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Patch Notes: Telefang Translation Project beta 117 released

The "Field Guide" Update

Submitted by kmeisthax on Thu, 03/15/2018 - 14:19 in ROM Hacking

We've been particularly busy working on a new release of the Keitai Denjuu Telefang patch for March 2018. This is a fan-made translation patch for both versions of Telefang, which may actually be better known in it's badly translated pirate form "Pokemon Diamond and Jade". You can download the Speed Version patch here, or the Power Version patch here. Special thanks to the Tulunk Village members who contributed more work to this release than I did - obskyr and andwhyisit.

This particular release focuses heavily on UI polish, and includes a number of UI redesigns and bugfixes designed to prevent this from happening:

A broken delete confirmation caused by negligenceA contrived example of UI glitchesExample of text overflow causing tile corruption

Before we get into that, though... We're running a survey for Telefang fans called the "Tulunk Village Census". This will allow us to plan out things like social media outreach and meetups. We'd like all fans of Telefang to take the survey, even if you don't regularly frequent the Tulunk Village forums, Discord, or wiki. The survey will be live for at least a few more weeks, and I'll post some interesting analyses of the data when it's done.

Old Telefang Field Guide designNew Telefang Field Guide design

This redesign alone could have been it's own release...

  • Our headline feature is a new UI design for the Field Guide (previously known as "Index" until obskyr pointed out that it's a terrible name) which was primarily motivated by text length concerns imposed by the original user interface. The Japanese language UI only has space for two lines of text, and longer messages will draw a non-functional continue indicator. The new design has room for three lines of text, along with unlimited numbers of pages. (Thanks, obskyr!)
    • The Japanese version of Telefang doesn't even support different window heights! Two lines is hard-coded everywhere. Even SMS messages are actually two lines - they just never add newlines to them. Of course, since we fixed SMS a few patches back, we already had most of what we needed to add an extra line here.
    • Adding paging support to a screen that uses script messages is a little difficult, since the text window wants to scroll up, and none of that animation is aware of the additional lines - nor will it ever be. So we had to disable that animation for paged screens that shouldn't have a scroll up animation, by carefully managing the text interpreter's internal state.
    • We accidentally removed the sound effect that plays when you scroll text by doing this, though.
    • Also, we may have had a number of hang bugs caused by us not catching certain exit states for the text interpreter.
    • The Denjuu name actually can't be vertically centered like that normally, because it's part of the background layer and needs to be aligned to the tile grid. An earlier version of the redesign placed the name right at the top, above the evolutionary stage indicator. obskyr didn't like this, so he created and added a sprite for the name to live in.
    • For extra credit, andwhyisit and obskyr added a second set of evolution indicators just so that this screen could have better text centering.
    • The base ROM has code to center text, but nothing to right-align it. Of course, that wouldn't do, and we added extra code to right-align the habitat.
    • We also redrew "Habitat:" to match the normal font more. (Thanks, obskyr!)
  • After redesigning the field guide, obskyr proceeded to complete all the translation work for it, so no more monsters with placeholder entries.
    • Licorice is now Lycoris, and a number of other typos have also been fixed. (Thanks, obskyr!)
  • We've switched our base ROM of Power Version to the correct dump. If you patch Power Version, and it fails to boot on real hardware, you will need to acquire the correct ROM from a Power Version cartridge.
  • Fusion and lab evolution no longer cut off Denjuu names. (Thanks, andwhyisit!)
What the Field Guide menu option used to beWhat the Field Guide option is now
  • We changed "Index" to "Field Guide" on the pause menu.
    • This required completely reorganizing all of the Pause Menu's graphics, which were... a mess.
    • Furthermore, we actually didn't have enough tile space to spare for "Field Guide". andwhyisit came through with a patch that allowed us to move tiles specific to the title-screen menu onto a separate graphics resource, which gave us enough room to fit all our text!
    • ...Well, almost all our text. The confirmation screen for deleting a Denjuu has to share tiles with the confirmation screen for saving. So for the former, it's the slightly awkward sounding "Will you delete?".
