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The Patcher's Perspective on The Day and Staff

By Forlong - 3rd December 2009 - 03:10 AM

Wow, December already. If that doesn't seem like a problem to you, it's probably because you don't have a patch to release in just one month. January second is fast approaching, and I have to have everything ready for a smooth patch release by then.

Well, actually, I have to be ready for more than a smooth release, I have to be ready for The Day as well, and as I've never exactly done a good job at releasing a patch smoothly before without anything else going on, The Day is going to make things thoroughly more, shall we say, exciting.

Oh, yeah, and I'm totally overwhelmed.

I need help.

After reading this Patcher's Perspective, I hope you'll consider helping out yourself as you can. In the second half of this article, I'm going to make a plea for you, the community, to help out, and I'm going to tell you how you can do so. Oh and as a heads-up, there will also be a Surprise at the end of this article.


Preparations

I'm just coding too slowly to accomplish everything I want to accomplish on time. The first big deadline for me would be the end of next week, the date I want to have the in-game text "finished" for the translators. (Fortunately, most all of what I need to code are bugfixes, so those won't affect in-game text, and I can do them a bit later. But I'm still not making enough progress, I will need to speed things up.) That will give them three weeks to translate the patch before release. Then at the last minute I'll send them updated text since there's no way we won't make any new changes in the last three weeks.

Of course, they won't have all three weeks for the translation. The patch needs to be done at least three or four days before the release date, preferably a bit more but it doesn't look like we'll have extra time. That's because it needs to get uploaded to GameReplays after I finish it, and that's something I have no control over. Sometimes uploads get done the day I request them, other times it can take up to a week, which is why the patch needs to be done a while before release. Also, the replay system needs to be updated to recognize the 2.1 patch, and to do that, the patch obviously has to be complete first. Again, this sometimes gets done the day I request it, sometimes days later.

Of course, patching isn't all I have to do, I also need to get The Day ready. There are threads to be made (who all have you recruited for The Day?), guides to be written (here's how to show players the patch, here's how to not scare them away, how to...), and so on. Most ambitiously, I need to reorganize navigation through our Game Info page, turn it into an effective advertisement for the patch, find some way to make sure people know to look there (it's available from the right side of the site header, if you didn't know about it), and so on - a huge project. All told, I've got my hands full, to say the least. There's more that needs to be done, too, but you can help with that.

There are three main ways to help out: translating the patch, writing Transition Guides, and producing VODs.


Patch Translations

First, we need dedicated people to translate the patch into other languages. (If English is your only language, you might as well skip to the next page now.) This is so important, because non-English patches hugely expand the size of our potential community. Sure, non-English players download 2.02 for ClanWars, but few casual players are likely to do so if it's not translated. Worse, 2.1 uses many, many more new tooltips, enough that 2.1 will look much worse without a translated version than earlier patches ever did (nonexistent tooltips show up as an ugly error in-game).

We'll accept translations for any language that RotWK was released in (plus Portuguese to be compatible with the massive Total Translation Project). It is critical that someone translates the patch into German given the large German community on RotWK that we need to reach. We also very much want French and Spanish translations as well. We already have translators for the Italian and Chinese patches. We do not know how to translate the patch into Polish and Russian, you're welcome to try but you'll be on your own trying to figure out how. If you are interested in helping translate, please PM me so that I can add your name to my list. I'll get back to you in a week or two with more details. You must own the game in the language you wish to translate!

What you'll be doing is translating just in-game textual changes and the text that goes with the patch launcher, you're not expected to translate the changelog. You'd be taking an old tooltip from your language (matching the old English one) and replacing it with a new tooltip matching the new English one. The changes are typically small, for example, changing "Hero can convert the allegiance of enemy units in a large radius" to "Hero can temporarily convert the allegiance of enemy units in a large radius".

Just be aware: there are many of these small changes, and it takes time to make them with the software you'll have to use, so be prepared for the work if you're signing up.

A huge "thank you" in advance to everyone who translates 2.1, this is a very important job!