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How To Prepare Your Game For Localization

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It is a known fact that any successful game localization starts with a clear outline where developers, GUI designers, programmers, and translation experts work together to determine what must be done to achieve the best results. It is what makes the preparation aspect so important. Once you know your resources and understand what parts of the game must be checked twice, you get an approximate schedule that can be met easier. Remember that localization is not the same as a translation of a document where you can see the word count and can establish a perfect workflow. Dealing with a video game means literally playing through each scene and making sure that nothing has been missed.

Preparing Your Game For Localization

  • Create The Solutions Schedule. You can start with a specific table where you list all these things that must be adjusted to another language. It can include audio files with the game hints, graphic elements, menu files, game manuals, and more. Even though your localization expert will tell you what must be done, your table will be quite helpful to establish a clearer schedule. Speaking of solutions, ask the specialist to fill in the spaces as you discuss your future plans.
  • Play The Game With a Localization Expert. Unfortunately, it is often ignored, yet let the experts play the game to understand how it works. Such an approach helps to adjust the language specifics correctly and add some parts here and there to enhance the playing experience. While things may not differ much between English and Dutch, for example, working with Japanese or Arabic will require some things to add even if it relates to some cultural points.
  • Focus on Various GUI Issues. Do not forget that some words will become much longer, which may make some tiny elements too small to fit the required text. While you can ask your localization assistant to choose some other wording, it is not always possible. Moreover, some words are typical for the country’s gaming community, which will make another word choice look rather odd. The solution here is to discuss your GUI limitations in advance to pick the best options.
  • Provide Foreign Language Official Documents. Doing so has two great benefits: you avoid any international disputes by having an official document to protect you and you can offer professionally-translated background information for potential foreign investors. You can check reviews of translation companies to find a certified specialist for this type of work. Remember to explain your purpose to make things right.
  • Create a Poster and Translated Memorabilia. Think about creating a foreign language poster for your video game while you are at it! Add some flashy memorabilia to advertise your brand overseas. It can be useful for gaming competitions and campaigns to spread the word of mouth and let your game be recognized.

How Long Will The Localization Take?

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It always depends on your code’s complexity, GUI, and the game itself. It can take about two weeks to get everything done and polished, while some larger projects can even take about a month if some graphics will have to be adjusted in a more complex way. Make sure to check your gaming templates and have your programmers and designers available for discussion with localization specialists. Doing so will save you a great deal of time!

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Mark knows how to add that sparkle to any video game to make it stand out. His posts contain helpful solutions that work in practice. Follow Mark to find inspiration and learn something unique for your next project.


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Mark Blackwood

Mark knows how to add that sparkle to any video game to make it stand out. His posts contain helpful solutions that work in practice. Follow Mark to find inspiration and learn something unique for your next project.

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