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How is everyone doing on Higurashi? I’m imagining people are on Winter Break now with more time to play. I’m glad to hear some people are actually enjoying the new BGMs more than the original. I’m already starting on checking Higurashi Kai here and there.

I uploaded a few web banners for Higurashi in case you want to show support to our release. It would be appreciated!

I’ll try answer a few questions while I’m here…


Q. I appreciate this translation a lot and don’t regret buying it, but frankly this could really use another proofreading pass.

As being the final person to look over the English, I have no execuse…

But it is possible to patch our games in the future so you’ll have a more perfect copy at the end. Though there are reasons we can’t do it right away; namely the scheduling of our translator/proofreaders. They are already working on our next games.

If you think you can help out, please make use of our Bug Report section in our message board. It makes things easier when the time comes.

I hope we can further improve our future translations as well by organizing our process, hiring better people, etc.

Q. I hereby offer my complete willingness to go over the upcoming Higurashi Kai script FOR FREE if it will help improve Manga Gamer’s final product

If you seriously think that you can help out, send me an e-mail at evospace”at”hotmail.com. I don’t know how we can arrange this yet, but lets keep in touch.

Q. Soul Link Release Date?

We are aiming for December 28, 2009…

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  1. No Soul Link Christmas present then unless you release the demo like I mentioned in an earlier post for christmas to wet people’s appetites (among other things).

  2. I don’t know exactly how Higurashi’s translation is, but Evospace, you were supposedly the last person to look over Kira Kira, and we know how that turned out. You missed so many errors on that that it’s laughable. Maybe it’s about time someone else is assigned the final proofreading job.

    And really, that’s the problem with Mangagamer. They move on to new projects way too fast. They don’t give as much time to polish a product like they should. I didn’t even consider Suika finished when they tried to move me to Kira Kira, and I had to decline that because I didn’t think the time alloted was enough to meet my quality requirements. Games should get multiple passes from several native English speakers who are good at spotting errors before being released. Don’t release them after one editing job (especially if it’s one of a bad translation) and one quick proofreading job.

  3. If the proofreaders are paid by the job and not by the hour, it doesn’t make any sense not to give them the time they ask for–they’ll end up doing a better job for the same pay. You’d probably also have an easier time finding proofreaders when you need them as well. I can understand why Higurashi might be rushed (Christmas and all), but you might want to reconsider how much you rush the proofreading in the future. During the extra time the proofreaders are spending, the translators can move to other titles–and if the proofreaders are still busy when translations are finished, simply hire more proofreaders, as the money spent will be the same regardless.

    • @Dark_Shiki: Yeah, seriously. I was only paid to do the initial editing job, but I volunteered to do a complete proofread of the game once they inserted the script. For free. I simply wasn’t satisfied with the quality of the script given my time constraints. All they had to do was delay the game, which they did anyway. But they still didn’t let me go over it again for some reason. They focus too much on getting money in the short term to manage their long-term reputation, and now it’s going to take even more effort to fix their reputation…

      • The rush MangaGamer is in kind of sounds similar to Geneon USA, doesn’t it?

      • On my part, if there’s ever a line I don’t think sounds quite right after translating it into English, I usually shoot the line to a random friend of mine who happens to be online at the time. Preferably one of the ones I know who has editing experience, but I at least try to have another English speaker double check my wording when I’m uncertain. Of course, this means that only slips of wording are caught. All the typos still end up reaching Evospace.

        ^_^;; I wonder how many times he’s had to change “feel” to “fell” and vice versa… All those little things that Word still misses.

        But still, I’d like to think I’ve done my best to help keep grammatical errors and typos out of Soul Link and Edelweiss Eiden Fantasia, so I hope you all look forward to those two titles.

