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Author Topic: Where can I request/purchase a translation patch?  (Read 11222 times)

animalia

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Where can I request/purchase a translation patch?
« on: October 12, 2011, 10:34:19 am »
There are many games without English translation patches that I would like to play. However, my hacking/programming skills are nonexistent and I cannot even begin to understand your guides. While I am willing to pay someone to do it for me (and then release what they give me to everyone else of course), providing their price is reasonable, I don't think I am aloud to ask that here, and I do not know many other ROM Hacking sites. I am hoping someone here can tell me where ELSE to go in order to request this service, as google as not been helpful to me.

Nightcrawler

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Re: Where can I request/purchase a translation patch?
« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2011, 01:41:26 pm »
This kind of thing comes up every few months. I'm going to entertain the question this time and explain some things.

  • It typically takes several hundred hours to do a quality translation for a given person or small group.
  • It would be pure business to get someone to work on a game they weren't interested in (If they were interested, they'd already be working on it). Because of that, you'd need to have a lot of money.
  • You'd have to pay one or more people. An average fair software engineering rate in the US for each hacker might be around $75/hour or equivalent salary of 50K/year. Then you have translators which may charge .05 to .10 or more per word. Depending on your script, this could be substantial. Most people have full times jobs. So, if you want it quickly or with deadlines, you'd probably have to supplement their full time wages or risk waiting months or even years.
  • Legality. I am not a lawyer and offer no legal advice, but what you ask is likely illegal in many countries. Whether it be unauthorized translation or copyright infringement potential, adding the involvement of money certainly doesn't help.
  • General community ethics frown upon the involvement of money in our hobby so we can continue to be in the rights holders good graces, and not be seen as a threat.

For the reasons listed above, it would be very rare that anyone would answer your request. In the event someone did answer your request, it would be a rarer case if you had the financial resources to entertain it.

The only alternative I know of outside of the ROM hacking community would be to approach the current copyright holders and attempt to get the game officially translated. I believe they may be cooperative if you tell them you are willing to finance the project and would assume publishing risk. It would be rare that one had the financial resources to sustain this avenue as well.

Either way, it would likely be several thousand dollars at the cheapest rates with potential to go to many thousands. I am only versed in US industries and denominations. You may be able to find cheaper rates in other countries.
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Pennywise

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Re: Where can I request/purchase a translation patch?
« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2011, 03:21:07 pm »
Yeah, it doesn't really work that way. It's a hobby and paying someone to work on a game turns it into something more along the lines of work. Also if the games you want translated on are newer systems, finding someone who's at least good is a pretty slim chance. Most of the systems that anyone semi-talented work on are the 8 and 16-bit systems.

Auryn

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Re: Where can I request/purchase a translation patch?
« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2011, 03:27:17 pm »
A perfect answer from Nightcrawler and actually I know that there are many japanese only games but I am curious and would like to know what games you have in mind.

About your abilities: I don't say hacking / translating games is something for everybody but the opposite is also true. Everything depends on your stamina and the game you want to translate. I could tell 2 games right now and i believe that within 15 min you would have some translation on screen with a little guidance.

So, tell us what games you have in mind??

Anyway you are free to suggest any game in any forum but there is only one thread I know off that is especially named "translation requests for NDS(i)" and you can find it http://gbatemp.net/topic/288635-clean-official-translation-requests-topic/
« Last Edit: October 12, 2011, 03:40:29 pm by Auryn »

Romsstar

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Re: Where can I request/purchase a translation patch?
« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2011, 07:34:06 pm »
This kind of thing comes up every few months. I'm going to entertain the question this time and explain some things.

  • It typically takes several hundred hours to do a quality translation for a given person or small group.
  • It would be pure business to get someone to work on a game they weren't interested in (If they were interested, they'd already be working on it). Because of that, you'd need to have a lot of money.
  • You'd have to pay one or more people. An average fair software engineering rate in the US for each hacker might be around $75/hour or equivalent salary of 50K/year. Then you have translators which may charge .05 to .10 or more per word. Depending on your script, this could be substantial. Most people have full times jobs. So, if you want it quickly or with deadlines, you'd probably have to supplement their full time wages or risk waiting months or even years.
  • Legality. I am not a lawyer and offer no legal advice, but what you ask is likely illegal in many countries. Whether it be unauthorized translation or copyright infringement potential, adding the involvement of money certainly doesn't help.
  • General community ethics frown upon the involvement of money in our hobby so we can continue to be in the rights holders good graces, and not be seen as a threat.

For the reasons listed above, it would be very rare that anyone would answer your request. In the event someone did answer your request, it would be a rarer case if you had the financial resources to entertain it.

