Grand Knights History no longer coming to North America.

#1 Posted by Icemael (6367 posts) -
#2 Edited by MetalBaofu (1450 posts) -

I had just read about that a few minutes ago...came here to see if anyone had posted about it yet. It definitely sucks. I was looking forward to checking it out, since I seem to really enjoy Vanillaware's games. Still have Dragon's Crown to look forward to, I guess.

#3 Posted by TentPole (1858 posts) -

This one hurts.

#4 Posted by FancySoapsMan (5825 posts) -

Damn, that sucks.

#5 Posted by SpaceRunaway (874 posts) -

I'm always excited when XSEED announces new projects, as more money to them could only translate to more work on Trails in the Sky Second Chapter (in my mind). At the same time, I was always a little worried about how they would handle the work load, as my understanding was that they are a very small outfit. I hope this isn't going to turn into a trend...

#6 Posted by Hailinel (25205 posts) -
@SpaceRunaway

I'm always excited when XSEED announces new projects, as more money to them could only translate to more work on Trails in the Sky Second Chapter (in my mind). At the same time, I was always a little worried about how they would handle the work load, as my understanding was that they are a very small outfit. I hope this isn't going to turn into a trend...

The cancellation of GKH is purely becauseif Vanillaware. The developer doesn't have resources to work on the localization because all of their available manpower is working on Dragon's Crown.
#7 Posted by Hailinel (25205 posts) -

"Because of." Fuck, I hate this website's mobile app.

#8 Posted by SpaceRunaway (874 posts) -

@Hailinel:

Oh, I didn't realize that XSEED wasn't handling localization duties on this one. I guess that makes me feel slightly better, although just barely. Less Vanillaware in my life is just as painful.

#9 Edited by TentPole (1858 posts) -

@Hailinel said:

@SpaceRunaway

I'm always excited when XSEED announces new projects, as more money to them could only translate to more work on Trails in the Sky Second Chapter (in my mind). At the same time, I was always a little worried about how they would handle the work load, as my understanding was that they are a very small outfit. I hope this isn't going to turn into a trend...

The cancellation of GKH is purely becauseif Vanillaware. The developer doesn't have resources to work on the localization because all of their available manpower is working on Dragon's Crown.

This is false. It was in fact XSEED that was working on the localization.

#10 Posted by Hailinel (25205 posts) -
@TentPole

@Hailinel said:

@SpaceRunaway

I'm always excited when XSEED announces new projects, as more money to them could only translate to more work on Trails in the Sky Second Chapter (in my mind). At the same time, I was always a little worried about how they would handle the work load, as my understanding was that they are a very small outfit. I hope this isn't going to turn into a trend...

The cancellation of GKH is purely becauseif Vanillaware. The developer doesn't have resources to work on the localization because all of their available manpower is working on Dragon's Crown.

This is false. It was in fact XSEED that was working on the localization.

XSEED required external resources to work on it. (i.e. Vanillaware devs) to actually code in localization changes.
#11 Posted by TentPole (1858 posts) -

@Hailinel: Yeah I am pretty sure that is at least partially bullshit. Not from you but rather on the part of XSEED. All we know is that they are claiming to not get the support they need but there is too much that just doesn't add up. Add to that the fact that this is not the first time things have gone bad for them working on a Vanillaware product and I would not be surprised if there is another side to this story.

#12 Posted by Hailinel (25205 posts) -
@TentPole

@Hailinel: Yeah I am pretty sure that is at least partially bullshit. Not from you but rather on the part of XSEED. All we know is that they are claiming to not get the support they need but there is too much that just doesn't add up. Add to that the fact that this is not the first time things have gone bad for them working on a Vanillaware product and I would not be surprised if there is another side to this story.

What doesn't add up?
#13 Posted by SlightConfuse (3963 posts) -

that a shame more vanilla ware games the better but dragons crown looks goos.

#14 Posted by Mousse_gallon (216 posts) -

I really wanted this game well now I just have to hope for it after Dragons Crown is done.

#15 Posted by Phatmac (5731 posts) -

Never heard of this game until this, but this sucks regardless.

#16 Edited by iAmJohn (6141 posts) -

@Hailinel said:

@TentPole

@Hailinel: Yeah I am pretty sure that is at least partially bullshit. Not from you but rather on the part of XSEED. All we know is that they are claiming to not get the support they need but there is too much that just doesn't add up. Add to that the fact that this is not the first time things have gone bad for them working on a Vanillaware product and I would not be surprised if there is another side to this story.

What doesn't add up?

