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S-E Site Affiliated Roundtable Location for other S-E Site Affiliated Admins to meet for open discussion.

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Old 01/18/2011   #1
X-SOLDIER
Default The plan!

So, to get the conversation started as a few people start to meander in from various locations, here are the main ideas that we had in mind. At this point, everything is open for suggestion and discussion, since it's mostly been the hypothesized ideas from TLS, and from the brief PM contacts I've had with our other site Admins, there are a lot of ideas as to what to look into for getting something like this established.

The good thing is that with so much SE game-related information being put out today, and more likely to be on the way fairly heavily over the next little while, this provides a perfoect opportunity for us as communities to speak up.

Here are some excerpts from the original thread that will start things off in the direction I'd like them to go.

Ariadne wrote: Bombarding a customer support e-mail or something like that won't work (people tried it before with "Remake FFVII!" after the PS3 Tech Demo came along, and it didn't take a day before they set up an auto-response e-mail for that), but there may be a way. We know guys like IGN can actually get ahold of people at SE. They actually even get to talk to Nomura, Kitase, et. al. from time to time.

Heck, when EGM erroniously stated that they knew a FFVII remake was on the way (this happened back in 2005, if I remember right), within a couple of days IGN had a response about it from SE saying that it was bullshit.

So, I think starting with somebody like that would be the thing to do.

X-SOLDIER wrote: If we can get a large number of S-E game-based communities to get together, and say, "Look, S-E, we like you. We like you a lot, but you could be MUCH better at knowing what sorts of things we want. The key to understanding the Western audience is to have some form of communication with them, ESPECIALLY the ones who have been greatly drawn in by your past games. As of currently, you don't have any way to do this. Let's get this happening, and EVERYONE BENEFITS." the gaming community will want to listen.

Hopefully that means that the people who HAVE these connections will then USE them to get some momentum on the issue.

Overall, once we get everything decided on how exactly we'd like to phrase our requests, we're looking at the idea of by some method contacting some people on one of the bigger gaming sites. Whether or not that's individual e-mails from us as Admins of the communities, or as a group, that's one of the many things to be decided here.

We'd been contenplating the idea of getting a hold of Brian Ashcraft from Kotaku, because from everything he posts on the site, he's a decent guy, he's based in Japan, has connections in the gaming industry, and he'd make a good starting point for attempting to get our voices heard.


That all being said, the floor's open for discussion and ideas from all fronts.


X
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Old 01/20/2011   #2
FaustWolf
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Great stuff! It was especially cool to find out that you established regular communication with Blizzard back in the day, X-SOLDIER.

One thing I've become interested in recently are efforts by Square Enix DLG (the Downloadable Games Dept)* to communicate -- albeit one way more often than not -- with English-speaking fans via Facebook and Twitter.

Obviously a marketing strategy, but I'm under the impression that devs post to these from time to time as well. I seem to remember that from around the time of Chaos Rings' release at least. Smaller Korean outfits who are busily porting games to the iPhone are willing to get much more hands-on with fans and lesser-trafficked game news sites through these channels from what I've observed over the past couple months; I wonder how Square Enix intends to develop its own social networking front going forward.


*They may run separate Facebook and Twitter accounts on a game-by-game basis too, at least for more high profile titles; I'll have to look into that further.

Links to Square Enix DLG's Facebook and Twitter pages are as follows for anyone not familiar with them (I inserted an extra space after "http" to break the links since I can't post external links here yet):

Facebook
http://www.facebook.com/pages/SQUARE...G/167831379364

Twitter
http://twitter.com/squareenixdlg

Last edited by FaustWolf; 01/20/2011 at 02:59 AM.
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Old 01/20/2011   #3
Cat Rage Room
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Sorry for being late, guys. I'm the one who suggested this, so hey, gotta show up for the meetings, right? Although I'm leaving for Naval Basic Training for two months in less than a week, I'll trust you guys to keep it movin', yeah?

