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[Merged] PROTIP: Replace the "Player House" stretch goal with multi-language support


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The problem is that more often then not you can keep the original meaning but it requires thinking. And it's not worth it for the money the translators get. But the modders are free to discuss whether the term "a" or "b" is more appropriate in the context "x" for ages. As for professionals: Maybe in France they're doing a good job, but in Central Europe the translations are usually a joke. Here even the movie titles are idiotic. For example the Terminator was translated to "a mechanical killer" and Dirty Dancing to "spinning sex"...But the worst of the worst is that in almost everything published here instead of "Millennium Falcon" we have "a thousand years old falcon".

Edited by buggeer
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In my mind, that depends more of the time allowed for the work than rather the money spend. For example Baldur's gate and Alpha Protocol french translations were good, but not the Dragon Age 2's translation (but this game was also dash in many ways, so bad translating is unsurprising).

If Obsidian give the text "not in urgency", a good job can be done.

Dark Goddess of the Obsidian Order.

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The problem is you need someone truly fluent in more than one language just to proofread the translations, let alone make them. They have to have a real 'feel' for the language that you can really only get from living in a counry where it is spoken for some years. It can be difficult to find someone like that. For Spanish it's pretty easy here in the US. In Florida and California you've got people habitually starting sentences in English and finishing them in Spanish. Something I always find funny and interesting, although I've talked to some native Spanish speakers who find it annoying. IIRC, when I lived in Montreal I noticed nearly the same thing for French (although perhaps not quite so frequently), which was even more amusing. Miami and Montreal are both superb locations to find truly excellent translators for those languages. To make matters worse you always get people who think they are fluent in their second language but really are not.

 

Nevertheless, for a text heavy game like this, translations seem like a must. So which langauges?

Countries with at least some international cRPG development: France, Poland, and Germany come to mind. The idea behind this is quid pro quo.

 

Countries with lots of native speakers: Spanish, Russian, and maybe Japanese and Chinese. I hesitate with Japanese because they seem so fond of their own jRPGs and with

Chinese because I'm not sure the average Chinese makes enough money to donate a significant amount. Not sure about this though. China changes so fast. Still, Japanese make a lot of money. It would be nice to get into that market and the Chinese market is obviously so gigantic it's almost beyond imagining.

Edited by metiman

JoshSawyer: Listening to feedback from the fans has helped us realize that people can be pretty polarized on what they want, even among a group of people ostensibly united by a love of the same games. For us, that means prioritizing options is important. If people don’t like a certain aspect of how skill checks are presented or how combat works, we should give them the ability to turn that off, resources permitting.

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german french and spanish (maybe russian) are a must

i tried to play NWN2 in english back when it was released and when my english did pretty much suck, that was not a great experience, i switched back the language immediately

this is not your one liner heavy FPS here - many people will need a translation if they are to enjoy the game with the amount of text it is going to have

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Honestly, multilanguage is a bit of discrimination thing. Which language should be included? French? German? What about Bulgarian? Whatever language you choose some will not get it.

 

So a big NO to multilanguage! That's something the publishers in their respective countries will do. Obsidian cannot afford to translate the game into every language of the world where the game can be played.

 

So again, Obisidian is a game developer, translations should be done by national publishers.

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You miss the point. Through crowdfunding and digital distribution, Obsidian is going to self-publish the game.

 

It is also a reputational thing. Letting some local publishers do the translation increases the chance of crappy localisations. So the game might be good, but the localisation is crap. The results are low ratings, player complaints, fewer sales and bad reputation for the developer (not the publisher). That's what happens pretty permanently to small european developers, especially on the english-speaking markets. Gothic, Drakensang, The Black Mirror, all these games suffered from bad translations.

Edited by Avantenor
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Hello,

 

first of all why translating the game in multi-language if no one here or on kickstarter speaks anything else than english or understand it enough to make a pledge on the project ?

