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Author Topic: Translation of German Indi Games to English  (Read 6910 times)
Berlin-Raoul
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I`am 31 old and live in Berlin.


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« on: August 03, 2006, 02:26:46 AM »

Hello,

this is my first Articel and you will see, english is not my first Language. ;-)

I`am a Member of the German-Berlin Club "Nexus / Projekt Odyssee" and met Ron E. here in Berlin last Week.

We discuss the "problem" about the German Language with Indi Games.

A few Friends of me would be able to make translations of the Main Parts of the German Games.

1) We think that a Wiki System would be very nice for this project.

2) The english Text must stand under the GNU-Free Doc. Licens (the German Text can stand under a Closed Source Licens, but its a free, unpaid Translation Project, so thats absolutly necassary for us)

3) "Point-Point"-Work. We make one Work after an other. So: we search one(!) interessting Game, than we make a good translation and after we finished that, we go to the next!

Thats our Ideas about this Project, if you like, you can write me also a PM ( rlangner(ad)gmx.de ).

Yours Raoul.
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2006, 04:46:45 AM »

Hello Raoul!

I enjoyed meeting you and all the other great folks in Nexus/Odysse.

Everyone, this is an important thing. In Berlin, and serving as a center for many German role-players, is a community of people who've paralleled the Forge to a large degree. They have the same focus on creator ownership, on community-of-play regardless of the game, and on making new games based on ideas and real play, rather than imitation.

You know some of them, like Frank T who's been an active participant here for a while. Vincent and I spent a fantastic weekend playing games, speaking about various topics, and learning more about the German scene.

Nexus = the community of play, recruitment, communication, and organizing events
Projekt Odysse (which may be thought of as within Nexus) = promoting and playing original, creator-owned games

Here's the point, which Raoul is presenting, and which folks at the Forge really should not ignore. New games need to be assessed at their beginning stages. That's what the forums here are designed to do. However, at present, there's a small language barrier which keeps our respective communities less aware of one another than we should be - especially in terms of the actual games in development.

Fortunately, it's a small barrier, really just a boundary which can be transcended very easily. Most of the German folks speak and read English, and translating beginning text like we see in early game design isn't very hard (for one thing, it's short). All we need is a dedicated place to do it, and that's what Raoul is describing.

This is a big opportunity. I suggest that people who've received a lot of feedback in First Thoughts should especially make it their business to go to this site and help get these two communities into better contact. All you have to do is provide your first draft, right about at playtest stage, and to read and playtest the drafts provided by others. I'll see you there.

Best, Ron
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Berlin-Raoul
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Posts: 3

I`am 31 old and live in Berlin.


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« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2006, 05:27:36 AM »

This is a big opportunity. I suggest that people who've received a lot of feedback in First Thoughts should especially make it their business to go to this site and help get these two communities into better contact. All you have to do is provide your first draft, right about at playtest stage, and to read and playtest the drafts provided by others. I'll see you there.

Hello,
Hello Ron,

thanks, thats very nice, thanks a lot.

1) We can use our Berlin Wiki Site

http://www.heldentod.org/nexus-berlin/ (only in German!)

http://www.nexus-Berlin.de (the old Site, we chance the name in a few weeks, German too, but with Pictures ;-) )

for this Project, or another System?

You have the Choise.

2) Is there Anyone who has a Problem with the GNU License?

3) And, the most important think: Is there any German Indi-Game or Idee what we should at first translate?

Yours Raoul,
from Berlin, Germany.
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JasperN.
Member

Posts: 41


« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2006, 06:01:03 AM »

Raoul,

 1. Some of the Grofafo  people are already working on translations of their challange  games. Maybe we could merge this? Frank? Oliof?

2. Email me if you or anyone else needs help with translations. I do not have time for complete games, but I can definetley help you out on abstracts, first ideas, summaries etc. 

-Jasper
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oliof
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Harald Wagener - Zurich, Switzerland


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« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2006, 07:43:23 AM »

Raoul: Just to make it clear to me: You want to translate german games to english, for the indie scene to prosper from that input. Right?

Jasper: Frank T is really the correct contact for the grofafo challenge stuff.

If people wish to stay neutral in regards to nexus, I'll happily provide web space and a wiki for this.

Regards,
    Harald
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Frank T
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« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2006, 08:18:43 AM »

I have a lot of thoughts on this, but not the time right now to write them down. Eventually.

- Frank
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Paul Czege
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2006, 08:56:30 AM »

Hi Raoul,

2) Is there Anyone who has a Problem with the GNU License?

Would placing the GNU license on the English language version of a game allow other American publishers to anthologize, adapt, or publish their own editions of the game?

