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Friday, September 05, 2014

Los revisores querían

If you speak Spanish and are interested in reviewing Una Estrella Brillante para Guiarlos by John C. Wright for Amazon, please shoot me an email with ESTRELLA in the subject. The translator, Emilio, explains why it made sense to use Mexican Spanish rather than theoretically more proper Spanish.
According to the royal academy of the Spanish language, the country that speaks the most proper Spanish is Colombia. But large companies, like Disney, use the Mexican translation for their movies or shows for all Latin America, since it's considered the most neutral by most Latin American countries. It's easier to understand a translation to Mexican Spanish in Peru, Argentina, or the Dominican Republic than any of those dialects elsewhere. So there's an argument to be made, that if you want it to be successful economically, it should have a Mexican translation.
Good enough for me. Emilio is also one of the guys who has expressed interest in setting up a new gaming review site, as is Caedryn, who posted the following comment yesterday:
If anyone is interested, I would really like to start a push for making and contributing to a blue gaming site. I have been putting around on making my own using blogger, but I run into a scope of just how much there is to cover in the industry for one person, and a realization of how relatively mediocre my writing ability is to carry a place on its own.

I personally have very limited experience on the blogging side of things, but I was a QA tester in college for a couple of companies and am working on a table top game independently as a hobby. So... very limited experience on that side as well past an obsessive desire to learn and dissect mechanics and writing.

I'd like a place for people who actually like games to be able to write about them without the need to feed into the industry and clickbait for revenue.

I'd personally want it to be a place for tabletop and video gaming or any other genres I may have missed that tie into such a framework. We could include gameplay/podcasts/whatever medium you're into for providing commentary and reporting on news and events. I'd like to get a solid group of people together from the ilk to start talking about site design and structure and anyone initially interested in writing regardless of time dedication then branch out from there with requests for regular writers and so on.

If anyone is interested in writing at all or helping build the site, please send me an email at the account I've made for the project gammaphiedATgmail.com so I can get an email chain together to start discussion over this weekend.
This is a project that both I and Castalia House will definitely want to support. Castalia, of course, is inspired by the most famous game-related novel of all, Das Glasperlenspiel by Hermann Hesse. I don't have time to head up the project, but would be more than pleased to help out, as I am willing contribute my old game review columns to serve as an archive of historical reviews. I've also been teaching a game development course at a technical institute, and I suspect some of the students might be very interested in getting involved.

In other news, one really has to respect the power of Instapundit. Last week, we put up a free novella. There were 848 downloads and it climbed to a respectable Amazon rank although I don't recall what it was. Yesterday, Instapundit mentioned  that QUANTUM MORTIS: A MIND PROGRAMMED was a free download. It's presently #1 in military fiction, #4 in science fiction, and #52 on Amazon.

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40 Comments:

Blogger Random September 05, 2014 9:27 AM  

I like instapundit but he seems to be in the tank for the neocon line vis-a-vis Russia and Ukraine.

Blogger Unknown September 05, 2014 9:34 AM  

From industry experience, I can confirm the sound marketing decision for Mexican Spanish. If I recall correctly, it's all the dialect used by the major Spanish broadcasters in the US.

Anonymous Idle Spectator September 05, 2014 9:36 AM  

Spanish blows. I hate that peasant language.

Anonymous dh September 05, 2014 9:36 AM  

I think your translator's take on Spanish is pretty solid. Very few people would be entirely happy with the Columbian dialect translation. It would be a little bit like translating it into King James English. Well rather more like Monthy Python english.

Anonymous Idle Spectator, Mexican't September 05, 2014 9:39 AM  

Every time I hear it spoken I go, "why were the Spanish conquistadors not as susceptible to the blankets as the Indians were?"

Anonymous Cash September 05, 2014 9:41 AM  

Congrats on getting so high on Amazon.
And good luck with the gaming website.

OT: Did anything ever happen with the football website?

Anonymous VD September 05, 2014 9:45 AM  

OT: Did anything ever happen with the football website?

No, I don't believe so. Such projects always need a) other people's money or b) one unusually persistent individual.

Blogger James Dixon September 05, 2014 9:56 AM  

> Very few people would be entirely happy with the Columbian dialect translation. It would be a little bit like translating it into King James English.

