Sunday, May 24, 2020

In 1994, Ted Woolsey changed game localization by writing a "deathless" apocalypse - [USGAMER]

Final Fantasy 6's story inspired more than one budding writer to pick up their pen and go wild. [Square Enix/Source]

(from USGAMER by Nadia Oxford - May 5th, 2020)

"Every RPG enthusiast can recall what game they were playing when they were struck by the fandom's universal epiphany: The realization that RPGs can treat us to rich stories and deep character rosters that rival classic fantasy novels. We don't say it often enough, but the people who translated those games and added flavor to their characters, stories, and worlds deserve some credit for these discoveries. It's fine to journey for 60 hours with wooden heroes; it's better to come come away from the adventure bright-eyed and stuffed full of one-liners like, "Don't tease the octopus, kids!" and, "You sound like a chapter from a self-help booklet."


The 16-bit era was a renaissance for console RPGs, especially for Westerners. Though RPGs wouldn't reach anything close to mainstream popularity until Final Fantasy 7 hit the PlayStation in 1997, the candy-colored sprites in Secret of Mana and the solemn, realistic backdrops of Final Fantasy 6—released in the West as Final Fantasy 3— turned some heads and won some hearts. In time, these newly-baptized RPG fans and the veterans who fell in love with the genre through Dragon Warrior came to the same observation: Many of the RPGs produced by Square Enix (then Squaresoft) boasted next-level translations in an era where video game localizations were still infamous for being shoddy.

Squaresoft's RPGs weren't just clear and competent. They built up the worlds they belonged to, gave life and character to hero and monster alike. In particular, the localization for Final Fantasy 6 is so ingrained in fans' minds that certain character quirks and bits of dialogue have carried over into modern Final Fantasy games. Professional authors even cite Final Fantasy 6 as a major inspiration for their works.

It's remarkable to realize Square Enix's ability to deliver such a powerful story about death, devastation, and the end of the world while under the watchful eye of Nintendo of America's content censors. That's why the man behind the translations, Ted Woolsey, is still celebrated for his work."

Via USGAMER

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Are RPG Maker games as bad as people think? [EUROGAMER]

"RPG Maker games have always been here. They are really easy to identify...
...But the tag is lying to you"



(from eurogamer.net by Giada Zavarise - May 24th 2018)

"We all have our petty personal crusades to fight. Mine is the endless battle in defence of RPG Maker, accused by many of being a bad engine only used by lazy developers. RPG Maker games tend to look the same, so this means that only untalented developers use it, right? I decided to prove people wrong. With science. That's why I took a deep dive in the Steam RPG Maker tag, gathering data about all 559 tagged games released to this day. Behold the results of my foolish research."

Via EUROGAMER

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

(Spotted) the machine that BREATHES - GMS2



(If you like Resident Evil, Shadow of The Colossus or Boris Karloff's Frankenstein, definitely check this out! Very pleased with how this is shaping out - spread the word!)

Via Steam (Wishlists adds appreciated!)
Via RMN
Via Itch.io
choinheap

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Keiichi Tanaka explores the history behind Nintendo's now-legendary “EarthBound” - [denfaminicogamer]



(from Denfaminicogamer by Keiichi Tanaka - January 9th, 2018)

It was 1987. On the train back to Kyoto, Shigesato Itoi was weeping. "It wasn't because I felt sad It was because I felt powerless. Granted, I felt that way several more times later on in life. But I never felt quite as depressed as I did then… It was two years before 'MOTHER" (Earthbound Beginnings) was born.'

Via Denfaminicogamer

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Fatal Limits - [RMHistoria]

"They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Most RPG Maker games tend to have very traceable influences and they vary based on the choices an author would make. To say Fatal Limits is a recreation of Final Fantasy 7 isn’t quite accurate. It starts off at roughly the story beat in FF7 where Cloud and crew decides to rescue Aeris from Shinra as opposed to a bombing mission equivalent. Only, you aren’t terrorists, you simply want to escape the city and travel the world. There are tiny little details that are divergent from FF7, and it’s interesting to see how even the style of the cutscenes and phrasing mimic the source material and then don’t. I think it proves that unless you are actually lifting exact moment to moment aspects of the source material directly, there are still ways in which a game can define itself...."

(from RMHistoria - March 17, 2019)
Please check out RMHistoria!

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Confessions of a teenage asset ripper ----- A better class of art thief: [rockpapershotgun.com]

(from rockpapershotgun.com by Giada Zavarise - May 24th 2018)

"...I never played Secret of Mana 2 on the Super Nintendo, but I could recognize its trees in a blink. I saw them in countless other games, their lush branches decorating the corners of fantasy worlds filled with magic, dragons, and bugs. Oh, so many bugs. I’ve never played the first Star Ocean, the Suikoden series, Terranigma, or Chrono Trigger. But I know them. They are games I’ve always appreciated in a disjointed state, their plants and furniture dissected and laid out on sprite sheets like tiny organs on an autopsy table. I saw all this because, when I was a teenager, I illegally ripped art assets from commercial games..."




"...Before 2005, the amateur game-making tool RPG Maker didn’t have an official publisher. The community thrived in the shadows, a bunch of teenagers armed with cracked, unofficially-translated copies of the engine, and one shared dream: making games as cool as Final Fantasy. Teens with no preparation, no guidance, and no bloody idea of what they were doing.

RPG Maker is an intuitive tool, and people were quick to master it even without official support. But all games need art assets to shine, and most of those teens had never used graphics software more complicated than MS Paint. That’s why they – we – turned to stealing art from other games. Ripping assets was not a new concept to the pre-pubescent indie scene. GameMaker users were ripping as well, and some famous GameMaker games from that era, like Ark 22, feature a number of ripped and edited graphics. Ripping from commercial titles soon became an integral part of the early RPG Maker days..."

"...People often feel OK about downloading those old, forgotten games from clandestine websites, but using old assets from forgotten games in your own non-commercial endeavour is still a taboo. Wouldn’t it be nice, though, to salvage whatever we can from our past? To celebrate it in a new form?..."




"...When a work enters the public domain, everyone becomes free to change it, redistribute it, and use parts of it for their own creations. In the world of literature, this freedom gave birth to literary mashups, like Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, and to new novels featuring borrowed characters, like The Wide Sargasso Sea. It’s a form of fan-fiction, in a sense (another kind of homage that is getting difficult for videogame authors, with more and more projects taken down by cease and desist letters).


Pop art got Andy Warhol and endless replicas of Marilyn Monroe’s face. Songs have covers and remixes. Novels have fan-fiction. Moms have decoupage. Will games ever be allowed to have the same freedom? We’re used to seeing old games being remastered and rebooted. I hope one day we will be allowed to remix them."


Via RockPaperShotgun