I think I heard about a tool hooking on executables for visual novels, provided they use Shift-JIS to encode the text (though Mother 3 with its custom table had one such tool tailor made for a special VBA build, a shame it wastes it on automatic translation).
It would separate the kanji and give for each one their dictionary definition (or definitions
, if homographs exist) in English. It helps but doesn't (and can't) replace someone's fluency in the language totally. That and, well, such a solution would be very, very difficult to implement for kana-only games (there's LOTS of them).
But a better offline OCR (like this one
but optimized for pixel fonts and the 700-1100 joyo kanji frequently found in games) for fonts could be an interesting proposition, even for identifying kanji while building tables for the purpose of standard romhacking.
Why not use Tile Molester? That editor can import and export bmp's.
That means that you can use whatever paint program (mspaint) to create tiles and sprites.
Tile Molester doesn't have a tile map construction mode like Crystaltile2 and Tile Layer Pro do.
Meaning, anything you'd export would be the disassembled puzzle pieces jumbled together.
Pieces of legs, background structures, heads in different states...
Tile Map window in TLP allows you to reassemble the puzzle to be like how that sprite would appear in-game (the vertical beams and block pieces would form a tall column, the leg/hand/head pieces would form one frame of Mario while running...)
Editing that assembled puzzle (and the changes would be reflected on the jumbled pieces in the original ROM) is far easier than editing those messed up individual pieces directly.
That, and Tile Molester sucks.
Unstable, no copy feature, buggy palette support, dimensions being integer multiple of 8...
An editing feature and proper scrolling and other features for TileGDD would be a godsend.
You either like C, or you hate it. While this is also true of BASIC, there is the caveat that while some may hate BASIC, they can nonetheless understand it, whereas many hate C because they find it a struggle to use. Someone said something about not wanting to attract BASIC programmers. That attitude is incomprehensible to me, for several reasons. While it may be true that people who prefer BASIC have less talent as programmers than people who prefer C, there is nonetheless a much larger pool of them, and they tend to be more enthusiastic. Additionally, BASIC, with its GOSUBs and GOTOs, is actually more like ASM than C is (at least on the surface), so it's not a huge learning curve for someone who is familiar with QB64 to start working in Z80 or 6502. In summary: the community is likely to grow if we push BASIC as the language for developing debugging tools.
I... can't help but feel the contrast a tad bit amusing
You want, no, demand
people who know C to learn and code in BASIC instead (and advance that programs being open-source is something at odds with using C).
And this bit
BASIC, with its GOSUBs and GOTOs, is actually more like ASM than C is
is, for the lack of a better word, a mindblowing piece of logic. How can a language as close to human language and as distant from register and variable manipulation (which seem to be the devil for you) be "like ASM"? (Not to mention goto is a thing in C, but I digress)
But at the same time you can't justify the effort for YOU, or the newcomer you're picturing in your examples, to learn C.
Same pattern when it comes to using console prompts.
You deem that the newcomer can't be expected to make the effort.
Another thing, you have many really interesting ideas.
But I have a hunch it would be far more preferable if your proposition had the technical implementation part more thought-up.
I took part in some project like this and had to do most of the algorithm and examine all edge cases for my proposition to be remotely acceptable (or useful) for my programmer friend.
Apologies for being blunt, but getting your hands dirty a bit more in such a priori repugnant aspects for you (learning Japanese, learning C...) should give you the insight you need for your propositions to look feasible technically (or to recognize when it isn't, and what alternate solutions to achieve the same goal can be). Being just an "idea man" doesn't cut it anymore.