I’m not sure whether I’ve already said it or not, but recently I’ve started working on another minor project. Pixelated, and yet quite pleasant roguelike, which may entertain you for few hours: this is the Vintage Year, created by Nooner Bear Studio.
I’ve stumbled upon the game when I was scrolling through Steam Store, looking for something neat to kill time (not like I’ve got plenty of this, you know). I thought: well, that’s actually a nice looking game, I might give it a try. And so I started reading the description to know what is this all about. Then, I had noticed the multiple language support with no Polish language in it, thus a crazy idea came to my mind: let’s write to the dev! Of course, I wasn’t expecting anything, as it’s rather common to have larger teams actually working on a translation (or at least it is common when I’m looking for some projects to work on and can’t find anything, because people are being annoyingly productive and do not waste their time). To my surprise, few days later I recieved a reply; a positive one. I was pleased beyond words, since I hadn’t work on anything for such a long time. Unfortunately, things got a little complicated pretty soon. The developer had told me there might be a problem with implementing Polish letters. Polish alphabet uses few special diacritics, so another font had to be loaded at the start of the game. That would slow the performance for everyone, whether they would be using this language version or not. A possible sollution to this was supposed to be just dropping all diacritics and using normal letters. My sense of aesthetics would be hurt badly, however some sacrifices had to be made. Luckily, the dev finally came up with a fix (unfortunately, I cannot explain what was it and how it worked, because I’m not a coder) that allowed him to implement Polish alphabet without worsening performance. When everything was set up and ready, I could finally get to work.
Normally, the devs would send me an email containing a text file with all strings I needed to translate; here, however, things were a little different. All the lines were uploaded to Collabedit, an online text editor, so all the progress I’m making is being automatically uploaded to the website. The author is able to check the status of the work whenever he pleases to do so. In a field at the right side of the screen, there is a chat that, as I believe, might get useful when working in a larger group, allowing all participants to exchange their ideas and solve problems together. Besides that, there is also an option to check the history of modifications applied to the file, thus if you made a mistake or just want to proofread, you just need to click on it and scroll through past versions. We can even download it as a document and work on it without an Internet access, although later on you cannot upload it (or at least I’m that blind and could not see such option); you need to either place manually each change made to the text, or just send it to the dev, since you’ve got a file with translation done anyway. But enough talking about technical aspects; let’s move on to the actual translating, shall we?
How is Vintage Year in terms of translating? Rather fine, though there are some things unclear, out of context, which makes it slightly tedious (I really don’t like being a nuisance and asking the dev for explanation each time sounds like one). Nonetheless, I’m rather pleased with the “difficulty level” of the text, owing to its rather uncomplicated vocabulary. If you spent some time with computer games you shouldn’t have problem with it (Rifle; Shotgun; High Score…). The only thing that will require me to focus and think through will be that specific lines of code called “\n”, symbolising a line break. The problem being is that the length of English sentence differs from Polish one, hence it’s hard to estimate where should I put words, how should I divide it. I will definitely have to check it in game and then make some modifications when needed. Another thing that concerns me is an action key. That is, sometimes you can see “Press [E] to X” (with “E” being in brackets and meaning an action key and X being a certain action, i.e. picking up a loot, searching through cabinets, etc.) and yet sometimes brackets are not present, making “Press E to X”. The dev told me that it’s mostly aesthetics. Does it mean that I should systematise it or just leave it be, as there might be some coding relations or something in that way? Probably I’m just going to have to see it in game and make some adjustments. Up to then, I have still much work to do. If I were to estimate the progress, I would say that the translation is done in approximately 40%. All is left is: taking care of dialogues, finishing Menu and then translating all these awful Items and Skills.
Because of the examination period I’m having right now, I won’t be able to focus on translating as much as I wished for about 2 weeks. I can only hope I’ll manage to finish it by the end of January/the beginning of February. The sooner I end working on it, the sooner people will be able to play with Polish language version. And that’s why it’s worth it!