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Posted by Cless on 9/22/2008
Quickish Tales of Phantasia update: Nusakan0 sent me a draft of 40% of the main script edit a couple of weeks ago. Haven't heard any updates since, but he's been going at a pretty good pace on it, so I imagine he's gotten even further with it by now.

Habilain's putting some final touches on the ASM hack and is working on a tool to make skit subtitle insertions much easier.

Some early beta testing is about to begin. The first beta test is about looking for technical issues and not exactly script stuff.

I've not been doing much on projects lately to devote time to games recently released. Anyone looking forward to this project really owes it to themselves to go out and pick up Tales of Vesperia. If you ask me, it's the best Tales game I've ever played. It's a big game and should easily tide you over until we finish ToP.



Posted by Cless on 7/27/2008
HALLELUJAH!
Tales of Phantasia's script is 100% translated!

In what seems like an age, the final roadblock for the Tales of Phantasia project has been lifted! Hino Rei blitzed right through the last 16% of script this past week! If it weren't for his diligence, who knows where we'd be right now.

And that's not all. Only yesterday, I revealed three new features for our project that had been under wraps for awhile!


See any differences...?

1) Arte name selector. A much-lauded feature also found in Absolute Zero's translation of the game. It had been a possible idea to implement for a long time, and I tried my hand (successfully) back in April or so. Our implementation approach is a little different and has a different setting. The settings are as follows:

Localized: Follows Namco's official naming convention with a few differences at our discretion.

Transliterated: Romanizes all non-spell artes and translates spell names literally.

Cultural: A special mode that becomes available when Suzu joins the party. It is the same thing as Localized, EXCEPT that it romanizes Suzu's artes only. If you feel your ninja seem more authentic with their skill names untranslated, then this is the thing for you.

Localized Transliterated
Localized (left) and Transliterated (right)


Mint's Clerical Artes in Transliterated mode

The option has been seamlessly implemented into the Customize menu, and the setting even saves to your memory card. Toggle any mode as desired in the middle of gameplay. It also affects Meiku Zanshoken/Hades Divide (aka Dark Blade) and Lilith's artes in the cameo fight.

2) Battle subtitles. Does it ever bother you as much as me when you're playing a game with Japanese voice acting, and you can't understand the small things that are still left untranslated? This is just the fix.


Group "Yatta" (left) and using a shortcut command on Klarth (right)

While the battle voices are yet to be fully translated (we are using the sound test list as a placeholder insertion and the right-hand screenshot reflects this), it won't be long until they are. We will be subtitling every clip that isn't some kind of grunt, scream, or arte name.

I believe that some may eventually find this feature to get banal after awhile, so we have added an option to toggle them on/off in the Customize menu. Just like the arte name selector, this setting also saves to a memory card.

3) Cooking subtitles. Woo, more subtitles! While there are only eight unique clips total, this hack translates the little voice clips that are spoken when you select the character who cooks.


It's *Arche's* turn!

All that remains is script editing and beta testing. I sent Nusakan a hefty chunk of script a few days ago so he'll be busy for awile. Beta testers are already being lined up. Don't ask to beta test, as that's a surefire way to ensure that you AREN'T part of it.

With all the big stuff now out of the way, I am sure the release won't be long from now! The moment you and I have all been waiting many years for. But we hope you have at least a few more months patience left, we really want to ensure the final product is a thing of absolute perfection.

Tales of Destiny 2 is not forgotten.

In the midst of all the ToP excitement, I've been trying to juggle this as well. I have finally managed to crack the most annoying thing by far in this project: the issue with the arte name font sizes!

At first, things were too big, then they became too small. Finally, it's just right. This is a significant step forward, IMO.

After a largely underwhelming response to the public pre-alpha patch, we still need translators and editors to help finish and polish the menu patch.

Posted by Cless on 7/9/2008
More ToP updates!

Over the course of only a few days, Hino Rei burned through the entire skit script. That's major progress! As an extra bonus, he even translated ~4% more of the main script! That puts the main script translation at 84%, the first boost it's gotten in months. Finally, the first three to four contiguous hours of the game are completely in English.

And I would like to announce that after ten months since calling out to them, we have finally selected an editor for the script. Welcome to the team, Nusakan0! He passed our editing test with flying colors, and well-exceeded expectations. He's currently brainstorming how he wants to do it all, and is aiming sky-high. He's thinking about how to handle everything in its entirety, and not in just a case-by-case basis. He plans to give these characters well-defined personalities, and leave a thick coat of polish. He's quite charged about being selected, and really wants this done well.

Finally, I'd like to thank those who were interested in editing, but were not selected in the end.

Editing of what we have shall definitely commence soon. I don't know when we'll see more progress on the last 16% of the script translation; Hino Rei has to get back to doing some more of his paid work and I'm not sure when he'll be available again. Unfortunately, still no contact from Lina, but I'll be updating her on the situation soon.

