Localization - a cause for rebellion

Discussion in 'Localization Archives' started by Duke Olahorand, Aug 4, 2016.

  1. Duke Olahorand

    Duke Olahorand Localization Team

    Messages:
    1,257
    Likes Received:
    2,448
    Trophy Points:
    125
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    North Germany
    Hail,
    the world of New Britannia is a world, in which widely the English language is spoken. Nonetheless there is a counted number of avatars doing their best, to give the inhabitants of New Britannia the necessary training to speak foreign languages as fluid as English, so that Avatars from other parts of the world can communicate with them and understand, what they say. Items and skills are being made more understandable for those avatars from all over the world, also the controls for the world.
    While we have done already a lot, the gods and rulers of the country seem currently to do their best, that this effort does not succeed. Even Arabella, the kings wife, does not bother to talk in the local language with new visitors, even if she clearly could.

    Sure, the slaves working on the training are far below the attention of the rulers. Getting jagged tools to mine the words or to control the outcome. Not talking, not answering questions, making the trained inhabitants forget what they have already learned, this became the style of communication and interaction since at least 8 Earth weeks. (And before it was not so much better.)

    This creates riot in the rows of the poor unrenumerated teacher slaves, some run already away, others are less and less engaged and motivated. So I raise the banner of rebellion now, before it is too late!

    I ask you Avatars in public or conspiration for ideas, how the rebellion for better internationality in New Britannia can succeed best.

    *Salute*
    Olahorand
    The Rebel Duke
     
  2. Earl Atogrim von Draken

    Earl Atogrim von Draken Avatar

    Messages:
    6,104
    Likes Received:
    11,629
    Trophy Points:
    165
    Gender:
    Male
    Well, i have to admit translating is a pain at the moment and has been for quite some time.
    I know Port had a lot to do with final whipe and stuff but i share the feeling of beeing ignored.
    So i am not very active with translating at the moment. Had a lot to do in RL (getting married e.g.^^) but i couldn't get myself on using my spare time to get angry about translations and the connected issues.
     
  3. enderandrew

    enderandrew Legend of the Hearth

    Messages:
    7,414
    Likes Received:
    15,821
    Trophy Points:
    165
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Omaha, NE
    Congrats on getting married!

    The English text in the game isn't even done and there is a lot of it. Localization is being crowd-sourced so it will take a while.
     
  4. Lum the Mad

    Lum the Mad Keeper of NPCs

    Messages:
    2,488
    Likes Received:
    12,987
    Trophy Points:
    190
    I'm sorry that you felt making this thread was necessary.

    The game is in active development and as scenes are worked on, yes, dialog that is already written is changed. This is unavoidable. This does result in localization work being overwritten, but we cannot just stop working on the game. Unfortunately the localization team is trying to work with a moving target. One of the examples you cite, Arabella's dialog in the initial scene, especially was greatly changed this release, at Richard Garriott's direction.

    We are also a very small team and our focus has to be, especially with the final wipe preparations that we just went through, in making it stable and playable for everyone. We have been doing a patch to live every single day this week and they have not been small patches.

    We try to support the localization team as much as possible but all of us also have to work on the rest of the game, as well.
     
  5. Kliirkast

    Kliirkast Localization Team

    Messages:
    336
    Likes Received:
    235
    Trophy Points:
    55
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Brussels, Belgium
    Thanks for showing some interest in our problems.

    We would feel much less frustrated if we had the feeling that at least someone listen to us.
    There is a large number of threads with questions/remarks from us that are left unanswered.
    Sometimes the very needed tools we use are not updated but after several days (conversations and localization validation errors files).
    Several remarks (especially about gender formatting and such) are ignored (to a point that I personally gave up asking).
    Some requests like a flag next to changed dialogs, or a validation date for translated strings are still... well, just requests. Even a simple answer like "sorry, not technically possible" or "Too much work needed to do this, we cannot spend 4 full days of a programmer at the moment because there are more urgent matters" would be less hurting than plain silence.
    The keywords strings are turning to a real nightmare, especially when such stupid and common triggers as "go" are used, or when in the same zone "job" and "work" are used as different keywords/triggers.
    My inability to answer specific questions to my team (because Portalarium did not answer mine questions) makes me very uneasy... and prolly looking incompetent too.

    And on top of it, the main tool (GetLoc) is not very good... and all my suggestions or questions to them GetLoc support are left unanswered. I gave up there too.

    We KNOW you're a small team and we KNOW that you've got your hands full, BUT if you want a polished translation sooner than circa May 2031, you have to help us a bit... (well maybe the german team will finish a bit sooner like November 2030.)

