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Moxar

Xenonauts languages

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Hi,

I was wondering... Would it be possible for you (the dev's team) or us (alpha testers) to set a locale traduction of the different strings ? May be I'm bashing an opened door, but I believe that this game would be even greater if any player could use his mothertalk.

I know it's quite a huge work, and I believe you don't have money to spend on it. Though, we fans might be able to do this job for you. I believe that every players here do understand English even if they (like me) do not feel well writing it. This is why we can all give a hand to set some versions, in our mothertalks.

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I'm pretty sure Chris has said German and French are definite possibilities.

If you want to create a language mod for the game and do the translations yourself, you can just dive into the xml files.

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It's always good to see people willing to give their time to help out, but there is something that you must consider. When the game is released if your translation of the language made it into the game, the first good or bad impression players from your country would have about the game would be how well the game is translated into their language. An incorrectly translated game may never be accepted, even if everything else about it is awesome. Consider that english phrases do not always translate well, like the story about "Pepsi brings your ancestors back from the dead" or the literal translation of Coca-Cola's name into chinese meaning "bite the wax tadpole". There is an awful lot of work that goes into successfully translating and localising a game. For example: You'd need to get other people who speak your language and english to read your translation and the original document, and tell you if it makes sense to them. Then you'd have to get people who speak your language and little to no english and get them to read your translation, and tell you what sense they make from it. And you'd have to do that for every bit of text that you translated. Including the little bits of text for buttons and so-on. Then, if your language requires characters that are not in the standard english alphabet, those characters have to be added. Etc. Etc.

Here are some links that will help (they are all in english, sorry)

A general overview of the localisation process (but for BIG companies)

Another step-by-step rundown of the localisation process (again, this presumes a bigger company than Goldhawk!)

Why translation should only be done when the final files are ready.

Key points for a professional translation

This is more for the person writing the original document to be translated, but it helps to understand what the translator is required to do

Seriously, translation and localisation for a professional piece of software can be quite difficult, which is why it's so often tendered out to people who do this sort of thing for a living. But don't let the hurdles stop you from helping out. If you feel you can do it, then do it!

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I agree with you about both difficulty to translate well and to have a good translation to keep the "feeling" of the game. In Fance, we have a proverb about translations: they're like women, the more they are beautiful are the more they are unfaithful.

I am quite use to do this kind of stuff, because of my studies, which is why I proposed to help, but not as a full time job. However, if we manage to gather more volonteer, we can seriously give a hand to the dev's team.

Last but not least, I do prefere the goldhawk Team to spend money on coding a nice game than on it's translation.

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I totally agree with Moxar, it would be nice to release some "translated mods" easy to find for the community. I personnaly am more enclined to think that this job should be done by the community, and maybe the best could be supported by golden hawks ? Maybe something like : Golden Hawks recommand you to use this one (seriousness, reliability) but is not responsible for its use/interpretation...

Edited by reluxor

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My home country, I have to say with rather ambivalent emotions, is Russia.

I have decent amount of experience of interpreting and translating, however, and I've long waited for a chance to actually translate or help localize a game.

Which is why I offer my services pro bono publico when the game reaches beta stage and most texts are ready. I could even scrounge together a small group of translators of similar skill and literary knowledge to accomplish this.

I post this now as I do not believe in the possibility of true localization without developer support.

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Strings.xml contains pretty much all the text strings in the game, aside from research descriptions (xenopedia.xml). Localisation should be fairly possible, but we'll see - it's not our highest priority right now as we've not finished the English version of the game.

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"We haven't even finished the English version yet, and you want it in <insert language here>?"

That just sounds hilarious, I dunno why. It's a true enough statement, though. I know I'd have fun trying to interpret everything in French or German (it'd help me learn them faster, that'd be a bonus) playing through the game.

And good for you, Safaquel, for offering your translation powers. Russian (assumption) would be a great addition to the game, for obvious reasons, seeing as the USSR is one of the main supporters of the Xenonauts. (I like how the nations of the world work together in the game, setting aside differences and such. It's kind of nice. But that's not relevant to this post.)

(Last thought)

Learning a bit of Latin is worth the few moments when people say phrases in Latin and you actually understand them. It's awesome!

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I understand that true localization isn't the highest priority in alpha, there's just this:

a proper localization and in some cases even a proper translation into russian involves some amount of programming. Our language has a number of cases that do not fit, for example, the pattern of english plurals, or even german ones. So for some cases there might be an actual need for multiple strings for multiple cases for the text to be gramatically correct.

And of course cyrillic fonts have to be properly supported by the game.

Apart from that, if the strings are accessible, perhaps whatever research project descriptions are ready can be translated. I could also probably fix some typos in the english version while I'm at it.

And yeah, lingua latina non you know what est.

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I support adding the cyrillic fonts and such. It would allow all translations of the game to benefit, as more correct spellings of names can be used for soldiers.

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I remember working with the language system in EU 2012. It was rather horrible. Let me just give an example... Technical game text files use Unicode UTF-16 just so they can show a few foreign version voices (which have nothing to do with the INT version!) with diacritic marks. At the same time, soldier names and nicknames all use ASCII, and as such are shown incorrectly and can't even be set right. Without a few changes that is.

Please, if you have a choice, use UTF-8 encoding for all text files. It's not going to screw up when edited in 99% of text editors, it's not going to screw up OS versions set for different locales, and it's going to provide the option for easy translation into any language. UTF-16 is a splitting headache, code pages are stone tablets.

I'm pretty sure that community-translation would be the option to go for here. Professional localization can get expensive, and it's only really needed if you are selling boxed versions with an official release date. For fairness' sake perhaps give out some rewards (along the lines of Kickstarter tiers) to the people who successfully do it, then post links to their sites and stable versions for upload on the web.

