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Messages - weissvulf

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101
Help Wanted Ads / Re: Pennywise's Graphic Design Help Thread
« on: December 28, 2017, 09:28:33 pm »
 :thumbsup:
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not even sure it's from a PSX game
It's all good....
[a single tear rolls down his cheek, as he goes back to playing Baldies on his PS1]  ;D

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Personal Projects / Re: Asuncia (PS1) project
« on: December 28, 2017, 09:12:21 pm »
Thank you very much DragonSpike. I guess persevering through stuff like test-playing is why translating is often called a 'labor of love'. Why else would we do such crazy stuff!?  ;D

I had missed that end-game video - my internet connection doesn't do videos well. It will be a big help with sorting out the text order  :thumbsup:

I'm trying another playthough with different path choices, and paying more attention to scoring higher. Hopefully I'll find some of the missing party members. If all else fails, I can probably 'reverse engineer' the events and force them to run.

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Help Wanted Ads / Re: Pennywise's Graphic Design Help Thread
« on: December 28, 2017, 07:28:41 pm »
Glad someone's working on a PS1 title! Farming sim???
Below is an option. For future reference, you should probably avoid JPG. The PS1 usually renders pure black as transparent, and the JPG lossy format added a lot of near-black to the background. I would speculate that this was originally a 256 color image with a single palette or a 16 color image with a separate palette for each season tag. The version below is 256 color. If it doesn't work, it could be converted. I can also send you the sources if you want to play around with them yourself. :)

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Personal Projects / Asuncia (PS1) project
« on: December 27, 2017, 09:40:23 pm »
First, a question:  Does anyone know how to unlock the 'good' ending or various party members in Asuncia?
I'm trying to test-play through to check the text, but I missed 3 party members and got the bad ending. I'm hoping someone owns the strategy guide or has a link to a Japanese walkthrough. The text is scattered somewhat randomly which makes it difficult to do a polished consistent translation for an event.

About the game:
This is a fairly obscure game which has a subtitle of 'Strategic RPG'. It's likely to seem unimpressive, because the strategy elements are not standard and the early gameplay is quite easy. However, if you get past that initial let-down, there is a decent game underneath.

Gameplay
The game follows a relatively simple plot line that drives the player's party toward a goal. The object of each area being to defeat all the monsters. Maps are randomly generated and there are optional dungeons to fight through and towns to resupply. There's a timer limit, but it doesn't feel overly rushed- just enough to keep you alert. The strategy elements mostly come from managing time and money. Since items are vital, this can be challenging. Lastly, there is a score tally which measures success and can be significantly improved by defeating monsters in specific combinations. You can ignore the score completely, or think out every step to maximize point value for each level.

105
Script Help and Language Discussion / Re: English 2nd person plural...
« on: December 24, 2017, 07:21:52 am »
I almost always just use 'you' unless context makes the distinction of significance. The ambiguity of 'you' is so common in English that I think our brain auto-processes it into singular or plural as evidenced by the context. In other words, if a dragon is attacking a village and the hero says 'I will save you', it's fairly obvious he means 'everyone in the village' and not just one villager.

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 :) Thank you all for you supportive comments - really, thank you.

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An old thread, but since I was the creator of said translation, and have never bother to make an official statement on these rumors- this is as good a place as any. I hope no one thinks I'm writing this to blow my own horn or start any arguments. I have a decent idea of life's cause-and-effects, yet I write because the truth is worth stating, always.

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1. The movie subtitles aren't very well done, like the timing is off and the size can be odd.
This is true in some places. I had not intended to release subtitles at all (only voices), but went out of my way to do subtitles because several people requested it. I noticed the quality issues after the release, but a fix was low on my list. It will likely never happen at this point.

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2. It got censored.  I did a little research of this, the translator did revert some names from accusations but not all of them.  I'd like to know if the script itself got a nerf or not or if there's any lines like "she fucks like a tiger" from SNES ToP.
I would think a more important question would be 'is it fun', but regardless, I will answer. Rumors of censorship are mainly hysteria.  I will speak honestly. These rumors were started by one person who I exchanged a few paragraphs with in private messages. They were a Brigandine fan who struck me as intelligent in a few posts so I approached them asking for opinions on some names. In that short conversation, I mentioned I was a 'conservative Christian' and the conversation ended rather quickly with him saying I was 'dangerous'.

