OBLIVION
  • 12 February 2014 17:24:35

    Integrated support and separation for other language and "translation mods"

    posted by Dark0ne Game News
    Files that are written in languages other than English and "translation" mods (authors who have translated an English mod in to another language) have always caused a bit of a pickle for users on the Nexus due to the fact they're mixed in with all the other mods in one big soup. If you're an English-only speaker it can be a bit of a pain having to navigate past numerous mods written in different languages, or indeed multiple different translations for the same mod. Similarly if you're looking for a translation of a popular mod in your language that, too, can be difficult and inefficient. Some popular mods can have many different translations. If you search for Immersive Armors, for example, which has 12 translation mods made for it, it can actually be a bit hard to find the main mod in between all the translations (you typically need to look for the file with the highest number of downloads).

    We've always been a bit apprehensive about files uploaded in languages other than English. They're harder to moderate and they can, as mentioned above, cause a lot of bloat in the file database. Today's update is supposed to help in this regard. We've released a foundation update to the sites that is supposed to help better separate the multi-language content here on the Nexus and allow you, the user, to choose which content you see and which content you don't see, hopefully making browsing the file databases that little bit easier.

    So, where to start?

    On the file uploading side of things, authors will notice that we've added a few more fields to Step 2 (or the first step if you aren't picking a game for your mod first). These new fields are right at the top so they shouldn't be hard to miss. You now specify whether your file is a "Normal file/mod" or whether it is a "Translation of a file/mod that already exists". Pretty straight forward. If it's not a translation, it's a normal file. Next, you specify the language of your mod. There's a drop-down that covers the main ones, and if the language your file is for isn't listed you simply select the "Other" option and state it in the file name.

    For normal files that's all there is to it. However, if your file is a translation there's an extra field to fill in. Specifically, what file your file is a translation of. We've stipulated a new rule with this addition, which is quite important, that we are now only allowing translations of mods actually on the Nexus. This goes hand-in-hand with the new functionality of this update. We need to be able to link the translation to a file on our database. Begin entering the name of the file and you should be presented with a list of mods that fit what you've entered. Click the correct file from the list and that's it.

    On the file authoring side that's the only change; 2 or 3 new fields to fill in.

    The changes to file pages depends on what sort of file it is. If your file is a normal file (and not a translation) then there is no change at all unless someone has created a translation for your mod. If there is a translation for your file then a new small button will show in the "Actions" tab (below your file stats) labelled "Translations". Clicking this button will show a pop-up with the translations available for your mod, the language of the translation and who made the translation. If your file has no translations then this new button will not show on your page.

    If your file is a translation then there's two changes to a normal file page. Next to where the "Download (NMM)" or "Download (Manual)" button would normally show is a new button labelled "Original file". This links back to the file which your translation is based on. Similarly, if someone attempts to endorse your translation then an additional step is added to the endorsement process. This extra step asks the user if they would like to endorse both your translation and the original file, or just your translation and not the original file. As a mod author this might sound a bit odd to you (or, hopefully, it doesn't), "But Dark0ne, how can someone like a translation but not like the original file enough to endorse it?". Well, simply put, someone might not like your file enough to endorse it. They might still use your file and they might want to thank the person who bothered to do a decent translation of your file. It's not beyond the realms of possibility and it's important that users are given the choice so it doesn't demean the endorsement system.

    Those are the only changes on the file pages. Next, we've also made changes to the file searching by adding an extra "Language" option to the list of variables you can sort through on the right-hand side.

    First of all it's important to note that translations will no longer show by default in the search results. If you're looking for translations you should tick the "Only show translations" box, which does exactly what it says it does. Next up, you can now specifically choose to only see results for file results in your specific language. If you select "English" you'll only see files marked as English. If you select "Portuguese" you'll only see files marked as Portuguese, and so on. This is stipulated by the drop-down menu in Step 2 when first adding a file or in "Edit Attributes" if you've already uploaded a file before this update. If you do not update this information then your mod will not show when a language is picked by the user. Which brings me on to the next point...

    This change is opt-in rather than opt-out. Or better put, it was not/is not possible to create a script which will automatically convert all translation files already in the database in to the proper format. Similarly, we can't create a script which will automatically update the current files in the database with the correct language tag. I'll be changing files as and when I have the time and as and when I see them, but we're relying on the actual authors of their files to update them accordingly. And just a quick tip, if you don't update your file's language then you won't show in the results for that language, e.g. right now I notice a few people have already changed their language to English before I've posted this article. Their files will show when a user has selected "English", your file, if you haven't changed it, won't. So you'll be missing out on exposure, if that bothers you.

    As I mentioned earlier this is a foundation update, which means it's an early release which will probably be updated or changed based on the feedback you provide on the functionality. If you think it can be changed to work better then let me know and we'll have a think about it. The design document for this update was posted in the mod author forums for scrutiny with no complaints so I'm hoping this change will be welcomed.

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