~Girl meets Girl~ VN , mostly because I loved the anime and I'm reading the manga. As far as I went, it doesn't have any gameplay, besides choice selection. However, sprites are animated to allow lip sync.

As for it's encryption format, it uses .afs files and .sfd files. AE can extract .afs files perfectly, but not .sfd. Scripts are in a SC.AFS file, so it can be technically translated without the entire porting stuff. They have .obj format.

But still, thanks for answering my questions. Will keep them in mind in the future.

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I have experiencie porting game to kirikiri engine, what I can say is:
- You need a way to extract everything, image, sound, and scripts.
- You need a way to get the script source
if the engine use binary scripts then will be a much hard task port to other engine,
There are 2 ways to you port the game, one is the automatically way, that is what I did.
I wrote a tool to convert the script, and I need say, it's hard to do a automatically accurate conversion,
Then basically after the conversion I spend a time searching and fixing bugs manually, with this with a 50h vn I did in 3 weeks a entire funtional port.
and this is the result: 


The automatically port it's like magic, but this is possible only if your game have non compiled script,
and this include scripts like the catsystem2 that is binary but isn't compiled in machine code, then it's easy to 'understand'
the script and convert to a kirkiri equivalent.

I allways want port to kirikiri because is a engine that support many languages, and is open source.

If your game script is compiled and is impossible to get the source of the game script, then the way is do everything manually
basically play the original game while writing a script to do the same thing of the game.
We have a example of this method, what this spanish group did, https://vndb.org/r30006
but they don't know how to extract the game assets then used fucking screenshots in their game by what I know, then, don't do this!

I think it's what I can say, if the script can be extracted to plain text it's better try do a conversion tool that do the port work to you, then what you will need do after tis is just convert the game image, sound and videos, and to finish, test it.

Edited by marcus-beta
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