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Author Topic: Looking Back at 2017  (Read 1850 times)

filler

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Looking Back at 2017
« on: January 01, 2018, 07:02:09 pm »
It's that time of year I suppose. I've updated a couple of charts again, focusing selfishly on English translations only as usual.

The first shows the sum of all fully-playable English language patches by year.



Here's to the best year for English translation patches to date! :beer: For reference, according to my count, there were 89 total releases last year.

Next is the same chart, by system/platform.



As we can see, trends are mostly holding steady.

The Famicom/NES still cleans house with 34 releases last year, up from 28 in 2016. This maintains its upward trend, and makes me hopeful that the 297 remaining untranslated games (if Spinner8's list is correct) may be finished within the next 5-10 years.

The SNES had a rougher year than the previous year at 10 releases, to 15 in 2016. It's still trending even, putting the remaining 778 untranslated games finished sometime in the next 80-100 years. :P

The PC-98 had a really good year with 6 releases. That's even with 2002, the first year any PC-98 patches were released, as the most English language patches for the system. The FDS also had a great year with 10 releases, the most ever. The closest year was way back in 2003 with 7 releases. If I may indulge in some self promotion, I'm proud of having had a part in the only Mega Drive/Genesis English language translation patch last year.

While I don't presume to speak for anyone but myself, I'd like to congratulate everyone on their releases last year. Each one of them counts, and added up to literally the best year in English language translation patches ever.

Not to leave out other language translations, though that's literally the case ;), I love to see all the Spanish, Russian, Romania, and other language translations pop up week after week. Did Spanish translations outpace English translations this year? I don't know! I'm sorry, I forget who made the chart for other languages last year. The post seems to have been purged, but I hope you may do the same again this year.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2018, 02:13:14 pm by filler »

Kiyoshi Aman

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Re: Looking Back at 2017
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2018, 07:30:19 pm »
Your second chart is completely unreadable.

filler

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Re: Looking Back at 2017
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2018, 07:40:50 pm »
Your second chart is completely unreadable.
Try clicking it. :) BTW: You'd need to make a separate chart for the platforms with 0-5 releases a year that has a smaller range to make those particularly readable.

Kiyoshi Aman

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Re: Looking Back at 2017
« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2018, 10:02:24 pm »
Try clicking it. :) BTW: You'd need to make a separate chart for the platforms with 0-5 releases a year that has a smaller range to make those particularly readable.

No amount of embiggening an unreadable rendering of a chart is going to make it somehow more readable. It'd be a lot more useful if you just provided the raw data as a table. If you're producing this chart to illustrate some point, restrict the data you show to that necessary to demonstrate that point.

Lenophis

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Re: Looking Back at 2017
« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2018, 10:53:25 pm »
Try clicking it. :) BTW: You'd need to make a separate chart for the platforms with 0-5 releases a year that has a smaller range to make those particularly readable.
...which proves the point that it is not readable. It is illegible.


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filler

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Re: Looking Back at 2017
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2018, 01:05:20 am »
No amount of embiggening an unreadable rendering of a chart is going to make it somehow more readable. It'd be a lot more useful if you just provided the raw data as a table. If you're producing this chart to illustrate some point, restrict the data you show to that necessary to demonstrate that point.

A clear representation of which platforms had 2 or 3 releases each year has nothing to do with any of the points I'm illustrating. If you're that curious, here's the table of data. It's nothing you can't look up via the translations search tool the same way I did.


cccmar

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Re: Looking Back at 2017
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2018, 02:40:15 am »
NES is sure getting most of the love yet again, yet I can't help but think that you're still way too positive in your prediction. Many of the games that are left are text adventure games/RPGs - looking at Spinner's list, that's around 80-90 titles, and if you look by genres, the only RPGs that were translated last year were Ganbare Goemon Gaiden, Light of Indra and Hydlide 3 I think... and not a single text adventure game was done. I'd assume that's largely because of hacking/translation difficulty, like all the mapper shenanigans, the lack of space etc.. That tells you a lot as to which games are popular translation targets for that system nowadays. Frankly, I think that most of the games will likely not be tackled at all, but as long as the more text-laden ones are dealt with, that's probably fine.

In the case of SNES, the main genre is still RPGs, with about 70 left, but they're getting steadily knocked out. Text adventure games are few and far between. I personally would love to see more Mega Drive stuff, since I'm more nostalgic about that console (thanks for Battle Golfer Yui, by the way - hope you do more :woot!:), but it's good to see that some of the better SNES RPGs are still getting translated after all this time. :)

« Last Edit: January 02, 2018, 05:09:34 am by cccmar »

filler

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Re: Looking Back at 2017
« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2018, 01:29:52 pm »
NES is sure getting most of the love yet again, yet I can't help but think that you're still way too positive in your prediction. Many of the games that are left are text adventure games/RPGs - looking at Spinner's list, that's around 80-90 titles, and if you look by genres, the only RPGs that were translated last year were Ganbare Goemon Gaiden, Light of Indra and Hydlide 3 I think... and not a single text adventure game was done. I'd assume that's largely because of hacking/translation difficulty, like all the mapper shenanigans, the lack of space etc.. That tells you a lot as to which games are popular translation targets for that system nowadays. Frankly, I think that most of the games will likely not be tackled at all, but as long as the more text-laden ones are dealt with, that's probably fine.