    Have a good day, nonetheless.
    Kliirkast.
     
  6. enderandrew

    enderandrew Legend of the Hearth

    Messages:
    7,414
    Likes Received:
    15,821
    Trophy Points:
    165
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Omaha, NE
    I don't have access to the localization sub-forums. I'm not sure what your tools look like, but if it would help to see my dialogue docs (for context or whatever) I'll happily share them with the translators.
     
  7. KuBaTRiZeS

    KuBaTRiZeS Avatar

    Messages:
    1,507
    Likes Received:
    3,400
    Trophy Points:
    125
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Spain
    And we translators of course appreciate what you've been doing for the game. I cannot imagine the amount of hard work you must have had to get the game to its current state in this little time, and since we are all enjoying it, i'm pretty sure we all translators acknowledge the efforts put by this team to make this game a success, and thank you for that! At the very least i know i do (Talking to you Lum i must say... The soltown quest about the fire... i cannot describe how authentic solving that felt! how adequate and in place. Please notify when more of those come online!).

    That being said, a good thing not always compensate a bad thing. And i can't help but agree with Olahorand that translation has been getting little to no love. Just The current state of the dialogue system generates problems in English that can be deemed as minor, but when translating generates errors that voids our work. Not sure how things work on the inside... but even so i'd dare to say that with little work, lots of problems could be improved. Sadly, not even that bit of attention has been given. So, in my case, that discouragement made the "i can't translate much because i'm busy" to slowly transform into "i'm busy so i can't translate". And that's where i am now :(

    So... to sum it up, I know you are busy creating a great game, and after all that's the main objective here. It's without a doubt a very valid reason to let localization fall in a secondary place. On the other side, I am a volunteer who basically works for motivation, and the current state of the translation tools make localization possible, but also difficult, which is quite discouraging. and on top of that, who can resist a good mob? :D i know i can't! *grabs a pitchfork and runs into the crowd*

    Thanks Enderandrew, but i think the issues are more technical related. Your work is very much appreciated as well! After talking to all (maybe most?) of the guards in Ardoris i'm pretty sure we'll need to reach out to you for context eventually :D But for now it's mob time!
     
  8. enderandrew

    enderandrew Legend of the Hearth

    Messages:
    7,414
    Likes Received:
    15,821
    Trophy Points:
    165
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Omaha, NE
    I feel bad after the fact with a few I wrote. I have one guard who isn't too bright and always uses the wrong word for everything. She calls the apothecary the apothecanary for example. Translating that NPC to where the concept is the same has to be a pain. I wasn't thinking of localization when I wrote her.

    I wasn't sure if there were places where a translator is unsure of context and if the original documents might help in edge cases.
     
  9. enderandrew

    enderandrew Legend of the Hearth

    Messages:
    7,414
    Likes Received:
    15,821
    Trophy Points:
    165
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Omaha, NE
    BTW, I want to offer a big thank you to all of the localization team! I only speak English (and very-broken Spanish), but I know how much text there is in the game. I appreciate your hard work. Opening up the game to new communities will be beneficial.
     
  10. Duke Olahorand

    Duke Olahorand Localization Team

    Messages:
    1,257
    Likes Received:
    2,448
    Trophy Points:
    125
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    North Germany
    Sure... and we are the crowd. We invested already hundreds and hundreds of hours (those translated texts do not write themselves down), and we care about quality issues for foreign players too. Do you know, that there have players pledged for the game, who speak only a few words English and expect at least the starting experience localized sooner than later?
    In such cases issues like changing several dialogues in the starting zone basically days before release for final wipe completely we see, how currently is (not) cared about localization experience.
    The keyword drama.
    The inability to tell, to which areas new strings have been added without clicking them one by one.
    The lack of game designers to even consider the reported needs of localization (examples are the concatenated names of many items in asset).
    The lack any kind of cooperation with getlocalization team.
    The lack of possibilities to have adjusted localizations added either to the game or to QA server (including the chance to logon to QA) in predictable time frames.
    The list could be continued nearly endless.

    It is not, that we do not understand, that things change and are adjusted for better quality and not for royal edict. It is, that those adjustments and anything else are wasting time. Time, which is the free time of those people committed to localization. Time they could spend with friends of families or hobbies or even playing the game. And time, which is wasted now, is missing later, for corrections and quality control to meet schedules.

    We hear promises since the beginning. After a good and promising start the situation went down the drain not too recently. Five weeks ago someone whose name starts with B. promised also something. (I think it is rather not who you think it should be... )And did not follow up this promise.