Posted by Cless on 6/29/2008
Okay, it's time to get that huge Tales of Phantasia PSX news roundup posted. Very little is actually *new* in this post. Here's the rundown since the March 9th site update:

Habilain kicked a ton of ass, for everything crucial on the assembly hacking front is FINISHED. If we had a script ready, we could begin beta testing right now! While that's not the case, having the assembly hacking finished is a huge, huge, huge milestone for the project. So, since everyone likes pictures, let's show some of the visual results:

Battle menu labels are now printed in realtime with an actual font rather than being copied from a very constrained graphic. With a graphic that was only 25 pixels wide, you can't nicely write out long text. This is how it was before. Since I hate abbreviating, this had to be done.

Subtitling is now possible in the prologue battle! Was going to put up a movie, but the script isn't ready for that yet.

Some other enhancements have been implemented. One such is tripled message speed. Each message speed setting is three times faster than it was originally. This is to compensate for the fact that the game now has to print far more text characters in a textbox on average for the English version.

The other enhancement is that we've fixed the initial timing issue of skit subtitles. They'd appear a split second before the character faces did. Now they appear in unison, and thus are perfect.

Apart from ASM hacking, Habilain put together a nice utility that dumps skit data into a cool script format, and also processes the script file back into a new skit file. This enables us to have more control over skit properties. Since the game will ordinarily position the faces anywhere on the screen, the most important thing is that we'll be able to reposition them when we need more room for text.

Script news: Hino Rei has completely finished the translation accuracy proofread of the translated script we have. So the 80% portion of the translated main script is now ready to be edited.

Still, nothing new has been translated yet. However, Hino Rei may soon find some time to finish off the skit translation. No news from Lina on the rest of the main script, but Hino Rei may be willing to fill her shoes if she's unable to find the time to work on it.

Script editor testing began a little over a week and a half ago. The deadline for this test is a couple days from now. Only one has turned in a response so far, but the team is very impressed with him. We still hope that the other three remaining candidates will get theirs in as well.

gogs will work in tandem with the chosen editor, so that all the quality control script passes and main editing are accomplished simultaneously, saving a load of time.

Posted by Cless on 6/26/2008
Hey, where are you guys? In an attempt to boost motivation for the Tales of Destiny 2 project, we have publicly released a work-in-progress, pre-alpha menu patch! I know, you can't believe it. Afterall, it's been seven and half years since this site opened and had yet to release a patch for anything game translation-related. But it's true.

Get the patch and read more info here.

As this is a work-in-progress, this is incomplete, and there are a lot of translated things which still need work. Expect typos, text that runs out of the windows, and things that aren't optimally written.

We still need plenty of help smoothing out the writing and getting some of these translation holes filled. You don't need to apply... just jump right in!


Posted by Cless on 6/7/2008
Oh, my, what's that!? An update on Tales of Destiny 2!? Yes, it's true! I honestly can't believe it's already been at least a year since I put this on hiatus. We've really gotta get this menu patch finished! But we have a problem... since the hiatus, community support has seriously dwindled. Since the menu translation is an open community effort and has no dedicated translators or editors, it thrives on your support. We need more to pitch in.

We need Titles (along with their descriptions) translated, cooking recipe descriptions translated, and have translations proofread by support translators to ensure everything's right. And of huge importance, we badly need some editors to help naturalize the English text. Sign up for the forum and check out the ToD2 Community translation and editing board and read the sticky. Everything you need to know and obtain is there.

That said, while I await updates from other staff members on the Tales of Phantasia PSX project, I've been pouring effort into advancing ToD2, mostly on the technical front. I've made at least one important, major discovery-- being able to modify most font sizes. You may remember this terrible screenshot. After some font size mods, we now how have this:

It's a marked improvement, but still not entirely perfect. The problem is that the skill names support displaying half-width characters at half-width, but the spell names display them at full-width regardless of whether it's a half-width insertion or not. This is a problem because both the spells and skills share the same font size data, and without an emulator with a decent debugger, I unfortunately cannot easily fix it. The skill names like this are barely readable on an HDTV or computer monitor, but are almost surely going to appear as a blur on an SDTV display. Fortunately, you can enable the description window to see the name at a readable size.

For some more font size changes, here is main menu appears now:

It looked like this previously. I widened the menu selection font just because there was room, but the most important change is the font size for labels for the labels on the right side. That text was very tiny and hard to read on an SDTV.

And one more, the monster book:

By some miracle, I even have limited ability to reposition some things on the screen. I made use of that here. On top of that I even used some work-arounds to eliminate some of the awful centering this game normally uses liberally to left/right justify things, making it a little easier on the mind to process. Just take a look at a screen of how it used to look...

