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Mailbag #2: “Remember the mission”

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look at her go!!! fanart by Harley

hello girl update

we put out an open invitation for people to help translate hello girl, and surprisingly people actually responded. even more surprisingly, some of these people had already started drafting translations of their own. so far, we’re targeting a castilian spanish translation. though i initially wanted to make a latin-american translation, i jumped at the first “spanish” i found. i wasn’t super aware that the dialects were so different when i first made the call. i hope despite some differences in dialects spanish-speakers all over the world will be able to enjoy hello girl.

we hired a translator (and picked up another one who insisted doing it for the price of free) for the translation. smashing what we had together, and with some extra effort, we’re at about ~50% of the dialogue translated into spanish.

as i don’t speak spanish, so i cannot quality check or do the writing myself. if proofreading hello girl in (castilian) spanish interests you, will you give us your contact?

maillard habla español

while i was getting the translation strings ready, i also updated the game slightly to support language switching. we had to find a new font for the VHS-esque text, as it doesn’t support diacritics. we were able to find a suitable replacement without changing the overall vibe of the game too much. i also took some time to add some tooltips, and restored the help menu from the ren’py template as well.

some minor updates to the hello girl user interface

this update will be released along with the spanish language update, some time in the coming months.

kavaya local maximum

rewrite rewrite rewrite. from clumsy to actually-somewhat-good? approximate, nix, keep, ditch. there’s a lot of deja-vu from when i was writing the harder parts of hello girl. i was so unhappy with how direct a lot of the dialogue was. but after enough iteration i settled on something i was mostly proud of – though, a lot of it still reads to me as amateurish even now (gasp– growth??????)

i am reluctant to alter some of my bigger mistakes in hello girl, as this will change the meaning. at some point, you really do have to move on. did you know there’s a whole bonus scenario we had planned? there’s a long list of things i’d like to do. maybe some day. it would be fun to make an actual “definitive” version of hello girl. physical version with some cute box art. an alkaline-branded game manual. going to sakura-con only really emboldened me here that i’d love to table and sell some vn. but at this point, that’s just daydreaming. let’s make something worthy of selling, first.

making something big means it will take some time. there’s a lot more places where you an just completely mess it up. so scope is an important thing. keep your focus where it matters. bla bla

barring several rewrites, there’s now the “first day” in place in the game. (well, almost…) the main character is welcomed to the research station, and learns of her new life, and meets new characters. some friendly, some cute. some downright mean. there’s some art in place to accompany the writing, but since mentha’s been busy working on some important life things, the visual’s lagging behind a bit. we ask for your patience as bunnies are warming in the oven.

a spring in my step, i break away in a dash. a screenshot from the game.

breaksket.mp3, by mara

ranka is wavering in and out of existence, trying to find a suitable shape. she needs to be cozy, but not too comfortable.

ranka sketch. jean jacket. ranka's current sprite. subject to change.

we’re still trying to drill down on some designs before we can do some proper sprites.

team addition

we picked up rin as an additional musician for kavaya local maximum, who you can read about on our about page. she’s already made some very nice contributions, and we’re grateful to have her help out.

i’ve been travelling recently, and the fresh experiences have been healthy. this time there hasn’t been an abject focus on making the game, but in quiet moments i’ve found that deep focus that’s good for cranking out writing. it’s been nice to just be here and enjoy some company outside the usual.

thanks for sticking with us. we’ll stick the landing eventually.

– meri & team

the girls

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