 

I'm not english myself and i'd really love to see the game in my language but how would i know the game should be in my language with websites all in english ? Would anyone not understaning english gonna pledge on this project if they can't even read it ?

 

I can make my way through many english games so i don't really care if the game is only gonna be english or french (i'm french), but i can understand that not translating it will close the door to many people who would love to play the game so i think translation is a must have to make everyone happy, but considering the project will be mostly funded by english reading peoples that must not be the first priority, far from it.

 

English and americans aren't the only people in the world of course but you guys can't deny that english is one of the most spoken language in the world so focusing on making the best game in english should be the priority and translating it afterward if the game works and is making profit would be the best course of action i think.

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Asking Obsidian to drop house feature just for translation is nothing short of being selfish.

 

I can understand if someone wants translation as some extra extended goal, but you don't ask them to take away features everyone else can use just so you can get your translation. That's a silly tip, not pro tip. :banghead:

Edited by Hornet85
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You miss the point. Through crowdfunding and digital distribution, Obsidian is going to self-publish the game.

 

It is also a reputational thing. Letting some local publishers do the translation increases the chance of crappy localisations. So the game might be good, but the localisation is crap. The results are low ratings, player complaints, fewer sales and bad reputation for the developer (not the publisher). That's what happens pretty permanently to small european developers, especially on the english-speaking markets. Gothic, Drakensang, The Black Mirror, all these games suffered from bad translations.

 

Nope, I get it they publish it digitally, at least now it seems so, but the box version? These are things for publishers in respective countries, which will surely be interested in it.

 

Also, translations are very costly. How much do think such translation costs? In my country it's about 5 euro a A4 page (1800 sings). This game will have thousands of pages, this included mechanics, movies and dialogues. Even if it is 1 thousand it would be 5000 euro, which is about 6500 $. It's half of the first goal, just for one language. So I say NO!

 

Furthermore, it would be a discrimination. Why should there be a French translation and not Polish? Why should be there German translation and not Czech? Why Greek and not Bulgarian? Why Russian and not Italian? Etc. Keep it English, let national publishers deal with the rest.

Edited by Qumi
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I'm German and I exclusively play video games in English. All in all, video game localisation is nothing but a hindrance imo. It costs money, splits up the community, causes communication problems, etc.

Plus, the localisation standards are extremely low atm. You can be happy if the voice actors bother to do a half-assed job. And it's obvious the people doing the localisation rarely care for what they're doing. The work they're doing comes nowhere near as close to the love for detail of the game's own developers. I can't blame them. If my job was to translate every piece of text in a video game I'd probably become a cynic in no time.

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So PE should be only done in chinese which is actually the most spoken language. Then we could get the yanks (because brazilians or canadians are also "american") cry because the game isn't released in their main language. :p

 

As mentioned, Obsidian publishes this. If the game is ever to be translated, the responsability falls upon them unless they reach some kind of agreement with a local distributor/publisher. There is a list of common lnaguages to which translate games and that list is good enough. It's obviously unfair for those who don't use any of those but it's not realistic to pretend to translate the game to any possible language! I demand basque translation now!!! :p (not really, castillian is good enough despite the fact that I'll play the game only in english) The unsupported languages? Fan translations. Which are not unheard of.

 

The only real point about translations (just texts, not voice overs), from my point of view, is "When" not "Will there be any?". Torchlight II is released soon and isn't translated but will support other languages after release. It's not the first game that does that. It won't be the last. Some people will pledge as long as Obsidian guarantees that there will be translation for their language, even if that means having to wait sometime after relase. (and just in case it needs mentioning: and that the translations are good!)

 

Also, mature content or not, not every potential player knows english or knows good enough english for a text heavy game like this. Giving them the chance to play the game in their own language is not a small thing in their case.

 

Plus it's also a matter of cultural respect but for many this point is irrelevant: If you already speak the "language of the gods" (english), why bother with other languages? :p

 

All this said by someone who "truly learned" english by reading D&D 3.0 books.

