Sorry for the long silence. We wanted to have a release to post about, so we put off posting, and we still didn't have a release ready, and it'd been months and we were embarrassed it'd been so long... and we still don't have a release to announce, but I'm finally biting the bullet and posting about what's up. I hate giving bad news :( but here goes.
For a while there, we were deliberately staying quiet to let Mangagamer do their releases and make some money, figuring that people could at least get their version to read the story without having to wait on us.
Yes, we know that they changed some of the music and sounds, and left out the music box & mini-games. Honestly? We don't blame them. From what I saw of the hoops pbsaffran (the French Higurashi translator) has had to jump through in order to get permission to release with the original music and sound effects -- and he couldn't even get all of them, in the end -- music licensing is a serious pain in the ass. Let this be a lesson: composeth thy own music (or commission someone to do it) unless thou enjoyeth legal torture (and prepareth for it even so).
As for the mini-games: several of them used graphic elements from other companies, like Key/VisualArt's and Atlus. This isn't a problem for doujin releases, like the original Higurashi, but can be a serious issue for commercial release. (Even the French release had to leave out the mini-games in question.) What with that and (most likely) problems with porting the games from NScripter to BGI, and the fact that the mini-games are, well, pretty silly ^^; it makes perfect sense for Mangagamer to leave them out.
...Hey, you know what? We don't have enough ready for a Watanagashi release, but we could do a patch for just the mini-games. There's minimal text, and some image edits... I think we can get that done by the end of the year.
Okay, getting back to our current status:
- We are still working on the patches.
- We are not dead; we're getting better.
- Shion is reading ahead to make sure we present information properly for the overarching mystery.
- We do not plan to make further Watanagashi releases until Shion has translated (in at least a first-pass) all four Higurashi stories, and preferably had a chance to read through all of Kai.
- Shion has been busy with a full-time science research fellowship that is about to end.
- Maintaining onscripter-en is a lot of fun ^^; and provides something to put on a software-developer résumé.
- Shion is moving in with me at the end of the month, and we're both looking for work... but we plan to spend time on higu as well.
- Happy Holidays!