A story-driven adventure spanning a lifetime, following two doctors traversing through a dying man’s memories to fulfill his last wish.
To say Freebird Games make amazing games is to say nothing. Especially critically acclaimed so called “Zigmund Corp.” series shows how pixel games can change the way of storytelling with limited engine possibilities.
Talking about Finding Paradise, UNLOCTEAM translated the game into several languages and made something we haven’t seen in other practices: we provide full support for community translation, helping teams to prepare their translation for release. Thus, we helped to add 13 languages and operated with 100+ translators. And localization and our support continues further.
With this project we changed our approach in localization in comparison to To the Moon. We looped through each line and removed all not necessary. It reduced the size of project from 60k words to 45k. Quite a challenge of RPGMaker XP structure is that all levels are divided into Maps (imagine it as complete background image on the screen you see at this moment), and each map contains Events — these are containers for scripts and dialogue texts. And if maps can go one by one in the system, Events can be scattered all over it in any order. That means that we don’t have one-by-one dialogues and events in text. We can have part of dialogue at the beginning of the file, and its ending in the middle of the file. It means for each language there should be at least one editor, who knows the game well and knows the order of script, so all dialogues could be connected naturally with each other.
Also, as engine has character and line limits, and some lines should have more space, and some can have less, we developed a system, which allowed as to mark places for line deletion or adding — depending on language.
Next, we built lists of all textures we needed to localize, prepared full copy of English textures in Photoshop and for each language we prepared a full set of localized textures. And it’s 125 different images, messages, buttons etc.
For example, only one this screen consists of 33 separate images (each choice is a separate line):
In general initial texture localization for all 125 texture images took approximately 2-4 hours per language (we do not count iterations and fixes here).
During testing we found several issues in game’s code that directly affected localization.
For example: RPGMaker XP uses \i for italics \i. In the same time, developers added \isa shortcode to launch another part of script.
And in some languages (Turkish, Spanish and some others) there were words, that needed to be italic and started with sa. During testing phase all these \isa… led to game crashing, that is why we figured out how to maintain wording structure and remove these issues.
Another problem is that RPGMaker XP normally works only with English and has big limitation for number of lines in dialog window and very limited character limitation per line. For some languages that was not enough, in other languages even normal word amount led to text overlapping.
These issues were found, and we made a checklist of all places we should check every time we prepare new language.
Initially, RPGMaker XP (Western world version) supports only small amount of standard Latin fonts. And if you want to use custom fonts or some extended, you need to insert this font physically into game engine with a power of additional modifications and script. Working with programmers, who helped to develop the game, we helped Korean, Japanese and Vietnamese to find appropriate fonts that will work in game and will be commercially free to use.
Also, it was essential to find fonts and techniques to recreate several textures, so they would work nice in-game.
For us, this is an incredible and unforgettable project, in which we gained a lot of useful experience and once again convinced, that official community localization, if properly managed, is also an effective model.