Snowdreams – an etvolare translation!

Those of you who follow the announcement posts know that I translate computer games as well. This is actually not the first game I’ve translated, but it’s the first one to make it onto the market — Snowdreams! (I hemorrhaged so many suggestions to get to a good name. 😀 )

The game is currently on Steam Greenlight, and was created by Astrolabe Draft, a small scale, individual studio in Taiwan. This is an original visual novel game with the eastern district of Taipei as the backdrop. This is a love (sometimes fluffy!) story with dreams, reality, and a bit of an imaginative air to it.

To yoink a bit about the story:

Unexpected meetings and farewells during the days of winter weave together a story of dreams and fond yearnings…

The streets of Taipei’s bustling eastern district were cheery, yet remote at the same time on the eve of Christmas. It’s been about a year since Xie Zichen left home to pursue his dream of becoming a writer. He found himself back at the starting point time and time again, unable to advance beyond the wall called reality.
As he stagnated amidst the crossroads of life, he encountered two girls.
Xia Qianfan – the enthusiastic, straightforward girl working at the cafe.
And Xue Jian – the mysterious spirit full of riddles.
Crossing paths with the two girls made him reevaluate the original intentions of his dreams and also awakened the memories buried deep within his heart…
In which direction do the scales tip between dreams and emotional ties?
He searches for snowfall in the still, gray world.


It’s PC only for now, and comes available in traditional Chinese, simplified Chinese, and English by yours truly. 😀 The demo’s already out in the link above! Please download it and give it a whirl. If you like it~ vote for it on Steam Greenlight so Astrolabe Draft can release it on Steam! If you’d like to read more about the game (and see etvo’s name in the credits), check out the official Facebook page! The development team will update at irregular intervals regarding game progress + other original content.

Developers also told me to mention that it’s their first time creating an English version of one of their games, so if you’ve any comments about the translation or any other areas, let them know! (Something like a “I <3 etvo’s translations” would work just admirably everyone. XD They won’t get references to celestial fluff though.XD)

That more or less gives you the game in a nutshell. As for my own thoughts about it, translating a game is quite challenging in that it flexes mental muscles in a very different way. The developers (who actually work full time! They work on the game in their spare time, so progress may not be as fast as say, the large game companies we’re all familiar with.) had to create a world, flesh out characters, and give players enough of a taste of the plot to entice your support in a measly 50K characters. That roughly = 12 GDK chapters. This is incredibly tough to pull off!

I jumped at the chance to translate this when I saw this was set in Taipei. I love Taiwan and adore cute stories. (I know, y’all might find that hard to believe given what I translate…) I’m also a huge fan of interesting dialogue between characters and when I read the raws, they really drew me in. What makes game translations different from novel translations for me is that some degree of localization is needed, no matter what. I changed some very Asian specific pop culture references into more Western ones, and always had to think about things from a player’s perspective. It’s more of the game immersing the player instead of the reader becoming immersed in the novel, where anything goes honestly.

I hope you guys have as much fun playing as I did translating! Now go play Snowdreams!

And lastly, I might be a bit enamored of this screen in the trailer.