Finally, an ISO patching format has been settled on. We'll be using Xdelta 3 whenever we're ready to put out a release. Xdelta is a cross-platform and open source standard.

I had actually completely finished developing a custom patch format for the game before Xdelta was pointed out to me. Aside from patch creation time, Xdelta is superior in every way!

Xdelta will allow us to include more translated stuff in our release than we originally planned with the PPF format. In fact, as a bonus, we may even include whatever storyline text has been translated so far (not a whole lot, but it'll be something!).

We will have patches compatible with both the original black label Japanese release, Asian release (Japanese language version only), as well as both budget label Japanese releases (PlayStation 2 The Best and Mega Hits). Note that the budget label version patch will literally transform it into the original release at the code level, so any quirks that were fixed between versions will be reverted. As far as I know, none of the bugs fixed in the budget re-releases are serious, and mainly just fix some odd exploits.

And well... that's all for ToD2 for now. I hope it won't be long until we can finally release a satisfactory menu translation patch. So help us out if you can, or try to find someone who might be willing to help us.

I actually started writing a front page update regarding Tales of Phantasia PSX about a week ago, but it's half finished and I need to finalize some things before I post it. Besides that, even if it was ready, this news post would probably be entirely too large. Perhaps soon. It's a pretty large update, but most of what is planned in it is already on the ToP news forum.

Posted by Cless on 3/9/2008
Already two months since the last update. Man, time sure flies from my perspective.

This year is the tenth anniversary in North America for the series. Bandai-Namco has is doing something unprecented for NA Tales fans this year-- localizing not one, but two titles in the Tales series simultaneously, for release later in the year. On top that, from from the sounds of interviews and remarks from the staff working on the games, it sounds as if these localizations will be fully uncut for the first time ever.

Here at Phantasian Productions, I fully intend to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the series in English as well! Not just with Tales of Phantasia, either! It's going to be an awesome, productive year indeed. Definitely the year of English Tales.

That said, status update on Tales of Phantasia PSX:

If you haven't followed the forum, I did indeed manage to finish the script formatting tool mentioned in the previous update. It does a lot of grunt work automagically, making nice script insertions a snap. As a result, new screenshots came, and if you didn't see them, they're in this forum thread. I warn you: The dialogue in the screens presented is nowhere NEAR final. They're mostly the initial translation with some quick edits applied. The script presented is in a form that hasn't gone through any real quality assurance. Much of the dialogue in those screenshots has actually been rewritten or retranslated since they were taken. I can't stress enough that this stuff isn't the final form of the script, or even close to it.

I heard from Lina`chan a month ago that she had done a bit of work on the remainder of the script translation. I haven't heard from her since or received anything yet so hopefully it won't be long until I hear from her again.

That said, we've actually begun a quality checking process on the main script. Hino Rei, a J->E translation professional who has worked for years in the North American manga industry, is proofreading the script to help us ensure balls-on translation accuracy. I've been pretty floored by his work so far. He's knocked out a bunch of problems, big and small. Many things which would likely be undetectable by an editor or a player.

Although gogs was originally intended to do the script profreading, he still has to do quality checking. Hino Rei's work should make that process far easier for him. Plus, it's even helping the project move slightly faster, since gogs is still hacking away on the menu text.

Habilain's still working on wrapping up the last few things on the assembly hacking front. He's in the midst of optimizing and bugfixing a glitchy hack. He's been busy with school projects, and hasn't had a lot of time. Judging from his last correspondence, he should be relatively free again soon.

I guess I'd say I'm now targeting a summer release for the complete Tales of Phantasia project. Sorry if that delay sounds disappointing, I want this project finished as much as you do, if not more so. Since this project is so old, I really feel totally obliged to have this thing look like it's had years of work put into it.

Posted by Cless on 1/8/2008
And Phantasian Productions ages another year! And the year starts off well.

First and foremost, the Tales of Phantasia script translation is back on track! Who might this "new" translator be? Well... once upon a time, our Tales of Phantasia PSX translation was in fact a collaborative effort between another well-known group within the 'ol ROM hacking scene. The group translated various SNES anime series-based RPGs, but is probably most famous for the translation of Seiken Densetsu 3. Remember Lina`chan, Nuku-Nuku and Filia (LNF) Translations? So... what am I getting at? It's been six years... but Lina`chan heard of our plight and has returned! She has volunteered to complete the rest of the main script and skit script! She says it all looks quite simple, so hopefully it won't be long until we have 100% translated scripts. Let's all wish a huge welcome back to her!

What else is new? I'm attempting to write a script formatter myself since Klarth is unable to do so himself. It's pretty tricky for a novice programmer like me. I've got all the file parsing done. But I still have to figure out how to create an actual, intelligent formatting algorithm. I've got a general idea on how it would work, I'm just having a bit of trouble putting it into C code. Once it's done though, I'm sure new dialogue screenshots will be right around the corner!

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