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[Release (0.6.3)] NTP - A Multi-Language Translation Library Interface

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Novachen:
Heyya everybody,

it was a very tough year for myself. Unfortunately i was not able to find some time to work on version 0.7. I hope i can release a version with some new translateable missions during the next twelve months.
But because new MediaVPs were released, i have to do at least a compatibility update.
So here it is. But there are more things under the hood.

What is new in Version 0.6.3?
• MediaVPs 4.7.1 compatibility!
• Updated strings.tbl. All translatable strings added since NTP's 0.6.2 release are now supported. This includes the new in-game settings menu currently in development.
• Some strings from the Retail FreeSpace 2 Launcher had to be restored for this as well.
• The japanese translation of "Escape Pod Bay" exceeded the 32 Bit Buffer, which cause crashes on newer FSO builds. Another shorter term is now used.
• The japanese language package now also includes the complete default (aka english) language, as the used japanese font support all english letters anyway.
• Added new entries to the controlconfigdefaults.tbl to prevent the usage of duplicate IDs and to ensure proper translatability for every input setting.
• Changed MediaVPs & HD Mainhall files are now in their own VP files in preparation to make NTP more independent from both in the future.
• Mission update in SM1-08 "The Sixth Wonder": Some event changes on the NTCv Hawkwood & NTC Conquest to make them less obviously indestructible for fighters.
• Mission update in SM3-02 "High Noon": If the SD Beleth survives SM3-01 "Bearbaiting" with active beam cannons, it will now also provide proper fire support for the SJ Sathanas with them.
• Mission update in SM3-04 "Straight, No Chaser": The SJ Yama/GVD Psamtik sequence has been slightly optimized.
• Mission update in loop2-2 "Into the Lion's Den": Further repositioning of some ships. The mission should be solvable with all objectives on Insane difficulty again. Also, the Shivan check on the GTF Maras happens earlier now.
• Mission update in DemoTrain "Training": Command Briefing did not have any voice because of a wrong file name. This was corrected.

What NTP stands for?
No idea, it never got an official full title. Feel free to call it how you like. How sounds New Thoughts Process to you?
The original name was simple "Novachen's Translation Project"... lame, i know.

What is NTP?
NTP is actually an effort to create a translation library for FreeSpace campaigns.
To be more precise, the goal is, that every FreeSpace campaign can be fully translated into several languages with the use of only few files.
The idea actually goes back to one of the first drafts of my FreiRaum translation project, that could not be realized due to the string id limit in the tstrings.tbl back then.
However especially thanks to m!m i was able to include some localization features, which also includes the deactivation of the string limit. Now it is possible to bring most text of all mods into one string file.

In the end, i try to offer a much better structure for translation efforts with NTP, as the main task is the creation of unique id ranges for the individual mods.
The best case would be, that NTP consists only of a single (t)strings file, which contain all string entris, that people can easily use to play or to translate into their prefered language.
To make the process as understandable as possible, there are many annoted sections in the translation files.
As i am using NTP for my own german translation that is nearly developed simultaneously, i make sure, that everything text related is translateable.

What are the Contents of NTP Version 0.6?
• Full translateable Menus and Tables.
• Full translateable Subtitles for all 10 FreeSpace 2 Cutscenes.
• Full translateable FreeSpace 2 Main campaign with 41 missions, which take place from 11 May 2367 to 07 August 2367.
• Full translateable FreeSpace 2: Demo campaign with 3 missions, which take place from 13 June 2367 to 22 June 2367.
• Full translateable FreeSpace 2: Operation Templar campaign with 4 missions, which take place from 28 October 2347 to 30 October 2347.

Which languages are included next to English?

