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Editor for Amaterasu



Foreword Got the chance to speak to an experienced editor. Check it out


Interesting Tidbits
<Sheeta> You don’t need to know Japanese to edit
<Sheeta> in fact, knowing Japanese can sometimes be a hinderence

Sheeta’s Contact Details
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OR speak to Sheeta on IRC

The Interview







Preface: I apologize for lengthiness. This was one of my longest interviews.

<Aaerul> How did you become an editor for Amaterasu?
[17:20] <Sheeta> Basically, I was lurking around TLWiki when Ixrec popped up and started translating MOON
[17:20] <Sheeta> I was like ‘it’ll be nice to play that in a year’
[17:20] <Sheeta> one month later… He’d finished, and I was like WHAT?!
[17:21] <Sheeta> so I did a little bit of e-stalking and found his forum, where he was running the first poll (which was won by Cross Channel)
01[17:22] <Aaerul> ah okay. how long ago was this
01[17:22] <Aaerul> mustve been late 08?
[17:22] <Sheeta> he made a post asking if anyone wanted to help out, and since the project I was working on was dead, and I was insanely bored, I decided to apply.
[17:22] <Sheeta> That was…
[17:22] <Sheeta> May/June 2009
01[17:22] <Aaerul> and what was that project you were working on before this all happened
[17:22] <Sheeta> Jingai Makyou
[17:23] <Sheeta> the translator ran off though
[17:23] <Sheeta> and I was young, so my edits weren’t that good anyway lol
[17:23] <Sheeta> so it was probably for the best
[17:23] <Sheeta> anyway
[17:23] <Sheeta> I’ve been with Amaterasu since
[17:24] <Sheeta> I occasionally wander back onto tlwiki to help out any editor-less projects
[17:24] <Sheeta> but I usually stick with Ammy
[17:25] <Sheeta> XD

01[17:25] <Aaerul> There has been an influx of editors joining the scene in past years who have little to no Japanese language skills. Do you see this as being a problem or do you feel it is an efficient way to deal with the current shortage.
[17:25] <Sheeta> You don’t need to know Japanese to edit
[17:26] <Sheeta> in fact, knowing Japanese can sometimes be a hinderence
01[17:26] <Aaerul> hmm
01[17:26] <Aaerul> how so
[17:26] <Sheeta> since you end up worrying about getting everything the Japanese line says into the tl rather than adapting it
[17:27] <Sheeta> obv you don’t want mistls coming out of editing
01[17:27] <Aaerul> that’s the biggest fear

01[17:27] <Aaerul> which leads onto the next question: do you try to retain the translator’s style during the edits or do you infuse your own?
[17:28] <Sheeta> now that’s interesting
[17:28] <Sheeta> Definitely the translator’s
[17:30] <Sheeta> a lot of what we’ve done in Amaterasu (Cross Channel, Inganock) was written by a scenario writer with a strong writing style in Japanese
[17:30] <Sheeta> so naturally, we try to retain as much of that as possible
[17:30] <Sheeta> I think anyone who’s played Inganock would agree that
[17:30] <Sheeta> without Sakurai’s writing
[17:30] <Sheeta> it’s not the same
[17:31] <Sheeta> though the next Sakurai game we’re doing
[17:31] <Sheeta> will be Sharnoth
01[17:31] <Aaerul> Sharnoth?
[17:31] <Sheeta>
[17:31] <Sheeta> we’re gonna do it in British English (since it’s set in London)
[17:32] <Sheeta> and I’m, well, British
[17:32] <Sheeta> it means I get to tell everyone off for using Americanisms lol
[17:33] <Sheeta> if I wanted to use my own style
[17:33] <Sheeta> I’d write my own VN
[17:33] <Sheeta> not use someone else’s
[17:33] <Sheeta> since that’s not tling anymore
[17:33] <Sheeta> it’s just rewriting
01[17:33] <Aaerul> hmmm
01[17:33] <Aaerul> okay I have heard a counter argument to that
[17:34] <Sheeta> I’d be happy to hear it
[17:34] <Sheeta> I like discussing things like this
01[17:35] <Aaerul>
01[17:35] <Aaerul> the third post down I think was jp302
01[17:35] <Aaerul> who wrote it
[17:35] <Sheeta> *goes to read*
[17:37] <Sheeta> OK
[17:37] <Sheeta> well, to start with the guy’s kinda missing the point
[17:38] <Sheeta> he’s talking about nuances of the Japanese language that you get in everything
[17:38] <Sheeta> like pronouns and stuff
[17:38] <Sheeta> ofc that’s not tlable
[17:38] <Sheeta> but
[17:39] <Sheeta> what I’m talking about is actual literary style
[17:41] <Sheeta> I’ll go with Inganock again lol
[17:41] <Sheeta> anyone who’s read it will notice that it’s very stylistic
[17:42] <Sheeta> now we *could* throw all that out and just write it using our own style
[17:42] <Sheeta> but why?
[17:42] <Sheeta> there’s a style there. A style that works
01[17:42] <Aaerul> but in japanese
01[17:43] <Aaerul> if you want to create a style to imitate the japanese one, you would have to write it all over again I feel
[17:43] <Sheeta> not really
[17:43] <Sheeta> we just look at the language and go ‘now how can we make this work in English?’
[17:44] <Sheeta> ‘how can we carry over all the stylistic nuances without it being as awkward as hell?’
[17:44] <Sheeta> as an editor, I love that kind of stuff
[17:44] <Sheeta> it’s a great challenge, and immensely fun
[17:45] <Sheeta> well, I’m just the editor
[17:45] <Sheeta> Ixrec decides most of the stylistic stuff

