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stezie

Blue* TL Project [Completed]

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Blue* Translation Project

Project Finished! Download Here

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6MqvoN1eV0E


Game Information


vndb: https://vndb.org/v17063
  • Title: Blue*
  • Original Developer: Namaage
  • Translation Team: Kuoee
  • Length: 6-8 hours
  • Format: NVL, Kinetic
  • Age Rating: All Ages
  • Platform: Windows (We haven't tested it on any Mac systems, so we don't know how compatible it is. The most likely likely thing that can happen is the font will mess up and hurt all of the word wrapping, leading to bad line breaks. If something like that does happen, let me know asap. For now, let's tentatively accept this as a Windows release.)



Story


"Kiss My Ass"

These were the last words of a poet named Asagiri Sou.


On a quiet, autumn's night, a young girl, Nishikujo Natsume, pieces together these controversial last words and all the other mysteries the poet left behind, as she looks over his home town from the observation deck of a neglected park. She recalls meeting him for the first time, two years ago, in that park. And on that day, she remembers being told the story of 'The Angel's Song', an urban legend, stretching back from a decade ago. She remembers being told the truth of the blue eyes that left this poet mesmerised.

The truth that this poet tells follows the lives of himself and his friends as they grapple with the demon of truth itself. Throughout the story, they each relinquish the facades they had built for themselves - masks made of insincerity, fear, and shame. But of all the truths to confront, the one which lingers, always out of reach, is the one of The Angel's Song, and the 'Real Problem'.



Progress - June 28
 

Project Finished and Released on June 14th

Porting to O2: In progress

Full re-edit: In progress

 

Kuoee - Our Group


'Our Translator': Translation / Image Editing
stezie: Editing / Programming

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Thank you! And yes, we're going to try our hardest to keep up this pace straight to the end. Personally, I wanted to work on something a leaning a bit more on the mainstream end, but my partner really insisted we help out a doujin title, so we can also keep in touch with the original developers. What we might lose in sheer buzz or hype I think we make up for in Namaage's support of our project. But still, we might use Blue* to gauge out whether people are interested in TLs of unknown visual novels, or to buckle down and work on our own VN.

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Weekly update:

TL: 81.6% (9123/11177)

Editing: 73.7% (8232/11177)

 

About 400 translated, and 550 lines edited this week, which is quite a steep drop in our output. Still, given how much other work piled up on us over the last couple of weeks, I'm glad we managed to get something out. Things look like they might be clearing up, so finishing in a month is still very doable..

 

We're also looking for anyone who would like take on a mentoring role of sorts, to help with translation checking, scrutinise and mull over some translation decisions, and the like.

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Well, I hope nothing bad happens if I triple post, but here goes:

 

TL: 87.3% (9760/11177)

Editing: 86% (9615/11177)

Script Insertion: 33% (3686/11177)

 

This week, we managed 640 lines translated, and about 1400 lines edited. Since editing's essentially on par with the translation now, I got back to my first rounds of script inserts in a long while. Productivity burst mainly came from the long weekend, and having just checked off a couple of my big ticket assignments and exams.

 

It would not be unreasonable to expect TL and editing done in a couple of weeks, but even though I'm done with my batch of uni work, our translator is about to head into his crunchtime of exams and assignments. Even so, I can roughly foresee a full release by maybe mid May. Fingers crossed.

 

 

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Well, I hope nothing bad happens if I triple post, but here goes:

 

TL: 87.3% (9760/11177)

Editing: 86% (9615/11177)

Script Insertion: 33% (3686/11177)

 

This week, we managed 640 lines translated, and about 1400 lines edited. Since editing's essentially on par with the translation now, I got back to my first rounds of script inserts in a long while. Productivity burst mainly came from the long weekend, and having just checked off a couple of my big ticket assignments and exams.

 

It would not be unreasonable to expect TL and editing done in a couple of weeks, but even though I'm done with my batch of uni work, our translator is about to head into his crunchtime of exams and assignments. Even so, I can roughly foresee a full release by maybe mid May. Fingers crossed.

No no, please triple post, quadruple post if need be. Pay no attention to the cold, dastardly denizens that inhabit Fuwanovel and refuse to leave a mere post amidst all these updates.

