How I translated Leisure Suit Larry

    One evening, I came across another piece of news on the development of Leisure Suit Larry: Reloaded , although the game had already raised money for Kickstarter at that time for half a year. But then I thought - will there be a Russian version? It is clear that Taralej & JaboCrack SoftWare will no longer have a hand in it. On the website of the developers of the Russian language among the supported languages ​​was not at all. Of course, a fan version with a pulled translation from the original could appear on torrents, but what about honest buyers? To play in their native language, they would have to download a pirate.

    Wrapping this idea in three paragraphs in English, I wrote a letter to Al Lowe, the creator of the cult series. It was December 23, the Americans were probably preparing for the holidays (Christmas on the nose), so I hardly hoped for an answer. However, after 3 days I received it. Al wrote that he was grateful for the desire to help and had already sent my letter to the developers. On the same day I received a letter from Kevin Kettler, Director of Corporate Strategy at Replay Games . They were interested in my proposal, but at that time the script was only 50% ready. We discussed the deadlines, and in the middle of January, Kevin sent me the NDA and IP Release for signature. Then, the finished half of the script fell into my mail so that I could start working while the scriptwriters finish writing the game.


    A Brief History of Leisure Suit Larry

    The original version of the Leisure Suit Larry was released in 1987.
    It was a text quest - all the commands had to be typed in words.

    Then followed her VGA remake in 1991 with mouse support. Among Russian-speaking players, this version was very popular thanks to the translation from Taralej & Jabocrack Software.

    The same Bar Left in 2013.

    More information about the Leisure Suit Larry quest series can be found on Lurka .

    The timing

    I told Kevin that I could manage in two weeks if the text was the same as in the original. In general, I thought that in the wake of euphoria I will manage for the weekend. It was January 12th. I sent the final version of the translation on April 23.

    Initially, the release of the game was scheduled for March 30, and my deadline for the transfer was March 15. Two weeks before the deadline, I realized that I did not have much time, and they still had to send me ≈10% of the script. But then the news came of postponing the release to April 30, and I breathed a sigh of relief. However, in order to catch the new deadline, I still had to work even harder. As a result, a beta test was launched on April 30, and the release was postponed to the end of June.

    Work organization

    The whole script was contained in one Excel file, inside which there were several columns: Object, Action, Speaker, Audio file, English and Russian. From time to time, Kevin sent an updated script file, and I had to transfer all my work to it. In each new version there were lines marked in orange - this meant that it had changed and it had to be translated again. That's how simple it is - files are sent by mail, no svn, no complicated software or protection.

    Sometimes they sent me screenshots of locations indicating the active zones, so that I could understand what was happening and how the objects from the script looked. This was done because the game became larger - new locations, opportunities, characters appeared and some places were redone.

    How i translated

    A picture to attract attention

    I immediately sat down at work, simply skipping those cells in which at least one unfamiliar word was found. If I could translate a phrase right away, but I knew that I could formulate it more beautifully, I marked the cell with a different color: from light yellow (it will do, but I would like to modify it) to dark red (horror, be sure to rephrase). I pondered over such places at a time when there was no access to electronic devices (on the way to work, training or at the university), sorting through the options in my head. The main script file was always stored in my Google Drive. If there was no computer at hand, I simply opened the file from the phone and continued to work. Inconvenient, but quite possible.

    The translation was not so easy. There were plenty of new words and idioms, I often had to openTranslate google . When I came across another idiom (and they’re at least a dime a dozen), I just google it, choosing the best option from the first three sites. It’s almost pointless to look for their interpretation immediately in Russian - if you come across a translation of the necessary phraseological unit, then it will certainly not be in the sense that the scriptwriters conceived.

    The best assistant for understanding slang is the urbandicitionary dictionary . The abundance of vulgar jokes and euphemisms in the Leisure Suit Larry rolls over, so I looked there almost as often as a translator.

    Language jokes are always the most complex, they rarely have direct analogues in Russian. Therefore, translators come up with something close in meaning. If this does not work out, you have to invent a new joke yourself. By the way, in the whole game the “gag” will meet only a couple of times. Many times I came up with a successful translation with the preservation of the meaning and style of a joke only after a few days, or even weeks. It is difficult to describe the pleasure that you experience at the time of ripening of such options in your head.

    A small digression for the oldfags.
    It was not possible to transfer all the old pearls to a new game. For my beloved, "Larry was driving in a car, all smeared on the tire," there simply was no space left, since there was no longer a dialog box with the cause of death. The famous password “I am from SAE” also had to be left in the past, because the “Ken sent me” text is clearly visible in HD graphics. But the old men SAE and MVK (authors of the 1991 translation to Larry) are not forgotten, you will easily find a tribute to them.

    Places in the translation are funny phrases that have already firmly entered our lives thanks to translators of TV shows such as Courage-Bambey, Cube in Cuba and others. He didn’t want to plagiarize, only to amuse the players with familiar jokes.

