Amaterasu Blog

5Sep/110

Amaterasu Official Policy on VN Licensing Deals

These are our official statements regarding any Japanese VN companies or VN licensing companies who may be interested in asking us to translate a VN. If you have a question not answered here, or want more details, explanations or evidence regarding something I say here, simply talk to me--Ixrec--directly either by either emailing me at j-pop_addict [at] hotmail.com or finding me in #[email protected] Note that the following statements apply only to myself and anyone editing or proofreading my work, so if any other translators are working with Amaterasu this may not apply to them.

Statement 1: I am not only willing, but eager to offer a completely free translation of any great VN to its original company/ies if they want to release an English version of it. Because I've been translating VNs for over two years, I can virtually guarantee that my work will be of professional quality and done in a reasonable time frame.

Now to clarify a few details about that statement.

1) A "great VN" means any visual novel I've rated 8 or higher. See my ratings list for ones I've rated already. If you're interested in releasing an English version of a VN I haven't rated and you think it's good, simply ask me to play it and I will do so right away. I might also be willing to translate VNs with lower ratings for free, especially if they are short or easy.

2) "Professional quality" means I have enough experience reading Japanese, reading English, and translating from Japanese to English that I feel my work is on par with that of official, salaried translators. I'm certainly not saying I make zero mistakes, but I do feel confident in saying that nothing of value will ever be lost in my translations without a good reason.

3) What I mean by a "reasonable time frame" can be easily estimated with the following rule of thumb: I translate between 0.4 and 0.5 MB of text per month during a project (though I take breaks between projects). In case you measure scenario length differently from us, assume the average VN has between 1 and 1.5 MB of text when using that rule. Also keep in mind that we may want to finish whatever our current project is before starting on yours. Naturally, if you contact us we can easily tell you how long that will take and estimate when we can have your VN completed.

If you're not interested in our services, stop here. If you are interested, read the other statements below and make sure none of them will be problematic for you. If they do sound problematic, just talk to us and we'll see if we can work it out.

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Statement 2 (regarding licensing companies): Before starting an official translation, we must be given concrete evidence that a deal has actually been made and the Japanese company intends to officially release the VN. Simply providing us with the official script files we need to translate will be more than enough.

Now, this does not mean that you need to get script files from the Japanese company before talking to us at all. This just means we won't start actually translating the VN until you do that.

Hopefully the rationale here is obvious: we've been burned in the past by a deal we thought was being made but actually wasn't. So in the future we can't blindly trust a licensing company's word that a deal will manifest itself quickly.

That, and making a licensing deal for a given VN happen can legitimately take longer than actually translating the VN. So if we start translating before the deal is made, we could (and in fact did) end up with a complete translation on our hands that we have to keep all to ourselves for months or years instead of letting people read it. And when we don't even know if the VN will actually get released, that's unacceptable.

Statement 3 (regarding Japanese VN companies): In the past, some companies which have agreed to license deals for English versions of their VNs have taken years (yes, years) to ship an English version of a VN even after being given a complete translation of the text therein. Worded another way, some companies have spent so much time "sitting" on finished translations without releasing them that the Western VN community feels insulted by them. This is absolutely unacceptable, and if we see this happening we will back out of the deal.

Now, to many that will sound like: "If you don't release fast enough we'll leak a complete patch." That's not what we're saying. What we're saying is that if we finish a translation, and the company does absolutely nothing with it for months without telling us why, at some point we're just going to have to give up, assume they don't care and let people read it anyway.

All we want in return for our free translation is the respect to either release said translation promptly or give us a good reason why you can't (and some idea of when you can, of course). That's all.

For instance, saying nothing but "we're working on it" for months is going to make the entire community give up on you, including us. But say something concrete like "we're busy with making this VN right now, which should be out next month, so we'll get to releasing your translation right away once that's out" and we'll happily wait.

We promise to always wait at least two months after completing the translation before backing out of a deal.

Statement 4: As a minor detail, in the future we will always publicly state what we are currently translating, and if it's for an official release we will mention that too (since it means we won't be releasing an unofficial patch). Everything else we will keep secret by default, but those two details we insist on declaring openly. We've learned from experience that hiding them doesn't benefit anyone.

P.S. No, we aren't actually expecting anyone to approach us. This page is here mostly so that there is as little confusion or misinformation as possible regarding our stance on this very messy and controversial topic.

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18Sep/091

Introduction to this Blog

This is the official blog of Amaterasu Translations. All posts here are either original content by Ixrec or Nagato, or copies of posts on our forums (which were probably written by Ixrec or Nagato, lol).

At the moment (not counting stuff copied from the forum), Nagato's only post is in the Programming category. Everything else can be safely assumed to be Ixrec's.

The Amaterasu category contains all need-to-know information and announcements from the translation group. Most of these are copied from the forum, though some are or may be modified later. Generally speaking, anything in these posts is something you are expected to know (or be willing to look up without anyone telling you to). Since I try to keep the number of posts in there to a minimum, and there still are very few, this shouldn't be hard.

The Visual Novel Reviews category is, atm, the majority of this blog's content as well as the original reason it was created: for me (Ixrec) to formally review all the VNs I've played. This post is the need-to-know stuff that applies to my reviewing style, and this post has the need-to-know lists of what I have reviewed, what scores they got, what I've played, what I am playing, and what I will play (and I do update it every few days). Aside from those two, every post in the category is an actual VN review.

*on 5/5 I revised all my old reviews, adding the routes/endings I played to each one and rewriting a few minor things*

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