Localization or translation of some digital content may sound frightening to those who have not tried it before and only plan on doing so. In truth, you should not fear since we are dealing with an interesting process.
It involves way more than translation or working with the text bits alone. Think about all those graphic elements and menus in your game that must be adjusted as well.
While you will always encounter some universal terms that do not have to be translated, it is crucial to ensure that nothing is missed and have strict quality control measures that help you check it all upon completion.
5 Steps for Successful Game Translation
These five crucial steps will become your perfect guide to games translation and promotion abroad:
1. Analyze Your Target Audience.
Even if your game is already well-known in the Western market, reaching out to countries like China or Japan is totally different since it will also include a cultural element and gaming ethics that are unique for the country.
Therefore, it is important to know your customers and their needs as the game is being presented. Make sure to learn more about the local video games market and make relevant additions and changes to the game if you see it necessary.
It may be something minor, yet if it violates any ethical or religious norms, it is much better to address these issues in advance.
2. Make an Outline of Work to Be Done.
Start your planning and calculations work in advance because it helps save some time and always pays off when you have to explain why this or that element is important.
While it may be obvious to you, it is not always the case with translation specialists, which is why having an outline at hand helps a great deal. Just mention the menus, helpful tips in the game, some conversations of the characters, error messages, and so on!
3. Know Your Code and GUI Limitations.
Starting with the hard-coded localization strings and the scalability issues for mobile applications, remember that some environments make it possible to work with the front-end code without having to resort to major changes.
Speaking of design and fonts, it may become a bit tricky with some environments. Try to decrease the number of graphic elements with a foreign text inside or ask your translation experts to use different phrasing if it goes beyond the menu or graphic element dimensions.
Since words in some languages like German or Spanish can become rather lengthy, it’s an important factor to consider.
4. Keeping Things Within Legal Aspect.
It is not often mentioned among video game developers, yet it is what helps to keep yourself protected as the author of the digital content. We talk about the official translation of your legal documents and the manuals.
Have a look at the world’s best translation services to choose the one that fits your budget and the initial requirements.
It must be noted that such kind of work can only be done by a certified translator! Once you have your documents done in a proper way, it increases your chances of getting some foreign press coverage.
5. Correct Promotion of The Final Content.
It would be insufficient to work at your localization vision without including some promotional elements.
While it would not be entirely good to introduce foreign ads in the game, it would not hurt to add some video manuals and short blog posts in a foreign language that talk about technical requirements or the story behind the game.
Think about gaming campaigns, competitions, quizzes, and other things to liven up your online presence!
Discuss The Game Together
A little secret trick lies in letting your localization specialist play the game to see how it works before any translation processes begin.
Discuss it as you place your request, share your thoughts, and ask questions. Keeping everyone inspired and interested in the game is what helps to achieve success as the work starts!