1 2
1
1 2
1 2FreeSpace 2
Menu✅✅✅☑️✅✅Technical Database✅✅✅☑️✅✅Cutscene Subtitles✅✅✅✅✅✅Non-mission specific text✅✅✅✅✅✅Single Player
FreeSpace 2 Campaign✅✅✅✅✅✅FreeSpace 2: Demo Campaign✅✅✅☑️✅✅FreeSpace 2: Operation Templar Campaign✅✅✅❌✅✅
Icons:
✅ - Fully translated
☑️ - Partially translated
❌ - Untranslated
1 - This language does not have a currently active translator.
2 - An older translation, that was fixed and adapted to NTP by myself. As i am not a native speaker, there are maybe some inaccurate translations of some text i translated myself. My translations were created through dictionaries, translation tools and AI.
Contributers:
French: Achille44
German: Novachen
Italian: marco111
Japanese: Komet, Nikogori & Soy Sauce
Polish: Interplay Entertainment & Mito [PL]
Spanish: Alex Navarro

What is different to the original FreeSpace 2?
• I splitted up some training messages (and their voice files) into two individual messages each, as even the original messages were already too long to be displayed in the training message gauge.
• Fixed the formatting in Command- aswell Debriefings. In the command briefings FreeSpace2 used the wrong color code, so that it was not visible. And debriefings did not have any color formatting whatsoever.
• Date and Location Information were added into the first CBrief Page. So the FreeSpace 2 campaign takes place from 11th May 2367 until 07th August 2367.
• Some missions got bugfixes.

What problems are still present?
• Even i have included string ids for wing names, they can not be used as an actual wing name. In example Alpha is called Alfa in briefings and communication messages in some translations, but in the mission they are still Alpha.
• Due to engine-restrictions, i can not offer an All-in-One package unfortunately.
• The NTP lacks language specific hud_gauges and coordinates for the context sensitive help system because of this also.

Other translation related stuff
• The newest version of my small Language Selector is included, which offers a german and english speaking user interface. The newest version of it also features the possibility to activate Italian within FreeSpace. However, this Selector does not support Portable Mode. If you use Portable Mode, you have to edit the "Language" entry in the fs2_open.ini in the game folder by yourself.
For the current release, following languages are officially supported by NTP and so can be entered manually as a value in the beforementioned Language Entry: "default", "French", "German", "Italian", "Japanese", "Polish" & "Spanish".

DOWNLOAD:
Installer
The Player package is available on FSOInstaller.
('Save Link as...', requires Java to run)

Manual Installation
Player Package:
NTP Root (Version 0.6.3) (7.05 MB) - Includes all missions and table files that were prepared for NTP so far. The Language Selector is also included.
LANGUAGE ADDON PACKAGES
Only one of these packages can be used simultaneously.
NTP EUR Package (Version 0.6.3) (924.90 KB) - This package includes all european languages. So English and the translations in French, German, Italian, Polish, and Spanish, aswell all settings and the font that are needed for most other Latin-based languages.
NTP JPN Package (Version 0.6.3) (3.50 MB) - This package includes English and the Japanese translation aswell all settings and the font that is needed for that.

Developer Package:
NTP Developer Files (Version 0.6.3) (11.21 MB) - This package actually includes all of the above. However the translation related files are extracted in subfolders for the different languages. This package is not playable without any further moving of files, as the main purpose is to offer the possibility to create own translations as fast and easy as possible. Of course it can also be used to fix or to expand already available languages aswell :).
NTP Developer Tools (Version 2023-12-06) (306.05 MB) - This package is only a collection of tools, i am using myself for the development of NTP. So they are surely helpful for your translation efforts as well.
The contents are: ANIBuilder32, ANIViewer32, DeepL, GIMP (2.10.36) and Notepad++ (8.6 in x86/x64). Only recommendend if you do not have these anyway.

If you are developing or expanding a translation, i would like that you share your results, so that your development can be integrated here :).

Requirements:
• FS2_Open 23.3.0 from 06th December 2023 or newer.
• MediaVPs 4.7.X in a Folder called MediaVPs_47X.
• MjnMixael's HD Mainhalls 1.4.10 in a Folder called mjnhalls.
The folders are created automatically if you use the FSOInstaller method above.

Installation:
Extract the manual archives into the FreeSpace 2 folder and use your Launcher of choice to launch the game.
The language selector is available in its own folder and should be self-explanatory as it offers a German and English speaking interface.

If you want to use NTP in Knossos however, you have to create a "New Mod", that have the under "Requirements" listed components as a requirement.

Visual Impressions:







What changed during the course of this project?

