Starting a New Project
So you're a budding translator/editor/hacker/whatever-er and you want to start a project. The thing is, you don't know where or how to start! Fear not, child of creativity, for this guide will help you on the path to righteousness!
Follow the steps on this page to start off, but always remember to follow the Wikipedia motto of "Be Bold"; don't be afraid to make any foolish or reputation-destroying mistakes.
Step 1: Prepare Your Subject Material
Before you go off and make a new project, you need to make sure that you want to put in a enough effort into creating it - a couple of days, at the most. Run through this questionnaire to figure out how you're going to make a project page.
- Is it already hacked? Check the Tools page to see if anything there interests you, and remember that you need to have a way to stick scripts or text back into the game engine.
- If yes, are you going to post all scripts online? (eg: the Sharin no Kuni projects) Or will you do everything offline? (eg: Pure Pure)
- If no, is anyone available to hack it? The IRC channel is a good resource to query people.
- If a further no, then are you willing to stick a translation out there and hope that the community pressures a hacker into hacking it? のヮの
- Is it worth the trouble of a long-term commitment?
- If the engine isn't hacked yet, do you have any idea what to do?
- Would anyone care to read the translation? Does that even matter?
If you have positive responses to all that apply, move on to this checklist. If not, rethink your idea; if you still want to do it, then keep reading.
- Scripts extracted
- Images to be translated and edited are marked
- Re-insertion tested and working (unless you're waiting for a hack)
- (optional) Available laborious steps are automated
- Working outside of the Wiki
- Basic wiki editing knowledge (walkthrough on Wikipedia found here)
Step 2: Create the Project Page
There are various ways to go about creating a project page. The first option involves something gigantic and involved like what Pure Pure's project turned out to be, while the second option follows the standard page format set by Sharin no Kuni.
The latter, obviously, is the easiest choice. Feel free to divert and change this template for the brand spanking new standard page into whatever. First, however, we shall lay out the core elements of the standard page, in order of appearance.
- Cover Image - Top, center image on the top of the page. It's usually a large version of the project material's logo or a flavor-of-the-month type image as in Osadai's project page or at the top of Sumaga's page.
- Introductory Text - Promotional introduction or description of the game/story. Or it could be totally unrelated.
- Project News - Project announcements, milestones, patch releases, and otherwise.
- Error Reports (optional) - Instead of having users flood the talk page, make an entirely new page dedicated to errors made during translation. This usually gets created after the project releases a patch.
- Staff - List of translation staff; can be relocated to the second to last element according to your ego's demands.
- Scripts - Wikitable of scripts arranged by route or chronological order; includes translation percentage. See Sharin's section.
- Graphics - Usually a link to another page that contains the meat of graphics editing effort; sometimes there are so little to edit that it may be unnecessary. See Osadai's section.
- Downloads/Files - All sorts of downloadable goodies to be featured here.
- Links - Links to Wikipedia, eroge databases, reviews, official publisher/developer pages, related videos, walkthroughs, voiceactor databases, and other websites.
Don't worry about adding your project to the list; you can just upload the image and stick some sort of comment on TinFoil's talk page.
- Main Article: Starting a New Project:Template
Feel free to copypaste the source code of this for use as a template for your page. The staff section is in jest.
Step 3: Begin Work
Have some prefabricated guides and links.
- Japanese Idiom Dictionary
- Using Subversion with TortoiseSVN - guide that introduces vital concepts and features, but assumes you have a SVN server configured
- Stephen King's On Writing - second and third parts of the book teach tenets of writing effective dialogue, powerful sentences, and such. Good for translator and editor alike.
Don't be Afraid to Ask for Help
Whether it be translation help, editing help, or commissioning fellow TLWiki members to do small things like beautifying your project page or getting seasoned advice for your project, we are there. If you don't want to use IRC, you can also contact most of us through our talk pages e.g. the guide author's talk page, which can be accessed through the staff sections of each project. Note that those links point to our main user pages (again, like the author's), and you can access the talk page by clicking "discussion" on the top left of the browser window.
What you should do but other people will probably get around to doing anyway
- Add your project to the Hosted Visual Novel Projects page.
- Update translation percentage on said page.
- Keep an eye on community forums/boards for any shenanigans related to your project. If you at all care.
- Pay attention to your and your project's talk pages.
- Guide-making BGMs