Modders interested in creating compatibility patches for any of my mods should contact me via private message for permission. Quickest way to reach me is at the following sites:
- Nexusmods: moho25
- ThaneMOD Forums: n7Siha
I know, it’s confusing. I’m not “Giftfish” in either location.
Permission isn’t guaranteed. If the two mods change the same content with different intent, then a patch is pointless. If a patch would be too labor-intensive or technically-challenging, then it would be wiser to not create compatibility. It’s also possible I could deny your request for philosophical reasons due to the content of your mod.
Most video games are released in a variety of localizations (languages) that affect voiceover and text. Generally, a player’s localization is controlled by where they live—companies distribute certain localizations in certain countries. Italian in Italy, Polish in Poland, Japanese in Japan, etc. Even digital downloads can be dependent on the domain of the host or IP address of the user to determine which version of the game someone is allowed to purchase. When it comes to modding, this has two consequences. One, all mods must be built on their authors’ own localized game files. And two, files for all other localizations are likely to be unavailable to that author. They simply aren’t included in their version of the game.
In the case of Mass Effect, I release mods built on the “International” (INT) version of the game, which is in the English language. I don’t release alternate localizations for a few reasons:
- I don’t have access to the necessary files
- I’m not fluent in multiple languages and translation programs are a poor substitute
- I don’t have time
That last bit may sound like an excuse, but is quite important. I tend to create mods that are extremely dialogue-heavy. Creating one additional localization can double the workload—and therefore the development time—of the mod. This is not a viable option.
But, granting permission to others to translate my work is a viable option. And that brings us to the point of this article.
Putting time and effort into translating an existing mod is generous act. It’s a service to the gaming community and allows more players to enjoy that mod. Translators for any of my mods are welcome to register on the ThaneMOD forum and take advantage of the Third-Party Translations board for development and discussion.
One of the most important things to keep in mind as a translator is that you must be fluent in both English and the translated language. This is the only way to ensure the translation is accurate and stays true to the original mod.
Translations should be as verbatim and accurate as possible. When a phrase doesn’t translate directly, any changes in phrasing should match the intent, tone, and meaning of the original phrase. Any personal biases or desires should be kept out of the translation.
Finally, it’s important to realize before embarking on a translation that translators are solely responsible for all work involved in creating the translation. I cannot provide guidance and have limited time for questions. In addition, you are also solely responsible for helping users with questions and support requests involving the released translation. I will not provide assistance with this in any way.
The most important thing about this process is to contact me BEFORE you start any work on a translation. During our exchange, I’ll assess whether granting you permission would be appropriate.
You’ll increase the chance of me approving your request by:
- Using proper English.
- Using proper grammar and capitalization.
- Demonstrating proper style and usage.
- Demonstrating you are capable of writing sentences longer and more complex than a tweet.
Permission requests should be made via private message (see contact information in the Patch section above). If you cannot reach me or I don’t respond, you may not create and release a translation.
The parameters below are non-negotiable and apply to all of my mods for Mass Effect 2 and Mass Effect 3. You must be willing to abide by all parameters in order to create the translation. If not, then save us both some time and don’t contact me for permission. Asking for exceptions or alterations will likely result in your request being denied.
1 – Text
Translations are restricted to localized text, only; localized audio is not allowed. Translators should note this format may not be compatible with all versions of the game. It’s up to you to research, test, and determine compatibility.
2 – TLK
Translations must utilize the current TLK file of the desired mod; don’t use old, outdated versions. In addition, the translated TLK must:
- contain all strings in the mod’s original TLK, with any necessary strings added to the female section for functionality. (This is because the English TLK doesn’t utilitze the female section.)
- not contain any strings not found in the original mod.
- install directly into the parent (my) mod’s existing DLC folder structure.
3 – Distributions
Distributions of the translation are limited to the following content:
- A translated TLK file, created by you in the language of the translation
- A readme file, created by you in the language of the translation
- A Permissions and Credits file, supplied by me and in English
The content of your readme file is limited to the following:
- A brief explanation of the translation and method of installation
- A changelog (optional)
- A statement crediting you, anyone who assists you in the translation, and anyone else you want to acknowledge
- A statement crediting myself as the author of the parent mod, a link to its Nexusmods page, and a reference to the Permissions and Credit document
IMPORTANT: You may not edit or alter the Permissions and Credits file in any way. This includes content, name, file format, or anything else. In addition, nothing in the translation’s ReadMe may contradict or attempt to nullify the accompanying documentation from the parent mod.
4 – Hosting
Translations must be hosted Nexusmods; they cannot be hosted elsewhere. Translators must follow the criteria below when setting up the translation’s Nexus page:
- List yourself as the author and uploader
- Set the parent mod as a “Requirement” and use the included feature to link to its Nexusmods page
- Ensure the translation’s title clearly states the original mod name and the language of the translation (e.g., “Better Dreams – Russian Translation”)
- Ensure the translation is “classified” and “tagged” in Nexus’s system as a “translation”; include the language in the tags, if possible
- Set the category as “Miscellaneous”, unless there’s a “Translations” category present
- Ensure there’s a “Posts” tab, so users may make comments and ask questions
- Set the “File Distribution” permissions to “manual” (check the box), and place this statement in the “Additional Permission Instructions” area:
“This mod is a translation. It adheres to and is distributed under permissions as set by moho25 (Giftfish).”
- In the “Credits” area, acknowledge yourself, myself, and anyone else you want to credit
- Disable donations for the file
- Upload the file to Nexusmods, only; no external hosts or mirrors
- Ensure the description contains the name of the parent mod, a link to its Nexus page, and lists myself as the author
- All other details are at the discretion of the translator
Before moving on, a couple aspects of the above deserve a bit more attention: donations and permissions.
DONATIONS. Donations are not allowed for translations of my files. I earn no financial compensation for modding; I do it for free. Therefore, if you create a translation of my work, you must also do it for free.
PERMISSIONS. Any translation, by necessity, uses the intellectual property of the parent mod. Therefore, all translations of my mods must be distributed with my permissions. You cannot add your own permissions and you cannot give others permission over your translation. Upon creation the translation becomes—in essence—a part of my mod. Separate hosting helps users understand the translation has a different author, and that questions/comments need to be directed to you and your thread.
Moral of the story: if you’re unsure about something, just ask!