--- Code: ---Version 0.6.3:
Released at: 2023-12-06
• MediaVPs 4.7.1 compatibility!
• Updated strings.tbl. All translatable strings added since NTP's 0.6.2 release are now supported. This includes the new in-game settings menu currently in development.
• Some strings from the Retail FreeSpace 2 Launcher had to be restored for this as well.
• The japanese translation of "Escape Pod Bay" exceeded the 32 Bit Buffer, which cause crashes on newer FSO builds. Another shorter term is now used.
• The japanese language package now also includes the complete default (aka english) language, as the used japanese font support all english letters anyway.
• Added new entries to the controlconfigdefaults.tbl to prevent the usage of duplicate IDs and to ensure proper translatability for every input setting.
• Changed MediaVPs & HD Mainhall files are now in their own VP files in preparation to make NTP more independent from both in the future.
• Mission update in SM1-08 "The Sixth Wonder": Some event changes on the NTCv Hawkwood & NTC Conquest to make them less obviously indestructible for fighters.
• Mission update in SM3-02 "High Noon": If the SD Beleth survives SM3-01 "Bearbaiting" with active beam cannons, it will now also provide proper fire support for the SJ Sathanas with them.
• Mission update in SM3-04 "Straight, No Chaser": The SJ Yama/GVD Psamtik sequence has been slightly optimized.
• Mission update in loop2-2 "Into the Lion's Den": Further repositioning of some ships. The mission should be solvable with all objectives on Insane difficulty again. Also, the Shivan check on the GTF Maras happens earlier now.
• Mission update in DemoTrain "Training": Command Briefing did not have any voice because of a wrong file name. This was corrected.

Version 0.6.2:
Released at: 2022-07-31
• MediaVPs 4.6.5 compatibility!
• MjnMixael's HD Mainhalls 1.4.10 compatibility!
• Various Mission fixes.
- SM1-03 "The Romans Blunder": The Psamtik was repositioned and rearmed to make sure, that it uses the Anti Capital Beam Cannons against the NTF cruisers.
- SM1-09 "Into the Maelstrom": The hull status of the GTFr Parracombe and Cargo Pod 163 is now bound to each other to show the correct hull damage.
- loop1-1 "Rebels and Renegades": On its attack run on the NTFg Iceni it could happen, that the GVC Yaaru finished off the NTSC Hinton by accident. The Hinton got some more Hitpoints, which make it more survivable during the initial attack.
- SM2-02 "A Game of TAG": Scout 3 was destroyed, before he was able to send his complete communication message. That was fixed.
- SM2-03 "Proving Grounds": The GTD Aquitaine got some more Hitpoints, which should make this mission to a less drastic difficult spike in the game.
- SM2-08 "A Monster in the Mist": The LRed beam cannons of the SJ Sathanas were able to destroy the GVCv Maahes before the player was even half way through the subsystem scanning. The medal was unobtainable if a player played this mission in the intended way. The Maahes got more Hitpoints which give the player more time for the subsystem scanning. The intended way to play this mission was restored.
- SM2-09 "Speaking in Tongues": In the Briefing a GVCv Sopedu is mentioned. However only a GVCv Thutmose is present in the mission. The briefing text was corrected.
- SM3-02 "High Noon": If the SD Beleth was not destroyed during SM3-01 "Bearbaiting", it will reappear in this mission as a Support destroyer for the SJ Sathanas.
- SM3-03 "Return to Babel": An incorrect Variable Name caused a crash of the game. This critical error was fixed.
- SM3-04 "Straight, No Chaser": As the SJ Yama kills off the GVD Psamtik way too fast, not even all communication messages were played. The sequence was reorganized, so that all messages are present, now.
- SM3-05 "Argonautica": As inactive events were reactivated during NTP 0.5, this mission is several minutes longer and so it is also more difficult and more frustrating than in retail. Now, the GTD Aquitaine got more Hitpoints, so that this mission should be more like Retail difficulty again. The SJ Yama was repositioned and will appear further away from the Gamma Draconis Jump Node, now. The Aquitaine Escape Pods will now properly fly to the Gamma Draconis Jump Node.
- loop2-2 "Into the Lion's Den": Some buggy events in the original mission were fixed and restored. The Shivans will now check on the approaching GTF Maras and this will be commented by Snipes. The SI Dre Device that the player is ordered to scan is actually scannable now. Some ships were repositioned to be a better fit for the now-working events as well to reduce the waiting time at the Jump Node. The Sathanas Juggernaughts will jump in with the Knossos Warp Effect, now.
- SM3-08 "Their finest Hour": The GTVA capital ships used their beam cannons only on the initial shivan wave. The waypoints were changed so all other Shivan capital ships are also attacked with beam cannons. As the SJ Jagannatha kills the GTVA Colossus too quickly, the last communication message was never played in full. That sequence was slightly changed so that the full communication message is properly played.
- SM3-09 "Clash of the Titans II": Some communication messages by the wingmates were not playing. The events were adjusted so that all conversations are present, now. Deleted all leftovers of the SD Niobe events i introduced in NTP 0.5 and that were still present by accident since NTP 0.5.1.
- SPDemo-02 "Crisis in Capella": The GVD Psamtik appeared only very unreliable which cause that this mission did not have a consistent difficulty. Some events in this mission were changed to ensure, that the Psamtik will always appear.
• Several spelling fixes in the german language file.

