SD Snatcher retranslation announced

by snout on 31-10-2011, 23:54
Topic: Translations
Languages:

Source: MSX Forum

Visitors of Event Eleven and readers of this topic on our active MSX Forum already know the true meaning of the mysterious Project Melancholia. The best MSX2 game ever is finally getting a proper English translation. While Hideo Kojima is best known for his successful Metal Gear saga, the best Kojima game for MSX arguably is not Metal Gear, Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake or even Penguin Adventure, but the Super Deformed version of Snatcher.  

In 1990 Konami released SD Snatcher. A cyberpunk action RPG exclusive to the MSX platform, seen by many as Konami and Kojima's goodbye gift to MSX. As most games at the time, the game was only available in Japanese. This did not stop MSX fans around the world to try and enjoy the game's music, graphics, gameplay and cutscenes by randomly running into every moving object until they progressed in the game. All that changed when a Dutch group, Oasis did something unprecedented at the time: they translated the game to English and released this translation as a patch. It was one of the first, if not the first, fan-translations of a commercially released game for any computer platform, and at least fhe first fan-translation of an MSX game.  

However, limitations of their knowledge of Japanese, English and reverse engineering - as well as the absence of cross-development tools available - had their effects on the final result. There were mistranslations and, due to lack of space, only the tip of the iceberg was translated. Many, many, many details were lost in translation. Over the years, fans of the game started to realize this more and more - and several attempts were made to give the game a proper translation.  

Now, 21 years after the release of the original game, finally a translation crew arose that properly took on the challenge: Max Iwamoto, Rieks Warendorp Torringa, René Lourens and Dennis Bakker. In order to facilitate the new translation, many changes to the game engine were made, such as support for 7-letter names (naturally, one should be able to spell Gillian Seed properly) and a new proportional font that improves readability and the amount of characters that can be used in a single screen.  

During Event Eleven they first revealed their progress in this amazing trailer that completely blew the crowd away. Now, you can not only watch this trailer and several other in-game videos online, you can even download a demo version, which allows you to see the intro demos and play the game up to the part where you first meet Katrina. The Project Melancholia website furthermore offers a lot of background information on the translation crew, development progress and an interesting interview with Oasis.  

The complete translation is expected to be released early 2012 and will cost € 12,50. People who pre-order the translation will receive a discount and will only have to pay € 10,-. Better yet, even when you decide to pre-order there is no need to pay upfront.  

Relevant link: Project Melancholia (SD Snatcher retranslation)

Comments (69)

By Oscar

Guardian (554)

Oscar's picture

01-11-2011, 00:02

Cool. Playing the demo! The message of "sound cartridge not found" seems to be corrupted, tested in BlueMSX.

By mars2000you

Enlighted (5049)

mars2000you's picture

01-11-2011, 00:04

Oscar, you need to use the Special Cartridge menu and insert a SCC-I cartridge.

Still concerning blueMSX : the indications given in a PNG file don't seem so good :

a) to get the correct look of the MSX screen, 'horizontal stretch' needs to be selected
b) personal choices : I recommend to select 'de-interlace' and to de-select the scanlines; finallly, I select always 'monitor'.

By Ivan

Ascended (8985)

Ivan's picture

01-11-2011, 00:06

Can I load the new translation into this cartridge?

By Sama

Ambassador (2056)

Sama's picture

01-11-2011, 00:12

We're currently investigating the possibilities. We might even make a special version for that cartridge, leaving out disk switching and stuff... But we're in the investigation phase only, so I can't promise anything yet Smile.

By Oscar

Guardian (554)

Oscar's picture

01-11-2011, 00:17

Yes, I know. I have found that if you don´t put the ROM of SCC-I into the BlueMSX slot the game asks for it but the message appears corrupted. I don´t know if it is an emulator issue.

By Sama

Ambassador (2056)

Sama's picture

01-11-2011, 00:19

@Oscar: we'll check it out, thanks for sharing!

By Oscar

Guardian (554)

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01-11-2011, 00:23

You welcome! And great translation! We need to replay the game again Wink

By JohnHassink

Ambassador (4947)

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01-11-2011, 00:51

*sigh*
I had to replay SD-Snatcher several times.

First I got the disks, so I played it and finished it.
Then, I got the English translation, which was ofcourse a reason to play it to the end again.
When I got my SCC (Salamander) cartridge with switch, I tested it with the game, was blown off my chair and decided to do it once more.