The part where XSEED hasn't learned to stop being stupid and just outsource it to a third-party like Atlus USA learned to do years ago. :P

#17 Posted by Pepsiman (2494 posts) -

@Hailinel said:

@TentPole

@Hailinel: Yeah I am pretty sure that is at least partially bullshit. Not from you but rather on the part of XSEED. All we know is that they are claiming to not get the support they need but there is too much that just doesn't add up. Add to that the fact that this is not the first time things have gone bad for them working on a Vanillaware product and I would not be surprised if there is another side to this story.

What doesn't add up?

Indeed, I'd like to hear a bit of elaboration on this as well. The way outsourced localizations like this one typically work is that the company handling translating duties receives any and all necessary language files that need language changes that are then submitted back to the original development team to be re-implemented into the game. Places like XSEED, 8-4, and even Atlus USA tend to have next to no actually programming manpower on-board to implement the changes themselves and even if they did, localization companies, to my knowledge, don't ever get their hands on the actual source code, nor do they even need it in the first place. That's probably for the best, since implementing English and other European languages actually requires, at minimum, a decent amount of backend retooling if the team didn't already properly prepare for localization while the game was still in development. These features they need to implement include ones such as, naturally, Latin character rendering and a variable-width font, which, in layman's terms, just means a program that changes the spacing between letters depending on the size of the individual letters. (Native Japanese games don't need to have this since every character is supposed to be equally sized.) The amount and difficulty these sorts of changes entail naturally vary depending on the project, with the latter usually causing more trouble by virtue of the fact that it usually requires a significant rewrite of a major programming routine, but even swapping out character sets can be a pain if the game uses a really asinine method of storing text. This is all before you take into consideration any potentially work related to gameplay and voice acting changes, if those things are necessary as well. At most, third party localization companies typically have access to debug consoles, the use of which are predominantly limited to testing out in-progress versions of games undergoing localization and not actually programming changes.

Knowing all of this, I believe XSEED when they say that Vanillaware doesn't have the ability to siphon off at least part of its staff to work on a localization of Grand Knights History, especially because according to this Japanese page on their official site, they only have 23 employees working at the company. Taking even one person off of Dragon's Crown to work on a localization would mean a five percent reduction in their overall manpower; when considering that Vanillaware games require both significant art and programming effort to come to life in the way that they do, it's understandable that they'd be hesitant to make the sacrifice if one person really can make a significant difference. Granted, the site hasn't updated that employee figure since 2010, but given how Dragon's Crown already had a host of its issues with sticking to schedules before Atlus took over producing duties and lent them some Persona staff members, I wouldn't be surprised if that number has more or less stayed the same up until the recent intervention. While they're obviously successful enough to stay afloat and keep making games, I don't think any of their games have really done gangbusters in any territory, including Japan, let alone to the extent that they justify significantly expanding their staff long-term to the point where they could handle multiple projects easily.

There could be some corporate politics between XSEED and Vanillaware affecting things, sure, but my gut-feeling tells me that the reasons behind this cancellation are true. At the very least, I know Vanillaware is hardly the only major Japanese developer too small to feasibly handle a localization project at the same time as developing a new game. Nihon Falcom is another company that has such an issue show up time and time again; they're not inherently against localizations, far from it, but their team is also small and doing work for a localization job that probably won't make as much money as the original Japanese version isn't typically an ideal use of their time when they're already in the midst of developing something else. That's why their games tend to take so long in coming out overseas is that they need to be really careful with how they schedule that work, especially in text-heavy cases like Trails in the Sky that already require a significant amount of translation time as it is. Ironically enough, they also tend to work with XSEED, but to my knowledge, their working relationship is on good terms.

Of course, the expected response to all of this is to simply suggest that a third-party company handle the programming end of localizations, too, and that occasionally happens, but you open up an entirely different can of worms when you ask a group other than the original development team to take a game and make it run in its non-native language. Ask anybody working in fan translations and rom hacking today and they'll be able to attest to this. I think this scenario has happened from time to time with Nihon Falcom games since, until relatively recently, they usually had a different company handle the ports that end up getting localized, but, to my knowledge, that's very much so the exception rather than the norm.

#18 Posted by Bartman3010 (445 posts) -

If you run into a third party handling the code, you basically get what Working Designs did. But then you also run into the issue of creative differences. In addition, Japanese developers don't really take care of creating a finalized version of the code for historical purposes. Usually they don't have the means to store the content and as. result, they literally throw the development material in the garbage. You can listen to the latest Retronauts podcast where WD founder Victor Ireland can give you some finer details, especially for cases like the Saturn version of Magic Knight Rayearth where they basically had to re-create content by scratch as the developer of the game, Sega, lost a good chunk of the game due to hard drive failure. Japanese developers have it fairly rough no matter how one would go about it.

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