Version 0.6.1:
Released at: 2022-06-06
• MediaVPs 4.6.4 compatibility!
• Fixed some string range errors under the fsu_credits-crd.tbm segment in the default, italian and polish language.
• Updated "FreeSpace-NTP" font. Following characters were revised: Â/â, Ą/ą, Č/č, Ē/ē, Ĕ/ĕ, Ė/ė, Ę/ę, Ě/ě, Ğ/ğ, Ñ/ñ, Õ/õ, Ź/ź, Ż/ż, Ž/ž, ẞ/ß.

Version 0.6:
Released at: 2022-04-29
• MjnMixael's HD Mainhalls 1.4.8 compatibility!
• Inclusion of the Polish translation by Interplay Entertainment, but with special mention of Mito [PL] for the cutscene subtitles.
• Inclusion of the Italian translation by marco111.
• Both languages were adapted to NTP and got some own translations in this process by Novachen.
• Changed the name of the EFGIS package into EUR.
• All languages got a new language identifier according to ISO 639.
• Instead of the standard "Bank Gothic Md" font, the "FreeSpace-NTP" font is now used. It is a Font, that was exclusively created for this translation library by me.
• Some examples of new supported characters: Ā/ā, Ł/ł, Ṣ/ṣ, Ż/ż, ẞ/ß. The new font properly supports all six latin based languages that are part of NTP Version 0.6.
• Fixed the string table for the default language as it had an incorrect string range.
• Added some new translateable entries for the strings.tbl.
• Fixed the location of the CBrief for the mission loop2-1 "As Lightning Falls" correctly to GTD Soyakaze in the default language.
• Some formatting fixes in all languages, which also fix the error messages at launch of the Japanese translation.
• Some of the real existing Star Systems got a name in the German, Italian, Polish & Spanish translation that is more common there. (According to wikipedia at least)
• Added a spanish translation to the "FreeSpace 2: Demo" campaign with support by my sister. Thank you lil sis, you are the best translator tool i know 😘.
• Added the "FreeSpace 2: Operation Templar" Campaign. -> Campaign complete!
• FreeSpace 2: Operation Templar take place from 28th October 2347 to 30th October 2347. (14 Paopi 7840 to 16 Paopi 7840 in vasudan calendar)
• FreeSpace 2: Operation Templar is playable in English, French, German, Italian, Polish and Spanish languages.

Version 0.5.1:
Released at: 2021-12-28
• MediaVPs 4.5.1 compatibility!
• Updated Japanese translation by Soy Sauce.
• Fixed spanish translation for the mission "Bearbaiting".
• Jump Nodes in missions are now also translateable.
• Deleted the NTP AI profile as all former changes are now enabled by default within FSO.
• Back rid of most enhancements within the missions from 2367: Supernova and FreeSpace: Blue, as they changed the retail feel too drastically.
• Some smaller enhancements however are still present. For example bug fixes in several missions and features that were not present due to technical limitations in 1999.

