...Woomb?

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By Samor

Prophet (2147)

Samor's picture

30-07-2007, 10:19

Ok, I'm just gonna try and start a topic on this, and hope for a change it won't turn into burning flames within 5 minutes.

I'm just wondering about the state of Woomb. I personally like the initiative, and it started of great, but now there's just not much happening. I know there've been reasons for that, but I'm a bit concerned about its future.

I recall an interview where I read the idea in Woomb was to up the number of releases per month. Well, that didn't happen so far, in fact, quite the opposite happened.

The other point is, the kind of games. Out of the last 5 ones, one was Japanese. The others were Dutch scene rereleases. This is perhaps personal, but I'm much more interested in the Japanese games.

I'm approaching Woomb from a retrogamer kind of perspective, and perhaps not so much as an MSX user (MSX users seem to be much more interested in using the original hardware instead of emulators, for one. I'm the odd duck here Smile ). I also think Woomb works much better as a retrogame service in general than as a service purely for MSX users. So, many MSX users might feel this service is not for them, and actually that isn't a weird thing to think at all.
It's also not strange that Woomb isn't a pure MSX users service. It wouldn't be commercially viable, and even as a retrogaming service in general, you have to do things right to make it successful.

Hence, back to my concerns; as a retrogamer, I'd be interested in either the titles I knew but never had, or didn't have anymore, and in games I'd heard about but never had the chance to play (properly). Only after that come the titles I'd never seen before. Now, MSX is already a bit of an unknown territory to some, but gamers who did their homework will know about Aleste or Zanac, probably... yet, how many will know about Anma's games?

With games from Anma your target audience are the Dutch people that had an MSX in the 90's and were active in the community, liked the games, don't have an MSX anymore but are still interested in getting those games again. If you ask me, that's not gonna be a large number of people. Or if you're lucky, someone will have found Woomb and bought a few games and then tries one he doesn't know.

The biggest problem is the number of releases of course; why would one sign up for a Woomb subscription for longer than a few months? Now, if there were >1 releases a month, it'd be much more interesting.

Anyway, I really hope this thing will still be going on and that we'll see Psycho World and Hydefos on it, or something.

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By ARTRAG

Enlighted (6844)

ARTRAG's picture

30-07-2007, 10:35

IMHO dsk's and rom's are "freely" (it means "easily") available all around the network, bluemsx and openmsx are
great in running them...
I do not see a reasonable economical return unless they do not provide "professional" quality translations from
Japanese of historical classic games (and maybe vice versa, even if I think that Japanese public can play English
games safely, maybe the problem could exist only with few Spanish games, how knows...)

By Samor

Prophet (2147)

Samor's picture

30-07-2007, 11:24

Well, the translated Japanese games have the biggest interest from me, of course. I also like the fact Woomb includes the original manuals and sometimes little extras, translated and all. I did get Zanac from Woomb, but actually only because it included the manual.

On the other hand, I'm not really interested in the cover-artwork from Frantic or something (I can draw a better one myself) Tongue

By Sonic_aka_T

Enlighted (4130)

Sonic_aka_T's picture

30-07-2007, 14:03

I think the biggest issue, apart from securing rights, is probably the adaptation of the games. Finding people with the skills (and willingness) to adapt a game *properly* is not easy. Anyone can take a hex-editor and overwrite some text-strings as was done in the old days, but you won't find 'localizations' like those on w00mb.

To make a proper localization takes a lot of effort, and it's just a very time-consuming process. Just for example: the localization of Xak the Art of Visual Stage took more than a year. This means that if I were to start working on Xak II tomorrow it'd prolly take me another year to finish that; hence the reluctance to start working on big titles like those.

I'd love nothing more than to translate some of those mystery games we've all seen but never understood, but usually that means a *lot* of text to translate and implement and a *lot* of hacking to do. Perhaps if some more people would be willing to localize for w00mb we could get some of those obscure titles translated and fill that w00mb catalog a little faster.

By SLotman

Paragon (1240)

SLotman's picture

30-07-2007, 14:20

There's another issue... how many people can actually have the time and the skills to do such translations?

I myself have a semi-translation of 'Testament' to portuguese for a long time, but the part where each game character is shown with a japanese text... I cant even find where in the game those texts are Tongue

Other reason is that it's very frustrating to translate a game - specially if you dont like it.

And I guess there isnt "a game per month" because is hard to track down the copyright owners after all those years. Some developers/publishers might even not exist anymore.

By Sama

Ambassador (2068)

Sama's picture

30-07-2007, 14:39

Let me shed a little bit light on this one. There are several reasons why there haven't been added many titles to WOOMB lately. As Sonic points out correctly, it takes quite a lot of time to do a proper localization. In fact, this may be the bottleneck, because the securing rights issue is not really that big an issue at all, because of the cooperation with D4 Enterprise.

However, WOOMB is one of the initiatives taken by Bazix and up until now, Bazix has remained to be a partnership consisting of only three people. Unfortunately, lady luck hasn't exactly shone upon these three lately and private reasons prevented us from doing what we had planned. Some things are known to you and some are not. Apart from that, some reorganizations have taken place at our Japanese partners and our motivation has suffered, because of the aforementioned two things to which the negative attitude of MSX sceners hasn't really contributed positively.

However, the main problem is that we try to do a lot with little people and at the moment, we're facing the consequences. Behind the scenes, of course, we're still busy with WOOMB and new (Japanese) titles will of course be added again in the future. At this moment, there are three titles being translated (professionally) to English, but it takes time. If there's anyone who has the skills to (technically) deliver a professional translation, don't hesitate to contact us.

By SaebaMSX

Hero (533)

SaebaMSX's picture

30-07-2007, 14:55

I've bought XAK and I am very happy with the translation. In fact, it will be the first time I will finish it, since I didn't in the past (I prefered to finish XAK2 and Gazzel).

I have a question here... Why was decided to keep R800 always enabled? I think it was not present in Japanese version (of course XAK was launched in a pre-turboR era). Tongue

By Sonic_aka_T

Enlighted (4130)

Sonic_aka_T's picture

30-07-2007, 14:57

However, the main problem is that we try to do a lot with little people.....Are you implying little-people are less efficient than larger individuals? Tongue

By Sonic_aka_T

Enlighted (4130)

Sonic_aka_T's picture

30-07-2007, 15:01

I've bought XAK and I am very happy with the translation. In fact, it will be the first time I will finish it, since I didn't in the past (I prefered to finish XAK2 and Gazzel).

I have a question here... Why was decided to keep R800 always enabled? I think it was not present in Japanese version (of course XAK was launched in a pre-turboR era). TongueIndeed, the original version of Xak didn't have an R800 mode. Initially I added just a CHGCPU option in the speed menu, but since the game plays so much nicer in R800 mode and MSX PLAYer is a tR emu anyhow we decided to enable the R800 by default. Personally I think it just plays a whole lot better...

By SaebaMSX

Hero (533)

SaebaMSX's picture

30-07-2007, 16:35

So you "reprogrammed" XAK directly to work in MSX PLAYer or firstly tested it on real MSX (turboR)?

By [D-Tail]

Ascended (8259)

[D-Tail]'s picture

30-07-2007, 20:55

I guess some turboR owner(s?) tested the game for them.

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