New Features and Announcing a New Toy

Well, after publishing my roadmap, and making some progress with it, I decided to essentially ignore it and do something else. So, here I'll document exactly what I did with the only time I had to work on RPGMaker Trans recently.

I made a Python binding onto Fujitsu's ATLAS software.

Now, anyone with two brain cells should be able to work out that this means I intend to bring automatic machine translation directly into RPGMaker Trans.

To be clear, I'm not sure when this feature will land. It still isn't on my Roadmap, although logically it shouldn't be that difficult to implement - at least in a primitive form. I'm looking to "do things right" though and enable the creation of some small scripting component which allows scripting around the types of things that ATLAS doesn't translate well. For example, for some games which "announce" character names, ATLAS will decide to merge the character name into the characters dialogue with bad consequences.

But this type of scriptable translation could also be useful for other games, for pretty much the same reason. Hence I'll also be working on a "Scriptable QuickATLAS" style program - name to be decided. There's probably quite a few uses for such a tool, like working around "triangle-ised" text from an AGTH hook (you'll know it if you've seen it), other hook based nonsense, or just generally improving ATLAS translations.

Again, no ETA on this.

Oh, and before I forget, the Python/ATLAS bindings will be released separately under a Public Domain license, once I do a little stress testing on them to make sure they don't fall apart under non-trivial workloads.

And finally, before anyone points it out: I am aware of Vkozyrev and his machine translator for RPGMaker Trans patches. I think, however, that using ATLAS has substantial benefits over his solution of online translators, partly because of speed but also because a lot of people use ATLAS, and hence a lot of people are accustomed to ATLAS-speak. Also, I tend to find that ATLAS with a good custom dictionary simply works better than the online translators. Finally, by integrating machine translation into RPGMaker Trans, Machine Translation becomes much more available (i.e. I'm pretty confident that not many people actually download Vkozyrevs machine translator, otherwise I think we'd be seeing a few more actual patches/pirated games based on it online rather than just the ones he maintains).


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