Learn about game localization.
If you’re an aspiring game developer, you might have heard about something called game localization. Maybe we should refresh your memory. Game localization is the process by which a game or an app is prepared for sale in a new region, making it more appealing to the foreign user. Although translation plays an important part in localization, the process encompasses any changes made to the game, such as editing, proofreading, integration, regional adaptation, and linguistic quality assurance. Localization determines whether or not your product will be successful in the international market.
Localization is important not only for the video game industry. Almost everyone has heard about Electrolux’s campaign “Nothing sucks like an Electrolux”. The Swedish vacuum manufacturer successfully sold products in the UK using this slogan. The point is that localization goes hand in hand with translation. Game localization helps build credibility, which translates into more downloads, higher rankings, and increased sales. These are the localization tools you need to increase your international reach:
Advanced Text Rendering
Various texts can be integrated into a game. Examples include but aren’t limited to bitmap text, signed distance fields, and polygonized texts. Every game uses some kind of text. However, since most game developers aren’t experts in typography, they can come across many challenges. How can you render high-quality text? With the help of a text rendering solution, of course. The text won’t be blurry in your project. On the contrary, it’ll be as clear as day and work perfectly.
You can create text render with English or a foreign language. Make sure that search is international aware – in other words, be sure that search can support different languages without breakers. The functionality usually comes from SQL, but for advanced action plans, it’s necessary to specify the collation for the preferred language. Some tools have a practical feature that changes the language while the game is running.
Computer-Assisted Translation (CAT)
Computer-aided translation tools are software applications that a person uses to translate one language to another. The memory stores previously translated texts, providing translations that are consistent with previously used language. The human translator can use many tools, like:
- Translation memory tools
- Grammar checker tools
- Terminology managers
- Electronic dictionaries
Computer-assisted translation helps process the translation files and speeds up the translation process. Given the creative nature of game localization projects, CAT tools save lots and lots of time. Sometimes, it’s necessary to translate several versions of the same manual, which are identical except for the platform-specific terminology. It helps to have a tool that can render a text from English to French in no time. Most computer-aided translation tools allow for the exchange of TMs, so you can work in a format that you feel comfortable with. If the client wants you to use another tool, you have to comply with their request.
Quality Assurance Tools
Quality assurance tools boost the overall productivity in big translation projects. Quality assurance checks cover everything from terminology to abbreviations. You can customize a tool and have it tailored for different terminologies. If most of your documents are in MS Word, that’s not good because the spell check isn’t perfect. Let’s take a close look at the most popular QA tools on the market:
- LInguee – Linguee is a web service which does a great job when it comes down to grasping content and finding the right words. Not only can you search for bilingual texts, but also words and expressions in various languages.
- Proz – Proz is a membership-based website that allows you to collaborate in terms of translation, dictionaries, etc. Ask questions and join discussions, if you want.
- IATE (Interactive Terminology for Europe) – This interinstitutional terminology database for the European Union can help you with written communications. You can rate the reliability of terms or contribute to the database.
It’s worth mentioning that there are translation services, such as those you can find at PickWriters, translation companies reviews website, that can help you in case you can’t handle the load and need to translate and localize game content for a certain country. Experts can translate video game scripts, localize game UI, and offer multilingual voice acting services in numerous languages. If you really need to translate your game in other languages other than English, you’ll want to use a service of this kind.
Desktop Publishing Tools
A desktop publishing tool lets you create various layouts and typography-quality text and images. This tool is used to a great extent in localization so as to edit the content. For every project that you undertake, use a desktop publishing tool to ensure top quality. It’ll cut your time to market, which delivers important benefits for you. Language service providers are able to make desktop publishing recommendations. So, if you wish to optimize the project’s look and feel, you know who to turn to.
Translation Management System (TMS)
A translation management system helps game developers work smarter and faster. It focuses on language automation and project management. A TMS is a modern way to translate games and applications. If you want to get started with game localization, figure out:
- Which markets to prioritize
- How to define your objective
- What metrics you’ll use to define the success of the project
You can easily become overwhelmed with the number of files, varying languages, and protect stakeholders. The translation management system comes in handy if you work with multiple languages and need localization. Here are some ways in which a TMS helps the game industry:
1.Localizing High Volumes of Content
Gaming content is something out of the ordinary that delivers engagement and reaches. The games or apps released right now contain large amounts of content, in particular, the stories which have great amounts of translatable audio and text. Thanks to advanced technologies, you can translate games in other languages and localize the content for different cultures.
2.Collaboration Amongst All Departments
Video game content gets a lot of engagement that is suitable for all age groups. The amount of localizable content in video games is comparable to movie localization. Since people have very high expectations from the game they download, it’s important to maintain the local flavour intact. When you have a TMS, you can divide the content amongst various departments. Therefore, you can manage video, audio, and text.
To conclude, game localization matters. As a developer, you must prepare the game for localization, addressing common areas of concern, such as text strings, audio clips, text rendered in frames, and so on and so forth. There is a good number of localization tools which you can use to your advantage. Use them to eliminate the hassle.