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Watercrown Productions DevBlog
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
Saturday, 13 May 2006
And coming in at #25, it's...DEVBLOG!
Topic: Watercrown News

Time again for the not-quite-regular, weekly-ish progress report. Which is, for the second time in four weeks, no progress at all to report.

Apologies. I've been working on this project practically nonstop since my last break and I've been a bit burned-out lately. Progress will resume as soon as my work ethic returns from vacation.

On a side note, I've been honestly thinking about changing the font yet again...it'll be a fair bit of work, but as long as it's not terribly different from the one I'm using, the change will be mostly painless. What can I say? The Final Fantasy GBA font looks nice, but I'm wondering if it's too much "Final Fantasy" and not enough "Sylvanian Families". Besides, by the time I'm done with this patch, Final Fantasy III for Nintendo DS will either be out or dangerously close to it, and it uses the exact same thing. ^_^;

I'm not saying it's 100% guaranteed I'll change the font, but I'm seriously considering it, and if you have any candidates for a nice 8-by-whatever VWF font you'd like to see in the patch, please tell me. You don't have to pay or register or sell your soul to Kagutsuchi or whatever to comment, darn it! I know there are people reading this, and I need your input! And if you came here by mistake, well, comment anyway! I wanna know how you got here!

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Posted by Ryusui at 10:01 PM PDT
Monday, 8 May 2006
It's been a long road, getting from there to here...
Topic: Watercrown News

It's been a long time...aaaaand you know the rest. ^_^

(Man, I love that song.)

Crimony, it's been almost two weeks since my last less-than-regular progress update. Don't worry, people: it's been time well spent. I've been working on cleaning up the hard-coded text in the game's graphics. Here's a small taste of what I've accomplished:

The Status Screen is now wholly in English. This, believe it or not, took a lot of trial-and-error to accomplish...I had to expand the whitespace to accomodate the English text, which is now printed instead of hardcoded. Neat, huh?

I've also been working on the Seeds and Furniture screens, and I've done half of the credits already. The title screen is going to be a bother...I drew up one a long time ago, but it doesn't quite seem to fit anymore, especially now that I know there's an official English logo to begin with. The subtitle will be the bigger pain: "Otogi no Kuni no Pendant" doesn't seem to sound right as anything but the fairly kludgy "The Pendant of Fairyland", and completely nixing it doesn't sound right, either. Any suggestions?

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Posted by Ryusui at 9:55 PM PDT
Friday, 28 April 2006
Better Late Than Never.
Topic: Watercrown News

As of this post, every last single bug in my VWF has either been crushed or spot-welded into submission. The shop and furniture list menus work completely now. All is well. Translation will continue.

On a thoroughly unrelated side note, if you're even remotely into gaming, you've probably heard the news about Nintendo's much-vaunted Revolution console. For reasons best said by Nintendo themselves, the Revolution's official name will be the "Wii", pronounced "we".

It's a name that's either patently ridiculous or endearingly quirky depending on your mood and/or state of mind. When I first heard of it, I immediately wondered if the people responsible for the name had any idea what they had done: the first thing that came to mind was the baby-talk word for urine. -_-;

Now, about 24 hours after the revelation, I've somewhat cooled down on the topic. "Wii" has its fair share of drawbacks, but as long as I think of it as a play on "we" with two "i"s representing a pair of those funky remote-style controllers, it makes a strange sort of sense. Or perhaps I've been playing with digital Sylvanians for too long.

I'll still miss "Revolution", but all things considered, "Wii" is probably a better name for a system than "Dolphin"...and if they make Mother 1, Starfox 2 and/or Castlevania: Rondo of Blood available through the much-ballyhooed Virtual Console, I'd buy it even if they called it the Nintendo Pheeceez.

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Posted by Ryusui at 11:24 PM PDT
Thursday, 27 April 2006
Dance, Watercrown, Dance!
Topic: Watercrown News

Time for my sorta-weekly progress report. This week, I have...

Holy cow! No progress to report! ^_^;

Yeah, this has been kinda a sidetracky week for me...lot of irons in the fire and the dawning realization that I'm gonna get scorched if I don't do something with them.

But at least I made up for my screenshot backlog, didn't I?

Anyways. The bug in the VWF seems to affect, of all things, only the furniture-related menues: the fairies' shop is in working order again, but it seems that from time to time it'll make the subsequent cutscene where Aster wakes up glitch a little (the first tile of the picture turns into a blank space and the first line of text is misaligned). The furniture menu, oddly, doesn't suffer any bugs if you have enough furniture to make the list take up more than one screen, but if it all fits on one, then the little "unused furniture" icon vanishes and the menu prompt gets misaligned. It's all very puzzling, but now that I've finally gotten up off my butt and noticed the connection, perhaps there's something I can do about it now. My best guess is that there's a case where my VWF code doesn't reset the width value properly...

If I have any progress to report, you'll be the first to know. (On a side note, you don't need to register for anything to comment...heck, you don't even need to leave an e-mail! Just come up with a snappy unique username and you're all set...)

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Posted by Ryusui at 11:51 PM PDT
Friday, 21 April 2006
He's Back, And He's Got A New Trick!
Topic: Watercrown News

Well, not really. But I do have...screenshots!

Apologies for, yes, the untranslated text in that last screenshot. It says "Furniture List" and it will be in English when the finished patch rolls out.

Thanks again to Margie for providing the catalogues and information about the three houses present in the game. Oddly enough, however, it doesn't seem that the game uses the entire list I've found: perhaps there is some way to unlock more that I haven't discovered (doubtful, though), but of the catalog of 45 items (including the houses) listed in the game's script, only 22 are actually available for purchase.

Seems I still have a couple of annoying bugs in the VWF to work out...but otherwise, work is progressing smoothly. A third block has been fully completed, and a fourth is nearing completion. These things take time, people, and most romhackers don't update nearly this often. Until next time, ladies, germs and Sylvanians!

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Posted by Ryusui at 10:57 PM PDT
Monday, 17 April 2006
No, I'm Still Alive.
Topic: Watercrown News

Since you've all probably been wondering where I've been and what I've been doing, I thought I'd pipe up before the consensus became "pushing up daisies".

As it happens, I've been battling some bugs, and not just in the game. Some infernal little freeloaders of the viral persuasion moved into my sinus cavities and stole my good humor, and as such I'vre spent my free time this past week keeping warm, drinking plenty of fluids, and slashing my way through the Dungeons of Doom in NetHack (my all-time best run thus far is 24077 points, ending on the eleventh floor at the feet of a mighty mumak. "That only counts as one!").

Every time I think I've got everything working, I turn around and something else has broken (this time it's the menu for buying furniture). Everything is interrelated in ways that are less-than-obvious, and it doesn't help matters that I keep accidentally having my considerably-enlarged scripts overwrite each other upon insertion.

In conclusion: Epoch's programmers are all genius madmen. Oh, wait. I came to that conclusion long ago. Nevermind.

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Posted by Ryusui at 10:18 PM PDT

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