So you're telling me I have to play through that stuff again?!? Wink

By mars2000you

Enlighted (5049)

mars2000you's picture

01-11-2011, 01:03

Sama (and your partners in this adventure) : the translation is excellent and I'll pre-order the definitive IPS's (I guess 3 IPS as there are 3 DSK).

Just remove the not so good advices for blueMSX users in the TXT and PNG files ! Wink

By max_iwamoto

Champion (365)

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01-11-2011, 05:24

@mars2000you:

First of all I want to say that this is just a recommendation!

b) personal choices : I recommend to select 'de-interlace' and to de-select the scanlines; finallly, I select always 'monitor'.

- I agree that 'monitor' is good choose to see smoother edges. With scan lines looks more realistic, but still looking good without them.

a) to get the correct look of the MSX screen, 'horizontal stretch' needs to be selected

- This is the main reason why we added recommended settings! To get REAL MSX look you need to de-select 'horizontal stretch'! When 'horizontal stretch' selected, font looks very ugly and very far from what we intended and from how it looks on real MSX!

By max_iwamoto

Champion (365)

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01-11-2011, 05:26

@ JohnHassink:

Now you not going to PLAY it again, you going to ENJOY it!

By Sama

Ambassador (2056)

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01-11-2011, 06:08

I have to admit that I usually have the Hq2x filter on, especially when running BlueMSX fullscreen. The font (and not only that) looks very good that way as well. But I agree with Max, the recommendation included in the download package works best if you want to have it look the closest to a real MSX.

By Guillian

Prophet (3027)

Guillian's picture

01-11-2011, 10:46

@Ivan: The beta version works in the cartridge. So the final translation should work too.
Also the autodisk change beta feature seems to work fine ^_^

By mesiasmsx

Prophet (3037)

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01-11-2011, 11:53

preorder released :-)

By WORP3

Paladin (757)

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01-11-2011, 12:26

I've just assigned for the pre-order Wink
I already did purchased the special sd-cartridge so a special version for that new cartridge should be very useful !

By OeiOeiVogeltje

Paragon (1165)

OeiOeiVogeltje's picture

01-11-2011, 17:45

I must say that i find the price a bit steep.
Although it has probably been a lot of work to make this translation 12,50 Euro is a lot of money,especially if you look at what you actually get;
The game was already playable with the translation that was already around
For 12,50 you almost have a new MSXdev game on cart.

Im thinking the translators didnt do this for the money so why ask this price
I bet if the price would be half (so 5 euro in pre-order) WAY more would be sold keeping pirating out

Dont get me wrong , i appreciate the effort and time you pieps put in it
Im not even saying it's not worth the 12,50 EURO but a lower price i bet way more people would buy it.

Just my two cents...

By Sama

Ambassador (2056)

Sama's picture

01-11-2011, 18:11

Thank you for your comment. I, personally, don't think that EUR 10 (preorder) or even EUR 12,50 is asked too much for a hobby thing to enjoy. Back in the days, Oasis asked about the same amount of money for their translation patch disks if I remember correctly, and, according to the interview, they sold many copies. Just think of it; most books and novels are much more expensive than EUR 10 and this usually doesn't stop people who like reading from buying them. Or other things. EUR 10 is four beers in a cafe, man. Don't you ever drink beer either? Wink

Which brings me to the fact that by paying EUR 10, you actually buy each one of us a beer. That's all Tongue.

Anyway, I do appreciate that you share your opinion on this. I don't think we will change the price, though Wink. And I must say I am somewhat shocked by reading '...WAY more would be sold keeping pirating out'. I surely hope the choice of pirating or not pirating (and thus getting your hands on something you apparently enjoy but you're too stingy to do the ones who brought it to you a favor, which is kind of demotivating if that's what our audience is like) won't be a matter of EUR 5. Now or ever.

By Ivan

Ascended (8985)

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01-11-2011, 18:22

1989? I have updated the release date of SD Snatcher in the newspost: it was 1990!

By WORP3

Paladin (757)

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01-11-2011, 19:03

@oeioeivogeltje.
I think that they are doing a wonderful job in keeping one of the best MSX game ever alive. As always doing something like this will take up an enormous amount of time away from their normal life !
Giving them some appreciation back in paying them 10 euro for it, is a very small price to pay !

Keep up the good work guys, hope it will be finished shortly Big smile

By Ivan

Ascended (8985)

Ivan's picture

01-11-2011, 19:05

Corrected the name of the game, too. It is SD Snatcher (not SD-Snatcher)...