Thanks,

Paul
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My Life with Master knows codependence.
And if you're doing anything with your Acts of Evil ashcan license, of course I'm curious and would love to hear about your plans
xenopulse
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Posts: 527

Heretic Forgite


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« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2006, 12:29:42 PM »

I should look into the German scene; since leaving my home country in 2000, I haven't really checked into it.

I have done freelance translation works, including legal and medical documents, so I'm somewhat qualified to help out :)  Let me know if you need more people to do that.  I do think a wiki is the best possible way to do this, especially if the German text is openly available as well.
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #8 on: August 03, 2006, 03:16:32 PM »

Hi everyone,

To be absolutely clear, I am hoping for both English and German alpha-level, draft-level games to become available in both languages at this Wiki.

Best, Ron
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Berlin-Raoul
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I`am 31 old and live in Berlin.


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« Reply #9 on: August 04, 2006, 01:40:10 AM »

Hallo,

Would placing the GNU license on the English language version of a game allow other American publishers to anthologize, adapt, or publish their own editions of the game?

Everyone can do everthing with the translated Text under the GNU Doc L., except to close the Source (that's Copy Left!). Every Publisher can sell the ready Product, you can do everything.

We will translate the Articles for free so its important for us, that the Article if - after the Work - also free for everyone else. That's all. I dint will earn any money with this.

Quote
To be absolutely clear, I am hoping for both English and German alpha-level, draft-level games to become available in both languages at this Wiki.

That's would be nice, but a 14 year old German Kid can understand a English RPG Product, so we should start with the greman-to-english. I guess, only Ron will learn German ;-)

Quote
Just to make it clear to me: You want to translate german games to english, for the indie scene to prosper from that input. Right?

Yes. We want that you can read our Articels. If the German Autors prosper from your input, that would be nice, but not necessary.

Quote
If people wish to stay neutral in regards to nexus, I'll happily provide web space and a wiki for this.

That's great. I don`t want any trouble with this hole EDV-s****. I will translate Articels. :-) If your System run and is good, we take it. Thanks.

Thanks a lot for your help and writings. I think.... That will run, very great, have a wonderfull Weekend.

Raoul.
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Frank T
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« Reply #10 on: August 04, 2006, 04:33:40 AM »

Hello again,

Before I share my thoughts on this matter, I should give a little background on the German „scene“, or how I perceive it, anyway.

Projekt Odyssee

I am not a member of PrO, so my insights here are limited. I know Andreas (Neph, not Settembrini) and other authors from NordCon, and know what they are doing there, so I assume they do the same thing on other RPG conventions. I have also read about their booth at the Leipzip book fair and the 2-hour-demos they run there for none-gamers, families and so on.

The other Andreas (Settembrini), who interestingly has some PrO roots himself, isists that since Nimer doesn’t have much time for PrO any more, there is a lack of leadership and actitivity, and many good people from Berlin have left. I don’t know whether that’s true.

What I do know, however, is that PrO is not really a “parallel development” to the Forge. PrO equals the Forge in enthusiasm for the hobby, in actual promotion and actual play at conventions and fairs. That is the core of PrO. To my knowledge, PrO does not provide a venue for exchange on RPG design, early playtesting, review, or anything like that.

Many games in PrO have been existing for a long time. Some are by now being published and sold successfully on their own, not at PrO booths any more. These games, DeGenesis, most notably, are pretty classic White Wolf style, system wise. I never played them, only read over them. DeGenesis is a 380-page-monster of setting and great artwork, with a lot of what Ron calls “thinly disguised fiction”, and a little bit of RPG. You can take a look at it here (13 MB PDF).

Other games in PrO would cover the whole range of Fantasy Heartbreakers and other “classic” role playing games. Have they really been “making new games based on ideas and real play, rather than imitation”? Most of the authors started as a home-brew for their own group. You need to understand that PrO is a place people turn to when they have a finished game ready for download. PrO is the place to promote the game, not to discuss design issues.

FERA

 FERA is an RPG design forum at Neph’s website. It used to be frequented by a lot of PrO authors, but it never had the working atmosphere of the Forge. You could discuss dice probabilities at lengths there, or post some little ideas and get one line comments, but real, substantial feedback was not what the forum was for and not what it provided. People would bring new ideas there, but mostly not as fundamentally new as those you are used to at the Forge. (Or if they did, they probably had these ideas from the Forge.)

I participated in two 24-hour-contests at FERA and posted a lot of early ideas there, but when I had a real idea of a real game that I wanted to develop, I went to GroFaFo and the Forge, because I knew that there would be the real feedback. I haven’t been a regular at FERA for years now, so I can’t say if there are any real games in real development there that could be translated.