I'd estimate that about 30% of the creature and knight-class names were changed because I thought them Engrishy or boring. Included in those changes were some classes in the 'angel' and 'demon' lines.  Part of my intent in this translation was to provide a fun new experience for players, so I actually wasn't too worried about changing things that weren't vital to the game's story. Did my Christianity influence which names I picked? Yes, because it is part of who I am and how my mind works. Anyone who thinks their views don't affect their translation choices is lying to themselves.

So, after the initial patch was released, a handful of old Brigandine fans complained about some of the changes. I didn't care much about names, but it felt 'cheap' to revert back to what I considered substandard names simply because some people don't like change. I did however revert some 'borderline' choices such as 'Lich > Vampire Lord'. This is when I contacted the aforementioned forum member to ask their naming advice.

In the short exchange, I told him that there was one particular name that I didn't want to revert back because of my Christian heart. That was the Angel which upgraded to Lucifer. My Christianity was not the only reason. There were already two other creatures in the game with synonym names (Satan and Shiatan) and I felt the 'dark twist' at the highest level 'holy' creature depolarized the role-playing feeling (aka was less fun) .  Don't  mistake that as an apology for my Christian ethics.

There was zero intent to censor content from others. I will try to explain it to those who don't share the same ideal: to a Christian, God is not a vague distant legend that some 2000 year old book mentions. He is active in our current lives. We see his effects in life in real and measurable ways. We love him as wholly as you may love a girlfriend or wife. If someone paints 'Your wife is a fat ugly slut' on your door, you paint over it. If my neighbor paints that message on his door, I take another path home so I don't have to look at it. This project was born from my sweat and labor. I have no intent to restrict anyone's access to content of their choice, but my hands are my own. I will not lend my efforts to political correctness, nor will I knowingly hurt someone I love with them.

There is only a narrow line of content that falls under this moral. In Brigandine it was only Lucifer. To be honest, I was a bit conflicted over the name 'Satan' for a female Succubus type creature as well. Not because these are 'evil' names, but because they refer to a being that is perceived as a real and integral part of the Christian life. To treat the subject in a flippant and misleading way is disrespectful. The names had no story connection whatsoever. They were simply pulled out of a 'mythology' hat by a Shinto based culture because they were exotic sounding chiches.  As such, I deemed them as Engrishy as well as in poor taste.

So, because I mentioned that I was a Christian and thus did not want to change that one name back to literal, the person who had been giving me advice on how to change names,  suddenly decided every translation choice I had made was a childish censorship campaign. For example, they posted that I had changed 'Oroborus' to 'Jormungandr' for religious reasons. This is especially silly because Jormungandr was the name of a Norse 'god', son of Loki, whereas Oroborus is a generic snake eating its tail symbol. In truth the change was done because the creature was called the 'Serpent of Chaos' in multiple places That is a proper noun for Jormungandr who was an early incarnation of the oroborus symbol. Thus, I viewed Jormungandr as a more accurate translation to Western sensibilities.

As far as what else was changed which could even remotely be considered for religious reasons? As far as I remember,  I capitalized a few references to 'god' in the Leonia story line which would more literally be translated as 'divine' or 'holy' or 'god'. It was mainly because the game has a European setting and Leonia is clearly modeled after France under Joan of Arc so I deemed the proper noun as more fitting. There is no mention of deities whatsoever in the game, lore or otherwise.

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3. There are random gameplay changes in the translation patch itself.  I know there's a separate difficulty and tweak patch, but I've been hearing this about the main translation.  There appears to be a fix floating around for this.
The gameplay changes were centered around, the uber-spell "Meteor Doom" which most people felt broke the singleplayer game. Once you get a couple units that can cast it, you can defeat any AI army easily. In an attempt to counter this, I raised its MP cost and gave it to weak healers hoping to force players to choose between healing or damaging enemies. The units that lost Meteor Doom gained ranged attacks and abnormal status attacks with increased range and potency. I found the changes far superior to vanilla, but a few long time fans complained. I finally changed it back because someone pointed out that I had left black element without an area effect spell. I don't think that was terribly significant to gameplay balance, but it did feel 'off'.