The only alternative I know of outside of the ROM hacking community would be to approach the current copyright holders and attempt to get the game officially translated. I believe they may be cooperative if you tell them you are willing to finance the project and would assume publishing risk. It would be rare that one had the financial resources to sustain this avenue as well.

Either way, it would likely be several thousand dollars at the cheapest rates with potential to go to many thousands. I am only versed in US industries and denominations. You may be able to find cheaper rates in other countries.

Nightcrawler why I agree with most what you're saying which is neglected often is that you are talking about professionals. REAL professionals.

But now we are talking not about professionals because, let's face it most of the hackers on this site are doing it for fun, and while 75$/hour for a skilled programmer is a standard fee,  this guys are doing it for a living after all.
But for most of the hackers around here and other romhacking sites I think it's rather a hobby and I don't think that lots of them are doing it for a living actually... But this maybe just my perception.

But to the original poster, even if you would find a romhacking team that would be willing to hack a game for money, I doubt that it actually would ever be finished.
Over the years romhackers proved not to be exactly cut out for working in teams. Most ones I've known (and considered to be good) have fallen apart long ago..

And most finished projects are solo projects after all.. Especially nowadays...

animalia

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Re: Where can I request/purchase a translation patch?
« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2011, 07:54:56 pm »
@Nightcrawler While I realize that many people don't hack ROMs for money the problem with just waiting is that it is a matter of luck weather or not something will eventually be picked up by a group and translated, the games i was thinking of asking if I could are all Sega Saturn games, so I am pretty sure w don;t have to worry about them being too new. Finally like romstar said these are not pros i am asking to translate something, the money is mostly meant as an added bonus to get them to work on something they would probably not bother with otherwise.

Finally the 3 games i am thinking of right now are the Nadescio video game The Blank Of Three Years which is a bridge between the TV anime and the movie. The Digimon game Digital Monster Version S: Digimon Tamers and finally the spinoff Chocobo themed Final Fantasy game game Chocobo’s Mysterious Dungeon.

Klarth

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Re: Where can I request/purchase a translation patch?
« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2011, 08:21:50 pm »
$75 an hour?  Maybe I should ditch the engineering route and find a programming job...j/k.  Btw, $75/hr is a $150k annual salary, not $50k.

Romsstar

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Re: Where can I request/purchase a translation patch?
« Reply #7 on: October 12, 2011, 09:33:37 pm »
$75 an hour?  Maybe I should ditch the engineering route and find a programming job...j/k.  Btw, $75/hr is a $150k annual salary, not $50k.

It would be if it was a fulltime job. But most programmers who get paid 75$/hr  work freelance.
And well they don't have a job all the year so it sums most likely up to 50k.
If they are lucky. But I guess if you work for Microsoft or Sony you might get 75$/hr for lazing out:D

Nightcrawler

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Re: Where can I request/purchase a translation patch?
« Reply #8 on: October 13, 2011, 10:46:56 am »
Klarth:
That's an hourly rate for contracted or freelance work. That's an entirely different business model from a salaried position with benefits. You probably wouldn't want to switch to contract work. First, you can't realistically bill for the true amount of hours. No way would you be able to bill 40 hours a week. That's not how it works. Second, no benefits whatsoever. Third, after your contract is up after weeks or months, you're unemployed again. Lastly, rinse and repeat every few months. $75/hour turns into much, much less when you work for yourself. Just pretend you want health insurance. ;)

Romsstar:
How is it a hobby when you're paying them to do a project for you? It's no longer a hobby and they are no longer doing it for fun. Nobody is going to do a few hundred hours of work for you without adequate compensation, regardless of skill level. What do you mean by 'REAL professionals'? Many here are engineers or programmers professionally. We have several professional translators as well. The people found in this community are probably amongst the most highly skilled in the world when it comes to reprogramming of classic games for translation. That's a very specific skillset. Are you saying the people here are not skilled? Are you saying you expect their work is only worth say $10/hour and not as valuable as 'standard' rates? Good luck getting anyone to work for you with that mentality. That's just another example of why it doesn't happen.

animalia:
I think you're failing to see the point that it takes more than an 'added bonus' to get people to work hundreds of hours on something they weren't interested in. As I mentioned to Romstar, just what pros are you talking about? I don't believe anyone is more technically qualified than the people in this community when it comes to hacking classic games for translation. That's why game companies typically do a remake and don't bother translating the originals. One additional problem for your request is available tools. You're looking for Saturn games and last I checked tools were poor on that platform. That makes the job that much more difficult and adds many more hours.
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Auryn

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Re: Where can I request/purchase a translation patch?
« Reply #9 on: October 13, 2011, 03:54:16 pm »
For the first 2 games on the Saturn, I see dark.

For Chocobo’s Mysterious Dungeon depends on witch one you are talking about and eventually what version of it.

