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Watercrown Productions DevBlog
Friday, 16 February 2007
A Late Update.

The Sylvanian Families - The Fairyland Pendant English Translation Patch is now up to version 1.1.

Check it out.

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Posted by Ryusui at 10:47 PM PST
Tuesday, 12 December 2006
Sylvanian Families - The Fairyland Pendant English Translation Patch Finally Released!
Topic: Watercrown News

It's taken almost an entire year, but it's done. Greetings, faithful readers: you have not been forgotten.

Get it here, at the official Watercrown Productions Homepage!

Enjoy!

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Posted by Ryusui at 12:59 PM PST
Wednesday, 6 September 2006
Where TheCheat Is At?
Topic: Watercrown News

Introducing Watercrown Productions' first release...and you've never even heard of it before!

Presenting "TheCheat", a bitmap font tool inspired by Stefan Pettersson's Bitmap Font Writer. It has features for VWF formatting that make it easily customizable to whatever project you're working on. This is a surprisingly useful tool, considering I threw it together over the past 24 hours. ^_^

Download it here.

You'll also need Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0, which you can get via Windows Update. Enjoy.

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Posted by Ryusui at 9:16 PM PDT
Friday, 18 August 2006
Reminds me that...I still live...
Topic: Watercrown News

I will BURN...MY...DREAD!!!

I'd gladly fit the rest of the lyrics in here, but I'd run out of room for the great news:

For the first time in who knows how long, I've translated and debugged another piece of script

This thorny chunk of data had to do with the trade interface: granted, very few of you will probably ever make use of it (link functions through the Internet are rarely found in emulators, and sketchy where they do appear), but if you ever have the need for it, now you can trade Seeds and Drops in English.

And who do we have to thank for this? None other than my secret weapon: my own special script analyzer for Sylvanian Families, codename BMD...

For BURN...MY...DREAD!!!

Such an awesome song for an awesome-looking game; I hope a full version becomes available between now and...well, February 2007, when Persona 3 comes out. Besides continuing my string of Shin Megami Tensei references in my utils (ever wonder where "Watercrown" comes from? I love that piece from DDS ^_^), it's also rather appropriate considering I dreaded few things more than battling another tangled mess of bytecode.

Is BMD that genuine script editor I was talking about not too long ago? Not even close. XD Right now, all it can really do is parse a script out, figure out about half of what's there...I'm actually surprised I got it to load my table file and display Japanese characters. ^_^ There's approximately zero genuine functionality in there, but it has a few immensely useful functions. First off, I had the bright idea to have it sort the script using the pointer number for the block (used in call functions) and give both the script entry number and its address in the ROM, so I can hunt down each piece in Windhex for extra debugging. Second off, and the funny thing about this is how it's not even really functional yet, is that it not only parses out the game's jump commands, but also puts labels to where they jump to in the output. Used to be, I had to work this out manually using Windhex's Relative Jump function (which Bongo added at my request ^_^;). It's a little hard to sift through, mostly because my script dumps look nothing like BMD's output (though in retrospect, I could always change it if I wanted), but it's a lot more reliable than searching through code myself and hoping I didn't miss anything. (Not that BMD is 100% reliable, though. Sometimes it registers a false positive, though I've worked out most of the false negatives to my knowledge.)

Too bad nobody's written an auto-poetry writer yet. ^_^; Seriously, the game is almost to a point where I feel justified releasing an actual patch. I just want to work on the font, that opening and maybe a couple of snitty bits of code...and then it's done. I don't think I'll be braving the Flower Dictionary before my first release, unless I get a lot of feedback demanding it.

So until next time. Which might not be so far off. Wow, six days since the last update? I must be losing my touch. XD

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Posted by Ryusui at 11:14 PM PDT
Saturday, 12 August 2006
Apologies...-_-;
Topic: Watercrown News

Yes, I know it's been a completely progress-free four weeks since the last update. I've just gotten sidetracked with a lot of things...and I've got a fair number of creative roadblocks impeding the continuation of the project.

I promise, it will be done...eventually. But I've yet to finalize a new font, I haven't finished that pesky poem, and the odds of any initial release of the translation patch featuring a fully-translated Flower Dictionary are slim. So keep the faith, your fingers crossed, and the comments coming.

