CHAOS;HEAD NOAH - Progress Update #1
Alright, enough time has passed that we seriously owe everyone some transparency about CHAOS;HEAD NOAH. Luckily, however, with this transparency we bring a whole lot more good news than bad.
We have a new main translator! Rain, who has been a big help on NOAH and our patches in the past, and who you might know from his work on the Mahoyo translation project, is going to be in charge of all CHAOS;HEAD NOAH translation efforts going forward. And he’s not alone!
In the past, we’ve held the stance that sticking to one translator and one editor per project is necessary for the sake of maintaining professionalism. And while we still largely believe that, we’ve found in our experiences that such a system is simply not very practical when your lead translator is trying to balance work, school, and translation (which is practically a second job in itself!)
Attempting to maintain such a system is not only time-consuming, but also incredibly stressful, especially for the translator. That system certainly didn’t work for Rigs, and we don’t expect it to work for Rain either.
So, we’ve re-thought our translation methods, and we’re happy to announce our new translation system, as well as the new team that comes with it!
On top of lead TL Rain, we have new members WitchEvelyn, fl4t_is_justice, Enorovan, and ChrisGLink, as well as returning translator Rigs! (Yep, he’s back on the team.) With editing/proofreading help from barrafas and Jake, these make up our new translation team.
That sounds like a mess. How will you manage all those translators?
Well, our new head translator Rain has suggested to us a new system based on his work from the Mahoyo project:
First, we split up the work of the initial translation between the “first pass” team. This will ensure that there is always at least someone working on Noah at all times.
Then, in order to maintain professional quality and consistent style as best we can, we have our main translator Rain and lead editor Kumin do a thorough TLC/Editing “second pass” where we revise the translation to our standards.
It’s true that stylistic consistency is one of the big problems with projects that utilize multiple translators. However, Rain has experience in working with this style of workflow thanks to the Mahoyo project, and Kumin is notorious for being a stickler for consistency.
This way, we’re working to bring to you, with a much faster and much more efficient method than before, the professional-quality translation we’ve always promised.
We will confess that during the time when Rigs was the project lead, not a large amount of the translation was finished due to personal issues constantly getting in the way of progress. Rigs already had to balance many IRL responsibilities, and adding to the mix the pressure of translating a whole visual novel on his own—it was simply a recipe for disaster. It was never going to work.
We’ve sort of been tip-toeing around the facts this whole time, hoping we could refrain from talking much publicly about the NOAH project until it neared completion, but that’s proven to be totally ineffective.
Listed below is all the progress that was made prior to August 12th, before the new recruits joined:
Common route - 4.34%
B route - 3.70%
Nanami route - 5.56%
Yua route - 7.33%
Sena route - 3.34%
Kozue route - 73.78%
Ayase route - 5.91%
Rimi route - 14.31%
As for our new team and new setup, we’re so much more confident in our abilities to work actively, productively, and regularly that we’re introducing monthly progress reports! We’re expecting to see more progress in a matter of months than we made in the past several years on the project with this new setup, and it’s already begun.
So without further ado, here’s the total progress overall, including work done by the new translation team!
(Note that so far only first pass translation progress is listed, as Rain has not yet started on the second-pass TLC and has instead been working on Ayase’s route.)
Overall Totals — August 25th, 2020
*: Note that Common route accounts for about two thirds of the game, and consists mostly of content that was in the original CHAOS;HEAD
**: Numbers highlighted in bold indicate that progress has been made in the past two weeks.
That’s right—nearly all of Sena and Ayase’s routes were translated in just the past two weeks!!
Furthermore, although he wasn’t able to get very far when he was the only translator on NOAH, Rigs’ insane amount of research into subjects related to the game continues to prove vital to a quality translation project.
From pop culture references to religious allusions (especially Buddhism—man, there is so much Buddhism in CHAOS;HEAD NOAH you have no idea), his deep knowledge and appreciation of the game is unparalleled, and that’s the reason why, until Rain came along, we believed that nobody else was right for the job. Even now, though, we owe so much to him, and we’re very glad to still have him around to help Rain supervise the project.
By the way, with this new workflow, the NOAH project won’t be significantly slowing down progress on the patches for official SciADV localizations that we are making/plan on making in the future, as we’re working on assembling dedicated teams for those projects that don’t overlap much with the NOAH team.
For the first time, although we don’t want to say any specifics yet (as we wouldn’t want to disappoint anyone if we turn out to be wrong), we’re thinking that we might have an idea of when the translation might release, which is incredibly exciting for us.
But yes, that’s all we have to say right now regarding the CHAOS;HEAD NOAH translation! We all have high hopes for the future prospects of this project, and we hope you’re all as excited as we are!
You’re probably also wondering about progress on the PC port of the game. How is that coming along? Well, why don’t you take a look? We have here for you a preview of some of the work that’s been recently done—particularly, on the menus and user interface.
According to port lead SomeAnon, the only major missing features are loading and saving, skipping, the backlog, and audio/video playback (which have been implemented once before, but the code is in serious need of a rewrite).
However, pinning down any sort of ETA is, as always, difficult. SomeAnon explains: “For instance, fixing a particularly nasty bug can easily take up more time and energy than implementing one of the aforementioned features.”
Nevertheless, he’s keeping hard at work, and we will be providing updates on the port in these monthly progress reports. We’ll be showing off new and already-implemented features—as well as snippets of our translations—so stay tuned!