July Cometh

July 22nd, 2012 4 comments

First off, check out the new page titled The End and read it. Don’t forget to comment on it, and we highly recommend that you do!

Anyhow, onto the July stuff. If anyone’s been playing around with the new Front Mission 2 patch, we uploaded a new zip file which includes a full script of the story event…in English! You can pretty much play through the video game now and not get lost in the story! Of course, we do intend to get that last 30% into Front Mission 2 so you don’t need to read a novel-long script. There are some things we are tinkering with about the three versions of the video game, so we can update our patch conversion tool to work with any of them! Long story short, there’s some new technical issues we have to deal with regarding the video game’s releases. If you ask me, you’re better off with the History or Ultimate Hits versions. Why? There’s more than enough that was changed from the original aside from loading workarounds (this will be detailed in a later post) that it’s kind of pointless to play the original Front Mission 2.

A different kind of mock-up (a spoiler-y one at that) for the Declassified Documents!

As you can see, we’re not simply doing a translation of the reference book, Front Mission World Historica – Report of Conflicts 1970-2121. We originally planned on doing that back in 2009, but after our eventful journey in discovering the truth behind Front Mission (read our Front Mission as a Transmedia article for more details), we changed our objective. Now, instead of being left out on the 30% of the story that wasn’t covered in the video games, Front Mission: The Declassified Documents was changed to cover the whole picture instead. The teaser above talks about the piloting interface known as the S-Type Device as seen in Front Mission First and Front Mission 5 ~Scars of the War~. It’s also shown in the other video games, but we’re using these two examples because we imagine everyone outside of Japan is familiar with them. Those who played the latter should know that the S-Type Device has some severe drawbacks to using it. A bit disturbing when it’s described, but you don’t see how messed up it really is…until you dive into the expanded universe (go read the transmedia article)! It is only here that you realize what Lynn Wenright says “Only his basic vital functions and instincts remain.” when she reveals the dangers of the S-Type Device! We’ll have more of these kinds of spoiler-y material released soon!

Lastly, here’s a list of things we’ve worked on, or are working on, since this whole project started on December 2007. We would like to remind everyone that the video game stuff aren’t the only things we have worked on. Remember, Front Mission┬áis not just about the video games alone and is one transcendental creation known as a transmedia (seriously, go read our article on it)!

  • Front Mission 5 ~Scars of the War~, complete localization
  • Front Mission 2, partial localization (70%)
  • Front Mission Alternative, partial localization (user interfaces, game data)
  • Gun Hazard Radio Drama Series, complete translation
  • Gun Hazard Commercial Film Documentary, complete translation
  • Front Mission video series
  • Front Mission: The Declassified Documents
  • Compilation of scripts for recurring cast in the video games (excludes several entries due to lack of accessibility)
  • Articles: video games, developers, localizations, transmedia, merchandise, and advertisements
  • Packaging: Front Mission 5 ~Scars of the War~ (cover/label/manual), Front Mission 2 (cover/label), and Front Mission Alternative (cover/label)
  • Spreadsheets: wanzer data and miscellaneous information about the video games

Aside from the Front Mission 5 ~Scars of the War~ stuff, nearly all of the above things were worked on since early 2010. Everyone on the team wishes that we could produce more things, but alas, this isn’t a full-time job for all of us. But hey, at least we try our best. If it weren’t for us stepping up and trying to translate Front Mission 5 ~Scars of the War~ in the first place, Front Mission would have remained a complete and very misunderstood mystery to the rest of the world, wouldn’t it?

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June 25, 2102, meet June 25, 2012!

June 25th, 2012 8 comments

Today marks a pretty big day for the Front Mission brand, both officially and for the fans!

Even though 09 has debuted at slightly less sales than 08, it still places well among all comic releases in Japan!

Officially, Front Mission Dog Life & Dog Style 09 was just released today. And in predictable fashion, this omnibus volume was gobbled up by hungry fans! Even Kyle, who’s back in Japan for a while, raced to get his copy before it was sold out at a bookstore…and that’s just today! It may not be selling faster than the earlier omnibus volumes, but Front Mission is still beloved by the Japanese! And the series is still on-going with Young Gangan so a tenth volume is guaranteed…and it’s all but assured that the story will continue into 2013!

And for things that are not official, we have finally released Patch 2 for Front Mission 2! And as a bonus, we have also released Prototype Patch 1 for Front Mission Alternative! That’s right, the team hasn’t forgotten about this nifty genre spin-off! Patch 2 for Front Mission 2 pretty much covers the most our programmers have been able to decipher in terms of re-inserting back the text assets. You can read our earlier blog posts on this matter…I’m not rehashing it again! And the Prototype Patch 1 for Front Mission Alternative is bare-bones, but hey, it’s a start!

Our development of Front Mission 2 from our last prototype build is worth a shout because for whatever the reason, all of us decided to really go for it and get things done. While it doesn’t match our heroic 4-month effort to work with the 1,000+ page tome for bases section in Front Mission 5 ~Scars of the War~, nearly a month’s worth of working with at least 100 pages of dialogue was heroic enough.

