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Messages - FaustWolf

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ROM Hacking Discussion / Re: Patching Strategies for CD-based games?
« on: April 18, 2015, 12:04:31 pm »
Just to provide some closure to this for the benefit of future projects, we did find a solution without having to create a custom patching program. henke37's right: the variation had nothing to do with the audio track, as it happened with both the audio and the data track.

So here's how we solved the problem. We're now having the end user rip the disc image as a 2048 byte/sector ISO rather than a 2352 byte/sector .BIN & .CUE. Seemed to nip the problem right in the bud, or at least it provides a consistent checksum within the window that DeltaPatcher looks at when it creates and applies the patch file. I'm still trying to wrap my mind around all this, but I'm guessing that the padding in 2352 byte/sector rips is the source of the variation. By ripping  a 2048 byte/sector image, the end user is getting just the game data files without the fluff. This really helped with patch file size too: we were at 22MB in the initial release, and we're now down to 8MB -- which is realistic for the amount of data actually changed during the translation.

The move to 2048 byte/sector format didn't prevent the end user from playing on real hardware, which is a huge relief. We *did* have to make sure to include a region change in the patch though. Burning speed seems to be a factor in the end user's ability to play on hardware, at least in the Sega Saturn's case. We had one user report that when he burned his patched image at 16x, it wouldn't play on hardware; but it played fine when he burned at 1x. I have no clue whether that's an across-the-board best practice, but thought I'd mention it in case it helps other projects.

Thanks everyone, the response to this translation has been humbling! The real heroes of the story are of course the huge translation team, but also Turbo857, who did a miraculous recruitment drive for those translators when he joined up in 2013. NoahSteam also joined in 2013 to program a text insertion utility. I initially went into the project thinking I could insert the text by hand, but in hindsight, that would have been like building a beach one grain of sand at a time. And we wouldn't be here had Sixfortyfive and Sandslice not started laying the groundwork pre-2008.

Probably the most important lesson I learned on this translation is that a desperate gamble can really pay off. By 2012 the project had completely run out of steam, with one scenario out of eight translated and about half of the non-story text translated. In a Hail Mary pass, we released a "Playable in English" patch that year, with just the menus and non-story text translations in place. I worried it would look shoddy at the time, but it was the "Playable" release that caught the attention of our new blood. I'm really indebted to the RHDN community for translating many odds and ends that made the "Playable" patch possible.

Revisions in the next few months will be incredibly minor -- we won't be tackling the FMVs for a while yet since it's gonna demand some research (thanks for the soft-subbing idea Pennywise). The biggest change in the works right now is simply devising a ripping method and patch that can be applied universally. I dropped the ball in not realizing that the user's disc drive and ripping software can interact in ways that produce different checksums even with the exact same game CD, but I think we're very close to a solution. There's also a huge demand at the Verve Fanworks forum for people with experience burning game CDs and playing on hardware; I wish I had the slightest experience with that.

In the end, we hope this translation will do justice to the great series that is Dragon Force, and that it'll inspire more totally huge projects.

ROM Hacking Discussion / Patching Strategies for CD-based games?
« on: April 05, 2015, 02:34:26 pm »
Hey all, I've got a little conundrum on my hands with the distribution of the Dragon Force II English translation. The end user has to rip from a CD, and it's been pointed out to me that different CD/DVD drives will produce slightly varying images if we have the user rip the whole CD to a .BIN/.CUE. My understanding is the variation has to do with the way the audio track on the CD is read by the particular drive. This is a bad thing for delta patching, because the user's original game image must be identical to the patch creator's original image in my experience.

Since the CD's audio track - a cute little message you get when you pop Dragon Force II (J) into a music CD player - appears to be the culprit, my first instinct is to have the user rip only the game data track to a .ISO file, and use that as the original image to patch. The hope is, if the user produces an image that excludes the audio track, the user and I can produce ISOs with identical checksums. I'm waiting on feedback from others who have Japanese CDs of Dragon Force II to test this idea. If that works, delta patching will still be viable for distributing the project; I just have to add some patches for that method and re-work the readme.