    • Just so you know, paying someone by the job or by the project is *usually* a way to ensure that the job gets done faster, not to ensure that it gets done better. If you’re paid by the job, then that means the more jobs you complete in less time, the higher your pay rate. If you can do two jobs passably in the time it takes you to do one job well, you make more money by doing two jobs passably. Spending extra time to make sure the translation is done well or free of errors results in a reduced salary. So the more time I spend say, researching an accent to make it sound right in the text *cough*upcoming release(s)*cough* or the the more time I spend say, asking people I know to double check my sentences, the more my salary would go down. If an editor is paid by the job, then extra passes through a lengthy script also mean less money for them. As zalas said, those of us who translate or edit for the anime/manga industry usually aren’t paid to run extra passes through a script since the cost usually isn’t worth the expense. Take Edelweiss for example, yes, it could use a going through, and yes, I would love to fix it, but from a business standpoint, it’s not necessarily feasible at the moment. For it to be feasible from a business standpoint, the projected increase in sales of the game would have to offset the cost of paying for a re-translation, editing the re-translation, programming the new script in, updating the website to reflect the changes, and any other costs I may be forgetting. In a sense, the expected profit from “fixing” it must equate to the expected profit for a new game. This almost never happens.

      It’s a belief of mine, probably because I started as a fan translator, but I’ve always agreed with zalas and the people at insani, that you can’t effectively translate a work without first experiencing it yourself (by reading it or playing it as fits the medium). That’s why I make it my policy to play through all the routes in any game I translate. If one were working for a video game company like Atlus, and paid an hourly wage or a flat salary, they might get paid to do so. But when one is paid by the project, spending the few days it takes to do so results in several days of unpaid work.

      Still, despite all these reasons why I *should* rush, I choose not to. Of course, I am guilty of that fact that since I spend this extra time trying to make sure my translation is accurate and high quality when I first run through the scripts, I usually don’t spend time going back to double check it. This means I do end up relying on others like Evospace to catch things I may have missed when running through the script. As point in proof, there were about 6 or 7 lines I completely missed somehow or another in Edelweiss Eiden Fantasia. I don’t know how they slipped by me like that, but luckily, one of the editors caught them and I submitted the translation for them. In the case of the games I’ve personally worked on for MangaGamer like Soul Link and EEF, Evospace and I have sent the scripts back and forth a few times already, and both of us have caught something the other missed each time. I can’t speak for Evospace, but for me it all falls under the flat “project” pay.

      Anyways, my point is that while yes, being paid by the project means a person can spend extra time on a project, it also acts a deterrent to them spending that extra time.

      • Of course, but Reikon is claiming that MG is rushing proofreaders *faster than they would normally go, even though they’re paid by the project*, and what EvoSpace says seems to corrobrate that. Rushing the proofreaders in such a situation doesn’t save any money, which is why it seems silly to me. “Time only equals money” if staff have downtime–if you move them to another project, there’s no downtime and no money wasted (although there may very well be a SHORT TERM loss of income since *that particular game* is released later rather than sooner (which may indeed be a factor, as zalas’s innuendo touches on).

        Anyway, I’m certainly not trying to start an argument. Just trying to get a point across that seems obvious to me but which I may not be communicating properly. My “argument” is purely a logical one–I have no business experience myself.

  4. i feel like a douche but since i love your release so much i’ll admit it. i did buy the game however i did install a add on to change the font, and the graphics to ps2 version. so srry about that

    • If you want to play it with generic faces seen in almost every other VN, instead of cute and original art, that’s your problem.

      • hahaha, cute and original? hardly. I don’t utterly despise Higurashi’s art but it’s not ORIGINAL, that would imply Ryukishi drew it like that on purpose when he did not. His drawing skills just suck, it’s not an artistic choice or anything.

  5. December 28th is actually a pretty convenient release date for me. Get back from Grandparent’s house from Christmas —> play Soul Link all day, not bathe.

  6. My apologies, but I will not purchase a game on the contingency that it MIGHT be patched sometime in the future to provide a quality translation. That is your job from the START.

    Since Mangagamer’s inception, I have not heard a single good thing about your translations. Every single time, the most positive thing I have heard about them is that they are “readable”. No offense, but “readable” is not worth my money.

    I was hoping that a high-profile title such as Higurashi might make MG reconsider their policy of delivering consistently sloppy releases, but it appears that this was not the case. It’s a shame, really.

    I’m not asking for Shakespeare, but something that is at the professional level would be nice.