There are still typos in the patch and some 'reserved' compression errors etc. I had planned to fix all these and release my ASMs, text dumps and custom tools, but I lost motivation to do anything more.  For two years, I spent almost every spare moment I had translating the 1MB+ text and hacking an insanely complicated engine. I've gotten far more criticism for my effort than praise. I wouldn't mind if people said 'I didn't like such and such about it', but most of what I've seen hot tempered guesswork about what is 'probably wrong' with it based on a few statements by one biased person.

I understand people being afraid they're missing out on some wonderful content because of censorship, but that's not the case. I even restored a couple reference to eating dogs, that Atlus removed in LoF! That's the funniest part - Atlus' LoF release was such a weak translation, even with the names I changed, I'd wager good money that my version is more accurate to the original writers intent than theirs.

P.S. I hope you don't mind me posting this here Chronosplit.  I know this post is way old, but I just wanted to say what I felt without cluttering a forum with my nonsense.  ::)

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I see. It seems not many editors support the 8bit PNGs with a separate alpha for each palette entry. I just tried GIMP and it discards alpha for 8bit PNGs, but I do remember a mention of a PNG plugin for GIMP that better supported PNG options. I'm surprised gimconv doesn't export directly to 32bit PNG since so few editors support 8bit+alpha.

@ dgmkr, if you're still looking for a free converter 'tool chain', you might try pixlr online editor (HERE) to convert the 'indexed' PNG to a 32bit PNG. Most photo editors should edit the 32bit PNG (retaining alpha). Then use PNGoo (HERE) to convert back to 8bit (indexed) PNG+alpha.

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You might try Gimp for a free editor that can convert between paletted (aka indexed) and direct-color.

I mainly use an old version of Paintshop and the transparency (aka alpha) for images like PNGs is set under 'Image > Palette > Set Palette Transparency". They may have changed something in newer editions.

110
Personal Projects / Re: PS1 tools
« on: December 13, 2017, 06:06:21 pm »
Ha, Windows 95 forever! No, it's just a classic theme. I prefer the clean lines for my work PC.  :thumbsup:

111
ROM Hacking Discussion / Re: Any Growlanser translation projects?
« on: December 13, 2017, 05:41:12 pm »
I may be in the minority, but translating a game largely ruins it for me. There's no more mystery left. I know every plot path, every nuance. I certainly wouldn't spend months/years translating a game just for my own amusement. I absolutely do my work mainly for others to enjoy.

As such, I'd rather work on titles that never had an English release. Does changing 'pop' to 'beer' or swapping Alucard's sprite with Mario really add much enjoyment to a game?  I'm totally NOT trying to devalue anyone's work, just something I have a hard time understanding. I'm probably just too stupid to get it. I certainly don't think anyone should translate a game they don't like. I just keep finding titles like Grownlanser or Prisoner that look really good yet no one is touching them.  ;D

112
Personal Projects / PS1 tools
« on: December 13, 2017, 05:06:14 pm »
These are some specialized tools I'm making, geared specifically toward Playstation 1 translating. I'm posting here to get input... on the off chance that they're actually useful to someone else. I add features and try to improve efficiency as needs arise and would welcome input for the next time a rewrite comes up.

Auto ASM Maker

A tool for select PS1 games that dumps text and pointers into an ASM file for easy editing/insertion with ARMIPS. The main benefit of this tool versus other available dumpers is that it will automatically locate some PS1 pointers that other dumpers don't.

It currently only supports games that use SHIFT-JIS/ASCII. It would be quite easy to add support for table files, I just haven't bothered yet because I haven't needed it.

Convert

A simple address converter designed to help with tracing/hacking between RAM, EXE, Hex-editor etc. It has 3 customizable conversion slots with a 'save' feature so that settings for various projects can be quickly restored.

RAW to TIM

Mainly designed to extract/insert pesky proprietary images from PS1 games (aka headerless TIMs etc). It should work with other raw image data as well. I recently added a TIM<>BMP converter for someone, but it is largely untested since I did a major coding re-write.

HexDecBin Converter

Converts numbers between Hexidecimal, Decimal and Binary. Seldom needed, but sometimes useful for for following bit-shift operations, manually creating CPU-op codes etc. It handles conversions like the Playstation's CPU does (signed) , meaning values above 0x7FFFFFFF (aka have the highest bit set to '1') are treated as negative numbers. For those who don't know, MIPS assembly uses the terminology 'unsigned', but such values are still treated as 'signed'. They just don't set an exception for values in the 'singed' range (aka 0x80000000 - 0xFFFFFFFF). 

