Alka Translations Monthly Status Report: November 2020

Hello once again! It is I, Translator the Saitou, and I come bearing Alka’s November update post!

…Which, to be brutally honest, would be really short if I only talked about what got done this month on the translation/editing side of things, because circumstances conspired to smack pretty much all of us in the face with the reality stick. Which is my awkward and unnecessarily roundabout way of saying that we all got really, really busy with Real Life stuff—work, school, existential dread, you know how it goes sometimes. Busy periods are by no means unprecedented for us, but October felt like it was conspiring to make sure we got as little work done on RB as possible.

Which is not to say we got nothing done at all! Editing on Umi’s route is just a couple files away from completion (as of this writing), and Shiki’s is off to a strong start as well. Our work on polishing the old routes was pretty stagnant throughout the early stages of the month (Log and I have had so little free time; send help) but I’ve scratched and crawled my way into a slightly less excruciatingly busy situation for the moment and am making solid progress through Ao’s route! Log’s just started on Kamome today, too — we’ll get there!

That just leaves me with the one part of team Alka that wasn’t either already done with their work or paralyzed by the clutching grasp of outside responsibility: the testers! And since they’ve actually been getting a ton of work done but their work is sort of invisible from your perspective, since it’s really hard to write up in a progress table, I thought I’d take this otherwise sparse update as a chance to talk a bit about how the testing process works for us.

To begin with, testing a game of the size and scope of Reflection Blue is, to say the least, non-trivial. In theory we update our internal tester patch each time editing on a route is finished and the testers go through them one by one, but in practice there’s so much branching and non-route content that you end up seeing in each playthrough that it’s all way too complicated to just report bugs and typos one by one with screenshots in a discord thread, or something. And if that sounds like an oddly specific example, that’s because it’s exactly how we used to do it until Smacko smacked some sense into the rest of us and set up a method that’s infinitely better: an error spreadsheet!

Probably easier to show than tell, in this case. Our error spreadsheet looks like this:

Look! My shame!

Pretty self explanatory, honestly! It’s a fantastic system and I really wish I’d thought of it myself. We have separate pages in the spreadsheet for each character/dedicated location/event (pictured is the Shimapong page, so hey, it’s kind of a sneak preview!).

Any time Team Test finds an error, stylistic inconsistency, bug, missing line, untranslated line, or any other variety of horrible mistake that’s usually my fault, they note it on the appropriate page and suggest how to fix it. This makes it super easy for Team Edit (or whoever’s free at the time) to search the script for the offending line and fix it right up!

Sounds pretty easy, right? Well, that’s where the size-and-scope-of-game problem comes in again, because there are in total 17 characters, locations, etc. that are distinct and important enough to merit their own page on the spreadsheet. It’s an absolute, preposterous boat-load of content to go through, especially when you’re actively bug hunting instead of just reading casually. Our testers are monsters and they deserve a ton of the credit for how polished RB’s gonna be by the time the patch is ready!

And, that’s about all that comes to mind for now! We’ll be grinding away at the new content editing/old content reworking/testing, and we’ll be sure to let you know when we hit any big progress milestones. October was rough, but we’re still going strong!

OH and of course it’s me writing this again, so I get to talk about Kud! Still super hyped to get back to it, but I already said that last time I wrote one of these updates, so this time I’ll share a disturbing fun fact about the game’s script: there are precisely 544 wafus in the All Ages version of the game, and 564 in the 18+. I assure you, dear readers, I fear those extra 20 wafus with all my heart and soul.

…Have some more screenshots!

10 thoughts on “Alka Translations Monthly Status Report: November 2020

  1. Googles says:

    Slow progress is still progress. Thank you for the hard work and good luck with your RL dealings. Looking forward to the finish product!

  2. Francis says:

    Quality is better than speed when it comes to High Quality Translations! Keep up the good work, Alka! Really excited yo read Kud Wafter!

  3. iza says:

    thanks for your works as always, anyway i wanna ask a few questions
    is the rb version really different comparing to the original one? i mean the old 4 routes as we know, are there any slight addition to that 4 routes or it just the same? knowing that rb is an upgrade version, i feel troubled to start and read the same route again but i also curious what the creators added to the game

    • Translator the Saitou says:

      The major additions to the original four routes are CGs! Everyone except Ao gets at least one new one. There are some very small changes to the original game’s script, but most of them are concentrated in the Alka route (which also gets new CGs).

  4. Spmario233 says:

    Although slow, but with the love of game in it, that’s the true meaning of fan-translation!
    Thanks for the AB1st translation, and looking forward to the RB!

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