Plurals can be difficult though. It may not be reasonably possible to do them right for every language. Separate entries for singular and plural are a given, but more is hardly doable. Best option is probably to try and use plurals with variables in nominative case only. For instance, "Medkits: 32" rather than "32 medkits".

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I'm pretty sure that community-translation would be the option to go for here. Professional localization can get expensive, and it's only really needed if you are selling boxed versions with an official release date. For fairness' sake perhaps give out some rewards (along the lines of Kickstarter tiers) to the people who successfully do it, then post links to their sites and stable versions for upload on the web.

Plurals can be difficult though. It may not be reasonably possible to do them right for every language. Separate entries for singular and plural are a given, but more is hardly doable. Best option is probably to try and use plurals with variables in nominative case only. For instance, "Medkits: 32" rather than "32 medkits".

Re point 1: It is fairly difficult to assess the quality of translation into a language the devteam is not familiar with at all, so the question of rewards is more of a moot point.

Re point 2: DO NOT DO THAT.

1st and foremost, programming the right plurals and cases is entirely possible but takes additional effort and coordination between programmers and translating teams. In russian it is fairly easy but I will have to play through the game once to assess all the context and tricky places where some changes are necessary, as set in the examples of medkits.

Also I feel I should dissuade you of thinking of changes to descriptions in the manner you suggest in order to simplify translation. This is simplification through a process very similar to butchery, but in design context. You will strip the game of something strong and beautiful for no real reason.

If that's the cost of a translation into a different language, I don't want it.

P.S. I've seen games translated like that, most notably Heroes III, which had undergone at least 3 translations in Russian, and it didn't make things better to any degree at all. So all in all doing what you describe would be a bad designer choice.

Edited by Safaquel

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I'm not sure Cyrillic fonts will be supported by Xenonauts. Not because we don't want to, but because the developer has taken the engine and all the associated tools offline and it turns out the font importer isn't packaged with the installer (which we backed up).

So we can't add any more fonts to the game, Cyrillic or otherwise (or even edit the existing ones). Which is a shame.

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I'm not sure Cyrillic fonts will be supported by Xenonauts. Not because we don't want to, but because the developer has taken the engine and all the associated tools offline and it turns out the font importer isn't packaged with the installer (which we backed up).

So we can't add any more fonts to the game, Cyrillic or otherwise (or even edit the existing ones). Which is a shame.

Which automatically means no real localization and no russian/greek translation. You floored me with this one.

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is there any eta now for the a multilanguage build?

maybe a beta build?

i ask because in some other games the (german) translation was not tested for release and was horrible.

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It works. Kind of.

ss.JPG

Hiccups and freezes on the letter "ё", which is not that important. Glyph doubling is far worse, especially if this is because of tool error and not a font glitch.

Gonna perform some autopsy on the mvec file, since i've got my hands on the format specifications.

ss.JPG

ss.JPG.215770e0bc9318d72cd950b4e428799d.

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Yes, that's the one. Thanks. Where did you get that from? You're really earning your forum kudos today.

This might let us correct the fact that there's no special characters like . , : $ etc in the Xenonauts font so it uses Arial instead, which are the wrong size.

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Glad to help. Personally i have nothing against the english interface, but there are many people i know who would really appreciate cyrillic support. X-COM was pretty popular in Russia thanks to the certain rogue hacker-translator, so naturally people are interested in Xenonauts too.

Where did you get that from?

̶S̶e̶v̶e̶r̶a̶l̶ ̶h̶o̶u̶r̶s̶ ̶o̶f̶ ̶g̶o̶o̶g̶l̶i̶n̶g̶,̶ ̶e̶-̶m̶a̶i̶l̶s̶ ̶a̶n̶d̶ ̶c̶h̶i̶n̶e̶s̶e̶ ̶c̶a̶p̶t̶c̶h̶a̶

You don't want to know.

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My worst fears are confirmed, and it looks like the tool is bugged.

Basically, MVEC font consists of glyph table and array of vector drawing commands for each of the glyphs.

I wrote a quick and dirty parser according to the file format specifications:

[ATTACH=CONFIG]1956[/ATTACH]

As you can see, different glyphs obtain same set of the vector commands, so different symbols look like the same in-game.

I would be grateful if somebody can confirm or disprove this with the cyrillic sets.

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That attachment doesn't work. Doesn't sound good though.

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image_5148116889edd_small.jpg

Facts:

- Converter makes bugged fonts, writing same info for several cyrillic characters and sometimes symbols, making them look like the same. If you'd want to use it for adding special symbols - check the font after the import.

- Correct information is missing completely, and therefore file can't be patched.

- The only tool left that allows for relialbe font conversion is swf2mvec. It works through ttf -> swf -> mvec sequence, but it works.

- I've yet to find it. It should be in /bin folder of the playground SDK, but i can't still find the installer.

- ttf and mvec file specs are available, so if there is no choice left, converter can be rewritten from the scratch.

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Not ideal. The swf2mvec tool never existed in the time we were using Playground, I assume it was the precursor to Playmate.

Even if someone was to write a tool to create mvec fonts from scratch, we've got to consider how the Xenonauts font will support special characters given it is in all capitals. Is that going to be an issue? I guess just having Cyrillic support for standard text (like in the Xenopedia) would be a huge boost though.

Finally - a333, you appear to know what you're doing with fonts. Can you add a few basic symbols like $ : ; ' " etc to the Xenonauts font for me? I tried once but the program I was using kept screwing up the relative heights of the letters for some reason. If you know how to do it relatively easily, it'd be of great help to us.

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