Ask @The_Doddler:

Can ImoPara2's engine actually support emoji, or was the 4/1 gag photoshopped? Seems like one of those stupid vn engine impossibilities.

I made the imopara2 emoji screenshots in photoshop, the engine doesn't support anything quite so advanced. It does support special font characters like hearts and music notes, which get used at points in the script, but you won't see anything quite so silly as the full emoji shots!

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Are people allowed to make their own vn's using the Higurashi Steam engine? Cause I've heard that a group is working on porting the Console exclusive arc's using it.

That's pretty surprising honestly. It's not the easiest thing to work with, but I guess if that's what they want to use, that's cool. I don't know what mangagamer thinks, but I imagine as long as they're not making any money from it and it's at least higurashi related, then at least I won't say anything against it. Actually I think it's kind of cool. Modding the games was always on the table after all... it's built with that in mind. I at least wish I made it less cumbersome to work with though!

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Thank you for all your work on Da Capo 3. That is my most anticipated game ever from MangaGamer.

I'm really glad to hear that! A number of staff has put a lot of work into it, especially Kouryuu, who spent nearly 3 years working on the translation. I'm really happy with the port, if you played the original and the new versions side by side and couldn't read the text I think you'd have a hard time telling which was the original. I'm looking forward to having people play it... but a little scared at the same time! There's a demo coming out once pre-orders open, which I hope people will take a look at. I hear there won't be too much of a wait before that happens!

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What's the heck with Shuffle! release on Steam? Did MG lost the licensing rights? Is it a new translation? Do you know which version will it be (port from the PS2 version)?

I don't really know any more about this than is publicly available. My understanding is that Mangagamer was originally licensed to sell the game overseas for... geez, has it been 7 years? Anyways, when that ended, it sounds like Navel declined to renew, so mangagamer had to stop selling the game (though the side episodes, which I did ports for both, are for the time being still available). That they ended up going with another company is pretty unexpected though...
I'd be curious if the game's steam sales will be worth the effort... re-releasing old games on steam has been pretty hit and miss. On the other hand, given how many people responding to the announcement not being aware that the franchise has been previously translated, maybe it could work out. And as far as I understand, they are porting the console version to PC.

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I know it's quite a ways away in terms of release date, but, having seen MG provide multiple "HD Remasters" (Rance, Sonahana), is there any hope for SukiSuki being release in something higher than 720p? It's a shame because the original assets appear to be 1440p, and you can see this in the CG rips.

I can answer this one. The game has high resolution assets in it because it really likes zooming and panning over the art and still have them look great. If you wanted to do a high res SukiSuki (and 1280x700 isn't exactly low res), we'd need even higher res assets to make it work.

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So now illusion's publishing on steam, the OG controversy company themselves. I'm stoked to see my chinese porn games finding greater acceptance, but I can't help but feel paranoid that we're one new controversy away from it all dying abruptly. Am I just being paranoid doddles?

That's actually a bit of a surprise to me as well. It makes sense, VR is taking off and Illusion has something which I'm sure there's demand for that western companies seem unwilling to touch. Though Illusion was sort of responsible for the last major controversy, I can't really see that happening here. Last time was really a lining up of very specific conditions (and probably had more to do with the name of the game than anything else), I doubt there would be any real risk of a problem.

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It's a ways out and you might not be involved, but would you know what the scripting situation for sukisuki is supposed to be?

The game will be running in the original game engine (Majiro). I'm not directly responsible for scripting on the game... but since we have a direct line of dialog going with the Majiro developer solving some issues we've encountered with 'Please Bang My Wife', I've done some basic script insertion and going through the basic motions of preparing it for English release to identify issues that may cause issues down the road. We're currently working on getting those problems taken care of as early as possible. I know vodoka has also recently been working to de-mosaicing the animated h scenes and cleaning them up for use, so all bases seem to be covered. I think in it's current state that once translation, editing, and image work is done, it should be a pretty smooth transition to testing and release, depending on the release schedule around it's completion.

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Have you considered using Denuvo as an antipiracy method for VNs?

I've heard about Denuvo, but I'm not sure how much of a fit it would be for VNs. There's been rumors that some companies in Japan are looking at it, but Mangagamer isn't one of those. Mangagamer has been actually attempting to shift away from DRM entirely, so even in the light of a drm scheme that works fairly well, I don't think it's something that would get much of a look.
Piracy is I think quite pervasive in the industry, with some of the largest communities of users obtaining games almost exclusively through piracy. While that's a bit of a shame, our strategy has largely been one of attempting to convert users by increasing value... the hope is that by providing solid products and supporting the users we have, people will feel more inclined to support us directly.
It's taken some time to turn the ship around so to speak, but I think it's really starting to pay off; I see genuine excitement about our announcements and releases, and people seem far more inclined to support us than they would have in the past. I can't say I speak for the company, but personally I don't really see a reason to change directions. At very least, I don't think DRM will need factor into that future.

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It may have already been asked but how do you feel about the removal of R18 scenes in eroge? Isn't it ironic since it's called eroge for a reason but yet they are removed/censored when brought over. Will this trend affect the industry (both eng & jp) in a positive or negative way?

Visual novels are a pretty interesting construct... as the name implies, they combine narrative of a novel with visuals of a game or anime to create something wholly unique. This combination is effective at telling certain kinds of stories, and Japan has latched on their ability to tell romantic and/or adult stories in a way that a purely visual or novel medium would be less effective at telling. If I'm being completely honest, porn and adult comics (for various reasons) can't deliver quite the narrative experience that a visual novel can.
That's not to say that this is the only kind of story a visual novel can tell, far from it, and it's also certainly not the only kind of stories I enjoy, but it is what attracted me to the genre to begin with. Adult stories with a strong narrative investment. It might be shallow for me to think it, but I do feel let down when what could be considered part of the emotional payoff of such a story is removed, even in games where it is somewhat detached from the narrative. Or to be more blunt, it's part of the game I enjoy.
So my thoughts on it are mixed. Increasing the size and visibility of the market is a good thing, but it is disappointing to see that developers feel the need to cut up their games to make that a viable option. Not that I don't respect players who don't want that kind of content in their games, that's perfectly valid, but I'd prefer it if they gave the customer the option. If that means giving up on releasing complete products, or pretending that the original versions simply don't exist, then it's something I'm not that interested in.

