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Multi language / Keyboard input relationships

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Hi. I'm developing game with a friend of mine. We have designed the game for about two months now and we consider that we should begin implementing the game. So far everything is going nice, but when I began to design/implement input,GUI and font rendering components, I realized that we hadn't taken one important thing into account. Input is handled using DirectInput API. But because DirectInput does only care about physical input, we have to use Windows' messages, which translate scancodes into virtual key values. We would like everyone be able to write english, no matter what language him/her operation system is. Also, we don't have actual experience on non-english/non-scandic keyboards. Now this might sound stupid, but is there a way for example japanese people to write english with they keyboards easily? Do they have both japanese characters and english alphabets in the same keyboard? How can I make sure that everyone is able to write english in our game? For such a small scale game, it would be pointless to implement Unicode character rendering etc. :'( I'm asking these questions, because we will have a simple chat system integrated in to the game and we would like everyone be able to chat agains each others. No matter what language his/her operation system will be. Because game's language is going to be english anyway, so it would be enough if we could just make sure that everyone can chat with each others in english. To put it simple: Is there a way to translate input into ASCII values: [a-z] [A-Z] [1-9,0] easily? For example if user would be running japanese or chinese Windows, could I map keyboard input into ASCII easily? Thanks :) PS. And you don't understand my question, you only need to say it and I'll elaborate.

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I got and advice go implement UNICODE support and font rendering. I think that's the best thing to do. So, I'll use DirectInput for normal input and OS's messages for virtual character code translations. That way everyone can play the game.

Of course, if someone has better ideas, I'm open for suggestions.

Thanks again :)


Edit: Fixed typos

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