nedjelja, 7. listopada 2012.


I was going write about localization as I was implementing it but the lack of a free time prevented me form finishing the post before the implementation was completed. Now that it's finished and it's weekend with holiday on Monday, I finally have the time to write a few words about it.

I did some polishing on the IKON library, my pet project, to streamline the data loading logic in the Stareater. As I said in the previous post, application settings (language choice, GUI size, game settings) use IKSTON variant of IKON and language files use a custom variant.This is how a simple language file looks like:

FormTitle = Main menu
Title = Stareater
NewGame = New game
Settings = Settings
Save = Save
Load = Load game
Quit = Quit
Except the first and the last line, entries are key-value pairs. This is the simplest format that is and will be supported. It's easy to read and easy to edit. At least I thinks so, complaint in the comments if you don't think so :). I'm planning to add support form more complex formats along the way.

If you remember from the previous post, each IKON value starts with a "sign", a character that defines it's format. First sign in the example is ":", a colon. That sign defines what I call a context, a named set of key-value entries, much like IKSTON compound value. Terminating character for contexts is "-", a minus. Context in the example is named FormMainMenu and contains entries for the game's main menu. Sign for other values in the example is "=" and represents the beginning of a single line text value. Text in those values  is interpreted as a literal text with stripped leading and trailing white spaces. Other formats I'm planning to implement are for supporting multiline and variable texts. Both formats will be introduced after (re)implementing technologies and expression in data files.

There is one more thing to say about localization support, folder structure. All language data are stored in {Stareater}/language/ folder (where {Stareateris thefolder where the Stareater is installed). Subfolders of that folder are named after the language code, so US English texts are located in {Stareater}/language/en-us/ and Croatian in {Stareater}/language/hr/.  Also if the language is intended to be used as "default", suffix(default) is added to it's folder name. Default language is the language that is set initially and used as a fallback. If a certain translation is not found in the language selected by user, text from the default language will be used.

Now that first few bricks are laid, it's time for more game related work: "new game" screen, map generators and organizations. I finally decided what should be organizations used for (except cosmetics), they would provide bonus level for technologies. Bonus levels would affect benefits from that technology but would not increase research cost and requirements for upgrading technology effectively reducing the cost of developing that tech. Sound simple but don't expect it to be done by the end of a month :).