2) The integration script currently understands \ and | characters, which force a newline, and a new paragraph (textbox), respectively. It also accepts _ (underscores) for forced literal spaces (like if you want a lot of leading spaces to center some text), otherwise it generally compacts multiple subsequent spaces down to 1. These are meant for stylistic line breaks, so I don't expect you'll actually need many.
If some text is formatting unexpectedly, like a new speaker not getting a new textbox, that's a bug in the integration script (probably) that should get resolved (I just need to know about it to be able to resolve it). In general, it's on me to work out remaining kinks that prevent the integration script from matching the Google Docs text, since Google Docs, with the monospaced cells and intentional cell width, should be counting characters accurately and so matching it should be both possible and reasonable.
Player names won't be a problem (as long as the SAP text has them padded to 6 characters). All newlines in the SAP game data are explicit, none occur due to character overflow for a line (unlike vanilla). Described another way, in SAP I disable word wrap (which vanilla used to save a few dozen bytes) and every line requires an intentional newline character; the integration script counts characters and places these explicit newlines.
I haven't inspected the issue that got you stuck, but based on where you described it happening, I'd expect it's the combination of incomplete text choice parsing plus a rather complex event chain. Getting the text choices formatted and parse-able (and the integration script updated to not try and skip the currently un-parse-able choices) will hopefully resolve it, but I'll also check it out specifically.
3) Again, word wrap is currently off, so if combined with a VWF as-is, you'd have the same linebreaks and textboxes, you'd just have a fair bit more empty space on the right in every textbox. Obviously this isn't the visually desired result, and wastes part of the purpose of a VWF, but ellipses would still end and begin textboxes. A visual example:
Just yesterday, one of our
...saw a white dragon and a
giant snake fighting in the
Just yesterday, one of our
...saw a white dragon and a
giant snake fighting in the
The line breaks occur at the same spots, the VWF text is just scrunched to the left. In this specific example, I'm not sure anything would even be changed unless a drastically narrower font is used for the VWF.
It will take a fairly different parsing scheme (counting pixels instead of characters) or tons of manual human labor (disable the integration script placing newlines and having them all hand-placed) AND a re-write to move ellipses to make good use of a VWF.
I still don't have any options for previewing VWF text layout either.
4) The naming is your call; I basically wouldn't revolt unless you picked something heinous. I'm honestly not sure my first reaction to "Reborn" is to think "Retranslation" but I don't dislike it.
5) Menus (like, character naming, stats screen, ACT, controller settings; any of the full screen menus with the scrolling tree background) actually use the same font as the rest of the game, just horizontally compressed (not technically, but the details don't matter) so they can fit twice as many characters, and without a black border (which is what makes them look so different). Like the rest of the game though, the text is monospaced, tile-aligned, and even the VWF Edition patch doesn't make the menus VWF-capable.
I do agree that that's lower priority though.
Item and equipment names have some non-obvious length limits, above which they break various UIs in varying ways (the weapon upgrade when forging at Watts, for example). I don't remember them off the top of my head.
6) It took a moment to realize what you meant regarding a proposal. I had not, but I have now.
I'll read it and get back to you.
I've read it, see the edit at the end of this post.
7) The text "eats" a space when it wraps down a line, so while you get 28 characters per line, edge to edge, the space between line 1 and 2, and the space between line 2 and 3 are effectively free, yet still count for the used byte count (so 86 maximum, 28+1+28+1+28).
8) I restored chainsaw Kettle Kin; Timbo asked to use it in Relocalized (or I offered it? I don't remember anymore). Of course it can be in SAP too.
9) Some of the places it shows GP, 2 characters is the maximum barring significant reprogramming. A single letter (e.g. L) is the most reasonable replacement in my opinion; a custom glyph to act as a currency symbol isn't an impossible request, though if you do want to go that route I'd need to look over the font and actually set out a plan to make it work.
10) That was a good read and I really like what you ultimately decided. Not going with an all or nothing approach is probably my favorite way I've seen anyone answer that question.
To add to your anecdotes, the first time I played SoM, I named the sprite after my mom because he had a hairdo like she'd had when I was a kid (big and puffy, it was an unfortunate decade for style). I generally thought of him as a mischievous boy after having actually played through, though.
Regarding Phase 3 Proposals:
Module #1 - completely doable, and honestly should be quite easy... I'm having to restrain myself from just setting it up and instead using this time to finish the comparison screenshots -_-
Module #2 - more difficult than #1: I need to replace a door with an event trigger, and pick an event flag to keep track of the new event having been seen once; alternatively, if the normal event forces you outside (rather than you leaving yourself), it can simply be a continuation of the normal event which would avoid any of that
Module #3 - event-wise this isn't too tough, but adding the new NPC to that room may be difficult (it may not be, it depends on what is available to be relocated)
Module #4 - should be possible; the animations will probably just be a lot of trial and error
Module #5 - like #2, it depends on if you want the player to walk the characters outside to trigger this event, or if it can be part of the normal event and just forces the characters outside to show the new content
Module #6 - a lot of possible options; adding NPCs outright is tough, they pretty much always need to be stolen from some other map. Northtown outdoors is already at the NPC limit of 9, so if you wanted them outdoors, they'd have to replace existing NPCs. if indoors, what might make sense is for existing resistance members to say the new lines at certain points in the game, and then their normal lines at a different time. I'll talk about the door after this list
Module #7 - should be easy; hard part will be picking an event flag to keep track of if you've already seen the line
Module #8 - as mentioned before, chainsaw Kettle Kin was my doing, so can already consider this as done; it's worth noting that I'm 99% sure this wasn't some act of censorship, but part of the messy effort to make space in the ROM (and most, if not all, space-making efforts were actually unnecessary, but hindsight is 20/20)
The infamous door can be made usable, but understand that setting it up would be more work than all the other event requests listed above put together:
- reshaping the map so it's reachable
- replacing it with a door that has a trigger tile (it's currently no different than a wall)
- replacing the unwalkable floor to its right
- setting up door data
- wedging the new door into that map's trigger list
- fixing up the trigger list for another map that uses the same map piece
- picking an unused room (probably in one of the northtown interiors) to have the door send you to
- moving 1 or more NPCs to the new room
- modifying events to use the new text
All of the map editing steps listed there are extremely labor intensive. It's something I'm interested in trying to pull off, but this would definitely be the last of the proposed ideas I'd work on.
Here's a ZIP of all comparison screenshots for text you highlighted. These aren't sorted, stitched together, etc. they're just straight from the three variations. The Shade text is a slightly older version of his text.https://filebin.net/7spaiz2xfys6b2i1/SoM_SAP_Screenshots_Unsorted.zip