 

P.D. Use FX Interactive for distribution of boxed copies in Spain: fully translated (including voice overs), manuals, extra goodies, no real DRM and all of that for just 20€ on release!!!

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I do believe having the game localized will make the game more accessible to a wider audience and greatly enhance the playing experience of many people accross the globe. Most non-native speakers who are able to communicate in English will be able to play the game, sure, but they won't be able to fully grasp the narrative's nuances, they won't be able to fully appreciate its diversity and their experience will suffer because of that. Playing a game like this is all about immersing yourself, much like when reading a good book - you're not playing a game, you are a part of it. Indulge yourself, dive in as deep as you can and the satisfaction you'll get in the process of doing so will be orders of magnitude bigger than that of a simple completionist playthrough. That is impossible to do when your understing of the narrative is hindered.

 

Translating a (mostly) text based game is not an expensive matter and is done by a 3rd party, so it doesn't take away from development time. I work as a translator and I have come to loath most localizations I have come accross, but the games of old, at least in Polish, were translated beautifully. Ever for a rather fluent English speaker like myself, it made the game much more believable and way easier for me to lose myself in. Plus, like I mentioned in my thread, the Polish translation could end up costing nothing if a good deal with GOG.com would be made (resulting in the game being both translated and available on GOG.com (and a lot of people want that to happen anyway). Wider audience = more copies sold, it's as easy as that and since this is mostly a text-based game (and localization - a good one, at that - is relatively cheap) I really cannot imagine the costs outweighing the profits coming from bigger sales.

 

Basically, I'm all for having the game localized to a few languages (professionally!), because this is a valid business decission that will end up earning Obsidian money rather than costing anything. A win-win situation, both the developer and the players are happy.

Edited by True_Spike
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first of all why translating the game in multi-language if no one here or on kickstarter speaks anything else than english or understand it enough to make a pledge on the project ?

Understanding a website and reading Shakespeare isn't the same. One can do the first one without understanding all the details, but to enjoy the meaning of a text-based narrative without help of cinematics, icons and animations you need a little bit more understanding of a foreign language.

 

 

I can understand if someone wants translation as some extra extended goal, but you don't ask them to take away features everyone else can use just so you can get your translation. That's a silly tip, not pro tip. :banghead:

I think most people would be fine to have both, but at the moment having a "player house" is presented as being the biggest achievement. I think that's were the controversy is coming from. There are people thinking, that multilanguage is a basic feature that should be done first. Baldur's Gate 1, both Icewind Dales and Planescape: Torment worked without having a player house. It's a nice feature, but not essential, especially as the momentary stretch goal doesn't mean its gonna be be fleshed out like crossroad keep in NWN2. It's more of a simple quarter to store items and companions, maybe doing some crafting ('though afaik nothing has been said about about crafting up to now).

 

Nope, I get it they publish it digitally, at least now it seems so, but the box version? These are things for publishers in respective countries, which will surely be interested in it.

 

Also, translations are very costly. How much do think such translation costs? In my country it's about 5 euro a A4 page (1800 sings). This game will have thousands of pages, this included mechanics, movies and dialogues. Even if it is 1 thousand it would be 5000 euro, which is about 6500 $. It's half of the first goal, just for one language. So I say NO!

 

Furthermore, it would be a discrimination. Why should there be a French translation and not Polish? Why should be there German translation and not Czech? Why Greek and not Bulgarian? Why Russian and not Italian? Etc. Keep it English, let national publishers deal with the rest.