Speaking of comments: the GBA patches will also be done someday. Possibly before Sylvanian Families 2, in fact. SF2 is so different from SF1 that I may very well have to code a dedicated script editor for it (something I'm already toying with for SF1)...the GBA titles don't have any of the crazy scripting that makes the GBC ones so hard to work with, so most of the work will be implementing the VWF.

See you whenever. ^_^;

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Posted by Ryusui at 9:26 PM PDT
Saturday, 15 July 2006
Are We Having Fun Yet?
Topic: Watercrown News

Five months. Five months and my patch is still not yet quite complete. That's just how things are in the world of romhacking.

The plus side: I do everything myself. So I have absolute control over every single aspect of my project. I don't have to worry that my translator is doing their job, because I am the translator; I don't have to wait for my programmer to finish hacking code, because I am the programmer.

The minus side: I do everything myself. So if I take a break for any reason, nothing gets done.

Not that I haven't done anything in the past three weeks...oh, no. Quite the opposite. Since no one has volunteered a full English equivalent to the series' "Midori no yama wo ikutsu mo koete" line (although I have gotten some handy snippets; thank you all), I've decided to do the unthinkable: pen one myself. And not just any straight translation. No, the version that will appear in all of my Sylvanian Families translations...will be a poem.

Of course, I'm not exactly a master poet...I've gotten some stuff down, but I'm getting help for the rest. The wait will be worth it...this quote is a vital piece of my translation, and I want to get it perfect.

See you in another week. Or two. Or three.

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Posted by Ryusui at 10:31 PM PDT
Friday, 23 June 2006
Flower Dictionary Translated!
Topic: Watercrown News

Ha, made you look. :p



The actual content is still looming over my translation like an Iron Fist of Doom?, but the interface has been rejiggered quite nicely into its English counterpart. You may also have noticed that I even went as far as to reorder the distinctly Japanese "Year/Month/Day" birthdate entry to the more Western "Day/Month/Year" (although please note that the year has absolutely no bearing on the fortune given; it may, however, affect the link function, which tells you how "compatible" you are with whoever's on the other end of the Game Link cable). If you still have a problem with the arrangement, please let me know; I know there's more than one way to arrange digits and get a sensible date depending on where in the globe you live.

Never say I don't go the extra mile for YOU, the player! ^_^

So. The game is still playable, despite my best efforts to completely break the code and bring the entire game crashing to the ground. (That's a good thing.) Another couple of blocks have recently been polished off quite nicely, although I must confess I have almost no idea sitting right here how far I'm still to go. Flower Dictionary aside, the translation certainly feels almost done, and assuming no serious bugs (like a small annoyance I recently discovered in the Items menu, which I thought I finished months ago; purely cosmetic, but still annoying) crop up, the main meat may very well be done in, oh, another year's time. (I give myself plenty of leeway on this on purpose. If I finish ahead of schedule, it makes me look like a miracle-worker. It works for Scotty!)

On a purely humorous note, please do not attempt to send me any gifts, birthday cake, hate mail or death threats on the date given in the above screenshots. It is not my birthday. Of course, if you're familiar with a certain trilogy of movies starring Michael J. Fox, you may understand it has significance nonetheless.

"Or it could be just an amazing coincidence."

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Posted by Ryusui at 10:28 PM PDT
Friday, 16 June 2006
Reporting For Duty, Sir.
Topic: Watercrown News

Well, I've spent the last two weeks hacking and slashing a VWF into Sylvanian Families 4 just for future reference. After bringing it about 80% to fruition, I came to a conclusion:

Implementing a VWF in SF4 without a metric buttload of kludgy hacks will probably require me to rip out the guts of the original print routine entirely.

Right now I've got a hook positioned right where the original print routine checked to see if it was done copying a tile to memory, but it's not quite cutting it. One important factor I'm having to wage war with here is that SF4's print routine works nothing like the one in SF1. I've gotten VWF working; better yet, I've gotten it looking good in two out of three places where it's used and semi-functional in the third, but there are enough fidgety details I'll have to round up and shoot to keep it from working as well as I'd like. (Especially considering that the third place happens to be every single freakin' dialogue box in the game.)