01[17:45] <Aaerul> What happens if you reword his stuff?
01[17:45] <Aaerul> Is he okay with that?

[17:45] <Sheeta> yes
[17:45] <Sheeta> he’s very OK with it
01[17:45] <Aaerul> okay
[17:45] <Sheeta> so long as I haven’t made it inaccurate
[17:45] <Sheeta> which is fair enough
01[17:45] <Aaerul> yea

[17:46] <Sheeta> in fact
[17:46] <Sheeta> want me to tell you the Amaterasu editing process? lol
[17:46] <Sheeta> I know there’s a lot of misconceptions surrounding it

01[17:46] <Aaerul> that was actually one of my questions
[17:46] <Sheeta> XD
[17:47] <Sheeta> alright
[17:47] <Sheeta> first up, Ixrec translates the scripts (he does 20kb a day, every day) and uploads it to the SVN
[17:47] <Sheeta> (know what an SVN is?)
01[17:47] <Aaerul> yea
[17:48] <Sheeta> cool, I love them lol
[17:48] <Sheeta> anyway, once he does that
[17:48] <Sheeta> us editors have a crack at it
[17:48] <Sheeta> because we’re all nuts, we’ve usually caught back up to him in a day or two
[17:49] <Sheeta> after that, Ixrec looks over our changesets to check if we’ve buggered anything up

01[17:49] <Aaerul> do you split the workload equally?
[17:49] <Sheeta> oh, everyone does all the scripts
[17:49] <Sheeta> once he’s finished
[17:49] <Sheeta> he’ll commit it, and we check his changeset to see if anything was changed
[17:50] <Sheeta> if it is, then we can go talk to him about it
[17:50] <Sheeta> sometimes he changes it back to what we did lol
[17:50] <Sheeta> sometimes we come to a compromise
[17:50] <Sheeta> sometimes I realise I made a horrific mistake
[17:51] <Sheeta> and am glad he saw it lol

01[17:51] <Aaerul> and what is the role of the QC?
[17:51] <Sheeta> they check for typos, grammar errors and stuff in game
[17:51] <Sheeta> they help Nagato (our hacker) with debugging sometimes too
01[17:51] <Aaerul> and all this while Makoto checks for translation errors
[17:52] <Sheeta> Makoto’s tlcing happens around the same time as editing
[17:52] <Sheeta> tbh
[17:52] <Sheeta> Makoto finds barely any errors
[17:52] <Sheeta> and if he does
[17:53] <Sheeta> it’s usually on throwaway lines. Never anything big like an entire slideshow and whatnot

