status updates yay!

Sooo, since we finally got back to working on Utawarerumono portable after Basic’s mystical disappearance, here’s some stats about how the project is actually going…. The project page has also been brought up to date.

– Graphics: 99,9% (only ending credits roll text graphic is undone.)
– Raws checked: [ 316 / 316 files – 100%]
– Translation: [ 159 / 316 files – ~51%]
– Script Check: [ 117 / 316 files – ~34%] [ 13705 / 35133 lines ] (re)translated
– Misc. hacking: 95% (only hacking part left is a new stringbuffer for dictionary entries.)

The total count of files that need to be edited came out to be 316 files and 35133 lines of text, from which half have been translated and a bit less typesetted. Basic’s hard at work translating more and I will start typesetting the newly translated stuff shortly.

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More zombies, apocalypse incoming!

It happened, after over a year of complete incognito silcence dissappearance ninja-vanish, Basic just randomly reappeared couple nights ago. That in itself is good news for our baby-project Utawarerumono portable but that’s not all, it appears that the “little” break our translator decided to take was good for him and he’s having full tank of energy and enthusiasm, enough that he’s spitting out scripts faster than I manage to keep up. Yeah bois, Uta is back on track after a year of silence! (project status updates once I get new scripts checked out et cetera, I do have Zill O’ll infinite plus to manage too, and I’m working on mapping the remaining script raws for Basic to chew on.)

 

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Zombified!

Yes yes, I know I know…..

 

We didnt actually drop the project… well we did but the issue regarding that was sorted out and Zill’s still going on, quite spectacularly at that too.

the graphics hacking has been more or less finished from the normal parts (more on that below) and tom’s almost done with a project that’s been eating his time off from translating zill, so hopefully it will pick up the pace soon..

the hacking side has been a little slow as I’ve been stuck with unexpected real life complications that ate some weeks of my time. Those will end on the following weekend and I shouldbe able to return to proper work with binaryfail.

 

okay, so the graphics….

first of all, the translated graphics are indeed 100% done, and are one image implementation away from being 100% added into the game. They look gorgeous, the menus have all been fixed, the soul graphics imported from the ps2 (GIGANTIC quality increase!), the character portrait remastering is completed (another huge quality increase!!), the texts have all been redone and cleaned up (0% dithering), the item/skill/whatever icons are all done, and all in all everything sits in really nicely with the game.

 

now, the catch 32;

I started wondering what would happen if I threw the ps2 version’s character 3d textures into the psp version, since the psp version is using 128×128 resolution textures at 64 colors for all the 3d models it has against the 512×512 256color textures the ps2 version does.

 

i did not expect much from this since it’s rather obvious that the little psp simply cannot handle that kind of things at all as it’s lacking a dedicated GPU unlike the monstrocity that is EmotionEngine in the ps2…. well, how wrong was I again. The results of my test are SPECTACULAR!

below image is the game running using doubled texture resulutions compared to the originals (256×256 against 128×128) at 256 colors instead of 64. and there are no performance issues whatsoever…. now THIS is what I call an asset update!

(pic taken at 2x window size on PPSSPP with no filtering/upscaling applied. this is fully tested on real hardware and it looks amazing!)

Retro audio pack is complete!

After a week or so of fighting with loop points, I finally finished importing the PS1 version soundtrack to the game,

60 tracks have been replaced, and one track that did not have a matching pair on the original had to be left alone. Not all that bad I guess…

the retro mod will be an optional treat with the translation pack for those like myself and our translator, Tom who prefer the original music over the remade one.

 

Sans that, we’re still hard at work with programming the gender variable function to the game’s text engine (since you can play both a male and a female protagonist, a change has to be made to differentiate him/her in the scripts.) It’s a little bothersome to have to deal with bonus features like this since japanese language doesn’t differentiate the genders it all has to be coded from scratch.

Fortunate for us, Binaryfail dug out some unused script codes which we will harness for this purpose.

 

As far as other updates go, the text tool now supports colored text, and a pile of new cosmetic fixes was put in place. Amongs them, I parsed together a fi for the character creator’s calendar page and with that, only things left to fix on the character creation are the menu selection hover thingies and some additional text centering (there is an issue with string lengths on few strings that also needs to be sorted out…. *facepalm*)

All in all, Tom has already demonstrated a piece of translation that fully translates some moments of one of the starting scenarios, and did some additional work on weaponsmith description texts.

