Category Archives: Epic Battle Fantasy 5

EBF5: Release Info

Hey guys, here’s some info about the Steam release…

Epic Battle Fantasy 5 will cost $15 on Steam. The release date is “Late 2018″. The soundtrack will be sold separately, probably for $5. It’s DLC, so you can’t buy it on Steam without the game, but you can get it directly from Phyrnna for a little more.

Everyone who owns EBF4 on Steam will get a 20% discount coupon for EBF5. I think Valve sets this up so that coupons are sent out just after launch. This works better for me than a launch discount, because it lets me notify 200,000 Steam users at once. Should make for a decent marketting campaign to get the ball rolling.

Once the coupons expire after a month, I’ll release a Steam bundle of EBF4, EBF5, and Bullet Heaven 2. This bundle gives you 20% off if you “complete the set”. If you only own EBF4, for example, you can buy the other 2 games together for 20% off. This will be a permanent deal going forward, and it works in conjunction with other discounts. It’s basically a scam to make people buy BH2.

Patrons who have given me at least $15 will get Steam keys a few days before official release, so they can double check that everything is working correctly.

The free web version will be released once I’ve had a break from the Steam release. But the beta will most likely stay up on this website until then anyway. Saves between all versions will be compatible, and easily transferable with the save backup feature. Saves from the beta may have a few minor problems – such as permanently missing an equip or two if you save in the wrong place.

EBF5: Public Beta

Hey guys, the EBF5 public beta is back with version 0.7!
I didn’t advertise the earlier versions much, because I didn’t want everyone to play it at once. But I guess I can open the flood gates now. Oh, and your old saved games should be compatible. Just import a save backup file from an earlier version.

There’s not much left to do, only a few bugs and maybe a few balancing tweaks.
I’ll probably be asking for translators in a few days, so stay tuned! If you translated some of my previous games, I’ll email you a bit in advance.

And look, you can do double and triple critical hits now!
This is currently a bit of a secret feature, and isn’t documented in the game.
critcritcrit

Fanart: Natalie

Here’s some fanart by KTSRyoto.

I was on edge yesterday because, as usual, I can’t keep everyone happy. There’s always people telling me I’m recycling too much of my work, and others who are complaining about every little thing I do differently. I’m used to it, but I need to complain every once in a while. I guess the reaction is just a little stronger when I trample on someone’s waifu.

To clarify, 7th Heaven will have different skins for Natalie’s outfits. Not sure if every single one will have a unique skin, but we’ll see how far we get. Also the PJs are for when Cleavage is disabled in the options. The player reactions have also been added back.

See ya!
NatsRMVline

EBF5: 7th Heaven

Here’s a new 7th Heaven animation that more resembles the original Kyun animation, since a lot of people complained. Also has support for different outfits now, including a work-safe one. Though they won’t all be finished in time for the next beta. You’re not allowed to say you liked the old ones better unless you explain why.

Art’s by Ronja, animation’s by me.

(I’ve made the eyebrows less noticeable due to complaints, but I recorded this video before I made that change. You’re all an annoying, nit-picking bunch.)

EBF5: Leftover Ideas

Hey guys, this is a list of some leftover stuff that won’t be in the EBF5 at launch, but I’d like to add to the game later.

A battle arena dungeon, where players must fight waves of enemies solo. Combat with just one character is something I haven’t explored much in the series, and it could add a very interesting challenge to the game. Additionally, summons could be disabled, forcing you to rely only on each character’s unique skills. Even a regular foe could feel like a boss fight.
• A library dungeon, with paper cut-out style enemies. Trying out different art styles is fun, and a dungeon like this could make it work nicely in context too. It also let’s me use a lot of my old sketches of tanks and robots in the game. Plus a library could be filled with lots of lore and information, if that’s something people would like to see more of.
Hidden portable game consoles, which would initiate battles against one-of-a-kind pixel-art foes. The aim is to have something like a treasure chest, except the treasure is that you get a chance to capture a rare enemy. This is another chance to play with different art styles, and it’s likely I could even host another foe competition for this one.
• Challenge runs - I’ve mentioned this before, but I’d like to add the option to replay the game with some differences, including: shuffled equipment locations, different weather, stronger foes, and various other little changes that could make the game feel fresh for another playthrough.

Anyhow, this list will probably still grow as I think of more interesting ideas. And ya’ll better buy the game if you want me to keep working on it after launch.

Translating Games

Hey, this is a big blog about my experience translating Epic Battle Fantasy 4 and Bullet Heaven 2, and how I’m trying to do things better in Epic Battle Fantasy 5.