Width Scanner

A mostly useless tool (hey, at least I'm honest :D ). It scans non-compressed PS1 emulator save states for potential letter spacing values, and lets you edit/restore the results. It was just a wacky idea for an automated way to find variable-width-font injection points, but it could also work for novices who wish to reduce the gaps between letters on fixed-width fonts. I've had roughly a  1 in 5 success rate on games so don't expect much. May work on other MIPS (PS2, PSP etc) based consoles.

2bit Tool

A basic tool that converts a 2bit BMP into raw binary data. The source BMP can be either 8 or 16 pixels wide- ie a stacked column of letters. It's designed for producing fonts similar to the PS1's BIOS font which are used by many games for storing the full Shift-JIS set in a compact form. Insert the resulting binary font with a tool like ARMIPS.

Movie Audio Dubber

A tool which I will share upon request (not included in download), it splices new audio segments into an existing PS1 STR movie. The results require patches much smaller than baked-in subtitles (and no messy re-encoding), and it's much simpler than software-subtitles. For example, injecting speech samples totaling around 30 seconds, adds less than 1MB size to the final patch.

Source code (Autoit) is included- not well optimized, but fairly well 'noted'. Feel free to recommend tweaks. 
DOWNLOAD LINK
Movie Audio Dubber DOWNLOAD LINK

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ROM Hacking Discussion / Re: Any Growlanser translation projects?
« on: December 13, 2017, 04:30:32 pm »
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Can you name some examples?
Two off the top of my head are Hungry Ghosts and Shadow Tower Abyss. I believe I've only seen about 4 titles that seemed to be in this category- I didn't mean to suggest that is was a large number, just that there are some out there. More so in the PSP/PS2 era since SHIFT-JIS seems to have become much more common.

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since you said it's that easy, i'd like to see a list of games you have already finished, im expecting it to be quite long, since "it's that easy"
I guess this was addressed to me? :)  A lot of games are as you describe, but some have built in auto-sizing for text boxes, or an 'always big' frame. That combined with artful translation can sometimes avoid the need for resizing hacks. The game I'm working on now (Asuncia) supported fixed width ASCII. I chose to install a couple variable width fonts to 'prettify' it, but so far I haven't needed to resize any text boxes.

Even if a game doesn't need any hacking, it still requires text translation so I wouldn't call the process 'easy'. My comment just meant that there are SOME 'easy to hack' games are out there. I think most people pick a game they like and rush head-first into translating it. If instead, they searched through Japanese titles for a nice game that required easy/no hacking, we'd see more finished projects.

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ROM Hacking Discussion / Re: Any Growlanser translation projects?
« on: December 13, 2017, 02:14:25 pm »
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I recall at least one person attempting to hack Growlanser 1 for the PSX, but obviously they didn't get very far.
Other than that, I think my friend Esperknight might have poked around with the game and made some tools.
Maybe there are technical hurdles. Any chance you have a link to an old thread discussion etc?

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there's a fairly high chance that the data inside the containers is encrypted
In such instances, do they usually encrypt everything or just key files/exe etc? Looking at the game in a hex editor, I see a lot of what appears to be non-compressed/non-encrypted image patterns - probably the bmps you mentioned.

I guess it's my personal preference, but I'm amazed that people put so much effort into re-translating and tweaking games that have had multiple English releases, while many gems like Growlanser go completely untranslated. I would rather open a new game-play experience to English speakers than rehash already available content. I've seen great games where you can literally just type English over the Japanese (already support ASCII VWF) that just sit there untranslated.

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ROM Hacking Discussion / Re: Any Growlanser translation projects?
« on: December 12, 2017, 07:37:22 pm »
Yeah  :), it's one of those series where they changed the names for English releases so it gets confusing.

