NeoGAF FrontPage Discussion: NIS America's Steven Carlson on Localizing Disgaea 2

Jun 6, 2004
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#1
Based off the questions you folks submitted, we've conducted an interview with Steven Carlson, a two year veteran at NIS America who served as Localization Coordinator on Disgaea 2. Not only does he shed some light on the localization process Disgaea 2 underwent, but also NIS America's procedures when it comes to selecting and localizing titles. After reading it, be sure to post your thoughts and comments!

Read it here.
 

Suikoguy

I whinny my fervor lowly, for his length is not as great as those of the Hylian war stallions
Jun 6, 2004
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I guess they could not give any dollar amounts or costs huh?

Well, the 6 months timeframe was a nice start. :D

Thanks for the interview
 
Feb 6, 2006
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#5
From the interview said:
NG: If you could localize any game, what would it be?
SC: Well, localizing Disgaea 2 really was a dream-come-true for me. But now that I’ve done that, personally, I think it would be fun to do a Fire Pro Wrestling or maybe a Cromartie High School game.
DO IT!!!
 
Aug 26, 2004
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#6
Good read.

Five people, six months. I could probably dig a localization gig. Six to nine months would be my threshold for working on a product. Screw these 2 and 3-year dev times.

I regret that I couldn't submit any questions, though. It wasn't a good weekend for me to sit down and hammer out some ?s. I haven't had a chance to play any of the NISA games that I own, either. (Even though I was in the middle of going through Disgaea 1 at the time.) Hopefully next time...
 

Fuzzy

I would bang a hot farmer!
Jan 11, 2005
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NG: What conditions and factors determine if a game will retain its original Japanese voice acting in addition to the English dub?


SC: We always try to keep the original Japanese voice acting in our games. We know that our fans love the ability to choose which language to listen to, and we are more than happy to oblige. The only reasons I can think of as to why we would not include the originals would be if there’s not enough space to include both, or if there was a programming conflict of some kind.
This is how all localisation teams should handle their games.
 
#15
MoxManiac said:
Really? I'm suprised, as the VA was quite good in PB and MK. Oh well, we'll see when I get my copy.
I got it last night, and IMHO, it's not that it's bad, really (though some parts did make me cringe), it's just not that great. While the original Disgaea did have great voice acting.

And also, the new characters aren't as good. The main character is a dork. His big trait is he doesn't like girls (which is a tired cliche for a 10 year old, like Jason from the comicstrip Foxtrot, but just stupid for a 17 year old kid).

Then you have I guess this games equivalent of Captain Gordon, "Axel", a washed up star who now hosts a TV show. His character is supposed to be funny, but they keep emphasizing how he still thinks he's a big star, but is not. It's just not that funny, and it's made worse by having a terrible VA for him.
 
Sep 20, 2005
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#17
I'm happy that my question got asked about cutting content.

Overall it is a good interview. I find these kinds of interviews about localization to be sometimes be better than interviews about news games simply becuase you gain actual knowledge from it.

Outpost.com has Disgaea 2 for 39.99, folks!



BTW Is Axel a Axel Rose gag?
 
Jan 20, 2005
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#20
Dr. Kitty Muffins said:
BTW Is Axel a Axel Rose gag?
Possibly. At one point he says "Welcome to the arena, we got fun and games."

Then he also has that attack where he plays a guitar for MASSIVE DAMAGE.
 
Sep 20, 2005
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#21
Sometimes I wish they would take a japanese game (preferably a RPG) that normally wouldn't do well in the US for being too bizarre and make it ultra funny with a localization turning it into another game entirely almost making fun of itself at the same time. (Kinda like how Kung Faux remixes old kung fu films with brand new voices acting that changes the plot into something off the wall.)
 
Jan 20, 2005
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#22
Dr. Kitty Muffins said:
Sometimes I wish they would take a japanese game (preferably a RPG) that normally wouldn't do well in the US for being too bizarre and make it ultra funny with a localization turning it into another game entirely almost making fun of itself at the same time. (Kinda like how Kung Faux remixes old kung fu films with brand new voices acting that changes the plot into something off the wall.)
Albert Odyssey for Saturn did this (I think, never played the original.)
 

iapetus

Scary Euro Man
May 31, 2004
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www.veryshortpier.com
#26
Sure, minor mistakes don't take away from the plot. But they're extremely simple to spot and fix at an early stage. Hell, if they can't afford anyone to proof-read it they should just ask me if I've got a weekend free. :D

Seriously, there's no excuse for large numbers of crass mistakes in a localization. (I'm not saying that Disgaea 2 has large numbers of crass mistakes, because I haven't played it. But there are games out there that do...)
 
Jun 10, 2004
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#27
Dr. Kitty Muffins said:
Sometimes I wish they would take a japanese game (preferably a RPG) that normally wouldn't do well in the US for being too bizarre and make it ultra funny with a localization turning it into another game entirely almost making fun of itself at the same time. (Kinda like how Kung Faux remixes old kung fu films with brand new voices acting that changes the plot into something off the wall.)
You mean, Sometimes you wish you would buy a Working Designs game?:p
 
Sep 20, 2005
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#28
Tamanon said:
You mean, Sometimes you wish you would buy a Working Designs game?:p

I'm talking about taking say a RPG game based heavily on ancient japanese culture and redoing the dialog to make the game seem like its about a main character who is a hip-hop thug wondering why the heck he isn't in San Andreas and says stuff like "What happened to all the free roam? This is turn based, b****es!"

Of course he would still look the same as in the japanese original title.

Just an example. But basically I see it as another cheap way to get a fully developed game into the US market for little cost. If the gameplay is already good, then making the game a comedy may help it sell when it normally wouldn't becuase of its original themes.
 
Jan 20, 2005
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#29
Dr. Kitty Muffins said:
I'm talking about taking say a RPG game based heavily on ancient japanese culture and redoing the dialog to make the game seem like its about a main character who is a hip-hop thug wondering why the heck he isn't in San Andreas and says stuff like "What happened to all the free roam? This is turn based, b****es!"

Of course he would still look the same as in the japanese original title.

Just an example. But basically I see it as another cheap way to get a fully developed game into the US market for little cost. If the gameplay is already good, then making the game a comedy may help it sell when it normally wouldn't becuase of its original themes.
Tengai Makyou 4 is almost like that, only its like that in its native japanese form and its never been translated. Only the main characters are pretty much strauightforward what you;'d find from thge era it takes place in, its the bosses that are like that (A movie producer, a pig lady etc.)
 
Jun 3, 2005
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#31
Nice read! I love these frontpage articles. Can anyone write these?

If anyone in here speaks german (preferably an english native speaker) and would like to participate in localizing a fan-game in the near future, please contact me! (sorry for the shamless plug :D )
 

EviLore

Expansive Ellipses
Staff member
May 30, 2004
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#34
Ogni-XR21 said:
Nice read! I love these frontpage articles. Can anyone write these?

Well, yes, but currently we have a group of people comprising the Editorial Team. Obviously the output isn't exceptionally high, but standards of quality are hopefully being maintained.

Still, it should be an outlet for anyone's quality original works should they want to participate. Just haven't made that notion clear I suppose. That will be done at some point ;b
 
Sep 2, 2004
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#35
A little disappointed that you didn't include the Sakura Taisen question (though it's understandable why you didn't), but a great interview. I hope you do more of these. :)