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Sharin no Kuni - A Visual Novel Localization Project (Steam w/ Vita stretch goal)

Shizuka

Member
May 28, 2014
23,044
3
0
2,427 backers pledged $188,176 to help bring this project to life.

Kickstarter link.

VNDB page.

Regarding the Vita port:

I'll have to get back to you in a couple days about the developer for the port, as tomorrow's a holiday here in Japan, but I do know it's a company we've worked with before for domestic PSP and Vita ports. If the stretch goal is met, we've reached out to Limited Run Games to handle the publishing and production. Obviously nothing is set in stone, but that is what we're looking at currently.


Ready to be moved to tears and have your mind completely blown?

Sharin no Kuni, Himawari no Shojo (Wheel Country, Sunflower Girl) is a Japanese visual novel (choose-your-own-adventure styled game) that has touched the hearts and blown the minds of countless fans. With this official localization project, we’d like to faithfully share all of its wonder and feels with the English-speaking world.

This visual novel game was first released by AKABEi SOFT2 in 2005 (exclusively in Japan), and retains an enormous following to this day. This project will take the Consumer Version (Xbox 360, PSP, PS3) of the game and, based off it, create a full English, Deluxe Version for PC (Windows). Our official English localization will provide a faithful and natural translation of the original Japanese only possible with a deep understanding and appreciation of the game, its setting, and its story. It will lightly reference existing scripts with permission from TLWiki, and be significantly reworked and improved. In addition, newly added scenes in the all-ages edition will feature brand new translations from our team.

This project is a collaboration between AKABEi SOFT2 and Frontwing, two visual novel developers in Japan, with operations handled by Tokyo Otaku Mode, an online shopping, news, and art website which delivers Japanese pop culture content to the world.

There are still few instances of Japanese game developers successfully releasing visual novels overseas on their own. A quality localization requires a bilingual team with a deep understanding of the game’s story and setting, countless editing passes and discussions regarding translation choices, and a whole lot of creativity, imagination, patience, and hard work. For this ambitious undertaking, we ask for your support.

With this project, we hope to not only deliver an amazing title such as Sharin no Kuni (Wheel Country) to the world, but to raise recognition for Japanese visual novel developers, and pave the way for more great titles to reach people throughout the world.

As a token of our sincere gratitude, we are preparing an assortment of exciting rewards for our backers. From the game’s character artist, Alpha, we will have signed canvas prints, hand-drawn and signed autograph boards, and character art bed sheets featuring brand new illustrations just for you!

This project is an enormous undertaking, involving the combined teamwork of the various companies, teams, and talented individuals below.

Development: AKABEi SOFT2

Developer of visual novels since 2005. Under the company's numerous affiliate brands, AKABEi has released a wide variety of games, including flagship titles such as Sharin no Kuni and G-senjou no Maou (The Devil on G-String), which was localized and published by Sekai Project in 2015. These games are celebrated for their unpredictable plot twists and memorable characters.

In this project, AKABEi SOFT2 will be responsible for handling software development.

Character Art: Alpha

A popular illustrator known for the delicate touch she brings to her renditions of female characters. The most prominent examples of her work are Sharin no Kuni, and G Senjou no Maou. Her latest work is Boku no Hitori Sensou, which was released in 2015. Alongside her recent illustrations for light novels, Alpha's art is currently on display at the Eshi 100 Exhibit, a national event sponsored by Sankei Shimbun.

In addition to creating the art for this visual novel, Alpha is also contributing her artwork and hand-signed goods as rewards for backers of this project.

Story: Loose Boy

A writer whose stories have gained widespread appeal for their highly dramatic scenes and clever plot devices. Both Sharin no Kuni and Loose Boy's later work G-senjou no Maou were critically acclaimed, and retain a large Japanese fanbase even after so many years. His latest work is Boku no Hitori Sensou, which was released in 2015. Loose Boy is still very active on the scene, penning light novels as well as writing for games.

Localization and Publishing: Frontwing Co., Ltd.

A visual novel game developer since April 1999. Since the release of their first title Canary (Canaria: Kono Omoi o Uta ni Nosete) in August of 2000, they have published numerous titles in the visual novel genre. From school life love stories to hardcore adult games, as well as titles which utilize 3D computer graphics, their creations cover a diverse range of genres. Their games and characters have come to represent the world of bishojo games. Frontwing’s most well-known game series is the Grisaia trilogy, which received an anime adaptation in 2012. The first two installments, The Fruit of Grisaia and The Labyrinth of Grisaia, are available on Steam and have sold tens of thousands of copies combined.

In this project, Frontwing will take charge of localization, project planning, and publishing.