My understanding is this:
Growlanser 1: PS1,PSP ----- Japan only.
Growlanser 2: PS2 --------- USA as 'Generations' part 1
Growlanser 3: PS2 --------- USA as 'Generations' part 2
Growlanser 4: PS2,PSP ----- USA on PSP as 'Wayfarer of Time'
Growlanser 4 Return: PS2 -- Japan Only
Growlanser 5: PS2 --------- USA as 'Heritage of War'
Growlanser 6: PS2 --------- Japan only

Since 'Growlanser 4 Return' is more of an interactive novel, the main titles that never had an English release are 1 and 6. It's the first installment that has a translated script available.

In my experience, the translation is more than half the work. I'm amazed...has no one even looked into this project before?

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ROM Hacking Discussion / Any Growlanser translation projects?
« on: December 12, 2017, 04:17:17 pm »
I noticed that someone translated the script for Growlanser PS1/PSP a few years back, yet I've never seen anyone even considering a translation project for the game. Did I miss a project somewhere? Or maybe there are technical difficulties on the hacking side, or is Growlanser just not that popular? I've never played Growlanser 1 through, but it looks quite impressive. 

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Newcomer's Board / Re: superimposed graphics?
« on: December 09, 2017, 11:35:55 pm »
I think bluephoenix was correct in his original post. The 8bpp version is too solid to be a doubled 4bpp. I looked at the image myself and as far as I can tell, it's 256x256 8bpp @ 0x90000.

December 11, 2017, 08:23:25 pm - (Auto Merged - Double Posts are not allowed before 7 days.)
I'm far from a SNES guru, but I've been playing around with this image out of curiosity and it seems to be what I would call 'interlaced' 4 bit. That is, the left 4 bits of each byte (aka nibble) belong to one image and the right 4bits belong to the other.

I made a quick separator tool and used generic palettes to verify my theory (results below). It shouldn't be hard to program a splitter/combiner if this isn't a standard format already supported by TileMolestor. You could handle each 'layer' as 8bit (16 color) or as plain 4 bit.


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Programming / Re: Editing graphics in DAT format (Falcom Related)
« on: December 09, 2017, 05:05:01 pm »
In case you are still working on this project, I noticed that the version of nana on RHDN was an old one that didn't play nice with modern systems. Neil's site seems to be gone now, but I submitted a newer version of his tool that should work. You might check the nana listing again in a few days to see if the update was approved.

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In arcade games, you paid for playtime toward the goal of beating the game, and you were rewarded with more play time if you were skillful. The equivalent in modern games is something like a trilogy where you pay $10 per chapter. At the end of both experiences, you got a sense of completion and accomplishment: "I beat [game]!".

Micro transactions and small, shoddy expansions are more like late-night infomercials: "But wait! There's more! Now how much would you pay!?" They're generally low quality and don't improve or significantly expand game play. They seem more like predatory manipulation of the fan base. "If you want a sense of completion, you have to pay us $2 more."

I don't agree with the 'digital copies are just as good' view either. The tactile interaction when you own a physical game has no equivalent in digital. It's like the difference between having a jpg of the Mona Lisa on your hard dive versus the original hanging on your wall.

As far as distribution costs, way back in the PS1 era they had budget titles released at $10 or $5 retail. The cost of producing a CD, printing a decent manual and listing on Amazon or equivalent is minuscule. You can buy a set of 200 Pirate Disney DVDs in a nice custom case on ebay and have them shipped from China for around $50. I can only speculate about their production cost, but considering how many sellers are peddling them, it must be far less than the ~$0.30 disk retail.

Digital distribution isn't free either. Flat-rate unlimited internet bandwidth is a myth. Behind the scenes, providers are charging average users more than they should pay in order to cover the cost of the few high bandwidth consumers. If all gamers start doing 8GB+ per game downloads, you can expect everyone's internet bills to go up.

Also, it doesn't take Steam going out of business for digital games to disappear. Digital services like Kindle have already had episodes of content being removed from their service with no apology. I could totally picture seeing small print in a Steam 'User Agreement' update to the effect of 'Games by developerX will no longer be available due to legal issues'.

I don't mean that digital is all bad, but it is generally inferior in my view.

120
Programming / Re: Need to patch a full directory
« on: December 02, 2017, 04:07:03 pm »
There are a few PC patch makers designed for developers updating their products. I've used the ClickTeam Patch Maker before. If I remember correctly, the free version is fully functional, but includes a 'splash screen' logo. It was quite efficient (size) and user friendly. 

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