Language Barrier in Interactive Fiction

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RenatoDias
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Language Barrier in Interactive Fiction

Post by RenatoDias »

How do you guys deal with language barrier in your game?
I mean, a few weeks ago, I had a discussion(more like a fight) with a friend of mine. I told him about ADRIFT, that's easy to start making a game. He replied that as long as he could do it in portuguese(which is Brazil's main language, even though english is taught in public and private schools), he would maybe pick it up.
I told him that the engine's main library and all other libraries are in english and that I tried translating it, but it's a huge effort to make it work, as it has LOTS of lines to translate.
He told me that Brazil's main language is portuguese, and all gamers expect games to come out either with everything in portuguese(dub, text, interface, etc) or with texts in portuguese and subtitles.
Sometimes, after thoughts like this, make me want give up on the brazilian gaming market and to show ADRIFT to brazilians, all because it's in english.
What do you guys think about this?
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P/o Prune
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Re: Language Barrier in Interactive Fiction

Post by P/o Prune »

Denk and I (mostly Denk :whistle: ) ) have managed to translate the Adrift library into Danish, and I have made a couple of games in Danish.
Even though the library was translated there are some words and phrases that are hard coded into Adrift. But it is now possible for Danes to write games in Danish with only limited knowledge of English.
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RenatoDias
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Re: Language Barrier in Interactive Fiction

Post by RenatoDias »

I wanted to translate it into portuguese, but, my friend shows no interest in the engine. I've shown this engine to lots of people here in Brazil, but as soon as they learn it's in english, they don't even take it.
There is hardly an incentive to do such work if its only for myself, as I can play well in english and don't really care if the game is in english or portuguese, unlike the majority of gamers where, who reject the game if not in portuguese.
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P/o Prune
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Re: Language Barrier in Interactive Fiction

Post by P/o Prune »

Denk can explain it how to go about translating the library it's not that hard, but it is a lot of work.
By the way, I know that another Drifter has translated Adrift into Italian.
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ralphmerridew
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Re: Language Barrier in Interactive Fiction

Post by ralphmerridew »

Have these people played any IF in any language, for any platform? (The rare creators of a new medium aside, a person will generally experience a medium through works created by others, then get interested in creating their own works.)

1) Provide good Portuguese games. It doesn't matter what system they were created for.
2) Translate the ADRIFT library to Portuguese.
3) Somebody work with Campbell to make the UI-level text (in Runner, stuff like "Must be visible to" or "Open Game") i18n friendly, then produce a Portuguese translation of it. (This at least won't fragment the TAF format.)
4) Translate the parts of Runner that appear in game. (This will end up fragmenting the .TAF format.)

I'm not sure how well this would work. When he made ADRIFT 5, Campbell had the chance to redesign TAF. He could have changed things so that the distribution file format fully specified the behavior, while keeping the dropdown-based Developer that appeals to ADRIFT writers.
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RenatoDias
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Re: Language Barrier in Interactive Fiction

Post by RenatoDias »

I could translate the whole library into portuguese, but that would take my time away from my own projects that I have planned to do. I have a 37 minute basic tutorial on the engine, teaching the simple mode features of it.
The library also has lots of complex things that wouldn't be easy to translate, at least not for me right now.
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Denk
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Re: Language Barrier in Interactive Fiction

Post by Denk »

As games will usually be available for download online (commercial or not), you don't have to write in your "local" language, as your audience might as well be on the other side of the globe, which isn't a problem nowadays due to the internet.

However, after P/o Prune and I made the Danish Library and I have started to use it, it has become clear to me, how much better I am at expressing myself when writing in my own language. It wasn't a surprise that I write better in my own language, but a surprise how BIG the difference is. I've made competition games in English, and some of them did reasonably well, but I am now sure that they clearly would be better in my own language.

My problem is then, that only about 6 million people worldwide speak Danish. In your case, you have 250 million native speakers, so if you at some point want to make a Portuguese standard library, it might be worth it. But I would say it requires a quite good understanding of ADRIFT but we can probably guide you to some extent, though I don't understand Portuguese, Spanish or Italian at all, only Danish and English (and a little German).

