What the hell is an MTF?

07Jan09

My magnificent and most observant partner in crime has let me know that the acronym “MTF”, which is a synonyme for pain and death and major frustration, is not a common acronyme and needs some further explanation, otherwise my epiphanies and ramblings make me look more of a madman than usual.

The MTF, as we call it, is the main text file, which is basically an excel sheet with all the text that occurs in a game, starting from level titles, help texts to credits and legal text. Every sentence a game character can utter is collected in this file, every hint, every feedback, everything. As you can imagine, this text file is rather organic, changes constantly, always depending on what is happening with the game itself. Change a move, change a button, forget about landscape mode and the MTF needs another (sometimes major) change in text, which results in another translation-wave.

In general, the MTF is the soul of the game, collecting every word that is ever uttered during the game. Every mistake is crucial, since text tends to stand out, provides the player with information and is not well-received if the information given is wrong or confusing or makes us laugh for embarrassing reasons. “All your base are belong to us” is a classic but not on the literary front.

So having shared this short snipped of information with you, MTF ephiphanies may seem less of the ramblings of a lunatic and more like the ramblings of a frustrated MTF-administrator.

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