Hello people, it's been a while silent. I'm writing here today because of a little project outside of RHDN that has caught my attention. A poster in 4chan by the name of Steve started making a menu translation for Super Robot Taisen GC using a (to my knowledge) unconventional method: he makes use of the "load custom textures" feature of the Dolphin emulator to replace the Japanese textures with the translated ones. Fortunately enough, not only the icons of the menu are stored by Dolphin (or maybe the game itself?) as textures, but full boxes of text (such as info text) follow this rule. Here are some examples of his work:* These pictures are currently posted in 4chan, so they will disappear in a matter of days. I've been trying to figure out the login of the flickr account I opened 5 years ago for half an hour with no results. If I manage to access it, I'll update the links. Sorry for the inconvenience.
These pictures are still work in progress, but they show this method actually bears results. Battle dialogue can't be translated this way apparently because it draws every character from the game's fonts and displays it individually *BUT* I've performed some tests myself and the rest of the dialogues can be translated with these means:
I would love to say I'm showing these pictures to interest some translation group into taking on the game, but as pointed out by Steve, this isn't an efficient nor elegant way of making a translation patch (as it involves storing each translated texture as a file in a folder) and I know this is not the place to make requests (yeah, I've read the rules). The main reason I'm writing and showing all of this is because, after some google searchs and checking on RHDN, I've noticed nobody has ever used this method before, which by the way is extremely simple in execution
and applies not only to this game, but also to many Gamecube and Wii games
Mobile Suit Gundam: Pilots' Locus (Gamecube)* Only the name of the pilot is translated (it was a little test)
Super Robot Taisen NEO (Wii)
I could not help but notice how the translation scene for Gamecube and Wii games is pretty much non-existant, so I wrote this "little" post in order to show any would-be translator an easy way to approach the problem.How does this work?
Dolphin emulator has options in the advanced tab of the graphics configuration for dumping textures to a folder (/User/Dump/Textures/<game id>) and load custom textures from another one (/User/Load/Textures/<game id>). This method involves:
1) Activate "dump textures".
From that moment on, Dolphin will store all the textures in the <game id> folder before showing them, that is, what you see is what you get (you would have to play through the whole game to get every dialogue texture, for example). Plugins for Direct 3D 9 and 11 store the textures as PNG, whereas OpenGL stores them as TIFF (we've been using Direct3D for these examples). A good way of getting the textures you want (and not populate your folder with every possible texture) is to only activate this feature at the times where these textures are shown (the use of savestates is also recommended). WARNING:
Don't activate "dump textures" while a video is playing, as video frames will be stored as textures as well (I got 1,5 GB of textures while testing SD Gundam G Generation World).
2) Locate the texture you want.
There's going to be a bunch of files depending on when you started grabbing them, but it's not impossible.
3) Edit the texture.
Using a program like Photoshop or GIMP you can edit the texture into whatever you want to make it. Just try not to change the size (or at least proportions) of it if you don't want to see the emulator making funny stuff (I haven't actually tested this, but I imagine textures can be bigger than their size or there would be no HD remasters of games).
4) Save the texture with the same name it had when it was dumped in the /User/Load/Textures/<game id> folder and activate "load custom textures" in the graphical options.
When Dolphin gets to the point it has to show said picture, it will use the one you have in the "load" folder. I must note that Steve has both the "dump textures" and "load custom textures" options active at the same time while using D3D9, but I can't make Dolphin load custom textures if "dump textures" is activated (and I'm using D3D11).
And that's pretty much how it works. During testing we confirmed that menu textures are stored with the same names regardless of the computer, so exporting translations to other computers seems possible, but I've run into some instances of duplicate textures, which rises some doubts about this method (that can only be cleared through experimentation), the main one in my mind right now being if filenames are reused for different textures (which would prove disastrous to any translation project).
Well, there's the info. I hope somebody can make good use of it. And remember that editing textures has more uses other than translation:If you've played the game, you know that robot is not pink.
* The original thread can be found in the /m/ board of 4chan if anyone feels like contributing to it. It shouldn't be difficult to find through the catalog, but I won't give any link as threads in 4chan can disappear at any time.