Localization: The Sharin no Kuni Translation Team

A fresh translation team formed specifically to localize Sharin no Kuni for the English-speaking market. Every member of the team is a native, or native-level, speaker of English. They are experienced in translating games, anime and manga, and have spent many years studying Japanese and Japanese-English translation. The localization will be overseen by the Frontwing in-house team, who have translated a number of works, including the Grisaia side story games and the Corona Blossom series.

Here are a few words from the translation team:

"Hi everyone, it's great to finally meet you all! As fans of the game ourselves, we are committed to creating a definitive version of Sharin that does justice to the original work. While we can't reply to questions and comments individually, we know how important it is to respect and listen to fans of the game. With little information about who we are, it's understandable that people may have some misgivings about us, but we hope we can begin to build trust with everyone from this point on."

Project Support & Reward Distribution: Tokyo Otaku Mode Inc.

The ultimate online destination for fans of Japanese pop culture. Centered on Japanese anime, manga, and games, Tokyo Otaku Mode (TOM) sells a wide variety of products, provides the latest Japanese pop-culture news, and exhibits the creations of talented artists to the world. With a mission to bring happiness to people around the world through otaku culture, Tokyo Otaku Mode has established a global media presence in over 200 countries worldwide.

In this project, Tokyo Otaku Mode will handle operations, including reward distribution, account handling, as well as assisting with promotion and customer support.



 

Jim_Cacher

Member
Sep 7, 2014
2,047
1
0
This is one of the best VNs out there and has one of the best twist reveal / WTF moment. Great game.
 

Kresnik258

Member
Jan 25, 2014
9,210
0
0
Backed for Vita physical. Hope it reaches the goal, 50% of the way there in two days is... do-able, right?
 

Shizuka

Member
May 28, 2014
23,044
3
0
I hope they add a specific early bird Vita physical tier when they reach the stretch goal.
 

Curler

Unconfirmed Member
Oct 15, 2013
8,658
0
0
I remember the last Kickstarter looking pretty bad and I didn't even bother with it. A boxed set with artbook and soundtrack for $85? Count me in! I'll double-up on Vita when it reaches that point.
 

Wichu

Member
Jun 15, 2009
5,091
0
0
Cambridge, UK
Someone upgraded/cancelled their $75 early bird physical tier, and I managed to snag it in the meantime. Score!

The problem is that I want that to be the Vita version, but I also want a Steam key. $99 is a huge price jump for that key :(
 

Shizuka

Member
May 28, 2014
23,044
3
0
Not only do I hope the port is being developed by Prototype, but I also wish that Frontwing and Prototype start bringing more Vita ports to the West, specially the ones that have already been released in Japan.
 

ShyMel

Member
Oct 25, 2014
1,115
0
0
So if I am understanding this correctly, the potential Vita version will only be physical, with no digital version offered?
 

Shizuka

Member
May 28, 2014
23,044
3
0
So if I am understanding this correctly, the potential Vita version will only be physical, with no digital version offered?

All Vita games get a digital release, I'm 100% sure it's getting a digital release as well.
 

J-Skee

Member
May 31, 2014
3,072
0
0
All of those that are in for the Vita port, be careful. Vita ports have been getting canceled left & right this year.
 

Shizuka

Member
May 28, 2014
23,044
3
0
All of those that are in for the Vita port, be careful. Vita ports have been getting canceled left & right this year.

Which is why I think it'll be great once they announce who's in charge of the port. If it's an established developer like Prototype, we won't have anything to worry about.
 

AlucardGV

Banned
Aug 23, 2011
5,020
0
520
This is one of the best VNs out there and has one of the best twist reveal / WTF moment. Great game.

i remember not being impressed by it. found the whole setting too much irrealistic and that's pretty much the foundation of the novel so i couldn't really relate to the things happening

still more VN are welcome
 

Kresnik258

Member
Jan 25, 2014
9,210
0
0
So, after a day and a bit, I'm really interested whether this is gonna hit the Vita goal.

It's halfway there, which is great. I have no doubt the base translation will be funded. But aren't Kickstarters normally heavily frontloaded aside from the last 24 hours or so?

That doesn't give me hope that it's going to raise another 50% needed in the remaining time =/
 

InfiniteNine

Rolling Girl
Jul 22, 2009
24,134
1
0
29
I'll back later since un-cropped CGs seems to be an option this time compared to G-Senjou no Maou's release.
 

SpeedBeatz

Member
Dec 2, 2015
425
0
0
Tokyo, Japan
www.allkore.com
Happy the AMA went great! By the way, let's say the campaign is funded, but it doesn't meet any of the stretch goals. How likely is that you'll still release the Vita port in the West?

If the campaign hit, say, $115,000, we could look into still doing the Vita port (funds raised on BackerKit could easily make up the difference). If we only get like $85,000, though, it's not very likely. That'll be something we'll have do decide in the last couple days of the campaign.
 