01[17:53] <Aaerul> so how many passes do all of you add up together, do over one section of text?
[17:53] <Sheeta> well, we all do one each, unless we thought we did a certain scene badly
[17:53] <Sheeta> then we can redo it
[17:54] <Sheeta> heck, we can redo everything if we want at any moment
[17:54] <Sheeta> so long as it doesn’t hold up the patch
[17:54] <Sheeta> we can get away with one pass each
[17:54] <Sheeta> because there’s so many of us, and Ixrec is checking all our changesets
[17:54] <Sheeta> so there’s never any concistency errors
01[17:54] <Aaerul> crazy workload
[17:55] <Sheeta> we’re workaholics lol
[17:55] <Sheeta> we love it
01[17:55] <Aaerul> who gets the final say on something
01[17:55] <Aaerul> I guess it is Ixrec then
[17:55] <Sheeta> Ixrec, since he’s the project lead, yeah
01[17:55] <Aaerul> since he looks through everything each of you have done
[17:55] <Sheeta> but he’s not some crazy dictator lol
[17:55] <Sheeta> if you give a valid argument
[17:55] <Sheeta> then he’s more than happy to do things your way
01[17:56] <Aaerul> cool
[17:56] <Sheeta> heck, he even takes suggestions from the forum goers sometimes
[17:56] <Sheeta> especially with MuvLuv, which has a pre-existing fanbase of sorts
[17:57] <Sheeta> we don’t wanna use a term no-one’s familiar with when there’s a pre-existing, coller one
[17:57] <Sheeta> er, cooler
01[17:57] <Aaerul> hmmm
[17:57] <Sheeta> e.g. TSF was originally just ‘war mech’
[17:57] <Sheeta> which is, well, OK
[17:57] <Sheeta> after a group discussion though
[17:58] <Sheeta> we decided to go with the more-official ‘TSF’
[17:58] <Sheeta> since the fans were more familiar with that
[17:58] <Sheeta> we could’ve made it ‘Senjutsuki’
[17:58] <Sheeta> since that’s the other name people use
[17:59] <Sheeta> actually
[17:59] <Sheeta> Ixrec *will* know lol
[18:00] <Sheeta> MLA loves it’s kanji walls
01[18:00] <Aaerul> O.o
[18:00] <Sheeta> it’s a great game
[18:00] <Sheeta> but god help anyone who doesn’t know military vocab lol
[18:00] <Sheeta> anyway
[18:01] <Sheeta> regarding the Ixrec adaption thing
01[18:01] <Aaerul> ye
[18:01] <Sheeta> I think a lot of our ex-editors don’t realise that you can actually argue with his reversions
01[18:01] <Aaerul> and how many of those has there been?
[18:02] <Sheeta> and don’t really ask about why they were reverted
[18:02] <Sheeta> ex-editors, hmm
[18:02] <Sheeta> most of them die on their own
01[18:02] <Aaerul> O.o
[18:03] <Sheeta> but the ones who’re still active in the tl community… there’s two I can think of
[18:03] <Sheeta> Unyu doesn’t really count (sorry Unyu!) since he touched 3 lines in one script then ran away
[18:03] <Sheeta> Neko died recently, so I haven’t included her
01[18:04] <Aaerul> ah yep
[18:04] <Sheeta> (not literally died, don’t worry)
[18:04] <Sheeta> you’ve actually interviewed both ex-editors
01[18:04] <Aaerul> except Neko
01[18:04] <Aaerul> Unyu
01[18:04] <Aaerul> whos the other one
01[18:05] <Aaerul> I interviewed Spin
[18:05] <Sheeta> oh, sorry I think I misspoke somewhere
[18:05] <Sheeta> the two I was referring to are pondr and TinFoil
01[18:05] <Aaerul> oh right
01[18:05] <Aaerul> yea I’ve interviewed both of them
[18:05] <Sheeta> Spin is still with us lol
[18:05] <Sheeta> pondr’s interview was interesting
[18:05] <Sheeta> since he was more with Aegis
[18:06] <Sheeta> and he left when we were still doing CC, back when we were tl note happy lol
01[18:06] <Aaerul> hmm
01[18:06] <Aaerul> okay
01[18:06] <Aaerul> I guess that roughly wraps up that topic.
01[18:07] <Aaerul> next question:

01[18:07] <Aaerul> what is one piece of advice that you can give to new editors coming onto the scene?
[18:07] <Sheeta> hmm, now that’s a toughy
[18:08] <Sheeta> I think the key thing to do is keep in contact with your translator, and learn how to justify all of your edits
[18:09] <Sheeta> …maybe that sounds a bit scary lol
[18:09] <Sheeta> to explain
01[18:09] <Aaerul> what does that involve exactl;y
[18:09] <Sheeta> keep in contact with your translator, because s/he and you are the ones directly producing and messing around with the script
[18:10] <Sheeta> if you don’t stay in contact, misunderstanding happen, the groups not in synch, stuff like that
[18:10] <Sheeta> it also means if you’re confused about a line, you can bring it up and discuss it with them
[18:10] <Sheeta> it’s good to do this with other editors too
[18:10] <Sheeta> as for justifying
[18:11] <Sheeta> don’t edit for the sake of editing
[18:11] <Sheeta> edit because the line sounds awkward, or because you think a certain word works better here
01[18:11] <Aaerul> I see
[18:11] <Sheeta> and…
[18:12] <Sheeta> well, even in open projects there’s gonna be people who might not like the edit
[18:12] <Sheeta> accurate or not
[18:12] <Sheeta> so it’s important to be able to explain *why*, so they can see what was wrong with it, or you can all work together to solve the problem
[18:13] <Sheeta> when it comes down to it
01[18:13] <Aaerul> do you guys put comments under every line you edit>?
[18:13] <Sheeta> lol we rarely do actually
[18:13] <Sheeta> 90% of the time
[18:14] <Sheeta> the edits are fine
[18:14] <Sheeta> it’s that 10% where you might’ve stumbled onto a line with some crazy subtle meanings or something
01[18:14] <Aaerul> hmm
01[18:14] <Aaerul> do all the QCers know Japanese?
[18:14] <Sheeta> no
[18:15] <Sheeta> tbh, their role requires no interaction with the Japanese text
[18:15] <Sheeta> they just have to know English and have an eye for detail
[18:15] <Sheeta> btw
[18:16] <Sheeta> these days, Ixrec or some other editor puts a comment next to any tricky lines asking for help
[18:16] <Sheeta> then another editor doing a pass will see it and try and iron it out
[18:17] <Sheeta> I kinda wish more groups did it our way
[18:17] <Sheeta> it’s actually really fun debating the edits
01[18:18] <Aaerul> hmmm
[18:18] <Sheeta> and there’s never any concistency issues as a result

01[18:19] <Aaerul> Is Amaterasu ever recruiting new members? If so, what positions?
[18:19] <Sheeta> we’re always OK with more QCers, but it’s not urgent. Pretty much all our roles are filled atm

01[18:21] <Aaerul> and could there ever be a chance Ixrec would agree to
01[18:21] <Aaerul> work with a second translator?

[18:22] <Sheeta> I agree with him that it’s not a good idea to have more than one tler per project really
[18:22] <Sheeta> causes inconsistencies with the style etc
[18:22] <Sheeta> unless you have one editor
[18:22] <Sheeta> which your project does I believe lol
01[18:23] <Aaerul> hmmm?
01[18:23] <Aaerul> but multiple editors is okay?
01[18:23] <Aaerul> for your group
[18:23] <Sheeta> yeah, since we have one tler
[18:23] <Sheeta> well
01[18:23] <Aaerul> but the editors can iron the inconsistencies, surely
[18:23] <Sheeta> I guess it’s more that
[18:24] <Sheeta> it’d be OK if one of those tlers was in charge or something
[18:24] <Sheeta> lol I haven’t really thought about this
[18:25] <Sheeta> so long as there’s *something* which keeps consistency
[18:25] <Sheeta> it’s OK
01[18:25] <Aaerul> hmmm
01[18:25] <Aaerul> I don’t really buy the default argument of ‘multiple translators produce inferior work’
01[18:25] <Aaerul> its a very TL Wiki sentiment
[18:25] <Sheeta> it depends how organised you are
01[18:25] <Aaerul> actually Ixrec expressed so too
01[18:26] <Aaerul> I think it is a ‘depends’ scenario as well
[18:26] <Sheeta> I think 2 or 3, you can get away with if they all stay in contact
[18:26] <Sheeta> if you do a CLANNAD style one though
[18:26] <Sheeta> it’s a total mess
01[18:26] <Aaerul> have you heard of
[18:26] <Sheeta> yeah
01[18:27] <Aaerul> what do you think of Agilis’ project
01[18:27] <Aaerul> They have about 13 translators atm, and all of them double up as translator, TLC and editors at the same time
01[18:27] <Aaerul> actually, I’m not sure about editor
01[18:27] <Aaerul> but it is true that they check on each other’s work
01[18:29] <Aaerul>
[18:30] <Sheeta> impressive. If they all stick around, it’d be cool lol
[18:30] <Sheeta> though would they be able to handle tling a whole VN by themselves…?
[18:30] <Sheeta> even in groups of two or three, it still takes a lot of time and effort

01[18:32] <Aaerul> Are there any areas you feel you would like to be addressed?

[18:36] <Sheeta> just that, er, some people seem to like playing translator
[18:36] <Sheeta> or think it gives them the right to make a mockery out of other groups
[18:36] <Sheeta> rather than chipping in and helping them
[18:37] <Sheeta> …but there are a few people who need a bit of a kick up the bum

01[18:38] <Aaerul> how do you feel about the recent malicious posts that dominate the gemot forums?