But if my Hail Mary pass doesn't work, I'm on the lookout for alternatives. I'm aware that the Shining Force III translation team made a custom patcher that basically rebuilds the Shining Force III ISOs from scratch, but I want to make sure I'm not overlooking non-custom solutions. The patching programs listed here at RHDN heavily favor delta patching; is anyone aware of tools that can patch a CD that conforms to the standard ISO format? Or inject files into the CD, over-writing the originals and adjusting the offset table to account for different file sizes?

Some insight on my current process: I use UltraISO to inject the English files into the original game image, but I've written this off as a viable method for distribution because I haven't found a way for that program to preserve a bootstrap loader that's necessary for emulators (and probably the Saturn itself) to read the disc. I have to manually add the bootstrap loader back in with a hex editor, and that result is what I use as the target image for the delta patch method.

Personal Projects / Re: The Dragon Force II Translation Project
« on: March 22, 2015, 04:42:01 pm »
Hey murphy, we're wrapping up in prep for release. There are just a few odds and ends to clean up, like the readme, the huge credits list, and other release materials.

Newcomer's Board / Re: Vagrant Story [PSX] SHP Model Format
« on: March 15, 2015, 03:42:04 pm »
Way to go mb4! It's great to see more people looking into PlayStation models. Vagrant Story has some real beauties.

Personal Projects / Re: The Dragon Force II Translation Project
« on: January 16, 2015, 06:33:59 pm »
A special treat for everyone who's been waiting patiently:

First off, we still need more playtesters to tear through the game's eight scenarios and make sure we've caught all the bugs. Feedback on the script is also completely welcome. If you're interested, sign up at this thread at Verve Fanworks and I'll PM you there with further details on getting started.

Secondly, for those who don't have time for a full playthrough & reporting, here are some previews of the near-final translation:

ROM Hacking Discussion / Re: Suikoden 1 and 2
« on: January 13, 2015, 06:10:11 pm »
Aside from the sprites, I never did get around to taking a good look at the PlayStation Suikodens. But I see SadNES City did an English-to-Italian translation of Suikoden. I'd say your best bet is to check there and see if they can lend you any tools and notes they created along the way.

ROM Hacking Discussion / Re: Suikoden 1 and 2
« on: January 12, 2015, 10:16:41 pm »
glurak, are you planning to translate the PlayStation 1 Suikoden games, or is your target Suikoden I & II PSP version?

If the PSP version, here's an old thread that might be of some use.

Pyriel had mentioned making a text inserter for the PlayStation 1 version of Suikoden II a few years back, but I'm not sure what the status is on that. You may also want to check in with the Suikogaiden translation team and see if they've made any utilities for the other Suikoden games.

Personal Projects / Re: The Dragon Force II Translation Project
« on: October 20, 2014, 10:05:19 pm »
Hi there Murphy, the project's progressing smoothly. The translation work is complete and we're wrapping up script editing right now. Then it's on to playtesting the final product and whatever bugfixing is needed. I still hesitate to give a release date because that would be jinxing things, but we're pushing to get this baby out by end of year.

Personal Projects / Re: The Dragon Force II Translation Project
« on: March 26, 2014, 07:42:13 pm »
Hi jobe, we'll put out a Help Wanted ad when we're ready for the next round of testing.

Personal Projects / Re: The Dragon Force II Translation Project
« on: December 26, 2013, 08:50:18 pm »
Hey ericm! Great news, in fact: this summer and fall the translation team has grown by leaps and bounds thanks to a recruitment drive by Turbo857. The team also picked up a wonderful programmer in Noah Steam, who's putting the finishing touches on a uber text insertion tool. Good thing, too, because the pointers for story dialogue were way more intricate than I had bargained for.

It'll take a few more months for the translators to finish and for the insertion to get done, so I hesitate to give a release estimate just yet. The English scripts for two out of eight scenarios are inserted so far. Once we're farther along into inserting all the English text, we'll put out a Help Wanted ad here for general feedback and a final search for bugs.

Personal Projects / Re: The Dragon Force II Translation Project
« on: January 06, 2013, 01:08:06 pm »
Unfortunately nothing's budged since the menu and gameplay text translation release, ericm. We've still got Reinofhearts' Sanice scenario translation to insert though. I've been bogged down with work and school all year, and I'll be focusing on Tian di Jie first since it's getting scarily close to completion.

