Alka Translations Monthly Status Report: February 2021

Hello, one and all! Translator the Saitou here, come to deliver your monthly status report!

First things first, the progress! Real life continues to be a bugger, but we’ve been making good headway on RB nonetheless! We’re officially past the halfway point of smoothing out the old, original Summer Pockets content, for one thing—Kamome and Alka are currently on the table, and while there’ll still be a good bit of work left to go once they’re done, it finally feels like the end is in sight. Fun fact: there are 107 files remaining in the ‘to touch up’ folder of our project Git, which sounds like a lot until you realize that there are 309 files in the ‘complete’ folder. We’re getting there!

Testing continues to go along smoothly as well! The majority of the RB routes have been tested, and headway has even been made on Shimapong, which is an absolute monster of non-euclidian non-logic and nightmarish script dependencies. Your fun fact for this section is that there was an entire block of dialogue within the Shimapong script file that I totally failed to translate because it was located in a section of the file that literally every single other script file in the game devotes exclusively to system text. Siglus scripts are, to put it charitably, less than perfectly readable even on a good day, but Shimapong is almost on an Angel Beats level of convolution. I kind of love it, and that definitely says something about me I’d be better off not knowing.

That’s about all there is to report on the progress side of things! Steady work isn’t exactly the most exciting thing to write about, I’m afraid, but once the TL smoothing is over we’ll be moving into the more technical and detail-oriented side of finishing the project up, so you can look forward to some more in-depth tidbits that we haven’t already addressed in excruciating detail.

One last note before I leave you for the month that actually is exciting, albeit not in a good way: you may have noticed that the incredibly obnoxious search engine redirect this site’s suffering from is still a thing! Because it is, and while we’re absolutely sick of it it’s been proving incredibly difficult to track down. We’ll likely be trying some more extreme measures to deal with it once and for all at some point during the next month, and it’s possible the website might go offline at some point over the course of that. We just wanted to warn you in advance that if the site’s down, it’s not because we’ve absconded into the night, never to be seen or heard from again. We’ll give a shoutout on Twitter before we do anything drastic, in any case, and until we resolve this nonsense you can continue to access the site via direct links and avoid the problem entirely.

That’s about all there is to talk about this month… Except, of course, for my now traditional I-don’t-have-time-to-work-on-Kud-right-now-but-I-sure-can-still-talk-about-it corner! This month’s tidbit: Kud Wafter was made using the Reallive engine, which is notoriously obnoxious to work with from a fan translator’s perspective. In spite of that fact, once the scripts were actually extracted they proved to be an absolute joy to work with in comparison to Siglus scripts. I’m talking one script line per dialogue line, actually useful line numbers, zero random blank spaces and not a single character of system text to be seen. It’s just great. Granted, that greatness is built upon the backs of who knows how many hackers who went through trials I don’t even want to imagine to get me those perfectly readable scripts, but I don’t know nearly enough about engine hacking to appreciate the depths of their suffering and as such am capable of ignoring it. Ha hah!

Hope the winter’s treating you well (assuming you live on the half of the planet where that makes sense in January), and see you in March!

8 thoughts on “Alka Translations Monthly Status Report: February 2021

  1. Werto says:

    Nice to hear about the steady progress. But i have been wondering something on my mind for when the translation is eventually done. Is it possible for you guys share a save data where all the text from the original is already read while everything fresh from RB is not? Been more than a year since i finished it and im solely interested on what is new, even the small interactions of the new characters inside the original routes. Since i don’t trust my memory to remeber everything from scratch and replay all, im curious if something like that is possible to be done.

    • Translator the Saitou says:

      I’m afraid that’s definitely beyond my tech skills, personally! I have absolutely no clue how the global save files work on a technical level, so selectively marking certain lines as read or unread’s completely beyond me. The best we could do is sharing a save file with the old routes cleared, and there’d be no way to avoid getting the new stuff within them marked as read.

      For what it’s worth, having gone through Ao and Shiroha personally, [Edit: whoops I guess spoiler tags don’t work in this comment section!] tl;dr there’s some nifty new stuff but not necessarily the sort of stuff you’re describing. I think they’re at least worth skimming through, and for what it’s worth I enjoyed Shiroha’s route a lot more on a second readthrough, but you won’t be missing game-changing plot revelations if you breeze over them. Can’t speak for Tsumugi or Kamome, of course!

    • Wisel8 says:

      As someone who played both games in Japanese and experimented around with trying to transfer saves between the two I will say that it’s not impossible to transfer progress from one to the other if you still have your OG Summer Pockets saves. The easiest solution to what you are talking about would probably involve finding the read text save that’s kept in your game folders (it determines what gets skipped and what doesn’t when using the skip read text function in game). If you copy that file and over it over it might let you skip only the text that is present in the original game but not the new text for the new game.

      But I have had issues where transferring save data between the two would either totally not work (with the game giving you an error message and not allowing you to play until you remove the old save files) so I can’t guarantee that will work properly. So another potential solution would be to just play the new game with skip all turned on, skip through all the text but stop whenever something you don’t recognize happens (like the newly added CGs or the new characters show up for example). Even if you accidentally overshoot the game has a fantastic move backwards option that would make it pretty easy to fix. Neither solution is perfect or super easy but if you REALLY don’t want to play through the whole first game’s content again then it’s probably your best bet. Sorry if that was really long!

    • Translator the Saitou says:

      Yeah, sorry, the plugin we were using to host those was disabled in the course of the trying-to-kill-that-redirect adventure and we haven’t put it back yet. We’ll see what we can do–hopefully we can get them up soon!

    • Translator the Saitou says:

      Update: took the (in retrospect incredibly obvious) step of just adding download links for the PDFs to the page, so side stories are back up!

  2. Jake says:

    I’ve played through Angel Beats with your translation patch and loved every second of it! Thanks for that! That aside, I wanted your opinion on something. I got Summer Pockets a while back yet have only started to read it recently. I’m really enjoying it so far! With that said, once I saw you were working on Reflection Blue, I found myself in a bit of an awkward situation. Considering the rate of progress for translation, do you think it’s worth finishing Summer Pockets now or waiting for Reflection Blue? Just asking since I want some breathing room between experiences!

    • Translator the Saitou says:

      Depends! All of the original Summer Pockets content is in Reflection Blue, so you wouldn’t miss anything by waiting and playing through it all in RB. That said, the original four routes only got a tiny bit of new content (new CGs for everyone except Ao, new music in all four routes, and some very minor text additions here and there) so you also wouldn’t be missing an exceptional amount by reading those now. I’d definitely recommend going through Alka/Pocket (the ‘true ending’ routes, if you will) in RB since there’s some pretty noteworthy stuff added into them, though I won’t elaborate here on what and where because spoilers.

      In terms of ‘will you have to wait an eternity for our RB patch’: probably not, but I can’t offer specifics! We have a policy at Alka of not setting release dates until the patch is, like, DONE-done, but as you can see from our progress page the finish line’s reasonably close in terms of translating, polishing and editing the text. Once that’s done there’ll just be a bit of miscellaneous work (subbing the op, etc.) and testing to be finished before release. My personal goal’s to finish polishing Alka/Pocket and take a chunk out of the remaining Other content from the original game by the end of this month, though life happens so no promises!

      Also, glad you enjoyed AB!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.