    • The problem is that not many translations for things like anime, games, comics, etc. end up reaching a high level of quality, either, unless you are a large company with tons of money to burn. Fact is, most of these translation jobs don’t pay at “market rate”, since until you become a big player, your fan base doesn’t care enough that the extra cost put into an excellent translation would be offset by additional sales.

      • If there were not fan translators who release quality translations without ever seeing a red cent for their work, that argument would have merit.

        I simply do not understand how a company that actually has resources to devote to their projects can consistently fail to deliver a product that is at the same quality as a handful of people with no support working on a project in their spare time.

        Once again, I’m not expecting high literature. But to expect your customers to pay for something that is of less than professional quality is insulting to them.

        To me, it seems that Mangagamer is more interested in making a quick buck off of unsuspecting fans than it is in “becoming a big player”, as their reputation clearly means nothing to them.

        • Fan translators do not depend on their work to eat and generally have no deadlines. Current rates are quite low for many potential candidates to consider an anime/manga/game translation in lieu of a different job. There also isn’t a very good reason for most people to take on a translation job in addition to their normal day job, either, since translating for some company is a lot more stressful than fan translating.

          Lastly, the existence of fan translators who can produce good work means nothing, except perhaps implying that there exists professional translators who can produce good work (which happens to be true); it says nothing about whether professional translators who produce bad translations exist or not.

          To me, it seems that MangaGamer is simply the latest incarnation of Japanese game companies wanting to experiment with extending their audience overseas, and making enough money to stay afloat is probably their only financial concern right now.

  7. Hello,
    I am the translator and partial proofreader of the french version of Higurashi, and before I start, I am not here to fuel the hate or anything. I am here because I actually KNOW what it’s like to proofread over thousand pages of text.
    Now, as many people say and complain about, I am not saying the quality of the translation is good enough to warrant the price, I’m just saying : considering the staff, the time frame, and the company policies, I seriously didn’t expect anything better. It took me 3 months to translate *1* game, and I had dozens of rounds of proofreading on my own over the course of 10 months – and even now, as the game is released in France, people email me about blatant typoes and mistakes.
    You have to understand that, when the text is this long, you end up “knowing” the text and not “reading” it anymore. I did the proofreading of book3 day 1 the other day, and while I did find mistakes and typoes, I also found places where entire words were completely missing. I am so engrossed into the text, I know how the sentence will come out, so I cover up whatever my eyes see with my knowledge of “what sentence is supposed to be there”, and thus, there are plenty of things which go completely under my radar.
    I actually talked to the higher ups at mangagamer in July, we had an argument on the phone and I ended up ditching them, because I knew that the conditions of the work would not allow for a really good translation.
    Evospace, I feel for you, I really do. I know how long it takes to read the whole text, you barely had that amount of time to do the whole proofreading, so of course you couldn’t do everything, and yet I just know you tried as hard as possible.
    When the next proofreading kicks in, ask for another person after you. I dunno, some relative of yours who has no idea about these japanese shenanigans. I dunno if your time frame would allow it, but it really helps.

  8. While I do understand some of the complaints, I think there is a mountain being made out of a mole-hill.

    I will start off by saying the game I have played of Manga Gamer’s include Higurashi, and Shuffle. So my experience with them is pretty limited. HOWEVER, given that they are non-engslish native based company, I can see how some errors have been made. Somethings such as commas being left out or even “Hizanimawa”. That latter is easliy explained by the fact that the human brain is able to read a word so long as all the letters are present and the first/last letters retain their orrignal position. “An elmapxe wluod be snmtoehig lkie tihs.”

    Everyday games are released by big name developers and publishers that consumers are expected to pay for. And I have yet to see a single one that does not ship with atleast one gamebreaking bug. Yet, customers still buy them, and wait for them to be patched.

    With that being said, is it really that fair to hold Manga Gamer so far above everyone else in that regard?

    • >Everyday games… do not ship without at least one gamebreaking bug.

