Localize Direct on how it made sure Born Ready's space combat game was ready for international markets
Company: Localize Direct
Game: Strike Suit Zero
What stage of development were you brought in?
Michael Souto, business development director: We were brought in around alpha time to ensure that all strings were being tracked. The Born Ready guys were keen to ensure that strings were set up correctly in preparation for the eventual push into translation.
What services did you provide for the game?
We helped the developer set up a smart loc asset pipeline and then localised their content for the game. We localised into French, Italian, German and Spanish, although additional text for metadata was provided in a number of other languages. This text was all managed and delivered through our loc management system “LocDirect”.
Is there a particular element of the QA and localisation process for the game that you were especially proud of?
We’re particularly pleased with the way in which the strings were managed. Source text was created and altered up to the point at which the first phase text was ready for translation. At which point translators were able to access and translate.
Any questions the translators had were also entered into LocDirect which meant that all the data was at hand at any time – and the translators could view each other’s queries and amend their text if needed. It also meant there were no offline files with questions or last minute strings in excel files.
How long and in-depth was the QA and localisation process?
Strike Suit Zero is now approximately 31,500 words. It was smaller to start with but grew over time as the game continued through development and the addition of DLC.
After the first phase translation there was additional text and a number of alterations to existing text. As we used LocDirect we were able to simply track which strings had changed – and what the changes were per string. This makes the translator work far simpler to manage. It also provided the Born Ready guys with real visibility on what work needed to be done.
Regarding the length of time, it continues to grow. Further DLC and additional content means the database is always live and continually evolving.
Why is it important developers use QA and localisation services for a game like this?
Developers should ideally use a professional translation service to push their game into other markets. Yes, there are many English speaking people in many countries. However, if you really want to make your mark locally then you need to localise.
It’s also always recommended that developers budget for a QA pass. Not just on the gameplay itself but also the localisation. The translation quality should really be fine but the translators may not have first-hand knowledge of the game itself. Certain strings may also lack context leading to incorrect translations and player confusion later on. Also, overlongs should be caught and fixed. They are extremely ugly and disrupt the user experience.