Hello hello! It’s time for the monthly update once again, and since I’m in charge this month it’s gonna be an unnecessarily long one! Let’s get to it!
First up’s Reflection Blue! There’s not all that much in the way of news that I can dig into on a technical level on that side of things since we’re still in the ‘plugging through the final stages of TL smoothing and minor side-content wrap-up’ stage of the project, but I’m personally very excited about the fact that Log has started work on Tsumugi’s route! That is, of course, the final segment of the game as far as TL smoothing goes, and once it’s done we’ll just have final testing left to go before the patch is ready for release. We’re getting there! So close!
Meanwhile, on the things-that-I-did-personally side of the spectrum, I’m very excited to report that Kud Wafter is officially in progress once again! The technical groundwork to get the All Ages scripts that I previously translated ported over to the 18+ version took a fair bit of doing, so I figured I might as well talk a little bit about that process here, in case anyone’s curious.
The first thing I should establish is that there are some major differences between the scripts of the 18+ and AA versions of the game. I’m not just talking about certain scenes that are obviously not present in the AA build, either—a surprising number of lines were added, altered, and cut for the AA version. No surprise, considering it took a solid three years to come out, but that fact posed challenges when it came to copying the translated lines over.
The big problem: the line numbers do actually matter for Kud’s scripts, and a single added or removed line early on in a file (which most files have) means that the AA and 18+ versions have totally different numbers assigned to their respective instances of each line. Not only would porting the scripts automatically require us to match up the AA lines with their 18+ equivalents, it would also require us to do so in a way that preserves the line numbers as they stand in the 18+ scripts. The alternative was to copy each line over by hand, but frankly I’m much too lazy for that.
Now, the programmers out there are probably thinking ‘well, that sounds easy enough,’ but I need you to appreciate the fact that I am a very, very bad programmer. Translating is my wheelhouse; figuring out the intricacies of comparing strings in Python is very much not. So, as usual, the process that I came up with ended up revolving around a hysterically jank block of code that required the scripts to be formatted just right, or else the whole thing would come collapsing down around me.
The good news: against all odds, it actually worked! As of now, the already translated AA lines have all been successfully ported over to the 18+ script. Even better, I worked out a thoroughly ridiculous series of Regex commands that automatically add hardcoded line breaks where they need to go, so the wordwrapping for this game is now 100% automated as well. I, err, would like to extend a formal apology to the editors who were manually adding those in before RB came out and we put this project on hiatus. I prooobably should’ve looked into doing this before they started. Whoops.
Aaanyway, I’m currently in the process of reading through the 18+ version, editing the already written lines as I go and making sure that everything ported over properly! I have yet to encounter any major issues, so it looks like my jumbled spaghetti code does the job as well as it can be expected to. I did have a massive heart attack moment when I thought I’d somehow accidentally glitched the game into skipping a full 500 lines of the first file, but after an extensive investigation (read: watching some Japanese let’s players play both versions) I determined that it is, in fact, supposed to do that. Keeping things vague in case people don’t want structural spoilers, it turns out that the differences between the 18+ and AA versions run a bit deeper than script tweaks—the actual structure of the game itself is altered pretty substantially, too. So that’s kinda cool, but boy, did it ever cause me to have a panic moment!
This seems like as good a time as any to remind everyone about how our Kud patch is going to work and lay out a rough roadmap for its completion. We’ll be releasing three versions of the patch in total: a basic translation patch for the AA version, a basic translation patch for the 18+ version, and a slightly weirder patch that will convert a copy of the 18+ version into the AA version. The logic behind that last patch is that while the 18+ version is readily available for purchase by legal means, both physically and digitally, the AA version never got a digital release on PC and is really hard to get your hands on physically. We’re well aware that some people would rather play the game without the 18+ scenes, and the bonus content added in the AA version is very good, so designing that third patch feels like it’s worth the effort!
(Personally speaking, I’m of the opinion that the AA version of the game is just straight up better than the 18+ version. I’ll translate both of ’em, don’t get me wrong, but I would highly encourage anyone who’s at all invested in the game to give the AA one a try! It’s worth it, I promise!)
As far as that roadmap I mentioned goes, the first step’s for me to continue reading through the partially translated 18+ version, verifying that the porting process was successful and polishing the script up. I should warn you that that’s probably going to take a good long while! Now that Log’s regained a semblance of stability, it’s apparently my turn to have some pretty major real-life nonsense come along to distract me. In complete honesty, it’s definitely going to disrupt my ability to progress through Kud at the rate I’d like to for an indefinite period of time. I’ll keep chipping away at it whenever I can squeeze the time in, though!
Once that port check/editing process is done, I’ll have two options: either go back and translate the 18+ scenes immediately, or keep working through the main story and wrap up the AA version beforehand. I haven’t decided which I’ll be going with, honestly, but I’m currently leaning towards wrapping up the AA version first, since that’ll enable our testers to get a jump on the game while I plunge myself into H-scene hell. No promises, though!
And, that’s about all I have to say! Thank you all for your patience, as always, and talk to you again next month!