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I've been into VNs since 2009, but only recently started dealing with knowing the community a bit more. There are so many varied opinions everywhere that I thought it best to just have my own opinion, but are there any companies that people SHOULD actually avoid?

I don't think there's any specific companies to avoid, as long as you do some basic research on titles. Before you buy it's always worth looking up to make sure the localization is decent, and if anything is cut, that's something you're OK with. Even within individual companies (including mangagamer) the quality of works vary quite a bit depending on the staff involved, so it's always worth double checking that kind of thing.

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Do you think it's possible to stop the Sekai Project hate train at this point, or has it become self-sustaining?

The Mangagamer hate train used to be really impressive, though that was more fueled by incompetence than contempt. It took years to reverse that, and outside of hardcore communities it's still pretty rough.
If I had to pick one main reason people aren't happy with Sekai, it's that a lot of fans hold certain opinions or desires of localization companies (regarding cut content, or quality of work), and instead of addressing them, they dismiss those concerns as ramblings of the overly entitled or unreasonably demanding.
Even if you might not agree with them, I think outright dismissing concerns of fans is a dangerous move. They have those concerns for a reason, and alienating a large portion of your potential fanbase creates the kind of toxic environment you see now. They have shown a "we don't need them" attitude to such people, which just actively makes it worse.
It's largely a communication issue though... it's not like Sekai isn't passionate about the games they release. They could probably be in their same position and not be reviled by simply addressing the concerns people bring up rather than dismissing them. It wouldn't hurt to be a bit more open about the decision process and why things are being done the way they are either. You'd have to be willing to address those issues though and not ignore them though. I see people involved with Sekai Project actively berating and attacking those who are upset, and really what you want to do is try to be inclusive. You'll never fix it by being on the offense.

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Are you going to work on Maggot Bait?

I will likely not be working on this title. Clockup has done all the technical work on their games to date, so it's quite likely they'll be doing it this time as well. I'm not too disappointed, as neat as the game looks, it looks a bit out of my league in terms of content!

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How do official companies handle VN translations? Extract the text into excel files, or just manually modify the text straight from the script? Do you write specialized programs for the former or is there some existing tool (if that's what's done)?

Usually we export the text to some kind of intermediary format where we work on it and then import it back after. For most projects we're using google spreadsheets, but in some cases we've been using text files and SVN as it suits the needs of the project and translator. Usually we write some small scripts or programs to perform the import process for us.

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Hello Doddler, I wonder why you removed the mod for respawnable clockwork monsters / gears from the DST workshop. I liked gears being both renewable but random and not craftable. With it being removed from the workshop I cannot use it in open online servers. :( Please add it again. Thanks

A rare non VN question! I kind of regret not being able to support those Don't Starve Together mods, but I've been getting constant messages saying that the mod no longer works and needs to be updated, but I lack the time to properly support them. If someone wants to use the code in their own mod I would be perfectly fine with that.

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Is there any chance of MangaGamer ever publishing a Vita version of certain games? I know you might not be involved in the details, but I seriously think there is a market for it. Ozmafia could sell really well, especially with girls. Can't be that much work if it's already translated.

There was an Ozmafia release in Japan, but it was done by a different company. Being involved in a Vita port of a game already, it's a lot of work to do a port of a game, even if the translation is done. Sadly I don't think Mangagamer is aiming to get into the console space at the moment anyways.

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Hey, I know this is ancient but you posted a sublime package a while ago for kirikiri tjs/ks script highlighting and I was interested in referencing it to do something similar in another editor. You didn't mention any license so would you be okay with that/want attribution/etc?

Go ahead and do what you want with it, that's what I put it out there for!

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Does Sekai Project know you intended to only use Unity for the non-Windows versions? They said on Steam that achievements would come after it's done. Would be pretty weird if they're exclusive to Mac and Linux users, wouldn't it?

Hmm... if that's the case then I'll need to follow up with Sekai about it, because at the moment my goal is simply to make a version that is compatible with Vita.

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FW admitted people might actually want 18+ in their localizations with Sharin no Kuni prefundia. Think they'd ever backpedal on a "complete" version of Grisaia titles with the AA-only scenes?

I don't really understand the question, as far as I know the adult versions of all 3 grisaia titles is in the works. The adult versions will come out a bit after the all ages release, but they're all getting worked on.

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I heard you had to search the Internet for ancient tools to work with MNG files when porting Tick Tack. Do you remember what you found? None of the programs I managed to locate fully understood the format.

I believed I used a combination of 'PNG MNG Construction Set' to export individual frames, and another mng tool who's name eludes me that showed individual frame positions and timing, and manually re-assembled animations from that data. Sadly it was quite some time ago and I don't believe I have any of those tools handy.

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Wouldn't it make sense to switch to Unity for the Steam releases of the Windows versions though? I heard CatSystem2's implementation of the Steam overlay is rather buggy.

As they say, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. CatSystem2 is a little buggy with steam, but I'd rather continue to use the existing version for steam which is (mostly) problem free than put up a version that could potentially cause more issues for users. There are also some design concessions made in the port to better support consoles, which while not major (changed UI, different options), I don't want to take away anything that currently exists for PC users.

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