I feel like the moral scientist working under the evil world domination scientist. — red truth from dev chat
So, once again I can say Hello to you guys. The Summer is ending (guess it has already ended, but I am lagging) and some of you might have been missing us for a long time. Just in case somebody was hoping to see the project abandoned — we will not let your dreams come true, unfortunately. *sadface* These 9 (plus...) months were pretty productive, despite the busyness of our team members (studying is time-consuming; tons of work may arise when you already suffer from it; and in fact you may simply be deported somewhere thanks to the company you are in)… We celebrated our 100th filed bug some while ago, drinking and sad faces, drinking and sad faces… and just drinking. We are happy that less than 1 in 50 is actually filed, because otherwise a secretary will be needed. We are also celebrating our 1000th commit, this one for real. But, curse the cries, dates, birthdays; let's talk real business.
Our wills related to feature-completeness have still not come true, but we advanced in some pretty nasty and mean features PS3 had.
- We have spent quite a while developing a brand new text front end (on top of the backend featured in the previous video), which added such nice features as simultaneous text rendering, that nice fade-in effect for letters with controllable fade time, text centering, better wrapping, multiple size support in a line etc. etc. You can notice these changes in the video (see Maria/Sakutaro for simultaneous text rendering -- seems a lot of fuss for such a tiny line, but we'll be needing this feature later for Zepar/Furfur). However, there are also some important internal changes you can't see, like changing the text-rendering front end for all the objects we use, including buttons and texts (yes, finally we can throw a ton of annoying graphics into the rubbish bin and hit recycle) or like asynchronous command execution while drawing the text (which was required for some scenes).
- We really had to dig into PS3 engine internals, so, one of the team-members acquired a hacked PS3 and spent some time in researching. (Please, suggest some nice games for him, so that he doesn't have to blow the dust from a controller every research session.) The process is far from finished, but we were able to get a good representation of rain effect parameters, various shader effects-transitions, text display model in all its depth, and some other technical data. The results of this are shown on the video and we feel slightly proud.
- Performance was our next concern, so we tried to optimise our caching techniques and some api commands. Depending on the area touched it gave us moderate or good results. For example, we are more or less satisfied with sound performance at the moment, although, as many of you noticed before, lips synchronisation does need some tweaking still.
- We will be offering (optional) lyrics/translation for the OPs/EDs -- how many of you are interested in karaoke as well? We were pretty much wondering about it while implementing ssa subtitle support… That might want to be used, although it isn't in our nearest plans.
- While reading character descriptions or tips we were often cursing the inability to scroll them up and down, which has been resolved now. We added some pretty smooth scroll support to some of our menus (e.g. Tips, Characters, Grimoire, Music Box, etc.)
- In fact, we even touched some usability parts. We added some preliminary support for DualShock joysticks (yes, even that brand new one from PS4) and some others. Hope we will get good feedback from you when we need it, otherwise we will let you enjoy our now-working force feedback for hours :) Some minor OS X changes, like a friendly app bundle (instead of 4geek command-line tool) are also present in the trunk.
Now about the promo video itself. As you might have noticed, the English translation differs in places from the Witch Hunt original. Though Witch Hunt's Chiru translation was of an excellent standard, they were still bound by the choices that had been made while translating episodes 1 to 4. We, however, are not, and additionally have the advantage of having the whole of Umineko completed before us as we do our work. We have not only tried to fix translation mistakes and standardize the style, but change some wording and even terms when it was beneficial according to our opinion. None of it is final, and yet more changes may still be made; if you have solid reasons why something should be different, either from the video or from Witch Hunt, we are gladly open for comment and discussion. If you want to contribute more than that, we also have room for hardworking editors, both for English and Russian (for contact info: PS3 Port). You can see a sample of the kind of translation edits that are being performed here: PS3 Port English TL Edits Sample.
Just as before we won't give any estimates, but we have just reached one more milestone in our engine roadmap, which was the last one preceding a public alpha of episode 1. Perhaps we will ask a few technical questions of you with time, either here or on a new platform, which is being readied. Stay tuned.
P. S. I am very sorry for not translating this into Russian for my countrymen, but if I spent all my time writing blog entries, I would have been cursed before I even wrote the first one. Guys, tl this if you have time ^^; A Russian video is on the way, but we badly need sleep.