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HOW_TO: Localize Gone Home

v 1.0
-----------Hi! If you're interested in translating Gone Home into your native language, or
1337-speak or Esperanto or just rewriting the story as a parody, this document w
ill help you do that!
Before we get into the nitty-gritty aspects, though, a warning: Almost all of th
e story-relevant content in our game is in the text files. Translating it will e
xpose you to all of the story and secrets of the Greenbriars' lives. For a bette
r experience, I highly recommend playing the game through and discovering all yo
u can before digging in to the text.
Now that that's out of the way, here's the important information you need!
Tools
----------For writing content with non-English characters, you will need a text editor tha
t can save UTF-8 encoded text files. I use Notepad++ for Windows, which works ve
ry well. Make sure the encoding in whatever editor you choose is set to UTF-8 so
that you can save out non-ASCII characters.
Basics
----------Here is a breakdown of the basic information for localizers. After this is a wal
kthrough of the beginning of a localization that will be helpful to follow as yo
u begin your efforts.
Creating a new language is as simple as copying the English.txt file into a new
file and saving it as <Language>.txt. This language name will be displayed in th
e Languages menu drop-down.
You can then translate each line of the new file, keeping the English text on th
e left-hand side of the = sign and replacing the text on the right-hand side wit
h your translation. Do not insert extra line breaks; if you need to insert break
s in your text, use the \n newline code.
You can follow the same practice with the files in Subtitles/ and Journals/, sav
ing them with _<Language>.txt (or .xml) instead of _English.txt
If you wish to change the font your language uses, you will want to find the lin
es PrimaryFont = PrimaryFont and SecondaryFont = SecondaryFont in the <Language>
.txt file and replace the right-hand side with the appropriate font name.
Directories
----------When you run the game, it will export all of the text files to your user data di
rectory. The location of this varies by platform:
Windows Vista/7: /Users/<username>/AppData/LocalLow/The Fullbright Company/Gone
Home/Text/Localized/
Windows XP: /Documents and Settings/<username>/Local Settings/Application Data/T
he Fullbright Company/Gone Home/Text/Localized/
Mac OSX: ~/Library/Caches/The Fullbright Company/Gone Home/Text/Localized/
Linux: ~/.config/unity3d/The Fullbright Company/Gone Home/Text/Localized/
(All of these paths contain hidden directories; you will need to change your set
tings to view hidden files to navigate to these paths)
Files
-----------In this directory you will find two directories and one file. The contents of th
ese are as follows:

English.txt: contains all of the UI text in the game, including overlay text for
objects and in-world readables (like the note on the front door). Also has entr
ies for the font to use.
Journals/: contains one file for each page of written material in the game that
is read through the reader interface - so notebook pages, pamphlets, photographs
, and similar.
Subtitles/: contains one file for each audio diary in the game, containing subti
tle timing information and text.
Fonts
-----------Gone Home ships with several alphabets for use in localization. The default font
s for the game support the English, French, Italian, German, Spanish and Scandin
avian alphabets, and should have most special characters available for European
translations. The default fonts are named PrimaryFont and SecondaryFont.
There are also additional fonts available for other alphabets:
Chinese (simplified): ChinesePrimaryFont and ChineseSecondaryFont
Cyrillic: RussianPrimaryFont and RussianSecondaryFont
Greek: GreekPrimaryFont and GreekSecondaryFont
Korean: KoreanPrimaryFont and KoreanSecondaryFont
Japanese: JapanesePrimaryFont and JapaneseSecondaryFont
Limitations
-----------Text areas don't resize to fit other languages. If you are translating to a lang
uage that takes more space than the given English text, you may have to summariz
e or edit your text to fit the space available in the game.
There are a few pieces of text that can't be localized. These include the contro
l prompts after starting a new game, the "Loading" text on the cassette on the l
oad screen, the "Gone Home" on the title screen, the end credits, and the time a
nd date in the intro sequence. In addition, many non-story-critical objects don'
t display text overlays - things like soda cans, pizza boxes, books on bookshelv
es, and so forth.
There may be other bugs as the game hasnt yet been tested with full translations.
Let us know what bugs you find and hopefully well be able to fix them!
Example Localization Walkthrough
------------The first file you will want to deal with is called English.txt. If we open this
file in your text editor, we will see that it is in the form <string> = <string
>. These strings are all of the UI text in the game, including overlay text for
objects and in-world readables (like the note on the front door). We want to sel
ect all the text in this document, and copy it to a new document. Save this new
document as "<Your language name>.txt", e.g. Klingon.txt. Now a new language "Kl
ingon" will show up in the drop-down menu in the Languages options menu, but no
text will change when we select it.
In order to change the text that is displayed, we need to go through and transla
te from English to Klingon. Let s look at a few lines from the file:
Regional Track and Field Finals\nGirls Long Jump Event\nKaitlin Greenbriar\nFirs
t Place = Regional Track and Field Finals\nGirls Long Jump Event\nKaitlin Greenb
riar\nFirst Place
Restore Defaults = Restore Defaults
Resume = Resume
Breaking out our handy Klingon dictionary gets the following (my dictionary is s
omewhat incomplete):