Following your argumentation one could can turn everything into discrimination, that's quite absurd. It's simply a business decision. EFIGS are the most common translations, there are large markets that are used to have translations and it worked out for developers and publishers for quite some time now. All Black Isle / Obsidian games have been translated at least to the EFIGS. Besides that the first stretch goal is 200.000 $ above the basic goal (and not 12.000 or 20.000 as implied by you), the stretch goals do not necessarily represent the costs that have to be spent for implementing the feature. True-Spike above posted in another topic a rough calculation of the costs for translating Planescape: Torment into Polish. It was about 25.000 $ and seemed reasonable to me. It's not that we are talking about voice overs, translating text only in comparison is quite cheap and broadens the audience. I can't speak for the eastern european market, but personally I would be okay if they get a localisation, too. That there will be a boxed version of the game for regular sale isn't granted, nor that there will be local publishers. That's little bit too vague.

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I do believe having the game localized will make the game more accessible to a wider audience and greatly enhance the playing experience of many people accross the globe. Most non-native speakers who are able to communicate in English will be able to play the game, sure, but they won't be able to fully grasp the narrative's nuances, they won't be able to fully appreciate its diversity and their experience will suffer because of that. Playing a game like this is all about immersing yourself, much like when reading a good book - you're not playing a game, you are a part of it. Indulge yourself, dive in as deep as you can and the satisfaction you'll get in the process of doing so will be orders of magnitude bigger than that of a simple completionist playthrough.

 

Translating a (mostly) text based game is not an expensive matter and is done by a 3rd party, so it doesn't take away from development time. I work as a translator and I have come to loath most localizations I have come accross, but the games of old, at least in Polish, were translated beautifully. Ever for a rather fluent English speaker like myself, it made the game much more believable and way easier for me to lose myself in. Plus, like I mentioned in my thread, the Polish translation could end up costing nothing if a good deal with GOG.com would be made (resulting in the game being both translated and available on GOG.com (and a lot of people want that to happen anyway). Wider audience = more copies sold, it's as easy as that and since this is mostly a text-based game (and localization - a good one, at that - is relatively cheap) I really cannot imagine the costs outweighing the profits coming from bigger sales.

 

Basically, I'm all for having the game localized to a few languages (professionally!), because this is a valid business decission that will end up earning Obsidian money rather than costing anything. A win-win situation, both the developer and the players are happy.

 

It's still a matter of contacting the local publishers and making a deal with them. And this also costs money. And really, they create a new world, new lore, etc. it will be a hell lot of text. I doubt they will have less than thousand pages. 5 euro (about 20 PLN) is rather cheap, if they make a cheaper deal with a translation company... well, that would be just abuse of the translators. I know that in a bulk it's cheaper, but the prices are usually about 7,5 euro (30 PLN) per A4 page in the case of normal translations. It wouldn't be cheap with the limited resources Obisidian has, namely us.

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Understanding a website and reading Shakespeare isn't the same. One can do the first one without understanding all the details, but to enjoy the meaning of a text-based narrative without help of cinematics, icons and animations you need a little bit more understanding of a foreign language.

 

This.

 

Many potentials backers haven't pledge already for this reason.

Edited by Lostbrain
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Dark Goddess of the Obsidian Order.

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first of all why translating the game in multi-language if no one here or on kickstarter speaks anything else than english or understand it enough to make a pledge on the project ?

Understanding a website and reading Shakespeare isn't the same. One can do the first one without understanding all the details, but to enjoy the meaning of a text-based narrative without help of cinematics, icons and animations you need a little bit more understanding of a foreign language.

 

 

I can understand if someone wants translation as some extra extended goal, but you don't ask them to take away features everyone else can use just so you can get your translation. That's a silly tip, not pro tip. :banghead:

I think most people would be fine to have both, but at the moment having a "player house" is presented as being the biggest achievement. I think that's were the controversy is coming from. There are people thinking, that multilanguage is a basic feature that should be done first. Baldur's Gate 1, both Icewind Dales and Planescape: Torment worked without having a player house. It's a nice feature, but not essential, especially as the momentary stretch goal doesn't mean its gonna be be fleshed out like crossroad keep in NWN2. It's more of a simple quarter to store items and companions, maybe doing some crafting ('though afaik nothing has been said about about crafting up to now).