Have all the likes as compensation. 

 

Working on such unknown little titles is curious indeed, and honestly, rather nice to see. 

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^Just in case you didn't catch Lord Taiga's message, do not worry about double posting too much, stezie! That's mostly for posts that are within a few seconds to a few minutes of each other in a spam-like, uncontributing manner so it definitely doesn't apply for posts regarding translation updates~

 

~~

Best of luck to the translation teams' efforts! :)

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Well thanks for clearing up the stuff about double/triple posting. Caution's normally a virtue in projects like these, but sometimes, our caution can border on insanity :/

 

Onto the weekly update:

 

TL: 90.5% (10115/11177)

Editing: 90.5% (10115/11177)

Script Insertion: 75.9% (8485/11177)

 

As expected, our translator's productivity took a plunge, and it's not set to recover over the next week either. The most I could do this week was stay on par with editing, and get a whole lot of scripting done. I always thought that scripting was going to be one of the easier tasks in the whole translation process. Nope. Proofread every line before pasting it into the script, make sure the word wrapping is nice and tight, check to see if each page ends with a bang. It's just a whole lot of odd jobs. At least on a raw time-lines ratio, it doesn't take as long.

 

My projection for next week isn't particularly sunny. Translator's still going to be out of action, effectively halting both TL and editing for another week, and I'll probably end up getting the scripting on par with wherever the TL gets up to. Good thing the scripting is getting done early though. Right after the TL hits 100%, the VN can be run through a final TLC and QC in one swoop, before we do final other little checks and prep for a release. If I find myself with adequate downtime, I might have another crack at a couple of short stories I'm writing that are going to be the basis of our own VN project, but that's a bit of a long shot.

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So we've been in hibernation for a couple of weeks, then something very strange happened when I woke up:

 

TRANSLATION: 100%

And less importantly:

Editing: 93.6% (10459/11177)

Scripting: 91.6% (10238/11177)

 

Since the last update, we had about 1000 lines to go, but with a ton of work tumbling down on us, we could barely find time to get one burst of work out to finish. Between the last update and yesterday night, we had actually managed about 500 lines translated and a few other odd jobs done, but we didn't feel it was substantial enough to report to anywhere but our twitter. Yesterday, our translator simply sat down, and churned out the last five hundred lines in a night, and I have no idea how he did it, but it's finally done!

 

I've been keeping a rigorous log of our work on our twitter @kuoeeVN, where I'll continue to post our day to day workloads. Here's the rest of our agenda leading up to release:

  • Finish editing (the numbers above are only the first round of ediing)
  • Translation Checking
  • Finish scripting (while scripting, I also do a final editing pass + proofreading)
  • Possibly port to O2 engine
  • Image editing

We had originally planned for perhaps a mid-May release, but with that last couple of weeks of work we hadn't anticipated, and this new task of working on an O2 port, we might have to push it back further.

 

Regarding the port, O2 is a VN engine that's been around for a while in Japanese, and they're just starting to provide English support for it. As far as I know, it's web-embeddable and can be packaged into android and iOS apps. Its key strength is that it's compatible with Kirikiri. It was worth looking into since Blue* was one of the first VNs to be released for it, in Japanese, after being ported from Kirikiri. Our translator had been talking with Namaage, the original developers for Blue*, and with Novelsphere, who owns the O2 engine. Namaage are fully supporting us in this, and right now, we're just waiting for the green light from Novelsphere before we can start porting.

 

In the meantime, our demo is still available, over in the link right up the top (though now, it feels a bit dated, and parts of the demo have been cleaned up for the final release).

 

Extra Update that doesn't really need its own post: We just got the all clear from all parties to have a look into the ported O2 files. We're due to receive those files in a couple of days, then we'll slap together a quick demo to test out the engine.

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Three weeks we've been out of action, but here's the short of it:

Editing: 100%

Scripting: 100%

O2 Port Confirmed and Commencing

Release Date set for 14-20 June

 

 

Aaaaaand here's the long of it:

 

In the 3 weeks since our last update, a lot happened. Work on this project ground to a halt while we both had to buckle down for uni assignments that never seemed to end. The editing and scripting managed to get done somewhere in my downtime, but it was a pitiful amount (~500 lines) and wasn't really worth reporting.