    Crowd-sourcing is no one sided (like all loads to the crowd) thing. Either we are belonging to the team or you cannot expect any quality result. Localization is not a five minute task, especially not for a project like this, So simply doubling the time needed can be several days of work.

    Something must change. Soon.

    *lits the torches*
    Olahorand
    The Rebel Duke
     
    Krohon, FrostII, Sir Cabirus and 7 others like this.
  11. Duke Olahorand

    Duke Olahorand Localization Team

    Messages:
    1,257
    Likes Received:
    2,448
    Trophy Points:
    125
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    North Germany
    Slang and intentional failures are hard to spot or to transport, but with some fantasy you can make yourself at least a rhyme about the meaning.
    More problematic are single words, which have multiple meanings, but the word is exactly associated with one meaning, such as the current flood of emotes.

    *Salute*
    Olahorand
     
    Krohon, ZeCarlos, 4EverLost and 2 others like this.
  12. DarkStarr

    DarkStarr Executive Producer Moderator SOTA Developer

    Messages:
    6,483
    Likes Received:
    44,308
    Trophy Points:
    202
    Gender:
    Male
    Thank you for all the hard work all of the localization team has done so far. We are very sorry this has been so frustrating for all of you. Right now I have been making the team prioritize the main game and I realize that means they have not been paying attention to localization. That is entirely my decision so if you want to be frustrated with anyone you can focus your frustration on me.

    I have to make decisions that keep the project alive and moving forward. Over the last few months (and the next couple of months) our focus needs to be on the stability and polish of the main game first and foremost. Without that focus there will be no project for any of us to work on.

    After that is achieved we can then return to other priorities like localization. You have my promise that as we move into Q4 I will devote more resources to localization but we cannot afford to do that right now. For now I ask that you remain patient. If that is too much to ask I completely understand and I thank you for everything you have done so far.
     
  13. enderandrew

    enderandrew Legend of the Hearth

    Messages:
    7,414
    Likes Received:
    15,821
    Trophy Points:
    165
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Omaha, NE
    As with every other issue, direct all pitchforks at the guy who has to set the priorities. No one is ever happy with any of them.
     
    Krohon and KuBaTRiZeS like this.
  14. Duke Olahorand

    Duke Olahorand Localization Team

    Messages:
    1,257
    Likes Received:
    2,448
    Trophy Points:
    125
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    North Germany
    Thank you for responding.

    Locked away in the deepest mines of Malice for String mining and forgotten by the world and the gods of the game. This is how it currenly feels. Breaking out is impossible for some of us, since we are bound by chains - chains like sense of responsibility and enagagement for the game. The door is behind an ever growing mountain of strings. So how dare we to rebel against the King, if Lord Darkstarr is behind of it? (I heard however, airships may burn hot... but what gas is used in New Britannia airships... and I am still unsure how the poor crowd of rebels ever could reach and climb it. Seems to be a wide way. Better unlit the torches, until we are there.)

    Btw.:Would a perfect localized starting experience not be required for a polished game? At least for your international audience of backers?

    *Salute*
    Olahorand
    The Rebel Duke
    (hopefully not soon The Headless Duke)
     
    Krohon, Stahlknecht, FrostII and 6 others like this.
  15. Kliirkast

    Kliirkast Localization Team

    Messages:
    336
    Likes Received:
    235
    Trophy Points:
    55
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Brussels, Belgium
    We understand this perfectly well, but you must admit that no answers is really not a lot...

    Noted and registered.

    I guess we slaves are going to keep working and douse the torches... for now...

    Kliirkast.
     
  16. Earl Atogrim von Draken

    Earl Atogrim von Draken Avatar

    Messages:
    6,104
    Likes Received:
    11,629
    Trophy Points:
    165
    Gender:
    Male
    That's all cool and froody and we understand the size of the project and the responsibility bestowed upon you @DarkStarr
    But we are also a small Team and we don't get bigger.
    Our plan was to have the translations ready for release. With release still officially aimed for end of this year.... I am not sure we are going to make it.
    Motivation is at an all time low. But as @Duke Olahorand already said: we took up this responsibility so most of us will not run away from it.
     
    Krohon, FrostII, 4EverLost and 5 others like this.
  17. Fox Cunning

    Fox Cunning Localization Team

    Messages:
    801
    Likes Received:
    1,651
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Wiltshire, England
    Gents, cutting to the chase (as it goes without saying that I appreciate everyone's work and contribution, or I would not be here), most of the frustration I percieve comes from the everchanging and completely unpredictable state of the game. Or, well, the in-game text at least.

