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Watercrown Productions DevBlog
Sunday, 26 February 2006
And Another Bug Bites The Dust.
Topic: Watercrown News
It is done: the pesky bouncing heart of doom has been relocated a full eight pixels to the right, averting what could have been a very messy disaster.

No screenshots this time, but I'd like to add that I encountered another bug related to the dialogue box resizing: the selection arrow for choosing a topic of conversation was also inconveniently overlapping text. This, after far more scouring than it took to fix the next page icon, has been fixed...and, incidentally, will never trouble me again.

Every bug I squash in this fashion brings me one step further in the direction of total mastery over this twisted mishmesh of bytecode calling itself the game's script. One thing I really, really want to do is completely rearrange the items screen: bad enough the abbreviations I'm forced to use make the screen look like it took a wrong turn through one of the early Megaman games, but any descriptions I give have to fit into a little eight-by-three box.

They do
not look

Posted by Ryusui at 9:15 PM PST
Friday, 24 February 2006
Wider Is Better!
Topic: Watercrown News
I finally did it: I widened the dialogue box.

Amazing the difference an extra two characters per line can make. ^_^

Of course, I'll need to figure out some way to move the "next page" icon so it doesn't overlap the text, but the formatting looks much nicer now, pesky little bouncing heart aside.

I've gone back over practically all the text I've translated thus far and modified it to take advantage of the new dialogue box. I even discovered and weeded out a bug I didn't even realize was there until about five minutes ago. This translation is probably going to need a lot of testing before I even consider releasing it...

Posted by Ryusui at 7:40 PM PST
Thursday, 23 February 2006
Update Wars Episode 2: The Bug That Wouldn't Die (And Other Stories)
Topic: Watercrown News
Turns out that the bug I mentioned last time wasn't quite dead yet. The pointer problems were real, but they were semi-unrelated: as it happens, I have my scripts set up to make use of the relatively gargantuan amounts of blank space between script blocks, but I accidentally set two scripts to use the same block of whitespace. That explains, among other things, why I couldn't seem to consistently replicate the glitch: it depended on which script block got inserted (and hence overwritten) first. ^_^;

As an apology for my stupidity, please accept these four new screenshots, fresh off the grill.

Fans of Final Fantasy V should be able to appreciate one sidequest you can perform. Once you get the Piano Set and put it in your room, you can practice on it. Once you've reached master level, you can hold a concert.

Growing flowers, believe it or not, plays a big part in the game. (Apologies for the Japanese text in the background. Some of it is actually part of the game's graphics, not its script, and needs to be translated seperately.) You find Drops scattered across the landscape and earn Seeds from grateful Sylvanians. Different combinations yield different flowers, and there are some Sylvanians who will gladly trade you special items for them or tell you the secret to obtaining certain flowers. There's also one other purpose behind growing flowers, but I'm not going to spoil everything...

Finally, at school you can play one of four minigames to earn Dream Points, the game's currency. The one in the screenshot is the Cleanup minigame, where you sort books according to the card suit displayed on them and return them to the appropriate bookshelves. Yeah, it's as tedious as it sounds, but the text for it was in the script block I've been working on...not the best thing to showcase, but what the hey. ^_^;

I swear, the Music game is freakin' impossible...it starts out easy enough, but the fifth piece is so long that it's hard to tell just what's different between the three versions.

I repeat: I need the English version of the quote, if it does indeed exist, as soon as possible. I can't skirt around translating it forever. The "post a comment" link at the bottom is there for a reason, people. I need all the information I can get...

Posted by Ryusui at 9:05 PM PST
Wednesday, 22 February 2006
The DevBlog has appeared! Fight, Magic, Item, Run?
Topic: Watercrown News
Welcome, ladies and germs, to the Watercrown Productions DevBlog. Please enjoy your stay.

The Sylvanian Families translation patch is still very much in the works: I haven't uploaded any new screencaps yet, so here are the eight I've already done. ^_^

Let me repeat: Sylvanian Families for GBC was programmed by genius madmen, possibly locked in a basement at Epoch for months before they invented this ingenious system. The game script is just as much compiled bytecode as it is text: it is an interpreted programming language akin to Java, and the fact that it was designed to run on a Game Boy's Z80 (this chip was used by the Sega Genesis just to handle sound, people!) makes it all the more impressive. Impressive and maddening to a would-be translation hacker. Only after making some modifications to Klarth's Atlas script inserter did translation of this game become possible without going completely insane.

And even then, things are hardly perfect. I noticed a couple of days ago that my inserted test scripts caused the game to abort to an error message after completing a certain minigame. Purely by chance, I noticed that I had forgotten to put a handful of key pointer write commands in the first script block. What made this particularly maddening is that the bug only cropped up after inserting another script block...

So I haven't given up. I still need a few details filled in, though: the game opens with a monologue that's apparently the signature of the franchise, featured on the official website:


The one featured in the game is written almost entirely in hiragana (and, curiously, lacks the commas), but the rough translation of both is as follows:

"Have you ever been to that place beyond the green mountains?
If you go into the deepest forest, you will find the most beautiful village in the world.
That village is called Sylvania.
It is the place where the kindest people in the world live.
If you listen to the wind...
...you can hear their stories."

I've heard that there is an official English equivalent for this, but I've yet to find out what it is. If there are any Sylvanian Families fans who can fill in this opening cinematic-sized blank, feel free to post your comments. It doesn't have to be exactly the same: what I'm after is accessibility more than accuracy. You are, after all, the target audience for this translation: I just want it to be the best it can.

And besides, it drives me nuts to see "professional" translators make gaffes that could be fixed with modest familiarity with the source material.

Posted by Ryusui at 10:55 PM PST
Updated: Wednesday, 22 February 2006 10:56 PM PST

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