By Samor

Paragon (1783)

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01-11-2011, 19:24

love it; this warrants another playthrough Smile

By msd

Paragon (1311)

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01-11-2011, 19:35

Why is the question asked: Can I load it in to the sd-snatcher cartridge?.. That's only a scc+ and ram cartridge isn't it?

By FiXato

Scribe (1248)

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01-11-2011, 19:48

Speaking of pirating: I wonder how many of the people who buy the translation, actually have the original game ;-)

By Ivan

Ascended (8985)

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01-11-2011, 19:55

@FiXato: I own 3 -three- copies of SD Snatcher. As investment is better than gold Tongue

By Ivan

Ascended (8985)

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01-11-2011, 19:57

Proof...: link

By Moniz

Champion (307)

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01-11-2011, 20:10

@Fixato: I own one, but offcourse I'm not going to patch that one..

@MSD: The cartridge you're reading about is a special made flashcard that can hold the complete game (not sure how saving is done though..)

By Moniz

Champion (307)

Moniz's picture

01-11-2011, 20:13

The sound seems to be distored while in the "new game or load" menu or while selecting a name.
Is that a bug or just the version I've patched?

I've used a crack of the original (SCC+ card is still needed, only difference is that the copy protection is removed)

By OeiOeiVogeltje

Paragon (1165)

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01-11-2011, 20:20

@SAMA
Nope, i never drink beer!

i dont understand what you mean with the remark about my being too stingy but i think you misunderstood (or i wrote it wrong) about the pirating thing;
What i meant was ;
If more people would buy it for 5 euro the need for a pirated copy would be less (because more people would already have the original thing)
20 times 5 Euros would be worth more than 10 time 10 Euros in this case (IMHO)

I have the original game too but i never liked it that much,for 5 euro i would still buy the patch just to "Have" it and support you guys.
10 Euro in MY particular case is just a tad to expensive

By Manuel

Ascended (13478)

Manuel's picture

01-11-2011, 20:43

Is it normal that the turbo LED of the turboR isn't enabled during the intro? (I was expecting it to be... as turbo would be enabled for smooth animations...)

By Moniz

Champion (307)

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01-11-2011, 20:53

@ manuel: I was about to ask the same question, but found out the answer myself: it'll go on after the intro demo, probably because the demo would be out of sync with the music..

By wolf_

Ambassador_ (9598)

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01-11-2011, 21:02

iirc at least the doors animate smoother/better.

By max_iwamoto

Champion (365)

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01-11-2011, 21:04

@ Moniz: You need to apply patch for back up of the original disk, you don't have to remove protection before applying the patch.

@ Manuel: Moniz answered your question. Turbo is disabled because music will not synchronize with text. I am thinking to keep turbo on after main logo displayed and before you see Konami logo again, because in this segment there is no music synchronization. But for now it disabled at this segment as well. Turbo automatically activated when main part of the game is loaded. I can add turbo on/off button, but I don't think anybody would use it.

By Manuel

Ascended (13478)

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01-11-2011, 21:18

OK clear. How did you add your own credits to the intro whilst keeping the timing so good? Smile

By Moniz

Champion (307)

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01-11-2011, 21:38

@max: I didn't remove it, it was already removed Smile
I'll test if the sound is different when using a copy of an original

By lionelritchie

Champion (439)

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01-11-2011, 22:01

{Mod: cookies. Next up: ban..}

By Creepy

Champion (324)

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01-11-2011, 22:55

Wow, really nice translation! Demo seems to work fine although the part where you have to enter your name seems buggy here (wrong position for the (white) characters you select. The game also works on the Playsoniq as SCC-I.

By Low_Profile

Champion (424)

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02-11-2011, 01:37

@ the steep price discussion: It's probably justified for the work put into it, but I think Oeioeivogeltje has a point that there's already a translation which makes the game at least playable for non-japanese people... Oasis at that time could ask that price because of the high demand for such a translation.

Now, probably lots of more work has gone into this translation, but the demand nowadays is wayyy smaller than when Oasis' patch was released. So the price being justifiable? yes ofcourse... but I'm curious at what number of people you guys think that will actually buy the translation? (Are you aiming for a minimal number to make the work you guys put in 'worth it'?, cause I can imagine it would be very frustrating if only like a couple of dozen people actually buy this... not even profit-wise, but just because so few people will actually get to enjoy it)

By max_iwamoto

Champion (365)

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02-11-2011, 05:58

@ Moniz: The bug with music and letters in entering name part only happened to me when I played it using RunIt floppy emulator. The rest of the game was working fine. This bug didn't appear while playing the game from floppy or flash devices.

