Wednesday, December 21, 2016

The End of Economica

What a long, strange trip it's been.

WORLD END ECONOMiCA has been a part of my life almost since I started as a freelancer. It's been one of my most rewarding projects, but also one of my most daunting ones.

If you're familiar with Spice and Wolf, you already know that Isuna Hasekura is a masterful writer. You also know that he's an economics genius. That gives his work amazing amounts of depth and makes it fascinating and educational from a fan standpoint, but means it carries with it a special set of challenges if you're localizing it. For us, there was so much stock market language -- plus a lot of research that had to be done -- so even though his work is well-written and our translators are excellent, it takes a whole lot of time to get things right.

Ultimately it's extremely rewarding, though. This final chapter of WORLD END ECONOMiCA brings together all the loose ends from both the first and second installments -- Hal's relationships with both the deadpan quant Hagana and the (un)ladylike Eleanor, his business dealings with people we may have thought were long gone, and his dreams for the future -- as the underpinnings of a brand new challenge: real estate. As Hal and his friends investigate a series of loans and investments that seem too good to be true, they start to realize that they are. And, more importantly, the business dealings going on under their noses could be pulling the rug out from under the free capitalism dreams that make the Lunar Surface what it is.

I really love seeing writers write about what they love outside of writing. You get to see them really flex their muscles and use all their knowledge to construct a plot. And yeah, they're educational, but I'm constantly fascinated by the fact that Hasekura manages to make compelling stories out of a field that actively scares me. (I'm terrified of numbers, especially if they involve currency. Not a great thing to admit when you have to do your own taxes, right?) I follow all the economic twists and turns -- I kinda have to since I'm the editor -- and though I may not retain every single thing I've learned when I put the project aside, I do know I've learned quite a bit.

Quite a bit more than I ever learned as a bank teller, as I think I've mentioned before.

As ever, the art is beautiful and the music is rockin', and there's really no reason for you not to pick this up. As before, it's really important to play the previous installments, largely because this one really references the previous games a lot. It sort of ties them up, after all. Makes sense.

I hope you enjoy playing through the whole series as much as I enjoyed working on it, and I'd love to know what you think!

WORLD END ECONOMiCA 3 is available on Steam starting today.