Interview-3-4

How much free reign do you get on changing some of the in-game text? Do you have any specific limits towards different types of in-game media?


     The only real constraint I have is that the story needs to remain the same, and the characters need to remain basically the same. Obviously text needs to match correctly to puzzle mechanics (which we don’t have the capability to change), but apart from that I can do whatever I think is appropriate. Ultimately this doesn’t lead to huge, sweeping changes, mostly because the characters and story are already very good more or less as they are, but also because making serious, far-reaching changes would be a monumental amount of work.
     People get worried a lot about “changes,” and rightfully so (for anyone who lived through the 90s), but once you begin to translate text you’ve already changed it. Languages are different from one another, and a language like Japanese is fundamentally different from one like English; translation even at its best is really just approximation once you get to anything more complex than “toire ha doko desuka.” The way I look at it is, VLR is a story first, and a story in Japanese second. If someone feels less engaged because I chose words or phrases that were more “accurate,” then it’s failed. Writing is about ideas; words, whatever the language, are just the tools.