TH16 on Steam!

How the release might turn out, and what you can expect from thcrap support

〜An overview for fans and game journalists, directly from the source〜

(Because I've read enough variations of "I guess there will probably be a fan translation patch" in the last few days. Please don't speculate! Talk to us! We have delicious facts!)

Demo version released on: November 15, 2017, 00:10 AM UTC (9 hours after the scheduled time…)

Full version scheduled to release on: November 18, 2017, 00:04 AM UTC (source)

Hello game journalists

Thank you very much for finally giving some attention to this insane undertaking. Some explanations, since you probably haven't been following us for very long:

What we know

  • The store page is Japanese-only.
  • The title screen in the video still shows v1.00a.

… Then again, the store page went up two weeks before the demo release date.

There's a lot you could theoretically do in two weeks. Fixing the Stage 5 Spell practice bugs, integrating workshop support, implementing DRM, …

So let's not actually be influenced by any of this.

This leaves 4 scenarios of how this could go. Sorted by the amount of work they cause for us, without probabilities:

Scenario 1: The exact Comiket v1.00a version simply being dumped onto Steam

Apparently you can just release a game on Steam without even integrating the Steamworks API.

If th16.exe is identical, we don't have to do anything. thcrap's existing support will continue to work.
Simply point thcrap to SteamApps\common\th16\.

In this case, thcrap will even automatically provide the missing Steam integration itself, including the overlay.


This is not what happened with the Playism release of TH14, that one was slightly different, despite the identical version numbers.


It is, however, what happened with the Steam release of the trial version. Chances are high it will be the same for the full version release, but who knows.

Scenario 2: A new build, with or without Steamworks integration

Contrary to popular belief, Steam integration into a game is not "invasive" at all and does not protect against the kind of code injection done by thcrap. We had to do absolutely nothing special.


Again, this may or may not be actually called v1.00b.

It also may fix all, some, or none of the bugs mentioned earlier.
Here's some popcorn, just in case. 🍿


Porting over the game support hacks from the old to the new build will take roughly one or two hours.
Three hours if I happen to be extremely tired.


So yeah, that's about the timeframe from Steam release to fully translated game on your system that you can expect.
In this case.

Scenario 3: A new build, with new translatable content

Or, gasp, even Steam Workshop support.


Actually no different from Scenario 2 as far as patching is concerned.
In that case, new translatable content will be handled last, after the existing patch support has been ported to the new build.


Just saying that thcrap development will continue, even if the games were translatable (or translated) by themselves without thcrap.


Compared to the full-on game code rewrites done by thcrap, Workshop support will be very limited.
Unless ZUN just basically steals our entire work (which he is free, but unlikely to do), translations will look very ugly.

Scenario 4: Anti-tampering DRM

The only case in which the patch might not be available in the aforementioned 1-3 hours after the game is released.


Patching time will then depend on the strength of the DRM, obviously.


We do have a developer on the team with previous experience in handling Steam DRM, so it shouldn't delay things back to pre-thcrap levels.


Then again…

JS: How do you feel about foreign fans creating patches to translate your games into English?

ZUN: I don’t have a problem with it at all. Obviously, since I can’t speak English, I can’t make the games in English. It’s great, it lets more people play the games. I’m very grateful.

JS: Are you worried about the quality?

ZUN: I can’t tell but I think that, actually, the people who are willing to put in the time and effort to translate it, would do their best. It shows a lot of dedication.

JS: If a Western publisher of Japanese PC games approached you to officially translate and publish outside Japan, what would you say?

ZUN: I think if I was approached by something like that, obviously I’d think about it. I’d feel like it would probably be a bit of a bother, and I honestly think I’d probably get sick of the whole process rather quickly. I think it would probably just be a hassle. I would say though, that in terms of would I rather have fan-translations, or a company translate it, I think because Touhou has such a dedicated fan-base, I feel like the fan translations are going to be better than a professional one.

– John Szczepaniak, The Untold History of Japanese Game Developers, Volume 1, 2015


Doesn't sound like someone who would suddenly introduce DRM to foil fan translations, and willingly cause additional work for us.

I have no idea what to put on this final slide

So here's more popcorn. 🍿


Livestream of the process? Probably not this time.