Archive for April, 2015

The Legend of Operation Decoded

April 2, 2015

Today, I thought I’d like to give some insight on some aspects of this translation and a bit of history, because it all seems probably confusing to people who weren’t following us on GBATemp.  SuperSwordGaming asked us in the comments the other day who is actually leading this project, and we’ve had requests for a post about the group’s history before. I first started writing this as a comment to SSG, but it became long enough that it seemed like it should be a blog post. This also might clear things up those of you who are wondering why we’re not done yet, or “WHY IS THIS TAKING SO LONG?!”

The Legend of Operation Decoded

I started the translation project way back in November 2012. Back then, we had lots of different group members, some of whom, I regret to say it, were not trustworthy. One person in particular volunteered as a translator, but he kept using Google Translate, which made his contributions useless. A different person from that early group decided to leak the patch well before it was anything like ready for release, which resulted in the horrible, horrible patch that is still floating around in the internet today. While that patch is technically to our group, I assure you none of my translations are in it, and none of the current group members is associated in any way with it.

After this happened I was really disheartened, I trusted guys and they betrayed my trust. With no trustworthy translators besides myself, and editors who were leaking internal builds, I was unsure how to continue this project. Enter Onkeikun, a very nice and very skilled native Japanese speaker approached me on GBATemp; she shares credit for translation with me on this project. She did an awesome job of translation crucial things like the e-mails and other things, where a native speaker was very much needed. Together, we translated this whole huge game.

However, there were problems on the technical side. Roxas75, our programmer back then had trouble understanding the format. It involved a stupid textlimit, which I was sure was nonexistent, but which I couldn’t solve back then. I kept researching, and Roxas75 kept disappearing. This whole process dragged on for 6 months By the ends of that time, we still had no usable tools for inserting our translated text, and I was really unhappy with many of the translations we were making, as I had to cut many lines due to that “textlimit.” Meanwhile, I was so busy with university that I had barely time to translate and research the data format. I couldn’t do both at once, and we ended up losing an addition 3 months, meaning that for almost nine months, very little progress was made.

Finally, I made a breakthrough with the help of my friend of StorMyu. We got the main format of the text files basically lined out, but there was still a problem. We had no one who was able to implement our discovery, Roxas75 wasn’t up to the task. Several coders approached me, but none of them seemed to be able to solve the problem.

At that time, people were somewhat understandably pissed off. It seemed like we were dead; progress hadn’t been made for months, but please guys, I hope now you can see why. Since that leak, I had dismissed almost everyone from the original group because I didn’t feel like I could trust anyone, and I was unhappy with the quality of the translations that original group was creating. With no coder around, and no one who could truly deliver what I envisioned for this project, it seemed like this project was doomed to be canceled.

Fortunately, CompCom came along. He said he didn’t give a crap about the drama, and really only wants us to continue. He fixed the problem that Roxas hadn’t been able to solve in 6 months in 6 minutes. Literally.

The project seemed back on track, but I am not a native speaker, and we had basically no team. I didn’t want to repeat the same mistakes that happened the first time. I was determined to choose members were carefully this time. Enters Sporky. Sporky’s way of expressing himself really caught my eye, and he said that he had some Japanese skills, which were helpful for Translation checking. He volunteered as an editor, and I really liked what he delivered; plus, he seemed like a really nice guy. We bonded over lots of things, he has a knack for organization which I simply don’t. At some point Sporky asked if I’d mind him co-leading the team. I said I essentially regarded him as Co-Leader already by that point. Because I was so busy, he often acted as the spokesman for the group. Now we were CompCom, StorMyu, Sporky and I. StorMyu said that he had some editor friends that would like to help.

That’s how Kalker became part of the group. Sporky and Kalker had worked together on the, sadly canceled, SAO: Infinity Moment translation project. So Sporky and Kalker became permanent main editors, with Sporky eventually starting to write Progress Reports to you guys. That’s when the project really started to make progress again. We tried out some other Editors, but none of them ended up sticking around for long. We were fine with that,what he had a group that worked, and it still does.

All in all we now have a group of 3-5 people, on good days. Despite delays, we’re nearly done, and all the main members of our group plan on continuing on to work on Decode. There’s more to it, but that may be a story for another time. I’m sorry this ended up running so long, but we’ve had a number of requests for a post like this.

PS: As Sporky has mentioned in the comments section of the last post, I am working with a good friend of mine on a Digimon World 1 hacking project. If you guys are interested in seeing how that goes, what kind of progress we make, please write that in the comment section below, and if there is enough interest, I might post stuff about that too.

Thanks for reading, everyone.

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