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PostPosted: Tue Jun 3, '14, 3:07 pm 
I hear you on the bigger game companies. There are very few AAA games that interest me these days. Most of what I'm currently interested in are cheaper indie games or older titles from the 16-bit era or whatever. The only "game" I've spent a ton of money on recently is the X-Plane flight simulator, and that's "barely" a game in the typical sense.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 3, '14, 9:40 pm 
VistaBlade wrote:Working Designs games are the kind of games I would have no problem paying $60 for, but guess what.......back in the day they didn't cost any more than a standard game. Sadly Working Designs is no more, but I will say that Working Designs games were probably the last time I spent full price for a game, and felt completely satisfied in doing so.


The thing is with Working Designs, that kind of thing is probably what pushed them out of business. They made fantastic products, but had very little business sense. That's not a statement against their ability to localize or present a product with a lot of flair, but their ability to stay afloat and make money was rather questionable.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 3, '14, 10:14 pm 
It can be pretty difficult to stay afloat when doing something too far outside the box or trying to appeal to a more niche audience. When trying something different, it can be hard to strike the right balance between pushing boundaries just enough that you're doing something new, without going so far outside them you're risking too much by scaring people.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 3, '14, 11:57 pm 
Hukos wrote:The thing is with Working Designs, that kind of thing is probably what pushed them out of business. They made fantastic products, but had very little business sense. That's not a statement against their ability to localize or present a product with a lot of flair, but their ability to stay afloat and make money was rather questionable.


Well yes, there's no doubt about that since they did go out of business. There are two other things that contributed to their demise.

1. Their JRPG games targeted a niche audience, and even though their games usually got great reviews and were presented well, they didn't sell all that well, or get the mass exposure like they probably should have.

2. Due to them localizing very text heavy RPGs, it took them a LONG time to release their games. They were a pretty particular company, and wouldn't release games until they were 100% ready. Their games often got delayed again and again, and by the time they got release, people were already wanting to play other games. Their games really did have some of the best JRPG translations. Full of witty NPCs and pop culture references. They were the only JRPGs were I would seek out NPCs to find just so I could see what crazy stuff they had to say.


Last edited by S4Blade on Tue Jun 3, '14, 11:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 4, '14, 4:26 pm 
Working Designs was also a pretty tiny company. They only had one programmer on their entire staff and I think they only had one or two writers, one of which was their president (or was it VP), Victor Ireland himself. I get the impression that many of their localizations were done by farming out the base translation to a third-party translation company and then rewriting said base to make it more entertaining and "flow."

With a puny staff like that, it also contributed to how long it took to localize games. And since their games were niche, they probably never had the revenue to justify hiring additional staff.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 6, '14, 2:52 am 
While I will always miss Working Designs, part of me is almost grateful that they folded when they did. They would get eaten alive in today's gaming industry.


Last edited by S4Blade on Fri Jun 6, '14, 2:52 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 6, '14, 3:34 am 
Dragonmaster Lou wrote:
With a puny staff like that, it also contributed to how long it took to localize games. And since their games were niche, they probably never had the revenue to justify hiring additional staff.


On top of that, Working Designs often outright rewrote vast swathes of NPC dialogue in games rather than translating it, especially in the Lunar games. WD also had an annoying tendency of "adjusting" the difficulty of games in ways that either severely strained or even outright broke the intended play of the game, often making the game far harder than it was ever supposed to be (especially Silhouette Mirage and Popful Mail).

If you're looking for a successor to WD in the niche RPG Localization thing, though, XSeeD Games is a good start.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 6, '14, 2:02 pm 
Yeah I know what you mean. They did that with the Lunar games and Albert Odyssey. The games had such good stories, yet the stories was interrupted with lots of grinding to level up. Some of the boss fights were stupid hard too, especially in Lunar Eternal Blue.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 6, '14, 3:24 pm 
$60 for a new AAA-console game ($50 for others) and $40 for new portable games is still a distant dream here.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 6, '14, 4:25 pm 
R-90-2 wrote:On top of that, Working Designs often outright rewrote vast swathes of NPC dialogue in games rather than translating it, especially in the Lunar games. WD also had an annoying tendency of "adjusting" the difficulty of games in ways that either severely strained or even outright broke the intended play of the game, often making the game far harder than it was ever supposed to be (especially Silhouette Mirage and Popful Mail).

True, although how much of that rewriting was a "just for the heck of it" vs. how much was a case of "this is something so Japanese that the American audience just won't get it" is a subject of debate. Supposedly the Japanese editions of the Lunar games occasionally had references to Japanese pop culture like idol singers and whatnot. In addition, some of the rewriting was just to give random NPCs something interesting to say instead of just repeatedly saying "Welcome to Corneria" or its equivalent.

The reprogramming the difficulty, I do agree that was probably not necessary. Fixing bugs in the Japanese edition, sure I can agree with, but anything that mucks with the gameplay is questionable at best.

R-90-2 wrote:If you're looking for a successor to WD in the niche RPG Localization thing, though, XSeeD Games is a good start.

Agreed.

VistaBlade wrote:Yeah I know what you mean. They did that with the Lunar games and Albert Odyssey. The games had such good stories, yet the stories was interrupted with lots of grinding to level up. Some of the boss fights were stupid hard too, especially in Lunar Eternal Blue.

I can't speak for the Japanese Sega CD Lunar games, but the Saturn/PSX ones were very grindy even in the Japanese versions.

As far as hard boss fights in EB, assuming again you're talking about the Sega CD version, the hardest ones (e.g. Borgan) were unchanged from the Japanese version.


Last edited by Dragonmaster Lou on Fri Jun 6, '14, 4:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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