This article describes the current localization efforts in The Ur-Quan Masters project.
The resource system is suitable for creating language packs. An add-on package can be created to override any content file.
The game works with UTF-8 encoded UNICODE characters. The currently available characters are mostly the ASCII characters. The various translation projects use their own characters where needed. Eventually, we will want to have shared font packs.
Currently, all text is in simple text files. Eventually, we'll move to a richer XML-based file format. A conversion tool will be created to convert existing material.
Some text still is hard-coded in the game. This will change at some point in the future.
Currently, only left-to-right writing systems are supported.
Support for non-ascii input in text fields is still limited.
Using language packs
A language pack can be used like any other add-on package.
Creating language packs
Language packs are normal add-on packages, which means they will be a .zip file (renamed to .uqm), with in it a directory structure which overrides the files in the default content.
NOTE: You can skip manually extracting files below and use the contents of this skeleton translation pack.
The game expects all of its text files to be in UTF-8 format.
The subtitle files can be found in comm/<race>/<race>.txt in the content tree.
The melee strings for the various ships can be found in the <race>/<race>.txt files.
The text displayed for planetary exploration finds is contained in the ipanims/*.txt files.
The file lbm/starcon.txt contains various other game strings.
The file slides/intro/intro.txt contains the text for the intro sequence, as used by the DOS version of Star Control II. The files slides/ending/victory1.txt, slides/ending/victory2.txt and slides/ending/final.txt contain the text for the victory slides.
There are several places in the game where strings are used that are hard-coded in the source code. Most of those are error strings you may never see, but some are actually important in the game. For now, it would be best to ignore these strings, and translate them when these strings are no longer hard-coded. If you do translate them at this time, you would need to distribute game binaries of your own.
If you need additional characters you will need to add appropriate entries to the font dirs slides/slides.fon/, ipanims/lander.fon/, lbm/micro.fon/, lbm/tiny.fon/, lbm/player.fon/, lbm/starcon.fon/, credits/pt13.fon, credits/pt17.fon, credits/pt45.fon and comm/<race>/<race>.fon/ (note that starbas.fon, rebel.fon and spahome.fon do not exist). The number of the file is the UNICODE character code converted into decimal (from hex). Here are the official UNICODE character code charts. For hex-decimal conversion you can use this online converter.
Note that translation projects for other languages may have already created glyphs usable for your language.
Some game images include text. A full translation would need modified versions of those. Here goes a full list:
lbm/activity.[0-1].png, modules.[0-15].png, newgame.[0-5].png, playmenu.[0-37,58-66].png, shipyard.[3-16,20,22,23].png, sismods.55.png, title.png, title.0.png
If you want to dub the actual speech, you'll need to create new versions of the .ogg files in comm/<race>/ in the content dir. You'll also need to create new .ts files for synchronisation with the subtitles. See Tools below.
In melee, some ships play sound effects containing speech. Here's a list:
The game comes with several documentation files. In particular the game manual would be a good candidate for translation.
The Russian translation project created a program to make editing the UQM fonts easy. It's available here.
Unix-like systems will have a program iconv which can be used to easilly change the encoding of a text file (from latin1 to UTF-8 for instance).
Project site: http://www.kyamk.fi/~vi3dhepe/uqm-fin/index.html
Forum thread: 
Status: almost complete
Home page: http://sc2de.berlios.de/
Project site: http://developer.berlios.de/projects/sc2de/
Status: almost complete
The project is just started. We need help. If interested in contributing contact Juffo
Forum thread: 
Status: 1%, inactive
There currently is no Japanese translation project underway, but the original 3DO version was also released in Japanese. We have a copy, and if the copyrights allow it, we may be able to add Japanese speech files without much problems.
Bugzilla entry: #605
Status: 0% complete
For information contact Arael
Forum threads: 
Status: temporarily stalled
The project has already been started. Plans are to do both a Brazilian and Portuguese version. A call for contributors has been made. Contact nightshadow if interested.
Project Site: http://pt-masters.net/
Status: Just Started
Main site: http://uqm-rus.sh.nu/
The Spanish translation project is in need of help. Contact Volka if you're interested in contributing.
Version 0.3 of the translation is available. Most of the conversation text has been translated, and the focus is now on the translation of the images. Visit the Downloads section of the proyect.