 

Also in the last 3 weeks, our main contact at Namaage (Blue's original developer) suddenly vanished, and that left us in the dark, especially since we had Chapter 1 of the O2 port ready for release. Pretty much, we had to wait for them to do final checks/confirmations before we submitted it for release. We're just waiting on Novelsphere to wrap up whatever they need to before Chapter 1 gets posted on their site.

 

We made contact only just a couple of nights ago to discuss our workload and a roadmap to a release date which we've set for somewhere in mid-June. They picked this specific date for us so that they could coincide Blue's english release with an iOS/Android port of their latest VN (The Orchard of Stray Sheep). This date will be the release for the full, english version of Blue, and we'll also be periodically releasing the O2 ported web-browser chapters as they're completed.

 

In our hibernation, I haven't been updating our twitter at all. But now that we've got less than a month to go to release, I'm locking down into hardcore work mode, so expect daily updates (@KuoeeVN), especially regarding the status of individual chapters as they're released.

 

In other news, the folks at Novelsphere really appreciated what we're doing with their O2 engine and actually offered to let us work on translating their SDK and all of the engine's documentation. That's probably going to be our next project after we finish Blue*, and before we move onto other VNs. I personally feel that the English VN community has enough high quality VN engines to support itself, but I reckon that O2 is a pretty interesting option at least for those well versed in Kirikiri.

 

Here's our roadmap to the release date:

  • Image editing
  • TLC & Proofreadnig for chapters 3-10
  • Porting for chapters 2-10

Well, we're down to the wire, so our tasks are mostly just checks and busy-work. I hope to keep everyone posted as often as I can.

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Weekly update again, and this time, there's only two weeks to go until we hit the deadline:

Release Date set for 14 June

Final TLC: 40.6%

Porting to O2 engine halted

And now for the details:

 

Last week, Namaage specified our deadline to be anywhere between June 14 to 20, but they let us know that they were pushing back the deadline to the 14th, so that really tightened up our schedule. What was originally planned to be a light pace of ~500 lines to check per day suddenly turned into 1k+. But this makes sure that we can get all of the text out of the way asap and still have a few days to polish up the technical side, and the image editing. If things get too tight, we might have to recruit either an image editor or a TL checker on short notice, but as far as two man teams go, I think we're doing okay as we are.

 

We submitted our first build of the O2 port to Novelsphere. When they got back to us, they let us know that it was riddled with technical problems, the worst being a lack of cross-compatibility with other operating systems. For a web-based, html5 engine, that was essentially the end all. Namaage told us that the O2 port was never particularly of high importance, and since our initial proof of concept hadn't panned out, it was best to shelve it for now, at least until we got the main application up and working.

 

With about two weeks to go, here's the rest of our tasks:

  • Finish off the TLC
  • Finish image editing
  • Do final QC/Proofreading runs
  • Clean up few remaining technical issues

Not bad, but not great. I'd have preferred the June 20th deadline. Heck, I'd have preferred no deadline, but I guess I'll just work with what I'm given.

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And here's the penultimate update before our release:

Release Date set for 14 June

Final TLC & Proofread: 100%

Image Editing Finished

 

Normally I reserve this spot for some long winded explanation of our goings-on, but this week, it essentially boils down to:

 

'It was a tough week and we got a lot of work done'.

 

In its current state, the VN is pretty much ready for release this weekend. TLC and proofreading picked up just a couple of minor errors, like stray punctuation etc, that will need us to play through it again just to stomp out the last of them. Then we'll send Namaage our final build to let them have one last look at what we've done with their VN. And then I guess we just release it.

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Released!

A bit of housekeeping first of all:

 

Game Information

  • Title: Blue*
  • Original Developer: Namaage
  • Translation Team: Kuoee
  • Length: 6-8 hours
  • Format: NVL, Kinetic
  • Age Rating: All Ages
  • Platform: Windows (We haven't tested it on any Mac systems, so we don't know how compatible it is. The most likely likely thing that can happen is the font will mess up and hurt all of the word wrapping, leading to bad line breaks. If something like that does happen, let me know asap. For now, let's tentatively accept this as a Windows release.)

