[MUD-Dev] Language support

Koster Koster
Fri Oct 23 16:20:29 New Zealand Daylight Time 1998

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Jo Dillon [mailto:emily at thelonious.new.ox.ac.uk]
> Sent: Friday, October 23, 1998 4:00 PM
> To: mud-dev at kanga.nu
> Subject: [MUD-Dev] Re: OT, kinda, but yay :)
> I'd say that Unicode would be a good idea.
> <ObShamelessPlug>
> Harmony (see below) will support Unicode and would be good for a 
> (non-3d) graphical client.
> </ObShamelessPlug>
> Speaking in more general terms I'd say that providing different
> descriptions depending on which language the user speaks is 
> an interesting
> problem but one that would increase the number of possible 
> users to quite
> a large degree, especially over here in Europe.

I brought it up because we started to tackle this with UO: Second Age.
It supports the following:

- elements of the graphical interface have pop-ups in other languages
(determined by looking at your system settings, and available Unicode
files on your system). Players can customize these files and create new
interface languages and pass them around.
- in-game pop-up help is in Unicode files on the server, and new
languages can be added on the server, giving many game elements a
friendlier feel
- in-game speech and chatting is all Unicode-capable, so you can talk in
Kanji if you so choose.

However, notice that game-generated strings in general are NOT
translated. Muds typically do a lot of

  > %s is hit hard by the %s!

which you're not gonna like doing in Unicode, is next to impossible to
retrofit, and probably won't work real well anyway for many languages.

Basically--if you plan to support this, expect to NEVER have a string in
your code. They'll only be in data files. And most dynamic string
building goes out the window as soon as you try to support multiple

UO:T2A also has an automatic translator (in fact, the same one you can
try out on Altavista's Babelfish) but that's a whole other can of worms.


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