There’s a few other new updates, but none of them really compare to the above two patch releases. On a parting note, this day and month is significant in the Front Mission universe. Why? Because it’s the day that the Alordesh coup d’etat in Front Mission 2 officially ends! Neat coincidence, eh?

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The Road To Front Mission

May 29th, 2012 11 comments

Well, since no one from our team wants to make a posting, it looks like I’m back on the PR duties for the time being! Just don’t count on me doing this for long…

If you checked out the new update that Wilson recently posted on our project website, then you should know that we’re getting closer on the road to Front Mission 2. And more details of what happens in the lives of various cast mates in the Front Mission story, at least from the video game side of things! There’s not much else I’d like to say before I sound like a broken record on the whole development progress of Front Mission 2, haha!

Speaking of roads, here’s another road we’re getting closer to…

Declassified documents in style!

This is only a mock-up of the final product, but here is the first of (hopefully) many teasers for Front Mission: The Declassified Documents! We’ll try to get at least one teaser for each of the major sections in our reference book project, just so everyone has an idea of what to expect. If you haven’t read our analysis of Front Mission as a transmedia, read it. Not only does it shine light on the true design origins of Front Mission, but the analysis does give away a fair bit of what will be covered in greater detail in the reference book. Anyways, enjoy the more-in-English Front Mission 2 prototype test build and this teaser of Front Mission: The Declassified Documents!

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On this Day, Front Mission Rose Again…

April 8th, 2012 11 comments

Happy Easter!

Wow, I didn’t realize the project was approaching the 5 year mark so soon! It wasn’t a long time ago that all of us on the team were chugging away at making Front Mission 5 ~Scars of the War~ less Japanese and more English. Time sure does fly fast haha! The more I look back at it, I’m surprised we actually managed to get that project done at all. What we did feels less like reality and more like some fable these days…

First off, I want to thank each and everyone of you for supporting the project since day 1. Although I don’t spend much time anymore with the Front Mission projects, it means a lot to me that what I helped start back in December 2007 is appreciated by many. Everyone on the team shares the same sentiments as I do, and they will do their damned hardest to bring out the Front Mission 2 translation to completion. The text work was actually already done back around the release of Front Mission Evolved, but we were stonewalled by the game’s advanced encryption methods as Tyler already mentioned months ago. As much as we would love to just release the scripts and be done with it, that wouldn’t enhance the gaming experience now, would it?

Anyhow, I’m writing for today to tell you about something that all of us on the team were working on for a few months now. As you may already know by now, Front Mission was never just about the video games. For as much as they are awesome and wonderful to play through, the video games only represent one piece of a greater whole. The team had this feeling that we were missing out on so much more, and having gone on an adventure to explore the rest of the brand since fall 2009, that feeling was validated in huge way. As we started to uncover the comics, the novels, and even oddities like a radio drama series, all of us were taken aback at the true scope and vision of the franchise. Front Mission was no mere series of video games. Nope, it transcended video games and was something on a whole other level…that level being transmedia. Upon this realization, we all decided that everyone outside of Japan deserved to know the true nature of Front Mission.

Thus, we set out to write a massive 50-plus page analysis of the franchise that would explore what was underneath the tip of the iceberg. With assistance from sources who truly live and breathe Front Mission, we are very proud to present to you our analysis of this transmedia entity on our project website. I strongly urge each and every one of you to read it, because what you’ll learn will truly blow your minds away.

Transmedia brothers – 24 and Front Mission

For those who read the analysis and remembered a year ago that we would do an article on the similarities of Front Mission and 24, I will just do a quick summary here. Since if you already read it, you would know that we made a few 24 comparisons in that analysis…

  1. Front Mission and 24 pioneered the art of transmedia storytelling in their respective mediums.
  2. Both brands were intentionally designed for the mature, adult audiences.
  3. Front Mission and 24 featured very strong Western overtones, from cast to settings.
  4. The stories were penned by a team of accomplished writers, all handpicked by their creators.
  5. Front Mission and 24 exceeded the expectations of their creators, still existing in some form today.
  6. Western fans want access to all of Front Mission, while Japanese fans want access to all of 24.

That’s about it for quick comparisons of the two franchises. A major comparison between the two would be how both employ transmedia storytelling creatively, in that the viewpoint of the story is told differently between the media platforms. In this sense, Front Mission video games (the original source material) focus on the world, whereas the other media focus on the individuals. In the case of 24, the television show moves at a fast pace telling the story in a 24-hour time period, whereas the other media moves at a slower pace telling the story over longer periods of time (involving the numbers 2 and 4 – 24 days, 24 weeks 2.4 months, etc.). It’s hard to describe this, but if you try watching a 24 season and then dive into say one of the novels, you’ll know what I’m talking about.

Whew, I think I’ve said enough about the topic of transmedia. That was more tiring than I thought. Well, I hope all of you learned something about all of this because as they say, don’t judge a book by its cover!

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