Don't get me started on the abysmal state of the understanding of the English language in the US, dh. :)

Anonymous jack September 05, 2014 9:57 AM  

The Glass Bead Game was a great read. I admit to being uncomfortable with the way Hesse ended it; but, he's the Master, me the hanger on, so it was probably meant to be make you feel that way.
I had not thought to compare Castalia to that plot idea. Guess it works for me.

Blogger Mark K. September 05, 2014 10:08 AM  

Vox,
Is there a compilation or even just a subset of your old game reviews currently available anywhere? I've been wanting to read your Dark Forces CGW review for a while now.

Anonymous Wendy September 05, 2014 10:09 AM  

Caedryn, keep us updated on the progress. I know a lot of people who play tabletop games, and if minis are involved, who paint (and sculpt).

Anonymous N5 September 05, 2014 10:09 AM  

"Das Glasperlenspiel"

Anonymous VD September 05, 2014 10:16 AM  

Korrigiert, danke.

Anonymous VD September 05, 2014 10:16 AM  

Is there a compilation or even just a subset of your old game reviews currently available anywhere? I've been wanting to read your Dark Forces CGW review for a while now.

No, nothing.

Blogger James Dixon September 05, 2014 10:35 AM  

Slightly off topic on this thread: While I'm still valiantly resisting the urge to spend money, you hooked my wife with the sale on "One Bright Star to Guide Them" over the weekend. :)

Blogger Anthony September 05, 2014 10:53 AM  

Colombian Spanish is probably more akin to Victorian English than Jacobean English.

But Mexican Spanish is spoken in the largest and fourth-largest Spanish-speaking countries, and two of the three richest. (Mexico and the U.S. - only Mexico, Colombia, and Spain have more Spanish-speakers than the U.S.)

And dammit, it's ColOmbia - there's no "u" in it.

Anonymous A Visitor September 05, 2014 10:56 AM  

"According to the royal academy of the Spanish language, the country that speaks the most proper Spanish is Colombia. But large companies, like Disney, use the Mexican translation for their movies or shows for all Latin America, since it's considered the most neutral by most Latin American countries."

RAE said that?!? Ddd ddd ddamn! Anecdote: a composition professor in Spain I had would often talk about telenovelas and how they used Venezuelan Spanish since it was so universal. I'll have to tell him (a native Spaniard) that others feel differently (probably shouldn't be THAT big of a surprise to him).

Anonymous dh September 05, 2014 11:15 AM  

Anythony - thank you. I make that mistake frequently.

Anonymous AlteredFate September 05, 2014 11:29 AM  

I am currently working at a start up called Bird's Eye Games as a dev on a 2D rpg, and if a blue game review site was put up I might be able to persuade some of the guys to contribute some how-to articles/videos or tutorials if that seems interesting. Unless we are strictly talking a review site, though it would be nice to have a go-to site of resources that are strictly blue in origin.

Blogger Bogey September 05, 2014 11:48 AM  

I'm more of an MMORPG player myself, what are some examples of blue video game titles?

Blogger Unknown September 05, 2014 12:03 PM  

I'd love to include lets plays, tutorials, actual news and other information as well. Table top and retro are great additions to a roster as well due to their influence on their respective genres and even how deep their mechanics and world building goes.

I don't think you could really divorce video and table top gaming from each other without losing some valuable lessons they have for each other, which is why I want to expand to gaming as a media whole and have been very excited by how many people have expressed interest in analog gaming as I have less experience outside of battletech when I was younger and the occasional D&D pick up game at a convention.

I don't see a problem with promoting people who are producing blue content as long as there is a full disclosure of ties to the company and a willingness to to be candid in review. That means when I inevitably talk about Star Citizen as a game and RSI as a company and business method, I'm going to mention that I was a Kickstarter backer for the 325A as well as a current centurion subscriber because it is part of structuring and sourcing an article. That doesn't preclude me from providing reasoning and analysis on the game, it demonstrates perspective.

I also have no problem with one off articles in the long run, but I also want to make sure that quality content is presented which means solid editing. I think every place should have a resident Mr. McPhee as well as a Ransom.

