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Author Topic: RPG Tsukuru 4 Translation Project  (Read 14422 times)

Thutmose

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RPG Tsukuru 4 Translation Project
« on: June 20, 2011, 02:42:51 pm »
Game Background:

RPG Tsukuru 4 is a part of the RPG Tsukuru series in Japan, developed by Agetec.  The series was brought over to the USA, and localized as "RPG Maker".  The US localized console titles ranged from RPG Maker 1 through 3, for the PlayStation 1 & 2.  Also part of the series are the PC RPG Makers - including the infamous illegal translation of RPG Maker 2000 & 2003.  But, more recently, Agetec has released RPG Maker XP and VX for the PC in the USA, and, in Japan only, RPG Maker DS.

RPG Tsukuru 4, for the PlayStation 1, was the only one in the series of console games not localized for the USA.  And, naturally, it's the single best entry in the console series.

Agetec has no intention of localizing RPGT4, but I do.

Goals:

  • A translation patch that allows people who have legally purchased RPG Tsukuru 4 to patch a disc image of the software and play the game in English.
  • A document that explains the process of translating a PSX game, using RPGT4 as an example.
  • A functional, effective, online collaborative translation system.

Progress:

I started this project almost a year ago, and began translating and updating the data files immediately.  After a couple weeks working on it, I had to drop the project and pretty much vanished from the internet due to work commitments.

I'm back now and am starting up the project again, hoping to get it largely done by the end of the year (*fingers crossed*).

So far I have around a hundred or so bits of text translated (maybe more).  But I've gone through pretty much all the basic text, with the longer more complicated text untranslated.  Since I have nearly zero proficiency with Japanese, I have been relying on my experience with the series, Google Translate, and members of the RPG Maker community to provide translations.

Most recently I have programmed an online collaborative translation system that allows multiple people to contribute translations, make comments, classify text bits, etc.  I have a few people, members of the RPG Maker community, volunteering their time to go through all of the extracted text and translate the game.

The Online Translation System:

This system was programmed by me in about 4 days, so it's still very rough.  But so far it's proving to be a valuable tool in the translation effort, and I think that there is a lot of potential.

Using the system people can currently:

  • See a list of all extracted text
  • Vote up/down pieces of source text as either being good text or gibberish data (e.g. parts of a pointer table that got extracted, data, anything that is not text)
  • Submit translations
  • Vote translations up/down
  • Comment on translations
  • View recent comments on your submitted translations
  • Search translations
  • See all the details associated with a piece of source text (e..g pointer location, pointer value, text location, memory address)
  • View near-by text to help establish the context of a piece of source text
  • Confirm & Finalize translations

The time I have to work on this project is limited.  But, ideally, I would like to significantly refine this system.  I'd also like to add the following features:

  • Upload screenshots
  • Tag text
  • Classify text by screen appearance (e.g. main menu, new monster screen, magic creation screen)
  • "link" text/submit relationships between text (e.g. text A's translation is dependent on text B, text C is the same as text D)
  • View the history of a translation as it evolved
  • Track text location/pointer changes (e.g. some piece of text needs to be moved to a new location, the system will be able to track the original location as well as the new location)
  • Better comment tracking & threading
  • Automatic text extraction & insertion
  • Maybe more

It is a goal of mine to get the system to a point where I can release the source code so that it can be adapted and used by others - but that's a long way off.

Obstacles

  • The English font spacing is wrong - it's twice what it should be.
  • Many of the menu/dialog boxes are too small, and English translations overflow
  • There is little room for English translations, and a lot of the text has to be shortened to fit in the data files (e.g. "Castle" becomes "Csl")

I am hoping that it is within my ability to adjust the font spacing and extend menu/dialog boxes.  I understand the principal behind it, and the technique, but have yet to do it successfully.

Getting enough room in the data file for translations to fit isn't an issue - it's simple enough to move the text to a new location in the file, recalculate the pointer, and update the entry in the pointer table; which I have done successfully (e.g. moving "Csl" to a new location, extending it to "Castle", then updating the pointer and have it appear properly in-game).

Links:

RPGT4 Translation Database

Project thread at RPG Maker Magazine

Project thread at RPG Maker Pavilion

Screenshots:

These were taken about a year ago, after a couple hours/days of working on it.  I haven't done much work on the actual data files since then, and have instead focused on the theory and implementation of the online collaborative translation system.

The game data load/save screen:
Spoiler:

A memory card interface:
Spoiler:

The "Utility" screen:
Spoiler:

Loading custom resources (including the option to import music!):
Spoiler:

Special Skills/Abilities naming screen (I'm certain some of my translations are wrong, but I'll revise that later):
Spoiler:

Auryn

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Re: RPG Tsukuru 4 Translation Project
« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2011, 04:04:29 pm »
Nice that somebody want to translate this...it was one of my projects at that time.
I never really understood how to play it and so I wanted to translate it.
Anyway, what encoding are you using on your site?? I can't get to view the japanese characters right.

Thutmose

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Re: RPG Tsukuru 4 Translation Project
« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2011, 04:17:52 pm »
Anyway, what encoding are you using on your site?? I can't get to view the japanese characters right.
Any page that has Japanese on it should be using Shift-JIS.

Keep in mind, though, that there is a lot of gibberish data in the system right now that needs to be manually filtered out.  So only a small percentage of the "Japanese" text entries are actually Japanese.  A lot of them are just random data from the game's data files.

Kiyoshi Aman

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Re: RPG Tsukuru 4 Translation Project
« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2011, 04:38:36 pm »
Is there any reason you couldn't transcode from Shit-JIS to a Unicode-based encoding? Yes, Unicode tends to take more space than Shit-JIS, but it's fucking 2011—there's no excuse to kowtow to a 90s-era encoding when you're just presenting text for translation.

Thutmose

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Re: RPG Tsukuru 4 Translation Project
« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2011, 05:14:39 pm »
Is there any reason you couldn't transcode from Shit-JIS to a Unicode-based encoding? Yes, Unicode tends to take more space than Shit-JIS, but it's fucking 2011—there's no excuse to kowtow to a 90s-era encoding when you're just presenting text for translation.
There's no particular reason.  I really didn't think about it too much.

Shift-JIS worked for what I needed, I haven't encountered any problems, so I just stuck with it.

If there were a good reason, and the text converted properly, then it should be easy enough for me to transcode the database.

Is there a good reason to do so?

BRPXQZME

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Re: RPG Tsukuru 4 Translation Project
« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2011, 05:47:49 pm »
I believe changing "charset=Shift_Jis" in your HTML to "charset=Shift_JIS" would avoid unnecessary browser problems, though it works just fine on my box.
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Kiyoshi Aman

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Re: RPG Tsukuru 4 Translation Project
« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2011, 05:53:13 pm »
There's no particular reason.  I really didn't think about it too much.

Shift-JIS worked for what I needed, I haven't encountered any problems, so I just stuck with it.

If there were a good reason, and the text converted properly, then it should be easy enough for me to transcode the database.

Is there a good reason to do so?

That depends largely on whether there are special glyphs in RPGT4's font which would not ordinarily be accessible in Shift-JIS, but which are available in Unicode, as well as whether such glyphs are embedded in system strings.

Thutmose

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Re: RPG Tsukuru 4 Translation Project
« Reply #7 on: June 20, 2011, 06:07:55 pm »
I believe changing "charset=Shift_Jis" in your HTML to "charset=Shift_JIS" would avoid unnecessary browser problems, though it works just fine on my box.
I pulled up several different sites for reference, and each one had a different style.  I tried several different ones, but never had any issues with any of them.  I changed it to Shift-JIS at your suggestion, so we'll see how it goes.

That depends largely on whether there are special glyphs in RPGT4's font which would not ordinarily be accessible in Shift-JIS, but which are available in Unicode, as well as whether such glyphs are embedded in system strings.
From everything I've seen so far, there isn't anything that isn't showing up properly in SJIS.  All of the special symbols which appear in-game seem to have a counterpart in SJIS that displays fine.

If I run into problems, I'll consider transcoding, but I really don't have any reason to do so now.

BRPXQZME

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Re: RPG Tsukuru 4 Translation Project
« Reply #8 on: June 20, 2011, 06:21:23 pm »
I pulled up several different sites for reference, and each one had a different style.  I tried several different ones, but never had any issues with any of them.  I changed it to Shift-JIS at your suggestion, so we'll see how it goes.
Yeah, the HTTP spec even says it’s supposed to be case insensitive and the HTML4 spec even uses Shift_JIS as an example, but you never really know and most sites in SJIS I’ve seen use that exact string; like so many quirks, it might be a Microsoft thing :|
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gadesx

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Re: RPG Tsukuru 4 Translation Project
« Reply #9 on: June 21, 2011, 04:38:05 am »
Nice project, searching a bit i found some info:

http://www.gamefaqs.com/ps/580224-rpg-tsukuru-4/faqs/16017

I remember that my friend saito touch this game a few, and he's used a vwf in some projects, maybe can be luck.

Auryn

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Re: RPG Tsukuru 4 Translation Project
« Reply #10 on: June 21, 2011, 07:26:54 am »
So this is a problem of my system or it's game gibberish???




