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Czech translation, additional programming and graphics: Pavel Puchala
It's actually a "hack" of German version with a little "improved" graphics by me. The authors probably didn't bother so much with it, pixel here, pixel there, just no nerves. :)
Many thanks to "Padman Remakes" who dumped his original disks of German V2.0 for me! I didn't find the German V2.0 anywhere and I really needed a German version because it is more suitable for Czech translation due to its longer texts here. But right here there was the first small problem for me. I can't speak German, so I also needed an English version to know the meaning of all texts and then rewrite them to German version. :) Google Translator also helped sometimes because the meaning of English texts is a little bit different than German ones. :)
Translated is really everything, that's why "100% complete".
It wasn't so easy at all because some graphics is in CMP files which I can't edit directly. The game is also deprotected (code checking at the beginning of the game is removed and it's possible to enter anything).
I had the idea in my head to do this for a very long time! I remember playing this game for a really LONG endless hours with my friends when we were teenagers and we really enjoyed a lot of joy, fun and nice moments playing it. Fortunately, I already had some "attempt" of Czech translation of V1 back in the day because we probably wouldn't really be able to play it in German at that time.
However, it was really just an attempt, a lot of things were inaccurate or completely incorrectly translated, some parts weren't translated at all, different fonts were used, so it didn't look so good... so I just thought of doing my own translation. :)
I have to say that during testing the translation, after all these years the game looks exactly the same for me today as it did then and it's really fun, especially if you don't play alone against the computer but when more people play at once.
Personally, I enjoy and like this kind of games where the player is forced to think, to tactize and invent a strategy to "flood" the others. :) For me it's just a nice bussiness simulator from the environment of oil companies which can entertain more people for many hours.
From the moment I finally have a German version 2.0 of the game, I was really happy because now I really could start my work. Unfortunately, I soon found out that some files on disk 2 were corrupted. :( Fortunately, they were just pictures and I could replace them from the other disk images which I found on Internet.
So my translation work has begun and I started with the graphics using Degas Elite. It took me a while to remember how to work with it but after some weeks I had the pictures translated and was quite satisfied with the result.
At first I was determined that I leave BUSTED and WINNER pictures untranslated because I really didn't see an easy way how to do it... but over time I decided to give it a try. :) I really didn't want to do it because I'm not some pixel art man who has the feeling for graphics and can draw something useful, so this really took me A LOT OF TIME! I promise I did my best. :)
Maybe it could be done easily but I think I did it quite complicated. In addition that I did all editing in Degas which isn't as "user friendly" as we know it from today's graphics editors. Fortunately, Sebastien Larnac advised me that there exists a picture viewer called XnView which can convert Degas files to some today's format used on PC. :O I really didn't know that and this was a really BIG help for me! Now I could edit all the graphics in my favourite Paint Shop Pro! :) And I also found out that I could do some graphics a little "better", so I deleted all the files and started again from the beginning. :)
But another thing was in my head all the time. I saw the graphics in the game which wasn't present in any of PC1 files, so I didn't know where it is and how to translate it. Then I got the idea that it must probably be either directly in PRG file or in the CMP files. In any case, it wasn't possible to me to translate the missing parts at this moment. :(
So I wrote "just for fun" a post to Atari ST Demoscene facebook group about it. To my surprise quite a lot of answers appeared but they were all too hard and difficult for me to do because I'm not a cracker and don't know anything about debugging and 68k machine code. :( BUT... after a few days an answer from Orion of The Replicants appeared that he traced the game, found out that the CMP files are really compressed graphics data I want, and found the decompressing routine, so it could be possible to decompress the CMP files to Degas PI1 files! I was sitting on the chair, read this post and... just WOW! :O And really! After a few days he sent me a CMP depacker which really saved the proprietary CMP format as PI1 file.
Of course there were some technical things about missing the color palette in CMP files and so on but I think there's no need to expand them here. The important thing was that now I'm able to translate REALLY EVERYTHING! This moment was such a really very strong motivation for me to keep working to the end!
When all the graphics was finally done, I moved to PRG file and used the hex editor in PSPad to edit it.
Again, quite lot of work, trying and testing if every text and every message is OK in game including centering the texts in windows. :P
I also deprotected the game using the same way that Peter Putnik used in his hard disk adaptation of an English version. I must say that I bothered him quite often during all the time I worked on all this, so I'd like to thank him very much for everything!
When the PRG file was done, I did some overall testing and fixed some (minor) bugs. And then the last problem appeared. Because the compression in CMP files is more efficient than in PC1 files and because there is no way to create back a CMP file from PC1 file, I had to leave all the necessary decompressed CMP files as PC1 files, so the game no longer fits on one floppy disk now. :( 11 sectors per track and 85 tracks is good for emulators but it isn't possible to create a real floppy disk from such image. :(
So again a little time delay right before the end because I didn't know how to solve it.
Then the new version of RandoMazer game came to my hands and I see that the PRG file is much smaller than it was in previous versions. I wrote to Thomas Ilg about it and he told me that he used ICE Packer for it. I tried it too and bingo!
10 sectors per track and 82 tracks is much better! There is even some space left for READ_ME.TXT file. ;) Finally, everything is done!
In conclusion, I'd like to thank very much to AtariMania and AtariLegend for their interest and for hosting the result of my work that took almost two years. Believe me that I really appreciate it a lot and it means a lot to me! Thank you! I know it could be done faster but sometimes it was really hard for me to keep the motivation.
And that's all in a nutshell. :)
The only thing I'm sorry about is that this thing is really only for a very narrow circle of users. :(
Thanks again to:
"Padman Remakes" for dumping his original disks
Peter Putnik for deprotecting the game
Sebastien Larnac for XnView picture viewer recommendation
BIG thanks to Orion of The Replicants for his help with decompressing the CMP files!
AtariMania and AtariLegend for their interest and for hosting the disk image
to all of you who gave me any advice or provided any help or assistance for this to be finished