    • To fix that, we can reclaim more tiles from another shared resource, but doing so will impact more subscreens than before, hence why we didn't.
  • Speed Version's Melo-D Editor now has translated button graphics. (Thanks, andwhyisit!)
Speed Version title screenPower Version title screen
  • As suggested by JonicOokami7, we decided to change the tagline for the English translation to Telefang: Mobile Monsters. (Thanks, obskyr and andwhyisit!)
    • The original Japanese, 携帯電獣, uses a portmanteau of "mobile phone" and "summoned beast". "Mobile Phone-Beasts" was the most literal translation of the term, but "Mobile Monsters" communicates the intent better.
    • RacieB is still partial to "Phonsters".
    • Coincidentally, this lines up with the in-progress German patch, which independently selected "Handy Monster", which is roughly the same thing.
An example of the old default fontAn example of the new default font
  • We've massively improved our default font, which now looks better and gives us more space on average. (Thanks, obskyr and andwhyisit!)
    • There was a rather heated debate about the default font's space width in the Discord.
    • The thinner numerals caused problems with the shop windows, which doesn't like our VWF. Andwhyisit contributed a quick hack to fix it.
    • The bold numerals are still retained in version 117's default font, but are now only in use for numbers the game calculates, such as battle damage, shop quantities, and so on.
The new Tulunk All Staff logo
  • We're signing our work. The Tulunk All Staff logo now appears after the normal staff logos at the start of the game, so that people who obtain an old patch beta can find out where to get new ones. This is entirely skippable for now. (Thanks andwhyisit!)
  • Noisy's name is no longer corrupted. (Thanks andwhyisit!)
    • For context, there's an event during Ion Island where you have to find and befriend a Lampgera nicknamed Noisy. In the interest of gameplay and story integration, the game will actually enlist Lampgera with the nickname Noisy.
    • The game actually has a whole table for species-specific default nicknames that we assumed was unused, which is why we didn't translate it in the first place. Let this be a lesson to always translate everything, even if it's dummy text.
    • Even if we had translated the default nickname table, it wouldn't have done much anyway. The code to load default nicknames hadn't been disassembled yet, so we couldn't modify it to load our wider strings.
    • Infuriatingly, the game doesn't trust the default nickname table. The code that assigns a default nickname special-cases Lampgera and hardcodes the ROM location of it's default nickname. I should remind you that this is the only case that would ever trigger in regular gameplay and the regular code would have properly looked up the nickname anyway.
An example of the condensed font on the status screenAn example of the condensed font
  • We implemented a condensed font for names that are too stubborn to fit. This gives about a 10-15% size reduction in exchange for some aesthetics. (Thanks, andwhyisit!)
    • We then applied it to all table strings. Game-wide. This means that long names should automatically fit without additional help from us... assuming they're not too long.
  • We fixed the centering on the calls and text screens - contact names now center correctly, and will even automatically condense if they don't fit this specific space.
    • This is another dividend of the SMS fix a few patches ago - we now have arbitrary text window support, so it's just a matter of specifying a 6-tile wide space and letting the autocondenser do it's thing.
I do not apologize for this denjuu's nicknameOrnithogalum is a god whose name is so long even his own text boxes cannot contain it.
  • We also implemented status effect graphics to replace the text that was already there. Only 4 tiles were allocated in the original ROM, which isn't enough space to fit all the ailments your Denjuu can get hit with, so we drew our own. (Thanks, andwhyisit!)
  • Centered text is no longer off-by-one pixel anymore, as we now account for the last pixel of tracking space. (Thanks, obskyr!)
  • We went through several rounds of figuring out how to get modified code that lives in a separate bank to work without crashing the game in hilariously bad ways if it runs too long. obskyr eventually built us a macro which we can use to ensure these crashes don't happen again.
  • andwhyisit added some new text control codes that should help us fix options in text, since those have been broken for a while now.
  • The screen that shows up when you get called by a Denjuu to be informed that they're late (late-arrival screen) now properly clears the Denjuu name. (Thanks, andwhyisit!)

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