Gemini

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Re: RPG Tsukuru 4 Translation Project
« Reply #11 on: June 21, 2011, 09:09:24 am »
  • The English font spacing is wrong - it's twice what it should be.
  • Many of the menu/dialog boxes are too small, and English translations overflow
Both issues have one "simple" solution: proportional spacing (aka variable width font)! Check in detail how the game draws stuff to screen (use pSX's gpu debugger to check all the primitives used in a captured frame), and if it uses just simple sprites+mapped characters it's gonna be reaaaaaal easy to fix, otherwise it might need a few more tweaks or be totally anal in the worst scenario.
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Kiyoshi Aman

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Re: RPG Tsukuru 4 Translation Project
« Reply #12 on: June 21, 2011, 11:23:35 am »
So this is a problem of my system or it's game gibberish???

Please don't scale screenshots. If that's not your doing, please use a better image host—I can't tell what the specific issue is because the image provided was shrunk down.

Thutmose

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Re: RPG Tsukuru 4 Translation Project
« Reply #13 on: June 21, 2011, 01:12:28 pm »
Nice project, searching a bit i found some info:

http://www.gamefaqs.com/ps/580224-rpg-tsukuru-4/faqs/16017

I remember that my friend saito touch this game a few, and he's used a vwf in some projects, maybe can be luck.
Thanks.  I saw that translation helper before, and used it a bit to help me figure some things out.

So this is a problem of my system or it's game gibberish???
Spoiler:
Your system is fine - that's just some gibberish text.

Both issues have one "simple" solution: proportional spacing (aka variable width font)! Check in detail how the game draws stuff to screen (use pSX's gpu debugger to check all the primitives used in a captured frame), and if it uses just simple sprites+mapped characters it's gonna be reaaaaaal easy to fix, otherwise it might need a few more tweaks or be totally anal in the worst scenario.
I hope so.  I am rather new to this, so it's very much a learning experience for me.

One of the issues is that it seems that each English character takes up two or three bytes of memory when input into a text box (been several months since I worked on this last, so I'll definitely need to confirm) - that is, each English character takes up the same amount of memory as any given Japanese character.  Rather than storing English characters in ascii in the game keyboard, the game software stores them in shift-jis.  So at any text input screen, all of the English characters insert sjis values into the text box when "clicked" on.

I've tried replacing the sjis English characters with their ascii equivalent, but they just don't display properly.  It seems like all text-input code is designed to handle only two/three-byte characters, and throws up when it encounters a single byte.

Now, every other place in the game handles ascii English perfectly (except for that spacing issue); it's just the text input screens that don't like it.  Actually, as far as I can remember, it's only the in-game keyboard that uses those weird two/three-byte English characters.  It's also possible that one of those two/three bytes is some kind of special control character that does something special (there are a lot of those preceding/following text that is selectable, bold, italic, etc).

Even if I am able to adjust the spacing properly, the number of English characters that can be entered by the player will be limited.  In a software like RPG Maker, that is a huge limitation.  It limits item names, spells, dialog, etc.  Since it can take so many more English characters to convey the same information as a small amount of Japanese, many of the text entry boxes don't hold much by comparison.

Of course, it's also entirely possible that I'm remembering the details of this wrong.  I don't have the disc image with me at the moment, so I do need to check again.

I'd like to say that at one time I did successfully change the font spacing, or increase the size of a menu box, but I never kept any documentation on my work - just did experiments.

I'm going to have to work some more this weekend and see if I can figure out what's what.  I've forgotten a lot of stuff about this project in the past year.

Kiyoshi Aman

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Re: RPG Tsukuru 4 Translation Project
« Reply #14 on: June 21, 2011, 04:31:57 pm »
That's because the game is expecting Shift-JIS—you need to hack it into expecting ASCII.

Thutmose

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Re: RPG Tsukuru 4 Translation Project
« Reply #15 on: June 21, 2011, 05:51:37 pm »
That's because the game is expecting Shift-JIS—you need to hack it into expecting ASCII.
I figured as much.

I just don't have any idea where to even begin doing something like that.  My background in assembly is limited to microcontrollers, nothing as complex as the PSX.  Identifying the the routine that shifts those two bytes around isn't something I know how to do, let alone actually modifying it to only expect 1 byte in ascii instead of 2 in sjis.

I've read that document describing the PSX processor, can run the disassembler in an emulator, and pick out the op-codes easily enough (with a reference at my side) - but I don't have that intuitive understanding of PSX assembly, not by any means.

Suffice to say, I have a lot of learning to do.

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Re: RPG Tsukuru 4 Translation Project
« Reply #16 on: June 21, 2011, 08:01:51 pm »
Baby steps is always the best route. Try setting up a few read-on breakpoints and see what the game does from that. It's not that complicated once you know how to locate the interested snippets of code.
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