      That comparison doesn’t work, since those games are MUCH more complex than a simple visual novel like this one and often involve building a game from the ground up. Mangagamer translated and ported the script from nscripter to BGI. That’s a lot of work, certainly, but its nothing compared to the work that goes into a big name game, and Mangagamer expects us to pay the same price. Given the time frame they had to work with, it’s not surprising these errors exist, but what’s wrong with postponing? When they announced Higurashi would be released in December instead of October, I was relieved that there would be more time to do this game right. Most of us here are simply asking that Mangagamer take the time to ensure a quality release. That’s all. We won’t mind waiting an extra month or two (or more, even) for a good, dependable, professionally done VN.

      However, the way Mangagamer operates, with their consistently sloppy releases, makes many people not want to buy their product. For every post online where I see someone say “Buy their translation, they deserve the money”, I see twenty people say they pirated it because they aren’t going to pay $50 for an unfinished game. There was a cracked Higurashi torrent available within hours of its release and a flurry of activity to ‘fix’ it as soon as it dropped.

      These people, despite their illegal activity, have a legitimate complaint. This game isn’t finished. It’s that simple. You say you MAY patch the game eventually, but in the meantime, what are we supposed to do? Wait for an indefinite amount of time for the game we want, or pay more money than the current game is worth?

      When the community not only expects but PLANS for a bad release, something is very wrong. I feel for Evospace, I really do. But making excuses, however understandable they may be, doesn’t cut it. People don’t want to pay money to hear you apologize and wring your hands. They want to pay money for a quality translation.

      • Let me add something. My previous post, and a few of the others here, may have been a bit unfair to Evospace. It’s not really his fault the script is as bad as it is; most of the blame lies at Mangagamer itself for forcing this game out so soon.

        I’ve said this before, but let me say it again: I do appreciate this translation. I’ve been wanting to read Higurashi for years, and because of Mangagamer, I’ll finally be able to.
        But that’s part of my point. Most of us have waited a long time for these games. We won’t mind waiting a bit more for you make sure they’re done properly.

        Please, if Higurashi Kai is in the same state that Higurashi is when February rolls around, delay it until you can release something you’d be proud to sell and we’d be proud to buy. I’ve been waiting years for this. A few more weeks won’t kill me.

  9. I’m somewhat forgiving of grammar errors, but anything that would be caught be spellcheck is really inexcusable.

  10. My suggestion to MangaGamer: Staff should get paid more for quality. Say a game goes on sale and the staff have been initially paid for completion. If the game is largely free of errors and the public is happy with the quality of the text, perhaps give a bonus. If the game is full of errors, no bonus for them.

    There needs to be some form of incentive to ensure quality in your games.

  11. I won’t buy it before the patch has been released… The price is high enough that the grammar shouldn’t be as poor as described above.

  12. Some typos here and their aren’t really as big a deal as you seem to think they are, and this business isn’t nearly as simple as you think it is. Simply paying someone better isn’t actually going to increase the quality of their work

    • It isn’t merely a few typos here and there. It’s about 5-15 errors for every hundred lines. That is inexcusable. That level of quality would not be tolerated in mainstream publishing. Mangagamer should not be able to get away with such sloppiness just because they are catering to a niche market.

      • And the amusing thing is, some professional companies do get away with massive amounts of errors, *as long as* they are translation errors and not English errors. For example, the novel translations for Shana have errors all over the place, but the text is very well written.

  13. I like the higurashi release (along with most of the other manga gamer releases) although I would hope manga gamer becomes more into nscripter than bgi, because bgi is remains solely for windows, even though you can run windows on mac, alot do not, and the ones using the other os from windows, and mac most likely has no support to run it. If this is due to the fact that they have aren’t as familiar with Nscripter than with bgi it’s understandable.

    • If you get Crossover Games for Mac, you can run the MangaGamer games (or at least SHUFFLE!) by double clicking the exe file. The only thing I couldn’t get working was the opening movie which crashed on opening in the game. Simply moving it elsewhere allows the game to work (an error message in Japanese comes up when the OP movie is supposed to be, just click yes and the game continues as normal).

  14. I really, really hope the release of Higurashi Kai is compatible with mods like the original Higurashi translation is.
    Not that anything is wrong with the original Higurashi. Although the ps2 sprites and bgs are just a lot more pleasant to look at for some.
    And it also gives fans a workaround to hear the original BGM (Hint hint) without mangagamer being responsible for copyright issues if fans mod it.

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