Blogger Unknown September 05, 2014 12:09 PM  

Bogey, I'd really recommend checking out Wildstar for some interesting, although sparse at times, perspective on rebellion vs empire. I know nothing about the Dev teams perspectives on anything.

Another to check out would be FFXIV:ARR as a substantial improvement on the original and some fun game mechanics, while being wholly dedicated to telling a story, not promoting a cause. It has some pretty satisfying side stories as well as capturing a good deal of the fun and quirk of the old school RPGs. I have been moved to tears by some of the slapstick put into the game and it really shows how much YoshiP enjoys gaming, even if by evidence i had to guess he plays as a filthy clothie.

Anonymous Anonymous September 05, 2014 12:13 PM  

The Deuce and I were just talking about this, and I want in (video game review site).

Blogger Unknown September 05, 2014 12:21 PM  

malcolmthecynic
"The Deuce and I were just talking about this, and I want in (video game review site)."


Absolutely, I've only got lunch break right now, but when i get home this evening, I'll be responding to everyone's emails and try and get some group communication structured.

Anonymous Jack Amok September 05, 2014 12:53 PM  

I don't think you could really divorce video and table top gaming from each other without losing some valuable lessons they have for each other, which is why I want to expand to gaming as a media whole and have been very excited by how many people have expressed interest in analog gaming as I have less experience outside of battletech when I was younger and the occasional D&D pick up game at a convention.

Certainly don't divorce them when (since you mentioned BattleTech), they're being married these days. Have you seen Golem Arcana?

Anonymous Athor Pel September 05, 2014 1:37 PM  


If you want a site to model after you wouldn't go too wrong by using Rock Paper Shotgun, http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/. It's mostly written by Brits, bunch of cheeky bastards. They created the site in order to write what they wanted about the games they wanted to write about. To give an idea of their general attitude, they have a daily scotch egg consumption counter in their masthead.

Now for what to be aware of when perusing the site.
Recently they brought a woman writer onboard. The only games she writes about are sex games, not even kidding. I've also noticed a bit of social justice warrior rhetoric showing up in some of the posts from one or two of the male writers.

But other than that the site is gamers talking about games, computer and some boardgame. They aren't so much into console titles.


There are only a couple other game related sites I frequent.
Gamers With Jobs
http://www.gamerswithjobs.com

and
Space Game Junkie
http://www.spacegamejunkie.com/


I only really read the game forums at Gamers With Jobs.

Space Game Junkie gives in depth exposure to games that need that kind of treatment if a new player wants a more complete picture of the game than what a mainstream game site can give.

Blogger Unknown September 05, 2014 1:44 PM  

Jack Amok
Certainly don't divorce them when (since you mentioned BattleTech), they're being married these days. Have you seen Golem Arcana?


I hadn't, but it is a brilliant concept and a currently hot trend in the toy and game world. I like that it takes a different approach from some of the other DM management systems in that rather than keeping map and information built and effectively only accessible to the DM, it expands the opportunity for content experience and even a level of surprise to everyone at the table. The options for remote play and solo demonstrates that they've already thought this out, although the limitation of one unique tileset per map may make replayability difficult due to the current size of the base game and I'm curious to read more on how they mitigate this limitation. I'll dive into that one later tonight, but I dig the art assets.

I've seen the Skylanders games, Disney Infinity, Nintendo's Amiibo, and even Lego's Fusion line do effectively the reverse of this, although I have no experience with them as of yet.

One Tabletop game i am excited about is Ankama's Krosmaster Quest set. I played the Krosmaster Arena base game after its kickstarter was funded and it a lot of fun for a competitve experience, although some of the victory conditions do sometimes restrict the amount of play time for longer than I think was intended. When a game can end in ten 2 minute turns without players taking a swing at each other, I think there is a a little too much feature creep and a lazy limiting mechanic at play. Past that, the base of the game is good, although expensive to get started up. I do, however recommend experience the Wakfu MMO when it goes free to play, as it and its older brother Dofus are the only games i've ever seen handle tactical turn-based combat in a multiplayer setting well. especially with classes devoted almost exclusively to terrain control. Also, the animated series is beautifully drawn and a great show to watch with the kids, while still keeping good action and surprisingly thoughtful character development.

Anonymous Krul September 05, 2014 2:30 PM  

Caedryn, I want in. I'll email you tonight.

