1.8 Progress Report

Time for a web entry to explain where everything is at (while I’m listening to the Battlestar Galactica soundtracks by Bear McCreary, they’re awesome). Currently there are a couple of biggies going on at the moment and that’s:

  • translations
  • better terrain
  • a frigate (which the player can reload from)
  • a tutorial mission to replace our slide show help

You may have noticed the absence of any new in-game audio since ages ago. This is due to many factors including file size, laziness and poor voice acting (yeah, I can’t really do accents). One of the main reasons though is translations, and although World in Conflict suggests that you can get away with lots of Russian dialog despite the player being an English speaker, there is just too much unique dialog during missions for us to try.

In short, 1.8 is devoted to allowing us to provided internationalisation. We’re going to start with Spanish, courtesy of a friend and former work colleague, to see how everything fits together. Mobile Assault wasn’t originally coded in such a way to easily allow translations, so it’s taken a bit of work to get all the systems in place. With any luck (well, good coding and people coercion), we’ll be able to get other translations happening in due course.

To manage the translations we’re using a web based system located at http://www.mygengo.com. It allows us to document all the English text and provides a simple means for others to complete the translations into other languages. We could have used google translate, but the last thing we want is an “all your base are belong to us” situation.

The other thing of note is the inclusion of a frigate (ship) model. It’s actually based on an ANZAC class frigate, because it’s fairly small and has a helipad on the back. I was tempted to model a Ticonderoga class cruiser but it was just way too massive.

This is somewhat exciting because that, and the fact that we’re making the terrain a bit better, means that we can almost rip off the first mission from the original Desert Strike. Sure, one shouldn’t really encourage such practises, but it would be interesting to adapt it somewhat. i.e., there’s no way this Apache is going to take passengers. Well, Ed Macy proved they could always grab onto the side. Regardless, it would be cool to replicate the desert coast line and replicate the mission objectives. We’ll obviously need to adapt things. As for Desert Strike’s second mission? I’ve barely played it; I couldn’t get Dos Box to save my progress.

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