You're probably right. I'm just following the trends. :) If you're arguing that folks here don't translate enough RPGs though, I'm not sure we're on the same board. ;)

If I were to make a prediction, I'd say that the upward trend will falter with around 100 games left. That's probably where there will be mostly baseball, mahjong, go, shougi, and potentially troublesome games left.

I'd still expect projects to happen in that situation though. The Famicom seems to be both a good learning console, and a comfort zone for many. A lot of those remaining games may be easy projects, and some folks just like doing a title screen hack, or other simple release here and there. Unfortunately, I expect there could be some batch of 30-40 titles that are just challenging or uninteresting for whatever reason that could languish for a while. It would be up to those looking for a challenge at that point. We have masochists here, right?

EDIT: Just for fun, I decided to check based on genres from last year only, which genres of games fall under the trend of 5-10 years to complete, and which genres fall outside of that range.

According to my error prone and non-scientific counting up of games by genre, It appears shooters, platformers, action RPGs, board games (excluding mahjong/go/shougi), and RPGs would be on track to be finished in those 5-10 years.

On the other hand, pure action, strategy, sports, adventure, and misc games would fall outside that range by last year's measure. Those would need to be translated at a higher rate, presumably when games in the former genres run out.

In the case of SNES, the main genre is still RPGs, with about 70 left, but they're getting steadily knocked out. Text adventure games are few and far between. I personally would love to see more Mega Drive stuff, since I'm more nostalgic about that console (thanks for Battle Golfer Yui, by the way - hope you do more :woot!:), but it's good to see that some of the better SNES RPGs are still getting translated after all this time. :)

The cool thing about SNES/SFC RPGs, and Mega Drive games, is that there are about the same amount left untranslated of each! I am fairly confident that at least 2-3 RPGs (if not more) may be released for the SFC this coming year from a group I work with, so I'm excited for that.

As for the Mega Drive, the current rate of releases is slow, less than 2/year on average, but it wouldn't take much to knock out the bulk of the untranslated games for that system. 10 releases a year would see them finished in 7 years. Unfortunately, the Mega Drive games I've looked at since Battle Golfer Yui have been more challenging to work with, at least with my meager skills. Some actual hackers will need to dive into that library.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2018, 05:05:02 pm by filler »

cccmar

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Re: Looking Back at 2017
« Reply #8 on: January 02, 2018, 04:16:00 pm »
I see your point, and that's more or less what I had in mind. :) Some genres will be partly omitted, whereas some other will be covered fairly quickly. All that with certain exceptions, meaning games that are harder to hack or translate for various reasons. Still, we will surely be seeing more patches for the years to come. Either way, I too think that within the next 10 years or so almost all significant NES games will be dealt with. Not so much with SNES, but the work will steadily progress too.

PCE/PCE-CD then... PCE is an easier goal overall, more or less the same as Genesis. PCE-CD however is another ball of wax entirely, with quite a few good games left.

Now, for some of the Sega systems... there are only a couple of untranslated JP exclusive Master System games, so that could potentially be done in a year or two, depending on the interest. Game Gear has more stuff left, but still not too much. I recall there being some exclusive RPGs left, and one or two good platformers (in particular the Zenki game).

As to Genesis, the main genre that's left are strategy games. There are only a couple of RPGs left, maybe one or two adventure games, and some cinematic fighting games with a fair amount of text. That's perhaps around 20, shall we say, text-heavy games in total. Working on Vixen 357 was a lot of fun back in the day, and it didn't take too long to finish that patch. Most of the "big" games that are left probably have more text, though.

Pennywise

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Re: Looking Back at 2017
« Reply #9 on: January 02, 2018, 08:37:46 pm »
It seems to me that this is one of those hobbies that sees a lot of people coming and going. It's really hard to continue on in this hobby over the years. Real life and interest usually get in the way.

A more interesting statistic would be how many of those releases are by old members and by new(as in not having released anything the prior year).

FAST6191

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Re: Looking Back at 2017
« Reply #10 on: January 03, 2018, 06:49:51 am »
I know some don't like the number remaining discussion very much (and presume people will go back to games translated just by pointers and tables, and then stick a VFW on top of the new translation) but I will continue it here. Do we have a list of the remaining games and some kind of notion of quality of the games involved? This is probably the last place that one would have to disabuse people of the notion that all untranslated efforts from Japan are of such astounding quality and it then bears asking. At the same time hacking is not a skill absent from these circles (compared to say a N64 texture translation, or a gamefaqs text dump + translation) and we have all surely seen a poorly designed mechanic bypassed/fixed/nerfed and thus save a game before.