But yeah, this is definitely a good jumping off point. Brian Ashcraft is going to be on the board for our 'outside media guy', ultimately he's going to be the one that's going to spread our message to the four winds so everyone knows about it, and from everything I've heard he's a reasonable easy to reach guy. We're not quite there yet, but this is a good start.

The SE DLG is something I didn't know about, do you guys think that's a good avenue to keep open in terms of communication? I think we should keep that on the table. What about the people over at the FF Wiki? Did we contact them yet?
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Old 01/20/2011   #4
The Twilight Mexican
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The SE DLG thing would certainly be something to keep an eye on, since it's exactly the sort of thing we'd like to see established for SE games in general. Perhaps when we're ready to move things into the final phase of this effort, we could send a message to them at the same time we contact Ashcraft.
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Old 01/20/2011   #5
X-SOLDIER
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I fixed your links for you FaustWolf. You'll have to hit 5 posts before it'll let you add hyperlinks.
(Spambot security measures and whatnot.)

I didn't know about the SquareEnixDLG Facebook and Twitter. Marketing strategy or not, the real question is how far does it fall back into SE? Meaning that if it only goes as far as SE:NA, there's a minimal chance of us getting through to any of the Devs and people with say in Square Enix to actually have our opinions reach someone that could do something about them. If it falls back directly to SE, that's something else entirely, and it may end up being incredibly useful.

Either way, I'll see about looking into them when I have a little bit of spare time. Existing Social Networks wasn't something that had crossed anyone's mind yet. Thanks for bringing it up!


X
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Cyclops. Is. Right.





…Xenomorphaux Pas…



Shademp – on the subject of my seemingly boundless optimism wrote: After Ungoliant had sucked the light from the trees Telperion and Laurelin, she found that there was a third tree but whose light was too potent and immortal for her to absorb. Thusly, Ungoliant left Valinor in tears for she could not absorb the light of the tree named X-SOLDIER.

#TotzCanon


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Old 01/20/2011   #6
FaustWolf
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No prob about the links, that's perfectly understandable.

DLG "updates from Tokyo, Japan" judging from their Facebook profile alone, but I suppose that's no surefire proof that dev statements don't pass through the NA office for translation first. Here's an example of a dev statement from DLG:
(In the attachment -- this link seems especially resilient!)

I seem to remember that Chaos Rings had its own Facebook page, so DLG might be a catch-all for smaller releases. I'll have to check around and see if SE is running any English social networking pages for the Fabula Nova Crystallis series, but for now I'm guessing they're testing the social networking waters with their mobile games division because they've got less riding on it for the time being.

What's really interesting, now that I take a second look at Oyamada's post, is that the comments are obviously unfiltered. I guess freedom of speech reigns on these things, but it might also suggest that the social networking accounts are that much farther removed from SE's regular communication network.

Just a curiosity for now; as Ariadne suggests, this is probably more important in the long term than for first contact.
Attached Files
File Type: txt Producer Masaru Oyamada says Hi.txt (53 Bytes, 5 views)

Last edited by FaustWolf; 01/20/2011 at 08:46 PM.
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Old 01/21/2011   #7
FaustWolf
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Huge apologies for the double post (hey! getting closer to posting links!) but are you guys interested in bringing in a bilingual English/Japanese speaker or two from the fan communities at some point? ZeaLitY (Chrono Compendium admin) has been working with a very high-quality translator for getting untranslated Chrono materials in English, and she'll probably be game for helping out here given her interests.

Let Ramsus or I know if you're interested; still hoping ZeaLitY will be able to join the party, though his schedule's hugely complicated lately.

Last edited by FaustWolf; 01/21/2011 at 09:04 AM.
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Old 01/21/2011   #8
X-SOLDIER
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Hey, as long as the post's relevant, don't worry about it too much. We've got Hito to do our translations for the Ultimania content and such, but any help for a project like this would be more than welcome.

I know ZeaLitY's busy, but I'm hoping he gets a chance to stop in at some point.

