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Koe is an introduction to the Japanese language in a game reminiscent of traditional JRPGs like Final Fantasy and Pokemon.
Koe is an introduction to the Japanese language in a game reminiscent of traditional JRPGs like Final Fantasy and Pokemon.
4,169 backers pledged £75,167 to help bring this project to life.

Japanese content development and crowdsourced translations

Posted by Jitesh Rawal (Creator)

While we're still trying to lift our jaws from the fact that we've hit our goal and are currently at 116% funded, we have to keep these updates coming so you know your money is in good hands. This is a development log of sorts, but in a less formal layout because it’s through a Kickstarter update.

Japanese gameplay development

Starting today, Sayuki will start writing the scenario and story full time (we already have the main story planned out, but now we can add a lot more!) as well as go through every bit of Japanese currently in the game. Sayuki is also going to replace the current set of words and moves I created and develop a whole new set that are more useful to everyday life and not as broken as mine. It’s sad to see development shift away from me, but she is the native speaker here.

She is currently working through JLPT N5 and JLPT N4 but expect some more advanced vocab in Koe as this develops.

Crowdsourced translations (you get to translate from English to your native language)

We’ve also wanted to run this past everyone who is a non-native English speaker who wants Koe to be released in their native language. While Koe is currently being developed for English speakers, we know a lot of our backers want the game in their native language and we received this question from quite a few backers, but we’d like to know if the majority wants this. Would you be interested in a closed wiki after the development of Koe to translate the game into your native language? (ie English to French, German, Danish, etc)

There are two benefits to this. Firstly, we don’t have to do this through a third party and therefore we don’t have to pay anyone so we won’t add these as stretch goals and spend the extra money on game content instead. Secondly, this means we can translate Koe in to more than just the languages listed on the Kickstarter page. 

Here is some research on the quality of crowdsourced translations

We have to keep the quality level high if we do, and we’ll create a survey after the Kickstarter is completed to see how many people would be interested in it. If you have any concerns, feedback or extra reading that we could be interested in then send us a message! Obviously we'll take the professional route if this isn't wanted by our backers.

That's all for now, expect some revamped concept art soon.

Thank you again for your support!

Jitesh, Sayuki & Dan

Stuart Parry, Anthony Eyink, and 34 more people like this update.


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    1. Fadamor on

      始めまして! ウッドウォース・ラリです。どうぞよろしく。

      Somebody posted about this Kickstarter project on the Otakon forums and I was able to get one of the limited pledges before it closed. I'm stoked!

    2. Missing avatar

      Oliva on

      I would love helping in the translation into spanish :)

    3. Missing avatar

      black_bass on

      i would not mind translating the game in french :D

    4. Missing avatar

      Antoine Chauvet on

      I understand that the wiki would be only opened to backers (while it could be good to extend to other players that bought the game when it's released). The issue when using a upvoting translation thing is that it's going to be really hard to 1st get good consistency and 2nd get everything translated right (because you don't know before checking if one part is good or not and it takes time to do that).
      I'm not saying I don't believe in that system but it works with many more users that most languages are likely to get. Something with a few "admins" that can validate the lines would work better for languages without much people. The admins would be mostly to check consistency on the lines translated by all the other people.

    5. Missing avatar

      Everton Agner Ramos on

      I would love help on the translations to Brazilian Portuguese. I really believe the power of the crowdsourcing translations, seeing so much success on movies and tv shows subtitling.

    6. alcaray on

      This issue raises a moral dilemma for me. I only have use for the english version. However, the issue still affects me since it will determine how much money you can use to make the game bigger/better. So purely for personal interest I would have to boost the wiki idea. But then I would be disregarding the non-English speakers in the crowd for whom this is a critical issue.

      Tough choice. Put me down as: no opinion.

    7. Missing avatar

      Michael Burgardt on

      In my opinion, using crowdsourced translations is a great idea, which would save you the cost of a professional translation while still allowing Koe to be translated into pretty much any language ... as long as there are people willing to translate it, that is.
      I for once can easily provide a German translation and even help with a Russian one!

    8. Juan David Barreto on

      I don't really care if the game is in my native language (Spanish), but If you are going to do this and if there are enough people, I would be glad to help translating the game to spanish

    9. Jitesh Rawal Creator on

      Antoine, we're thinking of having a closed wiki, initially for our backers only. It will used an upvote system so the best translations will be kept at the top (and these will be the translations that end up in the game)

    10. Missing avatar

      Antoine Chauvet on

      I know that some projects (English translation of Visual Novels) used a wiki. Registered users can translate some parts and there will always be someone else to check the translation (hence marking it as translation checked) then usually it is also edited to make it flow more naturally in English.
      The issue is that most of the time Japanese->English translators aren't native English speakers making it important to have a native check if the translation is good English or not. I guess with most languages it wouldn't be the issue since many people from all countries understand English.
      I don't know yet if I'll have time to help a lot on translation, it's a bit too early for me to tell (since I guess translation won't start before a while).

    11. Lars Ivar | AoUA on

      I will do just fine with English myself, but my kids don't know that so well yet, so I hope for some translations.

      I haven't actually tried it (only recommended it! No affiliations though.), but I think looks like an awesome translation service. Since you're presumably not an open source project, you'd most likely have to pay for it, but I like all the options they have for statistics, proofreading etc + APIs for integration with your software tools.

    12. Missing avatar

      Adeline Hullot on

      I don't really care about having Koe in my native language (French) but I don't mind helping with the translation :-)

    13. Missing avatar

      Felipe Caminada on

      Great news! Crowdsourced translations would be awesome! I would surely help translate to Portuguese (BR), which is my native language. It would make the game much more accessible for everyone. And believe me, I know a lot of brazilians who want to learn japanese.

    14. Onami Federation on

      That's very good news! I'll be sure to share this even more in my dojo, family, and friends.

      I'll even donate even more in the future. I really want to at least read and write In This language :]

    15. Jitesh Rawal Creator on

      Colm and Tonya, we are budgeting and drawing a schedule as we go. We will have to do the translation after all the dialogue has been finalized which will be sometime next year, so we're giving the development of content the highest priority now.

    16. Jitesh Rawal Creator on

      Andre, if there is anything that needs to be done after the game is released then we'll be sure to update it.

    17. Tonya Vrba on

      I agree with Colm, what you have here is fantastic and I would much prefer it if you did everything to make this game the best it can be before investing too much in stretch goals. That said, I think having this in other languages is a great idea. I would not be surprised if Koe makes a huge profit, which could then be used for the creation of the game in other languages or making similar games to learn other languages.

    18. Onami Federation on

      Question, I possibly missed it in the reading but will the game update throughout the game?

    19. Onami Federation on

      Question, I possibly missed it in the reading but will the game update throughout the game?

    20. Jitesh Rawal Creator on

      AGOSTINI, we plan on having a similar voting system if we go ahead with this, reward incentives would be great too. Obviously we'll put everyone who helped out with the translations in the credits under that language.

    21. Chloé Agostini on

      I think it would be interesting to adopt something like Facebook did (translations by users and then votes for best translations to avoid poor language)
      Also, maybe best contributors for translating could get a streched reward for their implication?


    22. Jitesh Rawal Creator on

      Gaijin Goomba, we may not have time to put in everything from N2 and N1 but we'll put in the most useful vocabulary from the higher levels if possible.

    23. Colm Mitchell on

      Please could you not go overboard with stretch goals? Your work currently seems great, keep up the good work XD

    24. Gaijin Goomba on

      Any intentions of trying to cover language up through N2 or *gulp* N1?