 

And as per usual, for the final time, here's my writeup:

 

What a journey. Two mates, four months, 11K lines, 0 prior experience in translation work. But somehow it happened, and somehow it's done. Back when we started, I really didn't know why we were working on a title like this. I felt a bit more confident after Namaage gave us their blessing to work on it, and also helped us out a lot on some of the technical sides, like giving us the data (just as I figured out how to hack VNs :(). But by the end of the project, I think I figured out what our translator wanted to tell me by bringing me along on this project. There were just a few too many uncanny parallels between the story and our own circumstances. I hope that you get the same sort of enjoyment out of Blue* - an understanding of its world, characters, and themes, and how they relate to the kind of person you are.

 

On the translation side, our translator (who strangely still hasn't picked out a name for himself, so I just call him 'our translator') took this project as an exercise in what we called 'flawless communication'. To him, translation is the act of creating a flawless passage of meaning - the idea that people who read our translation can walk away from it, having extracted the same messages, intent, and insights as those who read the original Japanese. To this extent, the two of us, as a translation team, adopted the philosophy of dynamic equivalence, or thought-for-thought translation. I'd like to highlight that that was our team's philosophy. What I mean is that we had to split up the translation process between the two of us. Our translator handled the formal translation, that is, word-for-word translation. I, doing the edited, was tasked with taking his TL, combining it with all of his notes, and replicating the experience he described in his TL notes. This isn't to downplay the role of word-for-word translation. It still takes a monumental effort to be able to flawlessly interpret not only the words themselves, but the underlying plot, characters and themes. That is our advice to other translators: treat translation as the art of sending a message, and not just discrete words, from one person to another, who would not otherwise be able to communicate.

 

On the editing side, I had a blast and learned a lot. This project was right up my alley. It had pretty much everything I try to apply in my own writing: Light slice of life, electrifying emotional scenes, a good smattering of terrible puns. The only thing I'm unhappy with is that sometimes, I did go a little overboard, sometimes bordering on a bit too pretentious in my writing. But for the most part, I think I did it justice. I've also had some warnings in the past about how editing work for a TL project doesn't really apply to other forms of writing, Even so, some of the underlying processes are the same, as is my advice for translators and editors: Know your strengths and your weakness, know the tools you have at your disposal, and have the discretion to know when to use them.

 

I think that line can also potentially apply to people doing scripting/hacking as well. From someone with no programming experience, except for a little bit of Ren'py, what got me through all of the hacking/repacking/scripting/debugging was the knowledge that all the tools and commands were already there, and I just had to find them. For people just starting out in hacking VNs, that's my best advice: know that the field is at least sufficiently developed enough to understand that probably someone's come across your same problem, enginge, etc.

 

So where to go next? Another small, doujin VN? Maybe tackle something on the more mainstream end of the scale? Somewhere on the journey, our translator caught the eye of Novelsphere, a free, web-based VN site that has its own in-house engine. I think they were interested in enlisting his help to translate their SDK and engine documentation. That might be where we dabble in the meantime, before taking on another VN project. We'll probably be keeping our twitter (@KuoeeVN) stagnant until we announce our next project, but when we do, that'll be the first place we'll post to. To wrap up, we got Blue* in the best state we could, but on the off-chance we missed something, or something's gone wrong (like the word wrap problem that might happen on macs), let us know. Again, thanks for everyone's support, and I hope you enjoy Blue*.

 

 

 

 

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After I press r to get to the backlog, no matter how I cancel it (ESC, right click, enter) it somehow selects one of the UI elements on the bottom bar so when I press enter next, even if I move the cursor, it activates that button (bringing up the exit game dialog at the moment, another time it kept activating auto mode and so on...). I do not have the setting that automatically moves the cursor on, have tried changing it, still happens. Is there any way to change this behaviour? It's really bugging me since I'm a habitual backlog user, and this means I have to move the mouse and click once before I can use enter to advance text, every time. I know Brass Restoration, which seems to use the same engine based on hotkeys and common UI elements, didn't have this problem.

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Thanks for the heads up. We caught wind of this problem too, but neither myself nor my partner are really adept enough with the code to figure out how to fix it. That, and we had to let it slide just so we could meet our deadline, but now that the pressure's off, I'll definitely have another look around. I'll post a patch if I manage to find the problem.

