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Translation Blog

How to let global players "read" your game? You need to master these ten points

release time:Sep 09,2022

With the rapid development of the Internet and terminal devices, online game carriers have become more diverse. Abundant choices make games, a leisure and entertainment method, more diverse and convenient, which has been welcomed by more and more people, which has promoted the rapid development of the game industry. As of the beginning of 2022, the total market value of the global game industry has exceeded US$300 billion, with 2.9 billion active players, of which the total market value of the Asia-Pacific market alone has reached US$72.2 billion. In this wave of the global game industry, the strategic goal of many companies is to go overseas and expand the market, so as to win more active users and occupy a larger market share. The fundamental requirement to achieve this goal is that companies need to deeply understand the thinking patterns and emotional appeals of players around the world, and localize the game for the target market. For the game industry, localization is a very important preparation for going overseas, and it is the only way for companies to expand their markets overseas. Games belong to the cultural industry and are a way of changing cultural transmission. Therefore, each game has a very strong "cultural gene" of the original release place, which is determined by the attributes of the game itself. However, when a client plans to market a game overseas, there are various issues related to culture shock. As a commodity, games should conform to the cultural customs of the target market in order to quickly enter the market and win customers. Localizationline helps companies seize opportunities and open up global markets. Here, we've rounded up 10 of the best tips for localizing video games.

 

#Localizationline10 Best Tips

 

01 Cultural norms

In the early stages of a game's design, cultural elements that may be involved in localization should be considered, such as salutation, currency, time format, and the use of colloquial language. Ideally, a game can find a place in a complex international market with differences in language, religious beliefs, and cultural practices, where most international users are also able to abide by the common language rules within the game. The historical and cultural development of different regions has a profound impact on the gaming preferences of local players. In Europe and the United States, video games based on Nordic mythology have a very high download popularity, but in the Asian market, this type of game is slightly less attractive to local players. The influence of history and culture is also reflected in many details. For example, for Western players, the dragon's mouth spit flames, which symbolizes danger; but this image has auspicious meanings for Chinese players. Therefore, even the same image may represent different meanings, which is also a minefield in localization translation work. Therefore, a lot of localization work involving the game industry has to be fully adjusted for the entire game, including detailed design of themes, storylines, and character settings. In addition to the text part, the sound effects and character dubbing in the game are also crucial parts of the player experience. In the localization work, the staff needs to produce dubbing in accordance with the local language habits for different countries. Dubbed versions are country-specific, not language-specific. Because many languages have huge differences in terms of vocabulary and grammar in different countries.

 

02 Avoid using flags to represent language types

In the copywriting of the game language selection column, it is necessary to avoid the way of using the flag instead of the text. Taking French as an example, there are 200 million people in the world who speak French, but this does not mean that all those who speak French live in France and are French citizens; so the French flag cannot represent French living in Canada, Switzerland, Belgium and Africa. user. The use of the French flag to represent French may be offensive to French speakers in other regions, in order to avoid this, we recommend using the language + region expression format in the language column, such as EN-US, EN-UK, FR -FR, FR-BE etc.

 

03 Formatting

In the process of localization, it is necessary to pay attention to the space occupation of different languages. English is a relatively concise language. French, German or Spanish almost all have about 30% more characters than English sentences. Therefore, when using such a complex language as the target language for localization, it is necessary to reserve sufficient information for players. Fill in the space. The space occupation of different languages also has many effects on the game interface design. Usually, it is necessary to match a more flexible design scheme. By separating game resources from code, and clarifying the location of fixed elements, players can avoid encountering problems when logging in to the localized client. to such issues.

 

04 Localization of Multimedia Platforms

Today, there are many electronic devices on the market that can install the same game, such as PCs, notebooks, tablets, and mobile phones. However, in order to adapt to the size layout and operation methods of different devices, there are usually many differences in the version of the game running on different devices. However, players hope that game data can maintain the same progress on these devices and synchronize game data to obtain the best game experience. Therefore, ensuring game compatibility is the primary goal of localizing video games. Players’ preferred terminal devices vary across cultures, with some players preferring PC-side games, while others prefer console games. In the early stages of localization, it is especially important to test the game prototype extensively to ensure that the game can meet the minimum operating standards.

 

05 Understand the laws and regulations of the target market

The biggest disaster for localization efforts in the game industry is that games are banned from publishing in their target markets. Different countries and regions have different laws and policies regarding game and video content, as well as age classification. For example, content that can be viewed at 12 years old in some regions, but not 18 years old in other regions. This means that in the process of localization of the game, the content needs to be modified according to the laws and regulations of the target market. In Japan, PC games and console games also have very different review standards for violence and nudity, and the review on the PC side is particularly strict. The use of symbols in the game also requires special attention. The swastika (swastika) is prohibited in many western countries, especially Germany.

 

06 Code writing

From the very beginning of game development, developers should design the game code so that all content and strings are accessible when exporting the game. Also, don't hardcode any content text in the game that needs to be translated. Otherwise, when the translated text is imported into the game, there will be garbled characters, causing lag, which is a very undesirable result. Getting the code right at the beginning of the design process can make later game updates much easier.

 

07 Introduce the game background setting and storyline

The world view and environmental background of the game are an important part of the localization work. The text content of most video games cannot be translated word by word, and translators need to present the best translated text according to the game's creation background and the plot of the story development. In the early stage of localization project cooperation, the game team provides storyboards and game demo versions for translators, which can help translators to have a more comprehensive understanding of the background setting of the virtual world in the game, the character characteristics of the protagonist, the method of winning the game, and the game. environmental details, etc. The more the translator understands and invests in the virtual world, the more he can provide customers with the most accurate and reproducible game translation.

 

08 Choose a localization partner with gaming experience

Virtual game text is a unique vehicle with a very rich and complex layer of content, as well as a large number of game manuals and marketing materials that need to be localized, so the best candidates for translation are translators and players. The translation of the user interface tends to be technical, but the dialogue and storyline need to be more creative. It is easier for translators who take into account the player's identity to understand the background of the game world view, so they can create a translation version that is closer to the original game.

 

09 Maintain language consistency

Successful localization is not a one-time job. Because the game will be updated and iterated continuously, which means that the game localization also needs to be updated accordingly. Completing these tasks usually requires the participation of many teams. Through online collaborative office, localization and version updates are jointly completed. This has created a very serious problem - when various departments work together, they will have different expressions for many proper nouns and terms, and this difference will greatly affect the player's game experience. This requires the team to summarize relevant corpora in their work, including standard expressions of various proper nouns, terms and names involved in the game, so that the localized version of the game can maintain consistency in language style, so as to provide Players provide the best gaming experience.

 

10 Complete the testing session before release

Before the game is officially released, the localized version must be strictly tested to ensure that the version is free of any flaws, such as text overflow, untranslated characters, interface element errors, and translation inconsistencies. Even small mistakes can cause players to have a bad experience and post negative comments in the game evaluation forum, so this kind of problem must be avoided. Every player buys and downloads a game with high psychological expectations, hoping to get a great gaming experience in the game. Therefore, after the game is localized, it should be able to provide the same game experience as the original game, so as not to live up to the expectations of many international players.

Locolizationline can provide you with a complete set of integrated services for translation, localization and multimedia processing. Our translators are game industry translation experts as well as game-loving players. They not only understand the various needs of end players, but are also proficient in the jargon of each type of game on each platform. Localization work is carried out on the basis of understanding the game habits and cultural background of players in the target market, trying to perfectly restore the essence and splendor of the original game, while retaining old players and opening up a wider user market to attract more active players players, thereby increasing market share.

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