Thanks for all the suggestions and reccomendations so far FaustWolf. It's greatly appreciated.


X
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…Xenomorphaux Pas…



Shademp – on the subject of my seemingly boundless optimism wrote: After Ungoliant had sucked the light from the trees Telperion and Laurelin, she found that there was a third tree but whose light was too potent and immortal for her to absorb. Thusly, Ungoliant left Valinor in tears for she could not absorb the light of the tree named X-SOLDIER.

#TotzCanon


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Old 01/21/2011   #9
ZeaLitY
Default

Richard Honeywood probably has contacts to some insiders, including Masato Kato. I've never actually tried to contact him, but his name's pretty damn unique and I recall being able to look him up before. We might be able to send him a letter or something (last I knew he lived in California). He was a translator for Square who worked on Chrono Cross and some other titles, and developed a pretty good working relationship with Tanaka and Kato, who remarked that the US translation of Chrono Cross was actually better and clearer than the original game thanks to their input. It's likely Honeywood still knows others at Square.

It'd be cool to get an interview with him on his translation work as well if we go this route. As a side note for the Chrono community, if we do get to Kato, that'd open the way for a mythical interview and would fulfill the #1 goal of the Compendium.
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Old 01/22/2011   #10
Cat Rage Room
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So far, here's our list of likely avenues.

-Square Enix DLG
-Brian Ashcraft
-Richard Honeywood

Is this right so far?

As a side note for the Chrono community, if we do get to Kato, that'd open the way for a mythical interview and would fulfill the #1 goal of the Compendium.
As a lifelong fan of Chrono and the Compendium, I'm personally on board with this.
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Old 01/23/2011   #11
The Dreaded Paw
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I'm not sure about ease to contact or his relationship with people from Square, but one name that comes to mind is Jack Fletcher. He has done the English voice direction for all the single-player Final Fantasies (FFX-2 and FF Tactics: War of Lions being the only spin-off SE titles, I believe)

He has also done voice direction on numerous other games and anime, which makes me inclined to think he's pretty easy to get a hold of - if not extremely busy.

Just an idea.

EDIT: Based on Ali Hillis' (Lightning's English VA from FFXIII) remarks in an interview, Jack Fletcher is apparently very knowledgeable about the games he's directing. So SE does trust him with their work, at least.

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Old 01/25/2011   #12
X-SOLDIER
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So, today Brian Ashcraft wrote up an article on Kotaku titled "Why Don't Foreigners Like Japanese Role-Playing Games?". The comments section is alight with lots of feedback, and I felt that this was close to as perfect an opportunity to address the issue with him, so I wrote up an e-mail and sent it his direction. Here's a copy of what was sent.


Inquiry in regards to Japanese Games and the Western Community. wrote:
Salutations Brian,

Recently I read over your article about the popularity of JRPGs: http://kotaku.com/5742666/why-dont-f...+playing-games and it brought to mind something that I had been working on lately, that I was wondering if you might be able to assist with.

For some background, my name is Pierce, and I typically go by the handle "X-SOLDIER" online. I run a Final Fantasy VII-based community over on http://thelifestream.net/ . Recently within our community, a topic came up that gained a strong following: With many game companies and developers, there is an pathway for communication with their fanbases that is quickly becoming more common, but not so with Japanese gaming gommunities and their Western Audiences. One of the biggest issues with JRPG's is that they seem to fall into a grey area in the global community. Often times the developers make changes with appealing to the Western Community in mind, that fail to do what they were intended, and I think that a portion of this could be contributed to the fact that they're being limited to their interpritation of what the Western communities want, rather than actual feedback from their users. Case in point that SquareEnix has a Twitter set up for it's Japanese fans, but the Western fanbase doesn't have a road of communication with them at all.

