Hello folks! Today we have a very special interview for you today celebrating the 1st year anniversary of the French Translation group TradTeam. TradTeam is responsible for translating Star Citizen content that CIG produces and translating it into French for their communities. They do a great service to the Star Citizen community and this interview is in honour of them.
Ben Lesnick (BL): Am I doing the intro or?
Jared Huckaby (JH): Remember the part where I said you have to do the intro because I don’t know who these people are.
BL: But then you went and did an intro yourself.
JH: I was telling you what you should, alright…
BL: But you referred to me as Jared Huckaby in the intro.
JH: What?! Because I was being you!
BL: Hey everybody, it’s Ben Lesnick from Cloud Imperium Games. We are here to celebrate the first anniversary of the folks at Trad team in the French community who are an incredibly dedicated bunch of people who basically take all the content and news that we put out through the RSI platform and they translate it for the French community which is fantastic. It’s a great community and they asked us to answer a couple questions that they put together and that’s what I’m going to do.
JH: It’s going to be more work for you guys to translate.
BL: So bonjour Trad team and bon anniversaire.
JH: Alright, so we’ve…
BL: No I want to hear you say bonjour
JH: Alright so these questions have come directly from you guys so I’m going to read them as is here.
Question number one: Ben, given how much lore content is created by CIG and Chris Roberts… Oh, given how much lore content is created by CIG and Chris Roberts’ wish for the game to become an immersive cross media experience. Can we expect novels or collections of short stories, maybe even a T.V. show or a movie to be produced in the Star Citizen Universe.
BL: I mean this is absolutely a fingers crossed situation. You know it’s… Yes we want to do all those things and more. I mean we’ve talked about it since from the very first start where we’re daydreaming this up, that came from Wing Commander of course. I love the Wing Commander games, but I also love the trashy tie in novels and the animated series and I have a Wing Commander candy bar. Someday we’ll… Someday, someday we’ll have to do the same for Star Citizen. We will reach out to every part of the universe. We want to finish the game first, get it out there, make it a huge success and then infinite possibilities.
JH: Yeah I mean we always talk about intentions. It’s definitely something we’d love to look into, love to pursue. Whether it happens or not is dependent on the Star Citizen community and how successful the project is.
BL: Yeah keep letting us know you love that stuff because sometimes the numbers don’t show that people love that tie in stuff, but I know true geeks want that to happen.
JH: [Gestures to Ben]
BL: [Laughs] yeah. I will say we have announced very early in the campaign we were going do a novella. So that is definitely happening.
JH: Alright question number two: In the future, once Squadron 42 and Star Citizen are playable in other languages, French for example. Will the lore content already published on the RSI website like stories, galactic guides, be translated back into French?
BL: Fingers crossed. The toughest thing with translation is not actually doing it, it’s coming up with the system through which it can be done. So that is much more of a problem for the game developers to solve and I was actually looking through some of the tools for this that they’ve developed, so we’re already in this state where were prepared to start translating it's just we have to get there and make our plan and do it.
As for the stuff like the old lore posts, Jump Point articles, the focus would always be to do the in world stuff first.
BL: We wouldn’t go back and translate Wingman’s Hanger or something because it just isn’t relevant anymore to folks, but there’s definitely evergreen stuff we would want to do and those two listed are exactly those.
JH: Okay. This is sort of the same question actually: What about videos? When Squadron and Star Citizen are out, will we be able to watch them in other language subtitles. What about those published before the release. Will they be translated eventually.
BL: I mentioned last one it would depend on the nature of the video. Something like the Hornet commercial or stuff that really matters and is in the Star Citizen universe, that would be our first priority. I don’t think you’ll see like all the Around the Verses, but also you probably don’t need to because folks like Trad team and the other communities that translate to their specific languages are taking care of that news aspect. So I know we look at our archives and we say my gosh there’s an insane amount of stuff you have to do, but once you filter it into just lore stuff and the making of, it’s a little bit separate.
JH: We’re not in that place where we can do the translations now. When we get to that point in our development when we can start doing localization on the new stuff, that has to be our first priority, the new stuff going forward I would imagine.
JH: It’s just going to be a question of resources and time management.
BL: And I would say to the French community, to all of the communities out there that want language specific stuff to keep letting us know. Post to the forum or to Spectrum now that that’s the best way to advocate for that kind of thing. We want to hear from you, we want to know what you want and we do listen.
JH: Mhmm! Number 4: The player who has the most recruits from the referral program is one of our sponsors, a streamer named AlphaCast. How did the studio and CM team react knowing it was a French guy that united so many people given the fact that the French community is way smaller than the English one.
BL: I don’t think anybody was surprised. I mean it was great to see… Obviously the English speaking community and the German speaking community are our two largest so it was great to see someone from outside that group.