Shizuka

Member
May 28, 2014
23,044
3
0
If the campaign hit, say, $115,000, we could look into still doing the Vita port (funds raised on BackerKit could easily make up the difference). If we only get like $85,000, though, it's not very likely. That'll be something we'll have do decide in the last couple days of the campaign.

Any news regarding the developer behind the possible Vita port? Can you confirm if the physical copies will be the same price as the physical PC copies? I might back for one "limited edition" if it'll be the same price and I'd be able to choose "Vita" after the campaign is over.
 

SpeedBeatz

Member
Dec 2, 2015
425
0
0
Tokyo, Japan
www.allkore.com
Any news regarding the developer behind the possible Vita port? Can you confirm if the physical copies will be the same price as the physical PC copies? I might back for one "limited edition" if it'll be the same price and I'd be able to choose "Vita" after the campaign is over.

I can't say the name of the developer yet because contracts and inter-company relations here in Japan are weird and it's like a huge faux pas to announce something before it's 100% confirmed to be happening. I will say it's not Prototype, but it's another domestic developer that has a lot of experience porting PC games to PlayStation platforms, including VNs, so there shouldn't be any worry about them having issues with the porting itself.

Being able to switch from PC physical to Vita physical after the campaign is exactly how it works, we explain this in the FAQ section of the campaign page but it seems like we need to make that information more visible. Also, we'll likely be able to offer the same thing for digital backers, hopefully we'll be making an announcement about that very soon.
 

Kresnik258

Member
Jan 25, 2014
9,210
0
0
Things have slowed down now. Really hoping this reaches Vita goal.

I looked up that Libra of the Vampire Princess gained a lot of momentum in the last few days, so hopefully this'll see a similar result.

Sadly I see a lot of Vita fans saying they won't pledge until it's confirmed, which is a bit counter-productive.
 

galvenize

Member
Nov 29, 2013
2,614
0
0
That studio always has the most insane twists in their games. Thinking about G Senjou No Maou as well.
 

Shizuka

Member
May 28, 2014
23,044
3
0
I'll make my pledge tomorrow for a limited edition, hoping it'll reach the Vita stretch goal and I can choose that one.
 

StereoVsn

Member
Nov 14, 2014
5,047
3
0
So how would this compare to say Steins;Gate? That's my high bar for all VNs.

Edit: I backed Muv-Luv and so far that's been meh (Muv-Luv and Unlimited). I did like 999 and VLR quite a bit.
 

Kresnik258

Member
Jan 25, 2014
9,210
0
0
They'll be fine. I've no worried about them getting funded. It's the Vita goal I'm worried about.

And I'm also interested that if it looks like they're not hitting the Vita goal in the final few days, will we see a load of withdrawn pledges?
 

Shizuka

Member
May 28, 2014
23,044
3
0
They'll be fine. I've no worried about them getting funded. It's the Vita goal I'm worried about.

And I'm also interested that if it looks like they're not hitting the Vita goal in the final few days, will we see a load of withdrawn pledges?

I think there are a lot more Vita owners waiting for the campaign to reach the stretch goal than Vita owners pledging in the hopes that it'll reach the stretch goal. If the Vita owners were all pledging already, I think we'd be a lot closer to the Vita stretch goal now.
 

Kresnik258

Member
Jan 25, 2014
9,210
0
0
I think there are a lot more Vita owners waiting for the campaign to reach the stretch goal than Vita owners pledging in the hopes that it'll reach the stretch goal. If the Vita owners were all pledging already, I think we'd be a lot closer to the Vita stretch goal now.

Yeah, I know a couple of people who are waiting for it to reach the goal, which is amusing because at that point they'll be funding the fandisk which isn't coming to Vita.

I don't see the point in waiting. If it misses its goal there's no Vita copies. You can always withdraw a pledge if it looks like it's not making it.
 

Shizuka

Member
May 28, 2014
23,044
3
0
I don't see the point in waiting. If it misses its goal there's no Vita copies. You can always withdraw a pledge if it looks like it's not making it.

That's why I pledged today. I got the limited edition and hoping it'll reach the Vita goal. If it's the very last day, they confirm that if it's not coming unless it reaches the stretch goal and we're not there yet, I'll just withdraw my pledge.
 

Kresnik258

Member
Jan 25, 2014
9,210
0
0
That's why I pledged today. I got the limited edition and hoping it'll reach the Vita goal. If it's the very last day, they confirm that if it's not coming unless it reaches the stretch goal and we're not there yet, I'll just withdraw my pledge.

Ditto (well, not the LE part, I just pledged $40 physical), I'll withdraw if they're nowhere close by the final days because although I love VN's, I haven't taken to playing them on PC at all yet.

Which is why I'm wondering how much is gonna go on the final day if they don't reach Vita. Will be interesting to follow anyway. I think they'll be fine, personally, these things gain a lot of steam in the final week or so.
 