In the interest of seeing how the other SE-related communities felt, I began reaching out, and a number of them, and have already heard back from folks at places like http://www.seikens.com/ , http://www.chronocompendium.com/ , & http://squareanthology.com/ who were also intersted in the prospect of setting something like this up. We have been working together, and discussing the how best to approach a SE about establishing a route of Communication with its Western fans, because we believe that it would contribute to games that would appeal to Westerners, and fans of the genre, which would in turn generate better sales for them.

While we were initially going to wait on hearing back from more communities, before reaching out further, the article that you wrote provided what seemed like a perfect opportunity to address this inquiry through you, and get your thoughts. As someone who is deeply involved in the gaming community, and more specifically centered in Japan, I'd like to know if there are any suggestions that you could make towards accomplishing something like this, or possibly even any assistance that you might be able to provide in getting something like this established for SquareEnix. I figure that a step in the right direction from a big gaming company might reflect towards other developers as well.

Either way, thank you for your time, and I look forward towards receiving your reply.

Regards,

Pierce Arner (X-SOLDIER)
Again, sorry for not writing up a draft and posting it here earlier, but I figured that it might be a good idea to test the waters in what seemed like an ideal setting from a small scale, and then pending a reaction, we'll see if we can open up a stronger followup that is directly involving everyone.

That being said, I'd lke to discuss the logistics of actually contacting some of the other aforementioned folks, and seeing if there's anyone that would like to spearhead the initial efforts.


X
__________________
Cyclops. Is. Right.





…Xenomorphaux Pas…



Shademp – on the subject of my seemingly boundless optimism wrote: After Ungoliant had sucked the light from the trees Telperion and Laurelin, she found that there was a third tree but whose light was too potent and immortal for her to absorb. Thusly, Ungoliant left Valinor in tears for she could not absorb the light of the tree named X-SOLDIER.

#TotzCanon


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Old 02/01/2011   #13
X-SOLDIER
Default

So, to bump this: Is there anyone else who would be intersted in reaching out towards any of the aforementioned contacts? (Been working LOTS of overtime all week, so my mind's been everywhere. Sorry about the delay).


X
__________________
Cyclops. Is. Right.





…Xenomorphaux Pas…



Shademp – on the subject of my seemingly boundless optimism wrote: After Ungoliant had sucked the light from the trees Telperion and Laurelin, she found that there was a third tree but whose light was too potent and immortal for her to absorb. Thusly, Ungoliant left Valinor in tears for she could not absorb the light of the tree named X-SOLDIER.

#TotzCanon


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Old 02/01/2011   #14
The Dreaded Paw
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Does anyone who is part of this project happen to have IMDb Pro? I was looking up contact information for Jack Fletcher and Richard Honeywood and I've always noticed on IMDb there's contact info for people with a Pro account. I'm wondering how reliable it is, though.
There's probably a better, more reliable way to get this information, but I wouldn't know it. I'll keep searching, though.
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Old 02/03/2011   #15
X-SOLDIER
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@ The Dreaded Paw: I do not. :\ Keep looking, and if you find anything relevant, please let me know.




So, in light of the recent closure of Midgar-Rock in addition to S-E's plummet in profits for 2010, I have to think that if we step up now as the Western Audience interested in giving them a hand, that someone will be more than willing to listen.

We're starting to get a good number of folks from the communities around here, and we need to start stretching out our arms, and seeing who we can contact, and start to make people listen.

I've been wondering if, since we've got a good number of folks on board with this, if we'd want to initiate something like a "Speak Up towards SE" type post across all of our sites frontpages. Anything that gets large scale visibility, or that we can start to show towards the more public-facing side of the internet would be a good move. If you guys are interested, I'll write something up tomorrow.



X
__________________
Cyclops. Is. Right.





…Xenomorphaux Pas…



Shademp – on the subject of my seemingly boundless optimism wrote: After Ungoliant had sucked the light from the trees Telperion and Laurelin, she found that there was a third tree but whose light was too potent and immortal for her to absorb. Thusly, Ungoliant left Valinor in tears for she could not absorb the light of the tree named X-SOLDIER.

#TotzCanon


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