-Chocobo no Fushigi na Dungeon: Chokobo no Fushigi na Danjon (チョコボの不思議なダンジョン?, lit. "Chocobo's Mysterious Dungeon"):

Was for the PSX, ported to the Wonderswan and should be available on the USA Playstation Network.
There is a small light for the original PSX just because of me (scroll down a bit) :p
http://membres.multimania.fr/auryntoo/


-Cid to Chocobo no Fushigi na Dungeon Toki Wasure no Meikyū DS+
Sido to Chokobo no Fushigi na Danjon Toki Wasure no Meikyū DS+ (シドとチョコボの不思議なダンジョン 時忘れの迷宮 DS+?, lit. "Cid and Chocobo's Mysterious Dungeon: the Labyrinth of Forgotten Time DS+")

You are lucky for this one too, there is a partial translation and maybe because I showed him some easy things he could do with the rom , maybe he is still continuing it:
http://gbatemp.net/t231032-cid-to-chocobo-no-fushigi-na-dungeon-twnmds-translation



-I hope you are not refering to Chokobo no Fushigi na Danjon: Toki Wasure no Meikyū (チョコボの不思議なダンジョン 時忘れの迷宮?, lit. "Chocobo's Mysterious Dungeon: The Labyrinth of Forgotten Time") for the Wii that have an official USA version released:



If not any of the above, take a look at the wiki (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chocobo) to find the version you are talking about.

October 13, 2011, 11:57:40 pm - (Auto Merged - Double Posts are not allowed before 7 days.)
I am actually wondering because I always was thinking that the saturn was a loved console especially because of the many japan only game that this console got but apparently the saturn isn't so loved as I was thinking.

Anyway I just took a look at "The Blank Of Three Years" and I don't want to say it's simple to hack but it doesn't seem so hard as well.
The first thing I found are the words "Opening Movie" followed by a file list with extension .bmp:


The name on the file list are actually single files with the extension .PAC:

From the filename extension inside the file and the BM6 (possible magic word), I think they are some variation of bitmap but the extension .pac tells me that they are probably compressed.

Some other .pac files seems to be a palette+multi image (example the face files) that probably have each frame on that face expression inside with the own palette (palette probably .bcl and the frames .bcg):

The format it's very straight forward:
14 bytes > file name
2 bytes > unknow (maybe the number of palette or color depth)
4 bytes > absolute offset
4 bytes > file size
4 bytes > null
4 bytes > unknow (maybe width of the image??)

What is sure is that there are some graphics that can be viewed with GBA 8bpp like this "exit" word that should be in the option screen:


Some with 8 colors 3bpp (yes, I have notated the errors) like this that should be the ending big font:


Some with 4 colors 2bpp (yes, i have notated the errors again) like the normal font in the game:


When I found this file with the words "player" and the names, I started to hope that the game really shouldn't be so complicated:


and in fact soon after that, I found the text in plain uncompressed SJIS encoding and the whole pointer table just in front of it:


and another file with the text:

Sure those 0E and 17 between the pointers are still to be checked and there seem to be some "control codes" mixed with the text too.

So, the file in the game should be as follow:
.ACX > Voice samples
.ADX > BGM
.BMS > TEXT
.CAK > MOVIE
.EXA > Unknow (sound program??) only 1 file
.FNT > FONTS
.MAP > Unknow (audio mapping??) only 1 file
.PAC > Compressed file or archive (normally graphics)
.SCR > Probably graphics again
.SEQ > Animation data???
.TXT > Always present on Sat CD
.BIN > Uncompressed graphics or system files.

To conclude this post:
- I don't have any intention to make this translation, what I did, was just because I am curious.
- I believe the saturn isn't so hard to hack after all and I think that it's sad that it's so left by side from the translation scene especially because of the good/special games this console has.
Sure like Nightcrawler said, there is a lack of tools but there are so many programmers out there that if somebody really put some work on discover the "standards" of this console, it would sure catch up with other systems very quickly.



« Last Edit: October 13, 2011, 11:57:53 pm by Auryn »

Romsstar

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Re: Where can I request/purchase a translation patch?
« Reply #10 on: October 14, 2011, 12:55:38 pm »

Romsstar:
How is it a hobby when you're paying them to do a project for you? It's no longer a hobby and they are no longer doing it for fun. Nobody is going to do a few hundred hours of work for you without adequate compensation, regardless of skill level. What do you mean by 'REAL professionals'? Many here are engineers or programmers professionally. We have several professional translators as well. The people found in this community are probably amongst the most highly skilled in the world when it comes to reprogramming of classic games for translation. That's a very specific skillset. Are you saying the people here are not skilled? Are you saying you expect their work is only worth say $10/hour and not as valuable as 'standard' rates? Good luck getting anyone to work for you with that mentality. That's just another example of why it doesn't happen.


I agree that this is indeed a very specific skillset and requires, without any doubt skill.
While I never doubted that the people here are skilled, saying they are amongst the most highly skilled in the world is probably a bit too much.
But you added "when it comes to reprogramming of classic games for translation" which is probably true. Then again, it's not like there is much competition anyways.
About the fact that many here are engineers and professional programmers: As I said my perception was different and if that is the case, it's a benefit for the community.

I don't think about things like how much a work is worth, because in the end it comes down to what the purchaser is ready to pay for it and as we already established, there is no purchaser because there is no sale.

Actually while I appreciate help when I'm getting it, in the end if you want to have something done the way you want it you have to do it yourself.  So actually I don't care whether someone wants to work with me or not. Never expect any help in this life. So every single second you actually get some is precious.

And well as I said most finished projects are solo projects, there are not many groups left and most of them fell apart, are falling apart or will fall apart. And if you really looked impartial at this you would agree. But after all you are the Administrator, I guess you can't and it's only natural to protect your own website and your crew.  I respect your opinion and don't want to quarrel any further at this because as I see our opinions on this go too far apart.

Deathlike2

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Re: Where can I request/purchase a translation patch?
« Reply #11 on: October 14, 2011, 03:16:55 pm »
The thing people tend to forget with their ideal circumstances is that there is a reality to why things are not done.

Here's there simple rules for those that keep asking "Why does game X not have a translation?"

1) People have to be motivated.
Sometimes it is money, but more importantly it singlehandedly requires lots of desire. Having a group of people screaming/asking/begging for a translation does not make it magically happen. It also doesn't help when people breathe down your neck when things are not "released on time".

2) People need time.
Rome was not built in a day. These things requires lots of man hours. Many hidden man hours are spent behind the scenes. More time is spent in proportion to the tools and decoding of necessary data that is involved. You can tell a game is well hacked by the number of tools that have been developed (like many SMW hacks compared to say Super Metroid hacks).

3) People have lives.
Just because you may have the ability to spend times roaming the Internets to do your own thing, people have other things to take care of. Life circumstances happen. Romhacking is a hobby and not a profitable business.

Remember that although others have the desire to want a project completed, most of the time they are not able to contribute in a productive manner... often expecting miracles instead of just being patient. Rather than trying to dwell on what projects that you would like to be completed, you need to find a productive way to help out (whatever that may be) or don't be the ass that screws it up for everyone else. Also, please don't feed into the internal politics of a project... it tends to not be helpful or productive.
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Gideon Zhi

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Re: Where can I request/purchase a translation patch?
« Reply #12 on: October 14, 2011, 05:36:14 pm »
Rome was not built in a day.

ROM was not built in a day.
*cough*

Auryn

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Re: Where can I request/purchase a translation patch?
« Reply #13 on: October 14, 2011, 06:21:51 pm »
ROM was not built in a day.
*cough*

Oh....how depressing, I was expecting some supreme knowledge that Master Gideon would share with us and then ... only this :( :banghead: ;)

By the way I believe Deathlike was actually really talking about the city and not the ROM :p
« Last Edit: October 14, 2011, 09:01:57 pm by Auryn »

Deathlike2

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Re: Where can I request/purchase a translation patch?
« Reply #14 on: October 14, 2011, 06:55:46 pm »
ROM was not built in a day.
*cough*

 :D

Touche.
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RedComet

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Re: Where can I request/purchase a translation patch?
« Reply #15 on: October 15, 2011, 01:08:52 am »
Oh....how depressing, I was expecting some supreme knowledge that Master Gideon would share with us and then ... only this :( :banghead: ;)

That's actually the most supreme of knowledge that you need going into this (or any other worthwhile endeavor that doesn't involve the question "would you like fries with that?" in some way). It's not easy, but it's worth it in the end. One of my classes now is a sort of intro to assembly language programming and I'm constantly shaking my head at all the people who whine about how "hard" it is. ROMH be praised. :P
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Gideon Zhi

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Re: Where can I request/purchase a translation patch?
« Reply #16 on: October 15, 2011, 01:22:50 am »
You know, I really did only mean it as an admittedly awful pun, but in a zen sort of way it really *is* the ultimate truth when it comes to what we do, isn't it?

Ryusui

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Re: Where can I request/purchase a translation patch?
« Reply #17 on: October 15, 2011, 03:16:56 am »
One of my classes now is a sort of intro to assembly language programming and I'm constantly shaking my head at all the people who whine about how "hard" it is.

A processor is nothing more than a fancy abacus for shuttling numbers around. The key is realizing how this translates to the concepts seen in higher-level languages.
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