So, I'm back where I probably should have been: working on Sylvanian Families 1. Hacky solutions being my area of expertise, I've fixed the intro bug I may or may not have mentioned before (the "blank tile" for one scene was being inexplicably overwritten with gibberish by my VWF; just tweaked the tilemap a bit and it's running fine again)...with all the known glitches out of my way, exactly three tasks remain.

1. Title screen hacking. The game displays "New Game" and "Continue" in English and nothing else. The subtitle, which I still have yet to invent an appropriate English equivalent for (why the hell is the "Legend of Zelda: Kodai no Sekiban" Satellaview game being called "Ancient Stone Tablet"? I'd call it "The Ancient Stone(s)" myself), is still glaringly in Japanese, and until you clear the game once, so is the Sylvanian Families title...which, directly romanized, is "Sylvania Family", explaining why GameFAQs has the title of the series messed up. (After you've cleared the game once, the official English Sylvanian Families logo is displayed.)

2. The rest of the game's text. Not counting the Flower Dictionary, it's probably about 90% done...and counting the Flower Dictionary, I've got another six months to a year's worth of research to do.

3. The famous "Midori no yama wo ikutsu mo koete" monologue. This counts as its own very special problem due to its disproportionate importance. I can translate adjectives, look up flower names and render pithy personality type "descriptions" into appropriately flowery fortunes for that pesky Flower Dictionary, but I'm reluctant to try my hand at inventing my own English version of the opening dialogue (which you can now find here, the original link having died in the last site update; a translation is given in the first post in my DevBlog here) and risk omitting any perfectly-usable official English version there may be. I've plastered it all over certain corners of the Internet in the vain hope of finding that translation, or failing that, someone willing to pen a suitably memorable replacement. I may very well release a version of my translation patch without the Flower Dictionary translated, but there's no way in hell, heaven, purgatory or other I'm letting my patch out the door without a version of that dialogue to rival SMT3's "Call it what you will".

See you in a week or two. Maybe. (And comment!)

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Posted by Ryusui at 10:52 PM PDT
Saturday, 3 June 2006
A Taste of Things to Come...
Topic: Watercrown News

Work has been proceeding, although I must confess not for the entirety of my...what, almost two-week absence? Wow, that probably deserves an apology.

Sorry to keep you waiting. There, I've apologized. ^_^

Anyway. I stamped out a stubborn glitch that showed its ugly mug when I used an Infinite Dream Points cheat code to buy all the furniture (I'll provide it for anyone who's interested...just drop me a comment!)...nothing to do with the code, but everything to do with a jump instruction I somehow managed to miss. If you've bought all the furniture items, the "You ended the day with X Dream Points" dialogue is skipped (in fact, this may be another bug in the game, although this one I can fix: the scene where Aster wakes up in bed is skipped as well and only her "dialogue" is displayed); in my translation, however, the game crashed instead. Until just recently, when I fixed the bug. Now the game is, to my knowledge, 100% playable (albeit only about 80% in English)...but knowing this job, there's still probably a bug or two lurking someplace.

Anyways, if you're a regular on either Romhacking.net or SFCCE, you probably already know the big news I have here: I've completed a title screen logo for Sylvanian Families 4 and inserted it. The subtitle, "Tapestry of the Seasons", is still in Japanese, but that won't last long. ^_^

Behold: original...



...and extra crispy!



(Oddly enough, the title screen was completely uncompressed in the ROM...)

I've already taken a look at the print routine for Sylvanian Families 4...convoluted as heck, but I've got some vague ideas as to how to bend it to my will.

Until next update.

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Posted by Ryusui at 11:39 PM PDT
Saturday, 20 May 2006
We Apologize For Any Inconvenience...
Topic: Watercrown News

Still no progress to report, ladies and germs. Just posting to let you know I'm not dead, and neither is the project.

I'll be back to work as soon as I feel like it, which hopefully will be very soon.

On a side note: really, it wouldn't hurt you people to comment every once in a blue moon. I know you're reading this...I can't tell who you are yet, but I know how many hits my site gets a day. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

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Posted by Ryusui at 11:25 PM PDT

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