Would you play a game only using subtitles?
Posted 14 August 2006 - 07:24 AM
The overall graphical style of the game is almost like hand-drawn animation and very stylised, as the game is meant to be like a long and interactive anime episode.
But the thing I'm asking is: would you (non Japanese-speaking) players be interested in a game that only featured Japanese audio for speech and then subtitles for your own language?
I personally think it isn't critical that a game is in my language if it is set in another location. As the game is set in Japan, I would prefer Japanese audio to set the mood further.
Posted 14 August 2006 - 01:19 PM
So if your game is nicely made you should be fine.
my two cents :)
Posted 14 August 2006 - 02:28 PM
Battlefield 1942 had a 'neat' option where the players would actually shout things in the native language of the faction they're on (Japanese would scream in Japanese, etc).
It was really great for immersion, but I had to turn it off quickly because I couldn't tell the difference between "Tank on the road!" or "Sniper spotted!".
So anyhow, for cutscenes, non-game-critical parts, your idea would be great (I always turn captions on, myself), but if it's part of a game play dynamic it might be a bit frustrating.
Just the way I see it.
Posted 14 August 2006 - 02:57 PM
And I always turn off subtitles in games where the audio is English, but I tend to watch foreign language films in the native language with subtitles on - very much so for anime shows, as the alternative is usually dire.
To clarify, all speech central to the game progression and the storyline would be subtitled - this included cutscene content, etc. Ambient voices when walking down the street, etc, would not be subtitled unless it was spoken by an important character - voices in the crowd constantly popping up on screen would get annoying quickly, I'm sure. Signs and warning notices, etc, would have Japanese characters/logos/text, but then there would be the localised language overlayed or surrounding it - just like when watching an anime show.
Posted 14 August 2006 - 03:47 PM
I have watched several anime shows including Magic Knight Rayearth in both translated English and subtitled Japanese and found the continuity was often lost in the subbed version as the viewer is struggling to read and watch the onscreen video at the same time.
If the context is a little more serious than it may be less of a distraction if used sparingly but I feel it would still be a distractor if overused.
As a suggestion how about having the characters speaking in Japanese but have the audio volume low and have a narrarator speaking in a louder volume in english? You would retain the character you are striving for but would not risk alienating other audiences.
Just an idea :) Good luck
Posted 15 August 2006 - 01:30 AM
Just something to think about. And just to be clear, i'm for the subtitles :)
As for the signs and things like that, take a look at how they did it in prey. When you encounter a sign in alien in the game, the letters pop out of the sign in english. Looks very cool, and doesn't interfere at all with the gameplay.
For your game idea, it sounds alot like a japanified version of Psychonauts. Makes me wonder if you might have tried it :lol:
Posted 15 August 2006 - 07:18 AM
That aside, the quality of the original recording is going to be important. Bad acting in japanese is still bad acting and if it's bad it isn't going to matter what language it's in.
Posted 15 August 2006 - 12:00 PM
I would certainly toy with trying a speech bubble system next to each character as they spoke, or placing other character's dialogue in the top-left corner like in an RPG game, as well as the traditional placing at the bottom of the screen, etc. The main character's speech would have already been selected from localised text before the speech file played anyway, so there wouldn't be any problems there.
I'm playing Prey at the moment, but only just started, so I can't think if I've gotten far enough to see the signs you mention. And I've never played Psychonauts, but it is on my list of games to try - always got great critical reviews and is often mentioned as a great designer's game.
Posted 15 August 2006 - 12:29 PM
Normally, subtitles should skip anything not important. A sentence like "You damn idiot!" could be subtitled "Idiot!". You will loose some of the meaning, but you will get the missing pieces from the intonation of the original dialouge.
Posted 15 August 2006 - 03:09 PM
Posted 15 August 2006 - 03:21 PM
In prey it's after you die and get the spirit of your dead pet bird (yes, it's weird). Psychonauts IS a really cool and hilarious game. The first time I completed it, I just instantly started over because it was so good. Second time round I became a master psychonaut (level 100) :D
Posted 15 August 2006 - 05:37 PM
I'm very interested as to how they did it and what I can learn from them. Plus, I've heard so much praise about how well-made the game is, I really want to play it now. It's supposedly a superb game, and one that I really want to find a copy of. It's a few years old and apparently suffered some bad marketing, so it's supposedly quite rare now.
Posted 24 August 2006 - 07:53 PM
we make moms unite against evil
Posted 25 August 2006 - 02:08 PM
Btw, I now have The Last Express to check out and see how it worked for them.
Posted 06 October 2006 - 10:30 AM
Another possibility is having no subtitles or the audio, witch, if done correctly, could be quite disturbing and make for a terrifying scenario. (Say the guys deaf, or something, and have all the sound blanked out or in extreeeme sloooow moootioooon).
And yes, I would play a game with subtitles. As a fan of many Japanese games, it's either the subtitles or a corny, unsynched, american home-made voice over. I know which I'd choose.
Posted 07 October 2006 - 07:26 PM
But actually you're quite right: in-game there wouldn't be a massive need for subtitles during play. Incidental noises, shouts in the street, etc, wouldn't be shown on the screen, and you have to be interacting with another character in ordder to have a conversation with them which would require subtitling. It's likely that this character would at that time be one of few NPCs (if not the only one) on-screen at that time. That would mean there wouldn't be large numbers of distracting subtitles flashing up as you were trying to figure something else out. Additionally, the everday folk in my vision of this game use a very simplistic (likely greyed-out) art style to signify they don't have merit to your quest and don't have psychic powers of there own. Many can't also be interacted with. None of these characters would recieve subtitling at all.
Cutscenes and camera cuts are meant to be kept to when only cinemtatic benefits can be made within the game, so conversations and meaningful shouts from the surroundings, etc, would need subtitling during normal play.
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