    Checking the age of five questions before starting the game also did not go away. I transferred the most successful of them, I simply translated some, and I invented half myself. If the question was tied to American culture, it was replaced. Direct translation was received only by well-known things and events. Toward the end of the work, the script began to fill in columns with other languages ​​- French, German, Spanish. And without even knowing them, I saw that other translators also creatively approached the translation of questions. It's nice to feel that somewhere out there, in other countries, there are people who work with you on the same project and think on the same wavelength.

    I seriously approached the question of formatting the text: I taught myself to always write the letter "e" instead of "e", where it is needed; all dashes are only long, not hyphens, and all quotation marks are "Christmas trees." If earlier I could type text, occasionally peeping at the keyboard with one eye, now I’m writing everything blindly.

    Few numbers

    In the final version of the translation:
    9,000 phrases
    76,000 words
    410,000 characters (no spaces)

    What for?

    Just for lulz. Once upon a time in my free time I was translating subtitles for TV shows on notabenoid . If you've ever watched House, California, The Simpsons, American Dad and other TV shows with Russian subtitles, then it's likely that I participated in their creation.

    It was necessary to distract from current projects, and the occupation of one of my hobbies, to which I had not devoted time, seemed simply ideal. True, this work took much more time and effort than I planned.

    Damn it, but I joined the "adult" gamedev (albeit only a translator) and talked with Al Lowe himself!

    But the most important goal is to deliver the correct translation to the players, in the spirit of T&J tube. I hate translation errors, but they are in everyone. Films, games, series - everywhere I meet mistakes that prevent people from perceiving a work. It is especially offensive when the translator spoils luxurious jokes or begins to build a censor out of himself. So that people who do not speak English can get acquainted with a remake of one of the best quests of the 90s, I took up the translation.

    How much have you been paid?

    The question that everyone loves so much. The game has just been released, and I was finally able to tell my friends what I had been working on for several months. Everyone asks this question first. Answer: 0.00 $.

    I myself suggested that Al help with the translation absolutely free. However, the guys from Replay Games decided not to be in debt and promised me a collector's version of the game, including some of the goodies from Kickstarter awards.

    Hope you enjoy the old new Leisure Suit Larry and its translation. I will be happy to answer your questions in the comments. Have a nice game!

    Yesterday, June 27, the game was released on PC, Mac and Linux.
    You can buy Leisure Suit Larry on Steam for 399 rubles.
    Or without DRM on the developer's site , but for $ 20 already.
    An iOS version is coming soon. A remake of the Leisure Suit Larry 2 is already in development.

    5 months of the subsequent implementation of the transfer to the game
    The developers did not include the Russian language in the start version, obviously, they will add it in the patch.
    The game was completed at an urgent pace after the beta test, so the non-priority language (Russian was not originally planned at all) just did not have time to add. I already wrote a question to Kevin, I'm waiting for an official answer.

    Paul Trowe himself, the head of Replay Games, wrote to me - the person who made the new Larry see the light.

    The Russian and Polish languages ​​were not included on our Day 1 release but will be included in the patch. I am cc'ing our Polish programmer on this email to show you how serious I am about this and how upset I am about this as well.
    Your localization will make it in to the game, hopefully, within the next 30 days.

    Russian and Polish languages ​​were not included in the game on the day of release, but we will add them in the patch. I am duplicating this letter to a Polish programmer to show how serious I am and how sorry I am for it.
    Your transfer will appear in the game, I hope, in the next 30 days.

    Another letter came from the developers. They received many complaints about too complicated questions of age verification, so it was decided to change them. 50 new questions were sent to me for translation, which in their opinion are simpler and multicultural. Scriptwriters added questions with “ridiculous” (in fact, no) answer options, as well as questions with several or even all of the correct answers. At the same time, they sincerely believe that images from boxes of American oatmeal, American pop stars, American children's cartoons (checking for adulthood, yeah!) And evening American television shows are known all over the world.

    Russian-speaking players should not worry, I transferred almost all of the same questions that I did initially - adapted and partially taken from the T&J tube translation. I only had to change those of them where there is more than one correct answer.

    The most important thing! A localization release is promised early next week. First PC / Mac / Linux and Android. This is a priority because Google wants to add the game to favorites in its store, but puts forward its requirements. By the way, because of this, the patch was delayed, but all the required chips are about to be ready. Just relate to this forecast with small indulgences, guys like to break deadlines.

    In mid-September, the Russian version got to Google Play

    The Russian version appeared five months later on Steam and on iOS. Have a nice game!

    Only registered users can participate in the survey. Please come in.

    Will you buy a Leisure Suit Larry: Reloaded?

    • 17.1% Yes 352
    • 26.8% No, download from torrent tracker 551
    • 33.3% No, I will not play 684
    • 18.9% Yes, but I'll wait for the sale 390
    • 3.7% Yes, when the localization appears 76

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