BL: It was definitely a reminder that hey, we have to keep thinking about these other groups. I mean back in the Wing Commander days you would, internally at Origin you would localise EFG, which is English, French, German, and absolutely that matters.
JH: Yes I remember when we found out around the anniversary livestream for 2015 if I remember correctly it’s where we announced...
JH: It was very exciting to see that it was a member of the French community.
BL: And yeah I would say it’s great, keep it up. It’s stuff like that, that keeps Star Citizen international. I would hate the idea of Star Citizen just being an American game or just being a German game.
JH: Oh absolutely not.
BL: So it’s folks like that who make it diverse and incredible and cool and you know on the other hand there’s, at night all cats are grey sense you know? We aren’t Americans, we aren’t Frenchman, we are citizens! Star Citizen’s! It’s good, it’s all good!
JH: Good job AlphaCast.
Alright number 5, this one’s a bit longer: At CitizenCon it was said that the community is the centre of development of Star Citizen. It makes sense that CIG doesn’t waste resources on translating temporary and ever changing content. A lot of the fans are disappointed that there’s no one dedicated on uniting other languages communities. There’s a real need for CIG ambassadors and big communities around the world such as: German, Italian, French, Etc. Someone who would be well informed of the whereabouts of the community he’s in charge of, or it project, ideas, initiatives, etc. Someone who would be able to share anything worthy directly to CIG who would encourage, help, and support just as much as the English community. It would mean a unique and special relationship between the studio and its communities. Can we expect the studio to hear this, that’s there’s a real need and dedicate at least one community manager to the French community as well as actually every foreign community.
BL: We definitely hear you, it’s a matter of getting to the point where it makes sense to do that. I mean it makes sense, we would love to do that right now.
JH: If we had an unlimited supply of money and people.
BL: Yeah the problem is on the community marketing side, we try not to take too much away from the funding of the game. If we take in 10,000 dollars at some event then that money is in my mind, best spent on.
BL: Another Mark Abent. I think every person in the company is agreed that we dream of a point where we can have.
JH: Community manager for every…
BL: 10, 50, Jared Huckaby’s…
JH: Or Tyler Witkins and what not.
JH: We’d love to have a person for every setup community. That’s definitely a goal, an intention, something to shoot for. It’s just just right now all that money that comes in, it’s just much better served on the development of the game right now.
BL: And it’s not intended to slight anyone in the community at all. I think that’s an important thing to get across is if I could do it, I would do it tomorrow.
JH: Absolutely. It’s all just resource management at this point.
JH: But definitely something on, not only our wish lists, but a lot of wishlists.
BL: Yeah and I think probably the next step we’ll see there is we’ll have community folks at the other studios and it’ll just get bigger organically because it has to.
JH: Yup! Last question, but not least: Ben you used to live in France for years. Your job may not give you much time to go back there once in awhile. Do you miss your life in Europe? What differences are the most noticeable between the old world and the new?
BL: I miss France a great deal. When I was a kid, my dad worked for IBM and they would send him away for a year at a time to... It would always be like Milwaukee. If you’re not from US that’s a very cold and wet place that no one wants to go. My mom would always say, “See ya!” and my dad would be gone for six months. By the time I was a teenager they finally said, “Okay we’ve sent you to this place enough, we’re going to send you to Marseille instead in the south of France.” Of course my mom said, “We’re all moving!” So I spent a couple years living in Aix-en-Provence and it's one of those idyllic memories in my head, one of those incredible, it was definitely informative for me.
JH: Your whole voice changed when you said the name of the place.
BL: It’s hard to separate because maybe when I was a kid, a teen, maybe that’s just, everybody looks back on that time in their life as this perfect thing, but that is definitely how I see it, just this beautiful place. I mean Aix’s roman fountains and hot springs. You feel the age of the world there in a way that you don’t in Washington D.C. so I loved it there. I would go back in a minute someday.
JH: Alright let’s go.
BL: Alright we’re off, see you guys in Aix.
JH: Alright so thank you guys for taking the time to not only send us questions, but to all the work that you guys do translating our videos, translating our posts.
BL: We appreciate it so much. I hope that it comes across that you guys are making our work possible.
BL: You’re doing things we wish we could do and you’re helping Star Citizen happen, you’re helping the community get bigger and better, it’s cool.
BL: Merci beaucoup.
JH: Merci beau, how do you say it?
JH: Merci Beaucoup?
BL: I maybe, it’s been a long time since I had to speak French.
JH: Alright, happy one year anniversary everybody. I’m Jared.
BL: I’m Ben. All our love and we’ll see you in the verse.
JH: In the verse.
BL: In the verse.
JH: In the verse. You want to do the [Around the Verse arm gesture], no? oh
BL: [Crosses his arms] In the verse!