….Small steps.. This game is quite the behemoth of workload…

Tom’s video can be found Here. and demonstration of the game running using the PS1 soundtrack can be found Here.

 

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News ‘n shit

Are we still alive ?

Yes, we are still alive (well, partially, more on that below.)

first things first, we have not died out and we have not disbanded, or dropped doing what we do. There are multiple reasons for the long silence though, mostly coming down to real life taking priority over hobbies and various slowdowns regarding ongoing projects. I figured it’s time to summarize a bit tho.

1 – Girlfriend of steel 2nd

the psp patch v.1.00 was released and is still pending few minor fixes so an update to that will eventually arrive. The importance of the fixes is more or less to rid myself of the annoying feeling that it has issues, as all of them are cosmetic and quite minor in severity.

The ps2 version of GFOS 2nd is what it is, we have script access, graphics access and whatnot yadda yadda. I will finish it off and propably fix the remaining errors on the psp version’s script while i do it since finishing the ps2 version requires writing the entire script in a new format to the ps2 version.

 

2 – Utawarerumono portable.

Here’s where the tears come to the cheeks of people.

No, Uta PSP is not and will not be abandoned unless i drop dead. Not discussable.

why it isn’t progressing is because of this. Basic simply dissappeared, he doesnt reply to emails, doesnt visit the irc channel and i have absolutely no way of contacting him at all. I am considering starting to look for another translator to finish the job, but so far haven’t done so. TL;DR: uta is currently on-hold.

 

3 – Zill O’ll infinite plus

Zill O’ll was taken as a project originally to keep us busy while basic works on the scripts of uta psp, but ever since that, a translator for zill was found, and the project really picked up from where it was.

we had some technical difficulties with the text dumping routine which are now resolved and a new version of the text tool was made. Tom has started translating the scripts and will resume it after i have updated him with the new correct script dumps.

Zill O’ll has tons and tons of work left to do, but a lot has already been archieved.

This game is nothing to take lightly though as far as workload goes, and I would dare to claim that in sheer complexity and workload it is the heaviest project we currently have by far (it’s disheartening how much easier it was to assest a complete dominance over a just-releasesd ps3 game than this decade old little rpg.)

 

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Translator found, moving forward!

Yes!

It happened, a translator was found and the project is actually going places now. The projects page has been brought up to date and we are hard at work with Binaryfail to get more and more of the engine side in shape. The translator goes by the name “Tommy” and according to himself, he will start working on the scripts after Christmas holidays are over, so somewhere during January.

The currently existing translations I made for menus et cetera will be re-checked and reworked if need be, but meanwhile have an eyefull of how it could look once ready.  Personally I’m so hyped it’s not even funny. (more up-to-date screenshots on the project page.)

uljm05410_0012

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so…. the graphics

They suck in the psp version, compared to what they should be. They look generally okay for a while once you start playing the game, until you’ve played a while and start noticing how bad the quality of some of the graphics actually is. There’s loads of dithering everywhere and some graphics have been reduced to unfairly small palette sizes (16 colors works in some places but lets just face it, it doesnt have to be THAT low.)

in any case, there are more and less bad offenders when it comes to this, and things like the textbox graphic of the game are one of the worse ones.

 

Long story short, to right this wrong, I set up to a journey I failed to finish a decade ago, and hack the ps2 version of the game in order to get some less sucky assets for the psp version.

it took blood and it took tears, and it also drove binaryfail mad while he had to put up with my stupidly detailed requests to code this and that to make things happen. But at the end of the day, we prevailed! I had finally finished what I failed to accomplist 10 years ago, and what transgen failed to deliver when they dropped their translation of the ps2 version. I had finally hacked it apart. The game did indeed not go down without a fight, the data container format, the graphics formats, and overall the entire structure of the game is a complete clusterfuck, but it was worth the journey!

now this is what i call an asset upgrade:

16color “large” soul render from the psp version as opposed to 256 color actually large soul render from the ps2 version.

l4slcg3200222

proper 256 color assets for soul graphics, menu graphics, text boxes, even character model textures if I so wish to replace them (propably not.) Gone are the badly converted 16-color images, inconsistent character portraits with broken color palettes, this patch will continue forwards, and it will be fucking fabulous!

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