Sunday, June 1, 2008

Translation Notes Poll Results

The votes are in, the polls are closed, and we have the final tally for "How shall we provide translation notes?":

  1. A text file in the patch - 69 votes (46%)
  2. "Tooltips" within the game - 65 votes (43%)
  3. No need! The story is understandable (blah blah blah) - 17 votes (11%)
  4. Extra "scenario", like TIPS - 13 votes (8%)
Total - 148 votes

Thanks to everyone for voting and commenting during this poll! We learned a lot about what our readers would like in a game translation. We've decided to provide a text file with translation notes at the next opportunity or release.

However, we're not about to discard the other favorite, "tooltips". Although we do try to provide some context in the text for Japanese words that are common or important to a scene, like "ohagi" or "Echigoya", at other times a Japanese word is just part of the background of a scene, like "oden" and "nori". Adding explanations and definitions for these words would just distract readers from the main story, and I don't see Keiichi taking the time to describe what already seems "obvious" to him.

However, such unfamiliar words are already distracting - you're forced to stop for a moment and think, "what does that mean?" At times like these, it would certainly be helpful to have the unfamiliar word or phrase act as a link to a pop-up with some explanation of its meaning; meanwhile, the words shouldn't "stand out" too much to readers who already understand them.

It will take a little more work and a lot more script recoding, but I think we can provide "hyperlink" notes that readers can access during the game itself. Since this will take some extra effort, we plan to wait until Onikakushi is complete before adding this feature.

How does that sound? Let us know what you think!