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Author Topic: L.O.L.: Lack Of Love (English Translation)  (Read 2157 times)

halumi

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L.O.L.: Lack Of Love (English Translation)
« on: December 22, 2017, 08:36:05 am »


Hello, it's nice to meet you.

This is my first hack. I am thankful for the tools created by people who actually understand what they are doing. Tutorials for Dreamcast hacking are pretty lacking, though, so I had to figure out a lot of it on my own.

All of the game's text is baked in as a PVR or SFD, so actually replacing it is the easy part. I know just enough Japanese to do most of the simple menu text with confidence, and a friend of mine who is more skilled in this respect has tentatively pledged their support to this project. I've successfully rebuilt the GDI with inserted sample text (above, running in nullDC), so the next step is to rip all of the assets and begin translating. My ultimate goal is to create an image that will run on hardware, but it may end up being beyond my abilities.

If you've played L.O.L., you will know that there's not that much text in it. I want more people to play Kenichi Nishi's games, though, and maybe this will help.

goldenband

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Re: L.O.L.: Lack Of Love (English Translation)
« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2017, 10:58:21 am »
Awesome! L.O.L. has been ripe for translation for some time, and there are a lot of people who will be eager to follow this project.

I own a copy but have never gotten very far as, though the text is sparse, the game itself is cryptic enough that (I'd imagine) every little hint helps.

irvgotti452

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Re: L.O.L.: Lack Of Love (English Translation)
« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2017, 05:09:40 pm »
I've messed around a bit with some basic text swapping on some pvr's of dreamcast games. I don't mind helping if needed. Though my knowledge is very very basic (wish i knew more).

halumi

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Re: L.O.L.: Lack Of Love (English Translation)
« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2017, 07:53:28 am »
The hint text is often also pretty cryptic. I do want to preserve that, but I'll do my best to adapt it to something an English-speaking audience might more readily pick up on.

I don't expect my friend to be able to throw in on this until after Christmas, so I'm focusing on streamlining replacing the text for now. Rather than find the borders through trial and error by rebuilding the game six or seven times, it seemed smarter to save myself the hassle and create some grid overlays before I set any more type.



The main pause menu text is pretty clearly 16 256x16 strips, as is the special case Life Over text.



The descriptive text that scrolls by when you highlight the other menu text is, strangely, 18 pixels tall, which leaves a bit of legroom at the bottom of the texture. You can see "ジョロジョロジョロでマーキング" actually wraps to the next line for a single character, which is kind of ridiculous.

The save/load and memory card text is much less clear, but appears to be broken up into strips 30 pixels tall.

Incidentally, I've selected a font for the pause menu text (mockup). I went through a lot of options, and a handwritten font felt like the best fit to me given that you play as an animal, and the general sort of nature vs technology themes. Any thoughts on this?

December 28, 2017, 12:59:31 am - (Auto Merged - Double Posts are not allowed before 7 days.)


The save screen text has been translated and implemented. I may have to completely re-do this at a slightly smaller text size to get everything to line up absolutely pixel-perfect because of the dumb way the texture is sliced.

e: I have done so

The pause menu text for the first map has been fully translated, but is not yet implemented.
« Last Edit: December 28, 2017, 01:53:31 am by halumi »

halumi

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Re: L.O.L.: Lack Of Love (English Translation)
« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2017, 03:10:39 pm »
The remaining system messages have been translated. You will never see these unless you deliberately rip the VMU out really quickly as the game is attempting to save or load. Don't do this.

The first three areas of the game have also been translated.
« Last Edit: January 01, 2018, 08:11:07 am by halumi »

smile_kaiser

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Re: L.O.L.: Lack Of Love (English Translation)
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2018, 06:38:25 pm »
Been a fan of this site for a long, long time, but this is what finally got me to register for an account. Just couldn't go without chiming in my support for this project. Bless you.

halumi

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Re: L.O.L.: Lack Of Love (English Translation)
« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2018, 08:26:47 pm »
Thank you!

Translation has been completed through the fourth area. Now that everyone's back to their normal schedules, progress will slow a bit, but I hope to finish at least a "first pass" translation within a month or two.

The research I have done suggests that converting a GDI that uses CDDA to CDI (making it burnable to CD-R and playable on hardware) is quite involved and difficult. I'll have to ask around and beg people who know more about Dreamcast hacking than I do to help, because I am doubtful I'll figure it out on my own. I don't think I'll be able to insert the files into a CDI directly, unfortunately.

goldenband

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Re: L.O.L.: Lack Of Love (English Translation)
« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2018, 08:39:43 pm »
I wouldn't worry about converting it into a CD-burnable format, unless I suppose the game size is small enough that it can fit onto a CD anyway. There are solutions like the GDEMU that allow playing GDI images on real hardware now -- I was playing Frame Gride and Advanced Daisenryaku 2001 that way, not so long ago -- so the era of downsizing Dreamcast games to make them playable on the console is hopefully over.

halumi

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Re: L.O.L.: Lack Of Love (English Translation)
« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2018, 10:42:43 pm »
That's not something I would be able to test, myself, as I am not interested in replacing my Dreamcast's GD-ROM drive. Ideally, I'd like to release in a format that ensures maximum compatibility across emulators and hardware setups.

The actual game data of L.O.L. is a modest 211 MB, including the CDDA tracks. The only downsizing involved is shrinking the gigantic dummy file (or generating a new one).

LucaLink

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Re: L.O.L.: Lack Of Love (English Translation)
« Reply #9 on: January 21, 2018, 04:34:47 am »
Nice choice, rooting for you!

halumi

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Re: L.O.L.: Lack Of Love (English Translation)
« Reply #10 on: January 23, 2018, 02:40:55 am »
Thanks.

My translation partner has been unavailable to work with me for most of this month, but hopefully we can make some more progress in February. They've been working on their own translating the manual, though, and it sounds like a good chunk of it is done. I hope to include that in a readme with the patch, since it's the only place the game explains the mechanics.

goldenband

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Re: L.O.L.: Lack Of Love (English Translation)
« Reply #11 on: January 23, 2018, 09:51:07 am »
The actual game data of L.O.L. is a modest 211 MB, including the CDDA tracks. The only downsizing involved is shrinking the gigantic dummy file (or generating a new one).

Ah, that changes everything, and is great news. :) Great to hear that a manual translation is being prepared as well.

BTW any insights into why the game refuses to work in VGA mode?

halumi

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Re: L.O.L.: Lack Of Love (English Translation)
« Reply #12 on: January 23, 2018, 09:55:22 pm »
any insights into why the game refuses to work in VGA mode?

Sorry, not really my area. Not something I'd be able to explore, either, as I do not own a VGA box, and I'm not really a programmer.

If it's any consolation, "readability over a low quality video connection" was an important consideration in my font selection process. I don't know if L.O.L. is RGB compatible or not, but the text should look ok over composite or s-video.