Happy new year, everyone. It’s been a while since we’ve had an update.
As we’ve mentioned in various places, we are working on an English version of the open source Japanese visual novel/adventure game engine KiriKiri/KAG, which we’ve dubbed Kage-Kirie. We’ve been so focused on finishing our first major project Flight of Twilight that we haven’t gone out of our way to promote our websites, so it came as a little bit of a surprise when we found out that the English Wikipedia page for KiriKiri started linking here. Our work on translating KiriKiri/KAG has mostly been going around via word of mouth, but now is a good time to explain what is going on.
Much of the information here is explained in greater detail on the project wiki for Kage-Kirie, located at http://www.mysteryparfait.com/kage-kirie/.
I signed onto the task of localizing KiriKiri when we decided to use the engine that was used for successful Japanese visual novels such as Fate/Stay Night for our own project. The reasons we chose it are simple. It’s extremely powerful, flexible, and free. Also, because I understand Japanese.
However, there were a number of hurdles for the project. Most notably, by default, KiriKiri does not handle English word wrapping (glibly cutting words in half at the end of a line). The fact that all of the menus, error messages, and documentation are in Japanese is also somewhat of a problem. Breaking down the project, these are the changes necessary for a typical English speaker to download, install, create and distribute their own game.
- Complete English language support for scenario files, including proper text wrapping
- Most basic necessity for any English game to even run correctly
- Complete localization of all windows, dialog boxes, and other user interface
- Necessary for English-speaking players to play most games
- Complete localization of all distributed (online) documentation
- Necessary for most English-speaking developers know how to make games
- Complete localization of all tools distributed with KAG
- Necessary for developers to use all of KiriKiri’s features and distribute games
- Complete localization of all in-line documentation (in the TJS files for the KAG system)
- Necessary for advanced developers who want to modify the engine
This is roughly the priority list for work on Kage-Kirie. Fortunately, we’ve completed the first two tasks already. That means that using the current engine, players should be able to play the games entirely in English.
That said, the next hurdle is a much steeper one in terms of sheer workload. Fortunately, there is a wealth of information on using KiriKiri to its maximum potential. Unfortunately, that information is mostly in Japanese. I’m slowly copying and formatting the existing documentation into a wiki format, but my writing and programming duties for Flight of Twilight (and real life demands outside of the project) take a priority, so this has been put on the back burner for now.
As KiriKiri is open source, Kage-Kirie is as well. We welcome any help people wish to contribute to the project. As it is a translation project of a technical nature, though, anyone offering help should at least have a solid grasp of Japanese and understand basic programming concepts.
It’s truly our hope that eventually a whole new audience of English speakers will be able to share in the wonderful program that W.Dee has been developing and distributing for free for years, using it to create their own games for others to play.