01[18:38] <Aaerul> if you keep up with that
[18:38] <Sheeta> ohh
[18:38] <Sheeta> I actually stopped looking in Gemot after Moogy started linking people to Makoto’s tlcing changesets
01[18:39] <Aaerul> tlcing changesets?
[18:39] <Sheeta> is it from anons or actual users?
[18:39] <Sheeta> oh, every time you commit to an SVN
[18:39] <Sheeta> your post shows up as a ‘changeset’
01[18:39] <Aaerul> I see
01[18:40] <Aaerul> like a revision
[18:40] <Sheeta> yeah
01[18:40] <Aaerul> why was he doing that?
01[18:40] <Aaerul> was he not happy with Makoto’s work?
[18:40] <Sheeta> tell you what, I’ll go find the post
01[18:41] <Aaerul> okay
[18:41] <Sheeta>
01[18:42] <Aaerul> sigh
01[18:42] <Aaerul> all the guys in the TL Wiki channel have a culture of saying things like that
[18:43] <Sheeta> yeah
01[18:43] <Aaerul> theyre always always bashing on other people’s work
01[18:43] <Aaerul> its terribly hard to participate in any discussion
01[18:43] <Aaerul> so yea I don’t talk there. I just idle
[18:43] <Sheeta> I never go in there, since I hate it when people say unjust things

[18:45] <Sheeta> the whole ‘tlwiki are mean’ thing is one of those things which everyone knows, but is left unsaid
[18:46] <Sheeta> so you might wanna do some creative editing, since you mention names not me 😛
01[18:46] <Aaerul> well to be exact, just the group of people who hang out on IRC it seems
01[18:46] <Aaerul> most of the other people who live on TLWiki never even speak to each other
[18:47] <Sheeta> might be an idea to change ‘tlwiki’ to ‘#tlwiki’ or something then
01[18:47] <Aaerul> yea

01[18:47] <Aaerul> Thanks so much for your time Sheeta
[18:48] <Sheeta> it’s not like I’ve pulled a pondr and confessed my love to anyone, so I think it’s OK…
[18:48] <Sheeta> np
[18:48] <Sheeta> that was really fun
01[18:48] <Aaerul> Sheeta is from Laputa castle in the sky?
[18:48] <Sheeta> YOU KNEW!

Thank you to Sheeta for this excellent interview. It was a bit long but the back and forths were rather a bit hard to edit out.


I'm the Fuwanovel community admin and a big fan of Visual Novels. The easiest way to get a hold of me is via a PM on the Fuwanovel Forums, by twitter (@ArchmageTay), or by email.

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13 years ago

Nice interview yourself, though I feel like there’s some comment in red down at the bottom that wasn’t quite true… hehe. And I’m pleased to hear there isn’t a beef with the non-IRC-goers on TLWiki.

I also like to hear that Amaterasu kept the good things about its editing process and improved (or just got over) some of the things I felt could be reworked. I’ve never been a mecha fan, but seeing as MLA was the best-selling VN of all time last time I checked, I’m sure I’ll be playing it sooner or later! Keep up the good work!

13 years ago

Some of the things she said are lies, Ixrec makes a lot of mistranslations, the Muv Luv SVN is public, no point in lying when we can see it right there. Moogy may be an asshole, but he’s right on that Ixrec needs to work on his Japanese grammar.
It’s well know that C+C is full of mistranslations as well.

Reply to  Dango
13 years ago

Go actually look at the SVN rather than rely on stuff said in random IRC channels. You’ll be pleasently surprised 😛

Reply to  Dango
13 years ago

The total number of mistranslations may appear huge, yes, but compared to the number of lines in the games themselves, and especially when you factor in how incredibly irrelevant and harmless most of them were, it’s actually a very small number (the last time I tried getting a stat out of makoto’s changesets, at most 1% of the lines were in any way questionable, much less harmed). More importantly, no translator can get everything right on the first pass. The first guy to point out my CC mistakes ended up doing just as badly when he tried translating something. We’re all human.

13 years ago

“I’ve never been a mecha fan, but seeing as MLA was the best-selling VN of all time last time I checked, I’m sure I’ll be playing it sooner or later! Keep up the good work!”

Really? Link? I’m interested now.

Reply to  Dango
13 years ago

I can’t find the link again, and I’m certainly not trying to pass off that info as “true” so much as “the way I read it”. Also, take note that it was the All-Ages version of MLA that held the top spot. Actual MLA was down in the teens, IIRC. I was checking on the ranking of CLANNAD at the time, which held like three of the top 10 spots for various releases, including the #2 spot.

Or I might be on crack and have never seen this, who knows? Seeing as I can’t find the link anymore, that seems likely >.<