Shizuka

Member
May 28, 2014
23,044
3
0
I think they should do an AMA on r/Vita once they share the Vita news they promised two days ago. Once there's all information shared on the Vita port, I bet that people there'd back this project.
 

SpeedBeatz

Member
Dec 2, 2015
425
0
0
Tokyo, Japan
www.allkore.com
I think they should do an AMA on r/Vita once they share the Vita news they promised two days ago. Once there's all information shared on the Vita port, I bet that people there'd back this project.

We should definitely look into doing that near the end of the campaign yeah. That news I hinted at will be announced Monday (my boss wanted me to triple-check on the details before I say anything about it haha).
We got a big bump when the Muv-Luv Kickstarter shared the campaign for us, and we have a couple other big previous campaigns lined up to share it at well, so once they do that I'm hoping we can jump up to the goal, and when that happens I'm expecting another round of media coverage, especially from Vita-related sites. Factor in the significant bump that comes in the final two days and I think the Vta goal is absolutely realistic, yeah.
 

Shizuka

Member
May 28, 2014
23,044
3
0
How many tracks comes in the OST and how many pages are in the artbook? Is it soft or hardcover? Can't the limited edition tiers come with a digital code for those that don't want to open their boxes?
 

Jazz573

Member
Aug 20, 2012
5,566
0
0
27
How many tracks comes in the OST and how many pages are in the artbook? Is it soft or hardcover? Can't the limited edition tiers come with a digital code for those that don't want to open their boxes?

Assuming it's based on this OST, the OST should have 62 tracks (31 tracks on both discs).
 

Shizuka

Member
May 28, 2014
23,044
3
0
From the latest update:

Greetings, everyone!

It's been less than a week since the campaign launched, and we're just a few thousand dollars away from hitting our goal! We've been amazed by the amount of support we've received - just a little bit further to go!

Today we've got some news to share that's sure to please everyone hoping to see us reach our first stretch goal - the PS Vita port.
Originally, we believed we would only be able to offer physical copies of the Vita version of the game, assuming the stretch goal is reached. However, upon consulting with our tentative potential publisher for the game, we can now confirm that digital Vita copies will be available from the campaign as well!

If you're wanting to back the campaign and receive the Vita version, it's very straightforward: simply select a tier containing the digital or physical PC version of the game, and (assuming the stretch goal is met) you will be able to choose on BackerKit between PC or Vita for the version(s) of the game included in your pledge reward!
For example, if you backed at the Fairy Tale Friends With Benefits tier, you would receive two questions in your BackerKit survey: one asking you to choose between the Steam version or the digital Vita version, and one asking you to choose between the physical PC version or the physical Vita version.

To answer a question we've gotten from a few people: if the stretch goal is met, the physical Vita version will be available outside of the Kickstarter campaign; however, the deluxe game box included in the $75 and above tiers is exclusive to the campaign - the perfect way to show off your love for both the Vita and Sharin no Kuni!

Please note that the digital Vita game keys offered through the campaign will only be valid for redemption in the North America region PSN store, and therefore a PSN account from that region is required for redemption. A North America region PSN account can be made and used on any PS Vita system, but switching accounts requires you to format the PS Vita system. This only applies to digital copies, not physical.

We know the Vita family is strong and proud, and we're looking forward to having your support!

Alright, it's time to make a very helpful suggestion to SpeedBeatz and whoever else is running the campaign.

Give gamers an incentive to order a physical copy of Sharin no Kuni for the Vita now, or else they'll rather wait for the game to be sold elsewhere when it's released next year.

This is really, really basic. There is no incentive on buying it now instead of waiting for it in the future, aside from maybe the campaign never reaching the Vita stretch goal. Unless you offer something exclusive to the campaign (which shouldn't be the limited edition, for those that just want a physical copy).

Again, I'll suggest that you offer a digital copy along with every physical tier in the campaign. Muv-Luv set a precedent that most companies wanting to publish their visual novels on consoles will have to face. I'm extremely tempted to just withdraw my pledge and wait for the standard release next year, because I'll have a year or so to save money and won't have to "gamble" on a project that may not meet the deadline.
 

LordGorchnik

Member
Jul 20, 2015
1,135
0
0
Texas
Again, I'll suggest that you offer a digital copy along with every physical tier in the campaign. Muv-Luv set a precedent that most companies wanting to publish their visual novels on consoles will have to face. I'm extremely tempted to just withdraw my pledge and wait for the standard release next year, because I'll have a year or so to save money and won't have to "gamble" on a project that may not meet the deadline.

Quite frankly this is something that should happen to every VN on KS and this is something that shouldn't just happen for the VITA port but even PC copies.

In the past people who pledge for a physical edition of any platform always get screwed over waiting due to delays in production/porting/insert reason here. Sekai Project is terrible at this among others.

EDIT: Nice to see TOM on NeoGAF at least. Hope the campaign is going well.