    One day I had completed the painfully huge (and allow me to say disorganised) "assets.xml", and just a couple days later the same file has thousands of new-ish strings of all sorts and I have no idea which ones are replacing old strings or which ones are really new.
    I don't know if "Blistering Ray" is going to replace "Scorching Ray" because Wizards of the Coast ain't happy about it, or I have to come up with a completely different translation even if the meaning is the same because both will be in the game.
    Kind of a made up example, but this is quite unsettling.

    Now I do not expect anyone to ask nicely if they could please update a string, but maybe there is a better way than just slow down (as we did) until the game is mostly complete and stable.
     
  18. Katrina Bekers

    Katrina Bekers Localization Team

    Messages:
    2,806
    Likes Received:
    7,855
    Trophy Points:
    165
    Location:
    Kópavogur, Iceland
    I appreciate that you chin up this way.

    I appreciate it doubly considering your past as French QA Manager - which I'm sure had a lot to do with making ends meet in a foreign language for a project galloping ahead on its own will and you trailing behind with impossible schedules.

    I admit I lost a lot of motivation and drive in the past months - for the most diverse reasons (RL, linux client, general lack of agreement with game's direction, frustration at redoing the same stuff again and again, no "changelog" for the strings, etc.), and just this week of vacation brought me back to the GL editor.

    I understand Duke Olahorand frustration, and Portalarium's answer that their hands are far more than full.

    Still, throw us a bone, from time to time. We probably consider the expansion of the game in our respective geographical areas important - or else we wouldn't be here! - even more than you guys do. Our free work can and will bring more sales and larger playerbase and more interest in the media.

    Help us help you!
     
    Acred, Krohon, FrostII and 11 others like this.
  19. Sindariya

    Sindariya Avatar

    Messages:
    2,643
    Likes Received:
    7,756
    Trophy Points:
    165
    Gender:
    Female
    @DarkStarr @dallas
    It is good to hear that localization is not forgotten but it still hurts, that it needed such a post to get this information. I would have appreciated if you Devs had dropped a line like "For the next 3 months we will 100% focus on preparing the game, so we will have no time for assistance on localization. Thx for the hard work so far and keep on rocking." Sure we would have been sad, but we know how little the team is and how hard you guys work on the game and we would know at least why noone is reacting on questions. This way we would feel the respect for our work, as much as we respect and value your hard work on the game.

    We are fully aware, that localization is not priority number one, but it is one important promise you made during kickstarter. We are here to help you guys to keep this promise. But it is hard to stay motivated. I know Olahorand good enough to say that he works on localization as hard as you on developing the game. He and many others put every free minute in this volunteer work and taking the blame and feel responsible that it is not working.We suggested already plenty ideas to make this whole process more smoothly for everyone so let me just repeat some major points.

    Get Localization is quite frustrating and no help and not made for this type of project. You guys load up a number of strings, we translate them. But if you change something in string 33, GL doesn't notice it. For GL string 33 is deleted, so it deletes string 33 translation and put up a new string with no translation. We have no chance to look into the old translation and copy it to the new one, if it still fits. We have to start again on zero for this string. Further more we don't even know which string was changed and which is totally new. We have to go through every file to find them. The other thing is, we don't know when you downloaded a translation and included it into the game. So it is pure luck to test the translation within the game. I still have no plan how to test the starting scenes now that we have persistence.

    It would really help if we could set dates when changes are uploaded and downloaded from GL. It would be nice if you would download the translation and integrate it for the first patch version of QA and the first patch after release. After that you upload new content for 2 weeks, after that no new content for GL. With this we have 2 weeks to get everything translated and fix issues during QA, and you would have a working translation for the release. We would have the knowledge, when new content is coming and could focus on other things, when changes are uploaded to GL, and when we could work hard on translation without the fear that on the next day our whole work from the last day is destroyed again. Please think about this and discuss it further with our heads of translation when you have time again for us. There are much more things which needed to be adressed, but from my point of view this is the most important one.

    And thanks @Duke Olahorand for taking the blame and anger from the devs again. *big hug*
     
    Acred, Rince, Krohon and 9 others like this.
  20. DarkStarr

    DarkStarr Executive Producer Moderator SOTA Developer

    Messages:
    6,483
    Likes Received:
    44,308
    Trophy Points:
    202
    Gender:
    Male
    You are right. We should have given you all a message like that. I am sorry we did not.