Also another bug was reported by sd_snatcher: After the time-bomb was enabled and ticking on hangar-2 of Peer-17, I did run to jump out of the window as usual. After I jumped, the bomb kept ticking forever, and never exploded. The screen emained on the last scene where the mechanic spiders climbed to the upper floor to block your passage. The game didn't froze, as the spiders were still being animated. It just didn't triggered the bomb.

I tried to repeat this bug with BlueMSX, openMSX or real MSX and it never happened to me. Did anybody else had this problem and if yes, what is the config?

By edoz

Paragon (1969)

edoz's picture

02-11-2011, 13:16

I hope there would be a possiblity to have this new version on a nice ROM (like Sonyc)..
That would be very .. very .. very ... cool!

By ro

Guardian (3914)

ro's picture

02-11-2011, 13:27

yeah.... SD-snatcher SCC+ cartridge re-released and fully translated. the works!
Pre-ordered, even if it was just motivate the translation team. 10 euros is a joke. Smile

By lionelritchie

Champion (439)

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02-11-2011, 16:40

By Meits

Scribe (4531)

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02-11-2011, 18:28

€ 12,50 ain't that much, but in the era of free translations and other huge software, it's a bit off.
You can't compare it with Oasis. It's not the same era.
I'll pass on this one, no matter how brilliant the result and huge the effort was.

By Sama

Ambassador (2056)

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02-11-2011, 18:46

@OeiOeiVogeltje: I wasn't referring to you in person when I talked about stinginess, just to the concept of piracy of software because it's considered to be EUR 5 too expensive Smile. A Japanese saying says 'ten people, ten colors', meaning that tastes differ. This is probably also the case concerning the price, as we can see in the comments above. I wouldn't have imagined that such a small amount of money would actually keep people from buying if they do want to have it. In your case, I do understand of course; if you don't like the game, why buy a patch for a new English translation of it Smile. Thank you for your intention to show your support if it hadn't been EUR 10, though. Appreciate it!

@Low_Profile: you're right that one wouldn't need our translation only to make the game playable. This also wasn't our intention when we started with the project. And of course, I know that the Oasis version was released in a different time. I just wrote this as a comparison (which may not be fitting indeed), but it has been of no influence at all on our decision to ask some money and the price we would ask. Ah well, the reason why on the money is explained on the preorder page on our website as well. Actually, we haven't really thought about the amount of people we'd expect to buy a translation, but of course we appreciate it if the number is high. Not for the money, but just because, as you already pointed out, it's nice if many people enjoy what we made.

@Meits: because of the money? That's a pity. And for the rest I refer to what I wrote above Smile. To me, this small amount of money would never be a showstopper if it concerned something I DID want to have and I can't say I really understand why this would be different for other people, but hey: one learns new things every day Wink.

By Meits

Scribe (4531)

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02-11-2011, 18:48

Forgot to mention that I have huge respect for what you did Wink

By Sama

Ambassador (2056)

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02-11-2011, 19:02

Thank you, appreciate it!

By wolf_

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02-11-2011, 19:23

Well, it is mainly a a lot of fun if you appreciate the original storyline. That's what I've emphasised in the teaser: "it is like an all new game" *. If you've only played SD Snatcher with the intention to finish it, see all the graphics, hear all the music, then this new translation may not be for you. It's still a lot of fun of course. I'd say that the storyline is one of the main aspects of this game in the first place, and that (together with the other improvements, like the font, the turbo bonus etc.) is what's really new in this new version.

* the "it is like an all new game" was actually my own input to the video, because after playing the game for a while it really felt like that.

By Manuel

Ascended (13478)

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02-11-2011, 21:17

What is the preordering deadline?

By Sama

Ambassador (2056)

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02-11-2011, 21:24

We haven't thought about that yet, but we'll announce it in time when we know.

By Hrothgar

Champion (477)

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02-11-2011, 22:20

Nice SD Snatcher meets Blade Runner, Wolf!

By Moniz

Champion (307)

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02-11-2011, 22:37

Found other bugs:
When I want to load a saved game (after start up) the pictures are scrambled (the picture of Gillian and other things as well).
I got a blue screen when I tried to save after the first warehouse explosion (yep, it did explode!)

