Will you support languages other than English?

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timblo
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Will you support languages other than English?

Post by timblo » Sun Nov 03, 2013 12:29 pm

Will you support languages other than English?

German, French or other ???

FlashSoul
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Re: Will you support languages other than English?

Post by FlashSoul » Sun Nov 03, 2013 6:16 pm

You can always ask the community to translate it for you. You'd have to provide every string in the game and make sure they fit correctly on the screen though. You might also need unicode support :D. I can translate from English to French if needed. However, it would probably be better for everything to be translated from your own language to avoid going from A to B to C to D and losing something at each step...

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Boeroer
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Re: Will you support languages other than English?

Post by Boeroer » Mon Nov 04, 2013 11:04 am

No idea about french (I only know the basics) but I could do an english-to-german translation if AH is interested in localizing GR2. I studied "germanistik" (german language) before I became a computer scientist later and nowadays I write articles for german magazines from time to time. So it should turn out ok, if there's not a whole novel hiding inside the new game.
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Dhomochevsky
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Re: Will you support languages other than English?

Post by Dhomochevsky » Mon Nov 04, 2013 7:42 pm

English is not my language (you can read it :D ) I know (for example) there are spanish translation mod or something like this (my language). But i think works with problems because sometimes the game crashes. It's a pity you only can play LOG on english language (oficially) but i suppose multilanguage on this game generate a lot of duplicate code because you repeat a lot of code for any language (object description, notes, etc).

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Re: Will you support languages other than English?

Post by eLPuSHeR » Tue Nov 05, 2013 8:39 am

I am Spaniard so spanish is also my native language although I would prefer an english-only LoG2 if adding multilanguage support would complicate things. I prefer stability / tight code over multilanguage.
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Boeroer
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Re: Will you support languages other than English?

Post by Boeroer » Tue Nov 05, 2013 12:39 pm

As an experienced programmer you normally don't put such things as text descriptions into your program logic. Your ingame texts and your logic should be stored separately.
It would be very frustrating to change such things as item names, dialogue and so on if you mixed that up and everything got tangled up. You would have to compile and test your game every time you changed some words.

Texts should be stored in a database (sqlite for example), text files or in seperate non-logic-files using a scripting language (like lua or pyhton or whatever). It's not so difficult to support different languages if you're building your software from the scratch and use "separation of concerns" (what is one of the most basic design principles when programming). You just want to have a configuration (file or whatever) that determines the active language - for example english - and you want to have "language packs" where all texts and some metadata is stored - for example a directory "\languages\en". Looking at the metadata inside the directories, the game knows which languages it currently supports. Users can then choose their favorite language. The game then loads its texts on runtime (or startup) like so: "Oh, text 'xyz' should be displayed. Let's load this from a file. Ehm.. what language are we currently running? Ah, user chose english, so we will open the corresponding file '\languages\en\xyz.txt'." That's all. If language packs are not complete, you need a fallback to a default language. Let's say the user chose german but the german language pack still lacks some item names. So when he finds the item '12342' (known as 'sword of nex') the game wants to load the german name from file '\languages\de\12342.txt' but it's not there - then the english name will automatically be displayed and instead of a game crash or a weird error message the user sees 'sword of nex' (although he expected 'Schwert des Nex').
You have to support unicode though.
However, altering the language of the user interface is a bit tricky - not in terms of stability but in terms of design. Since the words will be longer or shorter they may disfigure your nice interface. But I guess most people are ok with an english UI. Most just want the ingame texts to be translated.

The problem with supporting a lot of languages is not the stability of the software - it's just a lot of work gathering all that text. And in addition it's not easy to find the right people to translate everything properly in a given time.

So - supporting many languages shoud not affect the stability of the game. On the other hand AH would loose control over the quality of the language since they will not be able to read and understand most of the foreign texts (besides English, Finnish and Swedish - maybe Russian and Norse I boldly assume).

AH gave us such an amazing thing as the Dungeon Editor which must have been a lot of work. So... maybe... after the release of LoG2 they could also give us some guidelines how we can give them back some community-made high quality language packs for LoG2.
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Sol_HSA
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Re: Will you support languages other than English?

Post by Sol_HSA » Tue Nov 05, 2013 2:31 pm

Boeroer wrote:As an experienced programmer you normally don't put such things as text descriptions into your program logic.
Descriptions, maybe, but for localizations, every bit of text must be replaceable, and that's a bit bigger task, especially if bunch of text has been burned into textures.

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Boeroer
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Re: Will you support languages other than English?

Post by Boeroer » Tue Nov 05, 2013 4:35 pm

With textures and so on - you're absolutely right, that's very tricky and not worth the work. But AH solved that problem very nicely by using fantasty runes. These were translated "on click" into text that could be easily translated in the way I described. And as I said: user interface and the like is tricky and in my opinion doesn't need a translation. But translated ingame dialogue and descriptions help some people to enjoy the game more.

It's just an offer. I don't need a translation for myself. :-)
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petri
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Re: Will you support languages other than English?

Post by petri » Tue Nov 05, 2013 6:49 pm

Localization is a pita, especially for a small developer like us. At least the following todos come quickly to mind:
- gathering and marking all text to be localized
- translation work
- unicode support
- adding all needed glyphs to fonts
- replacing text painted in textures
- UI layout issues
- keeping all localized text in sync when the game is further developed

For Grimrock 1 we decided it was too much work for a single programmer :) We haven't decided yet what to do with Grimrock 2...

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Boeroer
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Re: Will you support languages other than English?

Post by Boeroer » Tue Nov 05, 2013 8:56 pm

Meeh! Don't load all the hard work up onto your own shoulders. :-)

When skipping UI and textures and concentrating on dialogue and description (all that plain white text you used in LoG1 - like "You can't fly, what can?", "XY gained a level" and so on) you would only need:

- unicode support
- gathering and marking all text to be localized
- a code structure that allows the use of language paks

Translation work would be done by the community after the release and can be offered via steam and so on. Like custom dungeons. Keeping text in sync while offering patches can be complicated when you change texts a lot after the first release. But I assume that's the same with custom dungeons and new game versions?

It's only an idea. At least you would get a german language pack from me. Big promise. :D
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