Commercial activities have ameliorated due to globalization. The interconnectivity of different communities speaking various languages has driven the localization of many industries. One of the most popular disciplines has been the video game industry. The fact that it has such a wider reach enables it to be translated into native regional languages so that it can make the experience more personable and entertaining.
Some of the most renowned video game developers take the initiative to release their latest video games concurrently around the world. And in order to do that effectively, they have to enable their localization process at a swift pace, meanwhile, keeping a high quality of the content intact. This is quite a difficult process, but if you follow a certain methodology it can significantly reduce your efforts.
Here are some of the ways that you can follow to make the game localization faster and efficient;
An Early Startup
If developers intend to provide customers with the same experience and gaming pleasure, regardless of where the user resides, they need to start the localization process way before the actual creation of the game. Early startups enable the agencies to conduct a trial and error method. This methodology helps save time in the future by creating a path for you to follow. Once you know what to do and what not to, it secures the budget constants and enables you to remain on the path.
Planning is Important
The localization process demands in-depth research of the culture and language of the target audience. Hence, this process should start earlier if you want to release your game simultaneously around the world. Moreover, you should have a clear plan of which regions you’re going to target. Hence, every language would need an expert linguist with a piece of sound background knowledge. Your job would be to contact them at the very beginning of the localization process so that you can finalize the prices and deadlines.
Another important aspect to understand is that every video game text does not require translation. Hence, you need to funnel out the text that needs translation and the one that does not via a proper elimination process. It should be in place before you begin the localization process. In video games, you have to consider localizing the text strings. Because this is the one step that leads to most errors if not done properly. Hence, avoiding the text in the graphic files would help you save a lot of time and money. If you have the opportunity to use only one text and then place the translated text over it, it would be a lot better than formulating various and diverse styles and versions of the original icon for every language.
Researching Target Culture
Researching the target audience is the key step to a fast localization process. In order to effectively convey the message, you need to conduct thorough research. Analyze the cultural and language intricacies of the target audience. And the more you do it earlier, the more time you will have to obtain a deeper insight into the target audience. If the consumers don’t accept the end product, you would be wasting hundreds of thousands of dollars of your investment to localize your game into the foreign market. Hence, it’s better to be safe than sorry, and conduct thorough research on the audience. So that once you localize your game, the people are ready to enjoy it.
Industry-Experts Can Do Wonders
Cultural experts who also possess information pertaining to video games should conduct the process of video game localization. Video game translation is a specialized and specific domain, hence needs experts who themselves are gamers. Because only gamers can fathom the tone used in video games. A non-gamer would simply replace words with translated words, whereas a gaming expert would keep the intended meaning intact. Meanwhile, concentrating on the entertainment aspect of the video game as well. Because that is the ultimate goal. You have to entertain the audience. And ensuring the translated work does that is something that you cannot ever take lightly.
Moreover, video game localization involves the integration of the game into the belief system of the targeted audience. There might be some sensitive aspects that cannot integrate well with the local audience. Hence one needs to be careful during the process. For instance, if a video game is localized for the Arab region, like Saudia Arabia, a developer cannot create Muslim terrorists as antagonists in the game and expect it to sit well with the audience.
Onboarding Game Translators as Quickly as Possible
By acquiring specialist game translators, you will have the opportunity to tackle potential issues beforehand. Many developers do not try to understand the importance of doing so. They try to construct the game script before hiring a translator. This increases the chances of doing the entire process all over again if your game translator feels the need for it. Hence, it is advisable to create the script along with a translator. It enables the localization process at a faster rate.
In-context Translation Makes the Difference
Onboarding translators also help to understand the context of video games. And more time spent by the translators on the context enables a faster time to localize the video games. Moreover, you can provide them with all the necessary material, such as the language dictionaries. Also, the cultural reference materials pertaining to nuances and idiomatic phrases will also help. This will help translators to understand the nitty-gritty of the languages that they will eventually translate. And when the time comes, they will be able to make the location process much faster.
Making the process easier for the game translators is the best initiative you can adopt to enable a faster game localization process. It will not ameliorate the quality of the localization process. But it will help you reduce costs that you may encounter in future re-edits or revisions. Moreover, it would be wise to involve the video game translators in the creative development of the game. Because involving them would help you to identify in the early stages where you need to make the changes once the localization process starts. So when you initiate the translation process, you will already have the blueprint in front of you stating the exact changes needed. Hence, diminishing the time.
The localization process is the activity of enabling the original text or language into the language of the target audience. It refers to a content transformation in such a way that it encapsulates the same cultural extremities that were initially intended within the presentation of the original product.
Similarly, the video game localization process emboldens the same concept. However, it demands a different approach. In this article, we have discussed some of the easiest approaches to make video games translation more efficient, effective, and faster.
There are certain measures that you can embed into your process. It will assist you to achieve your goal in a shorter period. First, try to initiate an early startup program, in which you conduct full-fledged research of the target audience. Then take the initiative to hire professional game translators. So that they can help you save time, and diminish the utilization of extra resources that might take place during that journey. Adapting to these changes will surely help you achieve the video game localization process much quicker.