I'm using a TurboR GT with original SD-Snatcher SCC, runit and a IDE interface (sunrise)
I've now patched a copy of the original.

By konamiman

Paladin (915)

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03-11-2011, 08:35

If the patched game had Moonsound musics arranged by Wolf in the same style of the teaser video, I would pay not 10€ but 50€ for it! Tongue

By ro

Guardian (3914)

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03-11-2011, 09:46

no way dude, SCC runs circles around moonsound Smile (I love that sound)

By wolf_

Ambassador_ (9598)

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03-11-2011, 11:00

Technically the SCC just plays waveforms, just like the Moonsound does. And while the SCC is a bit more gritty, it should certainly be possible to make SCC'ish music with the Moonsound. Here be proof! But alas, currently we're stuck with MBFM and MBWave, and compared to what's needed: those two won't do.

By J-War

Champion (410)

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03-11-2011, 15:41

Great news ! I am totaly naked by now... And ready to run !

By RobertVroemisse

Paragon (1228)

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03-11-2011, 23:26

Why run alone? please wait a second, I only have to take off my socks... Yep, I'm naked as well right now.

On your marks. Ready? Set. GO!

Running Naked in a Field of FlowersRunning Naked in a Field of Flowers

By Huey

Prophet (2632)

Huey's picture

04-11-2011, 10:43

So blueMSX is the only emulator that looks bad without advised settings?

SRLY?

By mars2000you

Enlighted (5049)

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04-11-2011, 15:21

"Looks bad" is a question of personal appreciation.

Here's a proof that the option "horizontal stretch" selected in blueMSX gives the real MSX screen, just compare 2 YouTube videos for Athletic Land :

- real MSX : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B4dlH9dkGZw

- blueMSX : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xykgtUMI3Mg

By Sama

Ambassador (2056)

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04-11-2011, 15:36

Nice to see that the news is spreading. Google 'SD Snatcher retranslation' and see. Of course, we put the most interesting links in the links section on our website as well.

MSX in the media, anyone? Tongue

By hbarcellos

Hero (546)

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04-11-2011, 15:52

What's the size of the whole game? Its feasible/doable to fit the entire game on one of those MegaSCC carts?

By WORP3

Paladin (757)

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07-06-2013, 11:39

Any news on the Melancholia project Question

By Jorito

Mr. Ambassadors (1725)

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07-06-2013, 14:49

After only 1.5 years of delay? Sounds a bit optimistic to me Tongue

By Vampier

Prophet (2112)

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08-06-2013, 02:58

I know the status and won't tell Tongue

By max_iwamoto

Champion (365)

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10-06-2013, 23:37

@WORP3:

Project Melancholia is in very final stages of development. All texts has been translated long ago and full game is completely playable since last year. The work on it never stopped but was slowed down in recent year. We are working right now on the issues that have been discovered after test play-trough. The issues consist from 3 main categories: textual errors, programming glitches, original game glitches that can be improved. Plus some minor design changes. Plus some gfx needed to be translated.

We prefer to have one fully polished release instead of unfinished project that followed by multiple updates.

At this moment 90% of it is done. We expect to finish the remaining 10% in the following 2-3 weeks. After that we will have the final play-trough and when it's done, patch will be ready for release.

@Jorito: why so pessimistic? Wink

@ Vampier: You will tell everything in Guantanamo Bay Wink

By WORP3

Paladin (757)

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11-06-2013, 00:07

It's a good initiative to go for a fully polished release instead of a unfinished project, I'm all in with that.
I was just wondering about the status of the project, thanks for the enlightenment Wink
Hope the final play-trough will be successful !

By FiXato

Scribe (1248)

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11-06-2013, 01:15

Why not update http://www.project-melancholia.org/progress.html some more so people know what the status is?

By Vampier

Prophet (2112)

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11-06-2013, 04:08

now everyone knows Smile I didn't feel that it was my place since it's not a project I work on... so I just placed "I know the status and won't tell Tongue" to indicate that the project wasn't dead.

By sd_snatcher

Prophet (2579)

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11-06-2013, 22:33

@max_iwamoto

Take your time. But please don't take forever! We're looking forward to play this gem. Big smile

By max_iwamoto

Champion (365)

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15-06-2013, 16:17

@Fixato: Rieks updated the progress page of Project Melancholia:

http://www.project-melancholia.org/progress.html

By FiXato

Scribe (1248)

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15-06-2013, 16:36

Awesome, thanks! Smile

My MSX profile