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So... just thought I would drop in here to say thank you for translating this. While I can read Japanese, I probably would have never even heard of this VN if it hadn't been for the fact that you guys were translating it.

 

And I must say, as of right now... Blue* has become one of my favorite VNs of all time. Like, I don't even know how many times I have recommended it to people over the last 24 hours... but I imagine the number is quite high. I am still thinking about it now, two days later... which says a lot!

 

So yes, thank you for all your hard work guys! :) I'm a little late on the congratulations and thanks... but better late than never. :D

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had exactly the same thoughts as the comrade above. without you making that project, i probably wouldnt have heard of this title, so therefore your translator (who has proposed it) has my gratitude.
personally i think its well written & touching, something that not every doujin circle delivers, especially when its their first work. so yeah, again thx to both of you & hope you´ll continue walking down the road of kawaii. gonna read the companies 2nd title now.

edit: regarding your translation. havent read it in japanese yet, so i cant compare or whatoever, but asuming your tl and stuff is correct then you´ve done a good job.
reads natural & doesnt sound that cheap to me.

edit2: ...only manko has been, that i often had some sort of error, manifesting itself in an half -hidden options bar.

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I wouldn't say the tl is that well written to be honest, I have minor hang-ups on quite a lot of lines to the point where it's slightly degrading the experience. If you scroll to the bottom here you can see my random complaints, which gradually ease up because I can't do that shit forever. I probably wouldn't mind as much if it wasn't in NVL format (using indents was a great choice, btw). That said I am pretty anal about writing in general, and it's not exactly bad in any way.

 

EDIT: I'm terrible at expressing gratitude, but I'll try: I'm pretty happy to have been introduced to this title, and I am enjoying it. Excellent taste, and thank you for the translation.

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Hey everyone, thanks for all of the feedback.

 

@LinovaA & XReaper: Really appreciate both of your support over the last couple of months. I might be repeating myself here for the nth time, but it was just so difficult to stay motivated working on something like this. So it just makes me so glad that not only have you been supporting us, but that you also enjoy our work. As for the TL quality itself, that's difficult to judge, since often we were more focused on capturing the moods and meanings of each line rather than the words. In that respect, there are a lot of times we deviate from the original Japanese. Whether or not it was correct to do so can only judged be on a case by case basis. Not to mention, most of the jokes in the original were puns, homophones, and double meanings, so expect all of those to be different as well.

 

@Zakamutt: But as much as support lets me keep working, I know from past projects that it's good critcism that gets me working better. Regarding the backlog, we've decided that it's well beyond our ability. The most I could figure out is that the cursor jump is a result of a command unrelated to the auto-move function that's listed in the config menu, but I can't figure out how to fix it. The best we can do now is ask Namaage if they know what to do about it, but we won't be able to contact them for perhaps another week.

 

As for the quality of writing... We know... It's not excellent, and there's a lot of things we goofed up that we actually had the opportunity to fix and polish up but didn't. There's always that initial punch to the gut feeling when someone rips apart your work, but I'll get over it sooner or later and have a good look through that list. Right now, my best excuse is that we did what we could with the resources, skills, and constraints we had on this project. Still, I'll consider each of your comments, and eventually, when I feel like I've had enough feedback from other sources as well, I'll probably release a patch. But really, it does take a good deal more effort to criticise well than to say nothing at all, so thanks for pointing out your comments.

 

And for the sheer hell of it, here's a bunch of other excuses we thought up of: 'Wish we had more time/hands on deck/experience', 'most technical issues were present in the original game as well', 'our skill in writing is better than our combined skill in TL/Editing' etc. (I know this is a really passive aggressive way of defending myself, but please let me save face)

 

-------

I showed these posts to our translator, and he also gives his thanks :). In particular, he likes Zakamutt's comment about taste, since to him, this project has always been less about an 'appease the masses' mentality, and more about showing people the kinds of things we ourselves love. Not to menion, we would've earned a lot more ire if we butchered something that people were actually looking forwards to. For future projects, he's feeling comfortable about keeping this tactic, and finding more of this stuff. However, as an interim project, we had promised both Namaage and Novelsphere that we would work on porting Blue to their O2 engine, so we would like to hold ourselves to that promise.

 

 

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