We were secretly working on an audio play with select scenes from Funky Fantasy IV acted out by people who work at Fangamer. It was originally gonna be a free bonus emailed to people who bought press start to translate, but it was late, oops! But now it’s done!
We took a look at the alternate titles were were considering for our new book (buy it here!), now let’s look at the alternate covers we were tossing around. Here are some mockups Tony the Designer started with:
So you can see we were originally going for a glitched-out looking cover. Then Tony started experimenting with dragging the Final Fantasy IV game cartridge and box across the scanner:
And that’s how we ended up with the cover we all know and love!
Tony said this about the scanning method:
the wiggling with your hand on the scanner is really what makes the best glitches. it’s very random and by chance. It’s also a machine interrupting and trying to build an electronic image that I (a human) am purposely messing with. Conceptually it felt perfect for the Funky cover. it also looks cool haha
Quite a journey! I need to find more of this work-in-progress stuff to share. I remember we had tons of different variations of the LoL logo before deciding on the final one.
Now that press start to translate is out (buy it here!), I can share some of the alternate titles we considered. Mato wanted the title alone to make it immediately clear what the book is about, and also not explicitly reference Final Fantasy IV or Google Translate. Also, no negativity allowed. Some of the best/funniest ones were:
Copy, Paste, Translate!
The Surprising Results of a Translator that isn’t Human
Cached in Translation
This Book is About Basketball Enemas and Video Games
Everything Went Wrong! What happens when you let a computer translate a video game
CPU Spoony Bard
The Enema is Saying That You Should Not Wear a Basketball
Why Your Next Favorite Game Probably Won’t Be Translated By A Computer
Return the Bullshit! What happens when you let a computer translate a video game
Rated M for Machine Translation
Press Start to Translate (Nina gets the credit for saving our butts with this suggestion!)
Press Start to Translate: Wait, Wait! Undo! Undo! (I really wanted this one)
Let’s Machine Translation!
I even drew a terrible cover mockup of the title I liked the most:
Speaking of cover mockups, pretty soon I’ll share some mockups that Tony the Designer made before we went with the beautiful poorly-scanned copy of the game.
This past Sunday, I was cleaning up some cat barf when Mato walked up to me and said, “This is probably the best time to ask this. Do you wanna stream?”
Getting new screenshots has been a big part of the main LoL site’s upgrade. Mato needed a set of screenshots from Breath of Fire, so hey, why don’t we stream the hunt? We didn’t announce it, we just did it.
To our surprise, many people showed up to watch! Lots of old regulars and a few new people. It was very heartwarming because a lot of people said they missed us. The last time we streamed was back in June, and we’ve indeed missed talking to all of you guys too! We can’t get back on a regular streaming schedule yet, but we do want to get back to it sometime. Mato’s got his sights set on a side-by-side Final Fantasy VI T-edition translation stream 😮
Fangamer’s Black Friday sale started early! Out today is press start to translate: This is what happens when you let a computer translate a video game? and a swanky new bookmark!
press start to translate is better known as the Funky Fantasy IV book. You can get it at Fangamer for $22! The Legendary Bookmark is 8 buckaroonies and you can get that one right here. Also, a special promotion just for the Black Friday sale (Nov 21 – Dec 1) : buy 2 LoL books (over $10, so excluding the passports), and you’ll get the bookmark for free!
I also wanted to share this video of Fangamer’s mailroom getting ready for the upcoming tidal wave of BF orders:
The Fangamer office is in Black Friday mode, which means most of us are running around like chickens with our heads cut off trying to finish up the last bit of prep before the BIG SALE. I grabbed some super last-minute photography this morning:
We’ve got 2 new products releasing soon (possibly tomorrow): press start to translate (Funky Fantasy IV book) and a custom-minted LoL bookmark! I’ve been using the prototype bookmark for months and I love it. I hope you’ll love it too!
Earlier this year, Mato & I played through the entirety of Tengai Makyo: The Apocalypse IV on the Sega Saturn. He live-translated it as we played, and boyyyyy it was an adventure. How can I describe it in only a few sentences? Well, it’s set in “America” in the late 1800s, and yet there are high-tech flying machines and a crazed sentient TV man. Oh, the Alamo is a combat tank and the town of Tombstone is a fantasy food land … until it gets blown up by a laser from space.
And that’s just a tiny part of the story! If you’ve never seen this game before, go on the journey of discovery with us: