We're happy to announce that They Bleed Pixels is now available fully localized into Japanese and DRM free on Playism!
Buy They Bleed Pixels on Playism
DRM Free + Steam Key (Win/Mac/Linux)
On sale $7.99 this week!
We've had this localized version in the works with the Playism folks for a while now, but have been waiting for the Crimson Update to be complete before going forward. I worked closely with Playism, picking appropriate Japanese fonts and altering layouts to work with them and I'm honestly quite proud of the results. I think we really managed to incorporate the translated text while preserving the original typography and design, which can be a tricky balance.
It's been an interesting process. The Japanese character sets are very different from English. Not only are most words shorter but many characters are denser, more complex and have more curves and less straight lines then the roman character set. This creates a unique challenge given much of our text layout in They Bleed Pixels was built around a blocky pixel font and a thin flowing art nouveau script.
The solution I decided on is a mix of finding a good blocky Japanese font with a similar weight and (where it's appropriate) leaving the original English in and incorporating the Japanese text as a design element. A trick I borrowed from some of the better visual localization I've seen in manga and anime translated in the other direction. I've included a bunch of screenshots from both versions of TBP in this post for comparison.
Japanese media has been a major influence on my art so it's been really amazing to see the reaction from fans in Japan over the last few years, some of whom I've been lucky enough to meet in person at Tokyo Game Show and Comitia. Not to mention the amazing fan art and let's play videos they've produced! I hope this localization encourages them to give it another play-through and introduces a whole new audience to the game.
Big thanks to the fine folks at Playism for their work localizing the text and spotting all the places where we messed up entering it into the game! I also want to the thank the Japanese fan(s) who created the unofficial translation patch that this translation replaces. There was a long period where that was the only way to play the game in Japanese. I know there are many players who were introduced to They Bleed Pixels through their work. If you're reading this, hats off!
For English speaking players this Playism version is also the first version available completely DRM free with zero Steam integration. If that's important to you or you hate online leaderboards for some reason you can now buy this version and still get a Steam key with all the bells and whistles!