It seems to me that this is one of those hobbies that sees a lot of people coming and going. It's really hard to continue on in this hobby over the years. Real life and interest usually get in the way.

While I can't argue it not happening I do have to wonder if it is not something like maths as it applies to research -- my 100 year old physics book is probably only useful in a history of physics course today but it would not be shocking at all for my 100 year old maths book to be dusted off and have something within ran with.
As long as you stuck around past the NES emulator level tile bothering phase then the only truly new concepts are logical expansions of things, or things we can do now we have machines with gigabytes of memory and terabytes of storage.

cccmar

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Re: Looking Back at 2017
« Reply #11 on: January 03, 2018, 07:37:23 am »
I know some don't like the number remaining discussion very much (and presume people will go back to games translated just by pointers and tables, and then stick a VFW on top of the new translation) but I will continue it here. Do we have a list of the remaining games and some kind of notion of quality of the games involved? This is probably the last place that one would have to disabuse people of the notion that all untranslated efforts from Japan are of such astounding quality and it then bears asking. At the same time hacking is not a skill absent from these circles (compared to say a N64 texture translation, or a gamefaqs text dump + translation) and we have all surely seen a poorly designed mechanic bypassed/fixed/nerfed and thus save a game before.

This is a very good point. All we really have are general lists, we don't really have a "quality" list of any kind. Usually the translators/hackers have to do their own research and decide what is worth doing and what is not, as you know. Spinner 8 made some lists for PCE/PCE-CD/N64/NES/SNES and Genesis thus far. So, to keep up with the Genesis theme, we know that there are around 70 untranslated titles at this point, kinda like for the PCE (as opposed to almost 800 for SNES). To further illustrate that point, Surging Aura and The Hybrid Front are the two games frequently mentioned on the Sega forums, various lists etc. as being worthwhile, quality titles. There are likely a few more good games left, but that remains to be checked, as many groups/individuals simply haven't delved into the Japanese library all that much. For SNES or NES on the other hand you'd have to do much more research probably, considering that there are still tons of games left (and let's not even start with PSX/Japanese computers). I'd say that very likely about 10-20% of all these games are worth working on in the end, but more could appeal to some specific groups of people - depending on one's interests. For example, I don't really care about baseball (perhaps being European has something to do with it), but if there's a good mixed genre baseball game (with an actual story/quirky elements/RPG stuff etc.) I might very much enjoy it. :) So, that's all in the eye of the beholder.

Kallisto

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Re: Looking Back at 2017
« Reply #12 on: January 04, 2018, 03:19:32 am »
I just hope to see Magic School Lunar (Sega Saturn Version) will see the light of day at some point, Lunar Fans could use some loving after a very long hiatus of the series, one of the few untranslated games I think hardcore RPG fans or Lunar fans would care about. The only thing is that the animated cut scenes will need English subtitles which I imagine isn't easy to insert (then again maybe it is not that hard as I'm imagining it).

There is the case of SMT Devil Summoner, but luckily there is a PSP version of it that would probably be a lot easier to work with than the Saturn version. I think somebody here tried to attempt it, but he disappeared after awhile.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2018, 03:25:13 am by Kallisto »

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Re: Looking Back at 2017
« Reply #13 on: January 04, 2018, 10:09:41 am »
I just hope to see Magic School Lunar (Sega Saturn Version) will see the light of day at some point, Lunar Fans could use some loving after a very long hiatus of the series, one of the few untranslated games I think hardcore RPG fans or Lunar fans would care about. The only thing is that the animated cut scenes will need English subtitles which I imagine isn't easy to insert (then again maybe it is not that hard as I'm imagining it).

There is the case of SMT Devil Summoner, but luckily there is a PSP version of it that would probably be a lot easier to work with than the Saturn version. I think somebody here tried to attempt it, but he disappeared after awhile.

Translation's still in progress. No ETA, but at this point we're mostly waiting on the translators for scripts -- it's a very talkative game. The actual hacking work is probably ~80-90% done.

Getting the videos subtitled isn't that hard, but doing it without degrading the video quality is a lot harder. Misty was the one doing the work on the video stuff, and I believe she came up with a good solution to avoid that, but at the end of the day you can always just give up and do a double-encode if you have to.

As a heads up, you may not be as enthusiastic about the game after you've actually played it. The balancing is a little... off. The rest of it's quite nice, though.

Kallisto

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Re: Looking Back at 2017
« Reply #14 on: January 05, 2018, 03:12:43 am »
OMG I'm so damn happy you showed me this! I had no idea this was being done!

Now I got a reason to break out my lunar games again lol.