Version 0.5:
Released at: 2021-02-11
• SM3-02 "High Noon" caused a crash with the French language setting in Version 0.4.X.
• The Iceni was not present in SM3-03 "Return to Babel" due to a wrong Arrival Cue that activated itself in the resave of the mission for NTP translation.
• Introduced enhancements in many missions from 2367: Supernova or FreeSpace: Blue.
• Added the FreeSpace 2: Demo Campaign. -> Campaign complete!
• This campaign take place between 13th June 2367 through 22th June 2367. (03 Paoni 7859 to 12 Paoni 7859 in vasudan calendar)
• Added the Voice Files for the Demo Missions.
• Added a nameplate for the GTC Adamant.

Version 0.4.2:
Released at: 2021-02-04
• Added MediaVPs 4.4.1 compatibility.
• Added the Aquitaine Nebula Mainhall into the Campaign.

Version 0.4.1:
Released at: 2021-02-01
• Forgot the fonts.tbl in the EFGIS package 🙄.

Version 0.4:
Released at: 2021-01-30
• MediaVPs 4.4.X compatibility.
• Fixed some critical errors in the Japanese translation, that caused that it was not launchable at all 😳.
• Several spelling fixes in the German aswell Spanish translation.
• Added the whole third Act of the FreeSpace 2 Main Campaign, which is also known as FreeSpace 2: Exodus. -> Campaign complete!
• The campaign take place from 11th May 2367 to 9th August 2367. (30 Paremoude 7859 to 30 Epip 7859 in vasudan calendar)
• Subtitle Files for the five Act 3 Cutscenes.
• As the HD Main Halls are now a default MediaVP extension, several of them are used during the course of the campaign, there are now own Main Halls for the GTI Kos (Training 1-3), GTD Soyakaze (Loop 1-1 & Loop 2) & NTFg Iceni (Loop 1-2 & Loop 1-3) now.

Version 0.3:
Released at: 2020-12-23
• The player is now addressed by its rank where it fits.
• Some formatting and spell fixes.
• Added the whole second Act of the FreeSpace 2 Main Campaign. (Also known as FreeSpace 2: Endgame)
• Added the Subtitle files for the two Act 2 Cutscenes.
• Date & Location Information from my german translation are present by default for all languages now. The campaign in this version begins now at 11th May 2367 terran calendar and ends at 06 Epip 7859 vasudan calendar.

Version 0.2.1:
Released at: 2020-12-13
• Inclusion of the French translation by Achille44.
• Version 1.2.1-NTP of the Language Selector is included, which actually replaced the "english" with a "default" setting as it is theoretically possible, that another english translation could be present later (British English i.e.). Default is used, to disable any translation.
• Some changes in the mv_root-hdg.tbm, so that the other values from the font.tbl are correctly used.
• Changed a Value in the NTP AI Profile which should fix the error of missing text.
• SM1-02 "The Place of Chariots" can now be played.
• Translateable variables are now correctly used.

Version 0.2:
Released at: 2020-11-06
• First public release.
• MediaVPs 4.3.X Compatibility!
• Inclusion of the German Translation by Novachen.
• Inclusion of the Japanese Translation by Komet & Nikogori.
• Inclusion of the Spanish Translation by Alex Navarro.
• Added the whole first Act of the FreeSpace 2 Main Campaign. (Also known as FreeSpace 2: Colossus)
• Added the Subtitle files for the three Act 1 Cutscenes.
--- End code ---

Greetings,

Jenna

X3N0-Life-Form:
That's a nice endeavor :)

starlord:
Weren’t there problems with the fonts? Namely special characters like the umlaut? I thought that was a barrier for translation...

Novachen:

--- Quote from: starlord on October 04, 2020, 05:16:21 am ---Weren’t there problems with the fonts? Namely special characters like the umlaut? I thought that was a barrier for translation...

--- End quote ---

That was always only a problem with True Type Fonts or custom VF files.
But during a previous translation of a mod that uses TTF i was able to fix that together with m!m (he did most of the coding work i requested).
So that is not an issue anymore as long the used TTF file supports them (some actually do not, but that is a problem in the TTF then).

starlord:
So out of curiosity, would it be possible in the future to insert other characters like Cyrillic or kanji? Just a question mind you...

What I’m saying is that if there are other translation efforts in the future and that said translations are technically readable, freespace SCP might get a major popularity boost in the future.

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