How to Localize TyranoBuilder Games

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Important note: This tutorial is meant for translators who want to practice on actual games and see their work in context. If you are planning to localize a game and make it public at some point, please do ask the developer for their permission before

Although Tyrano Translator was created for LocJAM Japan with いきなり魔王 in mind, it can be used for pretty much any title based on TyranoBuilder and mostly relying on plain text.

Find a game to localize

There are lots of free games built with TyranoBuilder available out there, both in Japanese and in English. You will find some of them by following the links below:

English games:

Japanese games:

Get your hands on the source files

The following procedure applies to Windows, but the steps are probably very similar for Mac users.

  1. Download the game of your choice, and extract it
  2. Run the game. Once the title screen shows up, you can safely close it (or keep playing, of course!)
  3. A folder containing the source files will be created in “C:\Users\{YourUsername}\AppData\Local\Temp” (don’t forget to replace {YourUsername} with your Windows username).
    The folder name should look like “nwXXXXX_XXXXX”
  4. Copy that folder to a more convenient, non-temporary place on your computer

Generate a translatable file

  1. Download/Extract Tyrano Translator and run translator.exe.
  2. Click on “Select Project” and select “index.html” in the “nwXXXXX_XXXXX” folder you copied previously
  3. Check “Developer Tools”. More options should display.
  4. Click on “CSV Export as Single File”. A file named “transrator.csv” will be generated in Tyrano Translator’s “trans_data” subfolder.
  5. The file generated won’t have the proper encoding, which should be UCS-2 Little Endian (also called UTF-16 LE, or even simply Unicode in some software). This is a current limitation of the tool.
    There are different ways to convert the format. For example, you can open the file in the free code/text editor Notepad++ and use Encoding > Convert to UCS-2 Little Endian and Edit > EOL Conversion > Windows Format, then save the file.

Translate and implement

From there, things the instructions we shared for LocJAM Japan apply:

  • If you have Microsoft Excel installed in your system, simply double click on the transrator.csv file (located inside the \trans_data folder) in order to access the game text.
  • If you don’t have MS Excel on your system, download the free alternative LibreOffice.
  • Column A contains the original strings. Use them for reference while translating and revising but do not edit them. Column B will contain your translation.
  • When you want to check your work, launch the translator.exe application (located inside the root folder).
    Click on the “Select Project” button and select the index.html file (located inside the nwXXXXX_XXXXX folder). Press the “Preview localized game” button to run your translation.
  • If you changed some lines but the game still shows older ones, delete the content of the \trans folder and the rider_config.json and nwXXXXX_XXXXX\trans.json in order to clear the cache.
  • Translation strings are separated by lines like “ScenarioName XXX.ks”. Do not edit and do not
    remove such lines, as they are needed for the game to work correctly
  • Please use smart quotes “” instead of straight quotes and do not use HTML entities in Excel. Excel encodes these elements in specific ways that aren’t supported by the game. If you need advanced features like these, you will have to edit the file as plain text.
  • Do not rename the transrator.csv file or move it into another folder or the game will no longer be able to load it.
  • When saving, Excel will ask you if you want to replace the current file format. Always maintain the original format or the text might become corrupt and unreadable.

Going further…

Tyrano Translator is an unfinished tool that was almost exclusively tested on いきなり魔王. Depending on the game you are trying to localize, there might be some bugs.

The tool will only take care of plain text strings. To localize anything hard-coded, you will need to directly edit the .ks files in “nwXXXXX_XXXXX/data/scenario” (the “Find in Files” feature of Notepad++ works wonders here).

You will also need to edit character names either in the “Characters” tab of Tyrano Translator (untested feature) or in the .ks files (lines containing character names look like “#CharacterNameHere”).

As for images and sounds, you will need to replace them directly in the game folder. You can use Tyrano Translator’s Assets tab for a list of resources the game is using and their file names.

Anthony Teixeira

Anthony Teixeira - English to French IT/Software/Video game translator

As an IT professional and an experienced independent translator, I can help you with any IT-related localization project, from software UI to printer user manuals.

Quality, reliability, punctuality and experience are my values. I make the most of them to ensure your projects succeed in French-speaking territories.

You can ask me for a free quote or send me your questions anytime: you will get a reply within a day in most cases.

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