Front Page News / Re: Translations: Tear Ring Saga v0.8 released
« on: July 26, 2012, 09:00:53 pm »
Oh man, I've gotta try this out now. It would be lovely to see Berwick Saga get the same treatment, but one mammoth project at a time, eh? Thanks so much for all your work, ayashii team!

Personal Projects / Re: The Dragon Force II Translation Project
« on: July 22, 2012, 06:44:17 pm »
That is much appreciated cj! As a matter of fact, we just got another translator who ran a search right here on RHDN. Now we need like, ten more?  :D

Here's to hoping a front page article will generate some more translation interest. "Playable in English" patches are ready to go, I'm just waiting for a stretch where I'll have some time to address the inevitable flood of difficulties people are going to have with Saturn emulation. If all goes well the patch should be in RHDN's database toward the end of the week, and an article should go up sometime during next weekend.

Personal Projects / Re: The Dragon Force II Translation Project
« on: July 05, 2012, 07:44:55 pm »
Ooh, I want a mount like that. 

Hey madmax and Validus, a formal patch release through RHDN is on the way -- pretty embarrassing that I'm just over a year late on pushing it through the door after all the help we got translating the menus here last summer. At least we got lots of testing in in the meantime. I'm literally waiting for some new preview footage to upload as I type this, then it's on to making a better readme and doing one last pass for bug fixes. Should be this month at any rate.

Unfortunately the project as a whole is still very much unfinished. The majority of gameplay elements are in English, but the story dialogue still isn't included. This is as good as we can get it for now. I'm hoping a patch release, such as it is, will draw enough attention to get some more translators interested in coming on board.

Hey guys, I thought some of you might be interested in this:

I'm doing the Spanish-to-English translation for a very cool iPhone port that's near completion -- it's a 3D shoot 'em up similar to Wild Guns, with the silliest plot you've ever seen. If you're heavily into WiiWare titles you may have played the original release already. The developer is interested in fresh translations for the port but is having some difficulty finding native Italian, German, and French speakers for translating into those target languages. Strong familiarity with videogames is the developer's next concern after language skill. Well, let's see if we can't solve that!  ;)

The game has an 833-word script plus an App Store description. The source documents are all in Spanish (Castilian variety, shouldn't be too many worries there). Knowing Spanish in addition to the target language would of course be a major plus, but the script is simple enough that I should be able to provide a literal starting point in English. If you can write decent Spanish I can put you in touch with the developer directly, or I can serve as go-between otherwise. A strong sense of perfectionism is important, but I figure most who are active here have got that covered in spades.

Yes, payment in your favorite currency is definitely doable -- my guess is it'll probably be a Paypal arrangement. The studio isn't huge, but they're not operating out of their garage either, so you can use your best judgment here. The developer's hoping to have translations in place by Monday(!) but I'll see if they can't provide some more wiggle room if necessary. The guy who runs this studio has lots of connections with Japanese devs (he lived there and studied game design there for a decade), so this is an excellent contact to have IMO.

Please PM me if you're interested, or feel free to ask questions or provide leads here in the thread. I think I already have a good idea which fan translation houses I should approach for this, but a reminder can't hurt!

ROM Hacking Discussion / Re: Saturn specs and file formats
« on: October 21, 2011, 11:55:59 pm »

^Lots of cool stuff on RAM addressing -- huge help to the Dragon Force II project. I haven't seen most of your links yet Auryn, can't wait to check them out!

Front Page News / Re: Utilities: New Utilities Added to the Database
« on: September 01, 2011, 09:40:02 pm »
Oooh, I really wanna take TimView Plus for a spin when I get some time! Has anyone tried it yet?

Newcomer's Board / Re: traduccion de una imagen jap
« on: September 01, 2011, 09:38:07 pm »
(He's asking for a translation of all the illustrated text by the way -- not sure whether a Japanese-to-English translation or a Japanese-to-Spanish translation is expected though. Presumably the latter)

Personal Projects / Re: Final fantasy Tactics : Call of Power
« on: August 31, 2011, 03:38:22 pm »
The FFH community is amazing, thanks for showing off your skillz!

Did you model that carriage in the screenshot from scratch and insert it, or is it an asset that was in the game originally?

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