Translating EBF4 was a last minute decision – it didn’t even cross my mind until the game was almost finished. But I knew I had a lot of fans that didn’t speak English, based on my Facebook page and Kongregate data, and the fact that my Flash games were quite popular on Spanish, Chinese, etc, Flash game sites. The languages I chose to translate to were Spanish, Portuguese, German and French. The first two because I had a lot of fans in those regions, and the second two because they just seemed like the most popular European languages to translate to (ie. they buy a lot of games). I didn’t consider Chinese because they already had made unofficial translations, and I figured they just pirate everything anyway. (I don’t know how much that’s changed in the last 5 years, but China seems to be really big on Steam now)

I asked for volunteers from my fans to translate and proofread, and a lot of people stepped forward. I couldn’t judge their skill at their first language, but I made sure they were at least fluent in English. My translation strategy was to turn all of the text strings in EBF4 into arrays of text strings, and dump them on Google Docs so that all the translators could work on them at the same time. “Word” would turn into ["Word","","","",""] and the translators would fill in the gaps. I also provided a lot of notes and instructions for the translators, and hung around in case they needed me. Once translated, the script was also shared publicly, so that anyone could provide feedback if they wanted to.

This wasn’t very efficient, but it worked. The worst part was going through all of the game’s code, trying to find every tiny bit of text, copying it to a Google Docs file, and then later doing that whole process in reverse. It also means that adding a new language now would involve all of that work again. With EBF5, I’ve put all of the text in seperate files right from the beginning, and each file contains one language. The game’s code just loads the relevant text file depending on the options. This means that adding a new language requires almost no extra coding work: I can just give out the English files, they can be translated, and the game can load them as a new language. So that should save me a lot of work in the long term!

But there were some other problems when translating EBF4:
 It turns out that most translated text ends up being a bit longer than the original, so I had to significantly increase the size of many text boxes. Lesson quickly learned.
 Translating parts of sentences separately is a very bad idea, for example: “A ” + “fire/water/ice” + ” elemental attack!” This works well in English and a few other languages, but you never know when weird grammar rules might pop up. From now on I’m sticking to full sentences, even if it leads to a lot of redundancy, like typing out the full line for 10 different elements.
 Dialects! I didn’t realise how different these could be. With French and German we managed to settle on neutral dialects, but with Spanish and Portuguese we went with south American ones, since that’s where almost all of the volunteers were from. Some Europeans were not very happy with these translations. I’m not sure if this problem is totally avoidable, but it’s worth talking to your translators about it before you start. (and then marketting your translation accordingly – luckily Steam let’s me specify that it’s Brazilian-Portuguese)

One thing that went very well was, uh, Flash! Flash handles special characters and text related stuff very well. So I never had any problems putting weird non-English characters in my games. The default fonts seem to handle everything.

So, in the end, was translating worth it? Well… kind of? It took me about a month to organise and implement EBF4′s translations, which also includes countless hours of work by the translators and proofreaders. The Steam sales for German (8%) and French (4%) are reasonably high, so from a financial perspective, those languages were worth doing, maybe even if I had to pay professionals instead of volunteers. But even though tons of Spanish and Portuguese speaking people played the free versions of EBF4, very few of them bought the game on Steam (less than 1% of Steam sales each), so if I was translating just for money, I wouldn’t have done those languages.

EBF4 was overall very successful on Steam, with around 100K sales in total – so 8% more sales is a lot in the end (well, I’m sure a lot of Germans speak English, and may have bought the game without a translation, but whatever). My other game, Bullet Heaven 2, on the other hand, was not so successful. The game wasn’t a flop – but it’s not far from it. Even though it had much less text to translate, I think translating that game was a waste of time – it just wasn’t worth the extra work. And if I had paid professional translators, I would have lost a LOT of money on it.

So I think that’s what it all comes down to for me. If I have a lot of fans in some region, and they want to volunteer to translate EBF5, I’m perfectly happy to work with them and make it happen so that more people can enjoy the game. But I wouldn’t bet on the translations to be worth it financially if I had to pay professionals. I guess I just don’t like taking too many risks. It’s also not particularly fun to program my games to support multiple languages.

Anyway, I’m almost ready to start translating. I’ll start doing research and asking for volunteers soon-ish. German, French, Spanish, and Portuguese are coming back, and the new languages I’m strongly considering are Chinese, Russian, Polish and Vietnamese. Feel free to suggest others, but I think those are the most likely. Of course, I can always add more languages after the game is released, as the new infrastructure makes that much easier than in previous games.

I’m interested to hear what you all think.

tl;dr: I translate for the fans, as it’s probably not worth translating a text-heavy indie RPG for financial gain, except maybe to German.