Anonymous Jill September 05, 2014 2:54 PM  

Thinking about this..... I'm so friggin busy right now, but I do love to read novels in Spanish.

Blogger Unknown September 05, 2014 4:18 PM  

Regarding the Mexican Español, I agree with Emilio, TV shows and telenovelas from Mexico tend to be distributed throughout the whole region, so pretty much every latin american country has deep knowledge of Mexican pop culture and slang terms. I can attest to this from my recent visit to Brazil for the world cup, almost every Brazilian that came and spoke to me were like "Chavo del 8, México!" and so on.

The only observation I have regarding this from Emilio is, what Mexican Spanish does he mean?, Norteño, Chilango, Southerner, Bajío, Yucateco?... theres not one single Mexican Spanish that is homogeneous to the entire country, he would have to specify what would that Mexican spanish be.

Blogger Markku September 05, 2014 6:00 PM  

According to the royal academy of the Spanish language, the country that speaks the most proper Spanish is Colombia. But large companies, like Disney, use the Mexican translation for their movies or shows for all Latin America, since it's considered the most neutral by most Latin American countries. It's easier to understand a translation to Mexican Spanish in Peru, Argentina, or the Dominican Republic than any of those dialects elsewhere.

Maybe this just shows my ignorance - which I freely admit - but reading this just seems surreal to me. WHY DOESN'T ANYONE EVEN MENTION SPANISH SPANISH?

Blogger Unknown September 05, 2014 6:37 PM  

To Megatherium
Written spanish is different to spoken spanish. In Mexico there is a neutral spanish, both written and spoken, think about the accent they use in the telenovelas or most of the news. Also think about a book by Castaneda, they use a neutral mexican dialect.

To Markku
Spanish from spain is really different to spanish from latin america. Think of spaniard spanish as british english, and mexican spanish as american english.
There are more spanish speaking people in latin america and the us than in Spain by far. It makes economic sense to cater to the bigger market.

Blogger Unknown September 05, 2014 6:38 PM  

Caedryn, write me in on the gaming webpage. Send me an email to discuss it.

Anonymous Jack Amok September 05, 2014 7:09 PM  

The options for remote play and solo demonstrates that they've already thought this out...

They're pretty decent game designers. Our company has lots of past connections with folks at Hairbrained, and we've been pulling for them on this one. Jordan gets a chance to re-do BattleTech in a fantasy setting, when you think about it. I do love the idea of matching the tactile sensation of real game pieces with computer power for record keeping.

Good luck with your project. I'm not really in a position to contribute more than good wishes at the moment, but FWIW you have all of those I can muster.

Anonymous Tom Bri September 05, 2014 7:49 PM  

Spanish speakers, like English speakers, are pretty parochial. I have met any number of Latin Americans who told me that the Spanish spoken in their little province, not their country, but just their own home province, was the best and purest "Castillian". And in general, they all despise Mexican Spanish, as low class. "Los Mexicanos no hablan, sino cantan". A lot like English speakers enjoy looking down on those crass Americans.

Anonymous maniacprovost September 05, 2014 9:26 PM  

There are a lot of small blogs and sites about gaming, especially tabletop gaming. Of course indie video games too. My point is I would maybe create something along the lines of an aggregator or something like PJ Media or redstate. Except without the cliquish ness.

Blogger Luke S. September 05, 2014 9:51 PM  

I've run a gaming site before. It didn't last as long as I would have preferred; but it was self-funded while I was attending university; and the expense was a little too much to keep up.

If I can be of any help, let me know.

Blogger The Deuce September 05, 2014 10:06 PM  

I've started a private group on Facebook for discussing this idea over IM. If anyone friend requests me, I can add you to it. I'd like to join up with Caedryn's group too. Either way, what we need to do right now is get ourselves into one place where we can discuss this and respond to each other quickly. Imo, an IM environment is better for this than an email chain.

You can find me here: https://www.facebook.com/ibbibby

Anonymous Anonymous September 06, 2014 12:01 AM  

Caedryn, you should have gotten my e-mail (I'm also Marc Anthony).

Anonymous E.G. September 06, 2014 1:16 PM  

Caedryn, I've dropped you a line as well.

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