Before I get on with my full answer, I'll just throw in my own "Where do I come in" thing (+highlight the fact that I'm currently drinking/celebrating
I'm just the guy that kinda heavily wanted to see the groups get closer and work a bit more together. "Monitoring" each one's efforts and more or less being rather open to each one of them of what I think of both them, their work and the work of the others. Inderictly assisting in keeping them in the loop, more or less. I also tend to challenge their good talent and sound decisions (and probably patience too
) by throwing in random feedback and "why don't you...?"s. My only real notable contribution to the whole "mess" would be synonyms, attention to detail, recognition of quality and personal approval of certain types of system/platform specific stuff.
I wasn't aware that Storm had shown you screens, but he must have shown you at least the latest ones because these are brand new. The font has literally just been finished.
I was shown some stuff back in ... seems like I don't have the logs on this computer, so I guess it must've been like at least 8+ months ago. Only basic dialog and the usual menu. Basically the next step after some proof-of-concept type of stuff, but as far as my memory goes... didn't look too different from what I'm seeing now.
I approached Ruta, but she unfortunately declined. I can't remember why, I think she said it was to do with her being too "stubborn" to work aside people also translating.
Not exactly the way I've heard that this story goes.
From what I've heard, it was more like she not knowing the team and their general mindset (yet) and how she'd prefer to be working at her own pace (which admitably can be slow, but at least thorough). Rather than churning out stuff at too fast a speed, since it's a title that's been on the list of potential "to do"s for a while. "First gonna do something? Do it properly!" and all that. To which, as far as I know, an offer to at least double-check a few things here and there was given. An offer which was apparently turned down in a rather rude manner after "someone" apparently felt the other part was incapable of delivering content meeting their expectations and what was offered as a potential solution was apparently not good enough.
Anyway, that's my spin on the post-its I was slipped on the subject. Dunno if she was approached before or after I vouched for her, but I'm still willin' to say she's the "go to" person for this project, but only if you're able to work together. (Hell hath no fury like a translator scorned for balderdash)
Regarding the cross-project idea, I like it but I think it can be messy.
Yup. But once the mess is cleaned up, things really starts to shine. Not afraid of getting your hands dirty, are you? So far, I'd say the innitial work on ToDrDC (which will also be properly reflected in ToD2 later), what was done on ToG/ToGf, what's currently done on ToV (PS3), how ToI ended up and ToH has really benefit from the amount of hours that a tenfold of people spent chewing eachother's heads off about which piece of the puzzle goes where and which terms should be what based on similar terms, official translations of related terms and all that jibber jabber.
I've found differences in terminology across all 3 teams (for example, Cless doesn't like Syrup Bottle as a localization and so he doesn't use it) so I'm not really sure how to go about it, and I don't want to get caught up in a "you stole my translation!" fiasco. Sitting everyone round a table opening a discussion on what to localize 鋼体 as? I suppose we can look into it during editing.
Disagreements will almost always occur on a stray term here and there. Whether or not the individual group follows through with a decision they don't like or not is up to them. They're all adults (or at least so I keep telling myself), so they're not really killing one another and freezing eachother out just 'cause someone has different opinion over some ol' legacy censorship. Don't really see why the whole "You stole my translation!" thing is brought up. That's the kind of stuff you really only see where either kids are involved (or immature people), where people start using random FAQs and so forth as reference material (without having permission to do so, nor properly crediting their reference sources - regardless of how minor they may be) and where people just generally are so full of themselves that it's either their way or the highway.
As for the whole 鋼体 thing; when troublesome terms comes up, the first thing to do is to look at the context. Can't translate it directly in a way that makes sense or conveys the message in a short and concise method? Try to write around it in the given context... like... "will harden one's body like steel". Look for an alternative... like using a graphical icon to symbolize its effect instead. Or see whether or not it's even needed there in the first place.
In regards to DBs for multiple terminology, I've never been a fan of that... I respect fans that have a genuine taste in the original Japanese, but most of them are (pardon my French) "weeaboos" that like their stuff literal because they like the way Veigue shouts Zehhyoujin. And I'm certainly not about to go replace Claire with Kurea, as fun as that may be.
Not sure if you're joking or not here... (or more like, I want to believe that you are). Yes. There are "weeaboos" that clamor the most absurd stuff (for what's potentially even worse a reason). Especially when your examples are as silly as they are.
I'll just list the multi DB implementations I recall at the top of my head right now (of course, the clockwork that powers some of these features are radically different, and fantranslations for other games/franchises -such as Dragon Quest- have often opted for simpler and less flashy solutions; such as just having two final patches. One for each naming convention. Now THAT is fanservice I can approve of!)
ToP (AZ) - Has the option of either using Romanized or Translated arte sets. (Selectable at boot up) The Romanized ones would probably be your "weeaboo" approach. I don't like them, you don't like, together we don't like them. Chances are we didn't use Romanized then, but others certainly have. Translated featured throughhim's own spin on most of the terminology. Rather than heavily borrowing from the official ones (and probably also liberating itself from the the cross-group terms, although I think mainly Kaji, Gogs and throughhim did the talk there. No Graces people involved.)
ToP (PP) - Innitially has the option of using Romanized and Localized for the terminology (found in the customize/config screen), but once a certain character joins another option is added to the list (Cultural). They work the same as the AZ patch, but with official terminology being used instead of having a more liberal spin on everything. This along with the final option that decides how a lot of the stuff surrounding Suzu is handled (since that stuff isn't really in Japanese.)
ToI (AZ) - Let's you pick between Localized, Romanized and Translated (in the Customize screen). Basically giving you all of the above.
ToH (KE) - Let's you pick between ... crap. I forgot. That feature might've not been ready yet in the demo, so Kaji must murder me now if I say something inaccurate. At least the demo patch introduced a new feature, since the real weeaboos showed up and started moaning about the names... the game currently lets you either start with the names "as most likely intended" if you just start a new game, but if you hold L pressed as you start up you'll activate the "Localized" names (How the team has interpreted that these names would likely be treated in an official English translation, given their heavy focus on specific themes) and then you have the mighty R button, which unlocks the power of ROCARIZED names for them weeaboos (This being mainly based around the horrifying shit seen on the official website and so forth)
ToDrDC/ToD2 (PP/AZ) - Nothing's decided here yet, but it's not unreasonable to assume that there'll be multiple Arte DBs and possibly at least a choice of several name DBs (My money would in such a scenario be on something like; Legacy, Localized and Romanized for names and Legacy, Localized and Romanized for Artes.)
To? (???) - Nothing's decided yet. Nothing's revealed yet.
I wasn't completely sold on using British English to begin with, but members of the team pointed out that they liked it and since I am British I just stuck with it. I would definitely consider looking into it again, sometimes I even slip and end up writing American English anyway.
The Graces guys got a lot of shit tossed their way for going UK (technically Canadian in their case) instead of US on Graces/Graces f. This both from the guys on the inside and the outside. Vesperia is to my knowledge currently using US, mostly as a result of the feedback. Of course, nothing is stopping you from using UK English, if that's what you for some reason would really want or find the most convenient. But it's pretty silly and somewhat unprofessional in terms of franchise consistency, attention to detail and servicing the target audience (as I suppose you might be doing this as not just something for yourself to enjoy, but for others too)