Acting impulsively out of a desire to import FFXIII in December when it comes out, I went ahead and ordered/imported FFXII International Zodiac edition as well as a SwapMagic dealy so I can play it on my American PS2. Knowing not one damn bit of Japanese, but being confident in having already played through XII numerous times, I decided to start making myself a little dictionary program in Java that I could use to help me play the Japanese version of XII, without actually having to learn Japanese.
My theory is that I could have this nifty little program on a laptop as I play the game, and when I come across a situation say, I want to use a Potion in battle, I'll type Potion into my program, it'll output the Japanese characters which represent Potion, then I'll look for those Japanese characters in the Item menu in the game so I'll know what to select properly, and after a while I'll probably memorize commonly used items and such.
Basically I'm trying to make an English to Japanese program of one-way translation, a dictionary dedicated to FFXII in a sense. Meaning assuming you speak good English, you can easily find the Japanese equivalent. But it doesn't work the other way around. If you're Japanese and don't speak English, it may not help you much, since the input system is based on English nouns from the FFXII world.
Unfortunately my Java skills aren't top notch, I still am having a lot of frustrating time figuring out how to do things. But the program in the screenshot does exist, it's just a menu at the moment, which doesn't actually do anything yet.
How the program works (theoretically)
As an example, I have Vaan selected, and a PNG image attached to a label that will appear when you select Vaan from the dropdown list. I will have 1200+ PNG images of Japanese characters that I match up to their English counterparts using guides and references. So as long as the matching up is correct, I don't have to know any actual Japanese.
The dropdown list initially contains every single noun in the FFXII world, which is a massive list of 1200+ nouns. I conceptualize situation-specific FILTERS
that you can apply to greatly shrink the list down to a more manageable size based on what you need. Unconventially, I have the filters in the menus, instead of traditional menus like File Edit View et cetera. But I think users can figure out how to work it easily.
For example, I want to know what the Japanese symbols representing "Steal" is. I would click Main Filter
. Upon doing so, the dropdown box in the center of the screen will only
contain a list of Technicks as opposed to 1200+ nouns. There are 24 Technicks in the game, so having to scroll through 24 nouns/verbs is much easier than 1200. So you locate "Steal" in the drop down box and click it, and the label changes to the Japanese characters representing Steal. Now you know which command to select in the Battle Menu in the game.
And that is how the program should work in theory. In practice, it's going to be a long
while before I can crank this program out and post it for all to download, because I don't know how to do the following things in Java yet:
• Create submenus
• Make menu items do things when clicked
• Make what you selected in the dropdown box match up to the correct PNG image (which will be provided as data files)
• Make menu commands alter the String contents of the dropdown box to essentially filter it
• Make an executable (I run the program from the command line)
• Don't know how to use Lists in Java properly
The Ivalice menu is the only one that would contain Submenus. For example Valendia |> Archadia. Otherwise I could just list all the major locations in one menu, but it would be really big (there are 47 big areas and each one has smaller sub areas). But perhaps I don't even need to list the world map areas and should just exclude the Ivalice menu, since most people will probably be using the program mainly to find the names of battle items, magicks, and technicks.