GroFaFo

GroFaFo has turned out to become something of a meet-up for German Forge readers and participants. The main RPG-related discussions on GroFaFo are about actual play, techniques and such. There is also a lot of talk on specific commercial systems, and some discussion on RPG theory, not limited to, but mostly dominated by, Forge theory. We also have a channel for design discussions, and there is some stuff going on there. To boost this activity, we created the GroFaFo-Challenge, inspired by the Ronnies and Games Chef events over here. In the Challenge, you could clearly see the Forge lines we were tracing. We are really more of a branch than a parallel development.

Others

I don’t know that much about the others. I saw a very interesting game in development over at Blutschwerter forum, named Tarua Katoc, but I don’t think they are interested in feedback from a Forge background. There might be a lot more out there, but I don’t have access to that either.

Now, back to topic

So, what sort of exchange could be established that both sides can profit from? I think that a lot of German authors can profit from the way people actually work on their games in online discussions at the Forge. It’s not what everybody wants, especially with regard to some of the outlooks and conclusions that are pretty much accepted at the Forge, but nowhere else. But for the authors intersted in these outlooks and conclusions, it could be very fruitful.

However, please do not expect to find a similar culture of RPG design discussion, with outlooks and conclusions of their own, in Germany. As you can see from my little essay above, there is no German “school” or something. You’ll find some people worth talking to because they are interesting and creative have great passion for role-playing. But these people will be thinking in the same lines of thought that you are used to in the States, regarding the hobby.

That said, are we talking about an exchange where not only games, but also comments get translated? Or are we talking about just translating games-in-development into English and discussing them in English?

If the latter is the intention, than I think the games should be translated at the wiki site and then just be posted to the Forge. That’s the easiest and best way. If people don’t like what they get at the Forge, they also won’t like what they get from the Forge people on a seperate site.

Translating whole discussions, on the other hand, would be a slow process and also probably cause some confusion because transaltors make little mistakes or miss subtleties. I’m really not sure if it’d be worth the effort. On the other hand, it could be helpful to translate, upon request, certain passages from, say, a Forge discussion, back into German, or help German participants voice their thoughts in English.

To conclude, I would suggest to keep the actual discussion in English and at the Forge. On the wiki, German authors could post

a) Write-ups of their game, in German
b) comments they want to make, in German
c) comments or parts of comments they received on the Forge, in English.

Then other people could help them out by translating these. On the other hand, English authors could eventually post their write-ups, these could be translated into German, German gamers could read or playtest them and have their comments translated back into English.

What’s the main difference between my suggestion and a wiki site that also hosts the discussions itself?

1) The discussions will be at the Forge, and thus draw more attention.
2) We don’t have to translate everything. Since most Germans know some English, we can focus on helping them out where their English doesn’t suffice any more, thus using our resources more efficiently.

Heck, we could even open the wiki up for other languages as well.

Regarding licenses

Since we will be translating playtest write-ups, not finished games, I don’t see that much of a need for licensing. On the other hand, using a license must not leed to the author giving up his intellectual property on the ideas, names and such. I think nobody should be under the illusion that such translations would be commercially useful. Why the license, then?

- Frank
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #11 on: August 06, 2006, 07:04:30 AM »

Hello,

Frank, thanks for the clear outline of the German scene. Despite the differences you've described, I am confident that the points of correspondence are strong enough to support a dedicated effort. (This is a year of meetings for me, some planned and some unplanned. You might be interested to know I just spent an afternoon with Klaus Scherwinski looking through Degenesis.)

As for exactly what we should do now, I think Clinton and I might have one of our Big Discussions about this, probably including some emails with Raoul as well. Would it be better, for instance, simply to integrate the German-English discussions into the existing forums here? Or would a specialty forum be better? Or ... well, as you can see, there are lots of structural options.

Clinton and I will of course be spending several days together during GenCon, so I think we'll have to find a room, fill it with smoke, and retire there for Scary Secret Talk. However, the more information and the more suggestions, the better!

Anyone, please feel free to contribute your thoughts on this issue. It's the kind of thing the Forge was invented to support.

Best, Ron
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Christoph Boeckle
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Posts: 455

Geneva, Switzerland


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« Reply #12 on: August 10, 2006, 03:14:26 PM »

I think this thread is leading to some very promising outcomes!

I'm going to join in with a somewhat parallel idea: namely building bonds with the french gamer community. If we can work out an efficient way to do it for German, we might be able to do it for other languages with little additional work.

If the idea of having a series of foreign language forums where people could ask for important points to be translated for them (including game design processes) comes alive, you can count on me to dedicate a couple of hours a week to attend a french version.
I could also help for everyday german and some straightforward italian.

I was looking for a way to create a french entrypoint to Forge-like discussions and now I think I'll wait and see some more development of the present idea, it seems way more interesting than my original plan of creating a completely new site (yet another forum... *yawn*)

Then again, this linking to various other communities would be counterproductive to the progressive shutting down of the Forge. How do Clinton and Ron see this working out?
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Regards,
Christoph
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