 

Nope, I get it they publish it digitally, at least now it seems so, but the box version? These are things for publishers in respective countries, which will surely be interested in it.

 

Also, translations are very costly. How much do think such translation costs? In my country it's about 5 euro a A4 page (1800 sings). This game will have thousands of pages, this included mechanics, movies and dialogues. Even if it is 1 thousand it would be 5000 euro, which is about 6500 $. It's half of the first goal, just for one language. So I say NO!

 

Furthermore, it would be a discrimination. Why should there be a French translation and not Polish? Why should be there German translation and not Czech? Why Greek and not Bulgarian? Why Russian and not Italian? Etc. Keep it English, let national publishers deal with the rest.

Following your argumentation one could can turn everything into discrimination, that's quite absurd. It's simply a business decision. EFIGS are the most common translations, there are large markets that are used to have translations and it worked out for developers and publishers for quite some time now. All Black Isle / Obsidian games have been translated at least to the EFIGS. Besides that the first stretch goal is 200.000 $ above the basic goal (and not 12.000 or 20.000 as implied by you), the stretch goals do not necessarily represent the costs that have to be spent for implementing the feature. True-Spike above posted in another topic a rough calculation of the costs for translating Planescape: Torment into Polish. It was about 25.000 $ and seemed reasonable to me. It's not that we are talking about voice overs, translating text only in comparison is quite cheap and broadens the audience. I can't speak for the eastern european market, but personally I would be okay if they get a localisation, too. That there will be a boxed version of the game for regular sale isn't granted, nor that there will be local publishers. That's little bit too vague.

 

Although it might not be that costy, I still prefer more content than additional languages.

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@Qumi: Because you really think Obsidian will allways make new stuff as the funding increase ? No, they have already a plan (who can change a little, sure) about what they want to do, the size of the game. I think that with the 2,2 million goal, the game is "whole".

After, it's time for other feature, like translation, toolset, etc...

 

Look at the Dead State exemple : last stretch goal was about a DLC, not the game!

Edited by Lostbrain

Dark Goddess of the Obsidian Order.

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Making a game based on "the emotional writing and mature thematic exploration" and not considering a translation is kind of weird and a non-sense for me....

 

Ok English is spoken by lots of people but hey c'mon, French isn't spoken just in France (the same for Spanish, etc.). Not considering a translation is like cutting a part of the audience (in Europe) and at the same time for players which English isn't a native language and who are going to play the game they won't experienced the game as aimed because of playing with a dictionary next to the computer.

 

Wkipedia :

French is spoken by 200 M people in the world

Spanish by 400 M

German by 100 M

 

(now compare with Linux players....)

 

Moreover, i think announcing a translation (just text is enough) should help raising more funds - i personnaly hesitate before giving 25$ as French is my native language (and cross my fingers for a Translation)

 

Greetings from France (French people mostly understand basic English, but lot's of them are not enough confident with it to play a game in English - just imagine an RPG....)

Edited by Spartiate
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Most non-native speakers who are able to communicate in English will be able to play the game, sure, but they won't be able to fully grasp the narrative's nuances, they won't be able to fully appreciate its diversity and their experience will suffer because of that.

If you're playing a localised version of a game your experience will suffer either way. Every localisation I've ever come across is inferior to the original product. Many of those narrative nuances get lost along the way because the translators couldn't fully grasp the narrative themselves or simply didn't bother to. After all, they have to rewrite a ridiculous amount of text - they simply don't have the time to ponder on every word's exact meaning.

 

Edit:

Greetings from France (French people mostly understand basic English, but lot's of them are not enough confident with it to play a game in English - just imagine an RPG....)

From my experience, the problem is that most people don't even attempt to play a game in English - after all, why play a game in English if you can play it in your own language? Why leave the comfort zone you've grown accustomed to?

I'm confident once people find out about this game they'll play it no matter the language. No true fan of Obsidian and the IE games would pass this game up.

Edited by Astanas
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