Regional Track and Field Finals\nGirls Long Jump Event\nKaitlin Greenbriar\nFirs


t Place = Regional ghoch je yotlh Qav\nbe Hom nI Sup wanI \nKaitlin Greenbriar\
nwa DIch Daq
Restore Defaults = Defaults SabHa
Resume = Qa
Now if we were to load up the game and select "Klingon" from the menu, we would
see these three pieces of text replaced with their Klingon equivalents.
Before translating the rest of the file, though, we want Klingon to show up with
the proper alphabet - it s no fun if we can t see those letters! So we ll find
the two lines in the file:
PrimaryFont = PrimaryFont
SecondaryFont = SecondaryFont
And replace them:
PrimaryFont = KlingonPrimaryFont
SecondaryFont = KlingonSecondaryFont
..and now when we switch back to the game, all English characters will have been
replaced by Klingon characters!
(A note for less-frivolous translations: the rest of our fonts do not replace En
glish characters; they all have the English alphabets included. So you will see
the presentation of the letters change when you switch fonts, rather than the le
tters being replaced with different glyphs.)
After we have translated all ~600 lines of the text file, we will need to transl
ate our subtitles. For this, we can open a file such as "At the New House_Englis
h.xml", copy its contents to a new file, and save it alongside the original as "
At the New House_Klingon.xml". Subtitle files look a bit more complicated than t
he base language files; they include timing information for displaying each line
. The process is much the same, though. We take a line such as :
<subtitle id="2">
<StartTime>6.5</StartTime>
<Text>We moved into this house. I m at a new school. And my big sister being
gone for a year doesn t make it any easier.</Text>
</subtitle>
and change it to:
<subtitle id="2">
<StartTime>6.5</StartTime>
<Text>vIH vaj tuq. jIH legh DuSaQ chu . ej oH doesn t tIn be nI wI chay p
en DIS vay Dov agh.</Text>
</subtitle>
You probably won t need to alter the timing information, but if you have lines t
hat take significantly longer to read than the original English, you can adjust
the StartTime value of the next line, or even add extra lines.
After completing all of the Subtitles, the last part of a translation is the Jou
rnal files. These are very simple, just a plain text file. We can open something
such as "Sam_BirthdayCard_Interior_English.txt", copy the text, and save the ne
w file as "Sam_BirthdayCard_Interior_Klingon.txt".
Then once again we take the text inside the file:

Happy Birthday, Sam


-Uncle Harvey
and translate it:
qoSraj Sam
-SoSloDnI

Harvey

and then, less than 200 files later, we will be done with our Klingon translatio
n of Gone Home! Now for the Pirate-speak version...
------------For translators dealing with non-fictional languages with non-English alphabets,
here s an example of how a translation line might look (automated translation,
probably not accurate):
Restore Defaults = 
(if you can t see the characters on the right in the line above, your text edito
r doesn t support UTF-8 encodings, and you will need to use a different one for
localization!)
Best of luck in your translations. We look forward to seeing all of the language
s players are able to enjoy the game in!
Thanks,
The Fullbright Company