I don't know if you are considering a commercial game, but from what I have seen, even the most popular English "parser"-authors can only earn some symbolic amount from their commercial games. The exception are very professional CYOA-games (no typing, only clicking) playable on phones etc. It is my impression that Choice of Games are doing pretty well commercially.

So it may be more fun to make a free game, which will probably be played more. But as you will be a new author, it probably won't get noticed unless you submit it to one of the major IF competitions, mainly IFComp, ParserComp or Spring Thing.
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RenatoDias
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Re: Language Barrier in Interactive Fiction

Post by RenatoDias »

About expressing myself in my native language, yes, that is true. But, some things don't feel well in portuguese, or don't have a good meaning in the language or don't have a meaning at all in portuguese. And, about language, even though it's much better to attain a big audience like the US and other english speaking countries, I wish brazilians would kill off this stigma they have against non-portuguese games.
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DazaKiwi
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Re: Language Barrier in Interactive Fiction

Post by DazaKiwi »

I understand you don't want to take on this project full time as it will mean you cannot work on your own projects. Totally makes sense and also likely you could burn out on just focusing on translating. You mentioned some complicated parts of Adrift will be difficult to explain/translate. So why don't you tackle this project part time, focus on the easy stuff first. And then do small chunks, and hour or two once every two weeks or something. Slowly but surely you will get there. Or you could focus on the hard bits first so once they are out of the way its all down hill so to speak.

Keeping on your projects also means you keep learning more about Adrift as well. Which is just as important.

And also make sure you create regular backups on USB drives should your pc die or something and lose all of your work. An obvious thing that could get overlooked.
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Re: Language Barrier in Interactive Fiction

Post by RenatoDias »

DazaKiwi wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 8:44 pm I understand you don't want to take on this project full time as it will mean you cannot work on your own projects. Totally makes sense and also likely you could burn out on just focusing on translating. You mentioned some complicated parts of Adrift will be difficult to explain/translate. So why don't you tackle this project part time, focus on the easy stuff first. And then do small chunks, and hour or two once every two weeks or something. Slowly but surely you will get there. Or you could focus on the hard bits first so once they are out of the way its all down hill so to speak.

Keeping on your projects also means you keep learning more about Adrift as well. Which is just as important.

And also make sure you create regular backups on USB drives should your pc die or something and lose all of your work. An obvious thing that could get overlooked.
About burning out, yes, it happens when you take a big project on, like translating a whole library like this. I'll try to take on the translation little by little, once my main project moves to development stage(I'm currently planning the main story, additional data and some more things I'll need).
And yes, I learned a lot since I stopped doing Cyberstorm(Cyberpunk styled game in WIP), that one was really disorganized, so I'm redoing it with some things I learned and will be adding content in "content packs", as I saw that I deviated a lot from the main game and the story wasn't quite compelling as I thought it would be.
About Backups, I have automatic backups always on through Real Time Sync(Free File Sync copying to a SD card). Whenever I save and close a file, RTS copies it to the SD card without any input from me. It does that to all the files, including TAFs.
I have all my ADRIFT projects set on a folder I called NETWORK(it's a folder that is shared to my desktop PC, so I can use ADRIFT on it and work on my projects).
Then, RTS copies the ADRIFT folders inside that folder to a ADRIFT Backup folder in the SD card.
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DazaKiwi
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Re: Language Barrier in Interactive Fiction

Post by DazaKiwi »

I haven't heard of that. Is it this one? https://freefilesync.org/manual.php?topic=realtimesync

A cool idea for backing up. I do backups to a ssd ext drive but not often enough, something like this might be very handy.
RenatoDias
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Re: Language Barrier in Interactive Fiction

Post by RenatoDias »

DazaKiwi wrote: Fri Nov 26, 2021 12:26 am I haven't heard of that. Is it this one? https://freefilesync.org/manual.php?topic=realtimesync

A cool idea for backing up. I do backups to a ssd ext drive but not often enough, something like this might be very handy.
Yeah, but it needs Free File Sync to create batch files(RTS works with Batch Files created by FFS).
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