When localizing the game for another country, it is necessary to consider not only the cultural characteristics and traditions, as well as the local law. For example, China bans any manifestation of cruelty in games. In this case, the local retailers turned Diablo boxes in Big Pineapple 3. All because Big Pineapple sounds like Diablo in Chinese.
Cultural localization of a video game itself can mean completely rewriting it, leaving only the mechanics. This is deep localization. This type of translation is resorted to only when only heavily culturally adapted content can be sold.
When adapting a video game it is important to respect the linguistic nuances and cultural values of the country for which the game is translated. For example, a joke that works in the English-speaking world may not be understood in the Asian world, or even sound offensive.
It is always important to consider the country for which the game is being adapted. Each country has its own rules: in Turkey it is forbidden to depict crosses, and in many European countries – swastikas and everything associated with fascism.
Text plays a major role in the adaptation of a video game
Text is important in the entire game design, from the interface and graphics to the lines and dialogues of the characters. Sometimes a game is translated so that the gameplay interface is in the user’s language, and the rest of the content is in the original language. This is not only uncomfortable, but also distracts from the story as a whole and inhibits the process of the game. In gaming practice there were cases when the translators translated only part of the interface. This should not be done in any case.
Before we begin the adaptation, our translators play the game. They test the interface, the characters and even the world where the whole narrative takes place. After this test-drive they are more involved in the game world and its details, even if the client does not need in-depth localization.
Everything needs to be translated: store signs, any signs and posters, road signs. Only in the case of a unique setting, which implies the atmosphere and authenticity of the game world, you should leave the original language in the graphics. In this case, it speaks the language of the story itself and moves it forward.
Voice acting in the video game localization
The adaptation of the text of the protagonist and characters plays an important role in the perception of the world’s story. Editors and dubbing actors work with the final translation of the script. This is one of the main points in the localization of a video game for a foreign market. The dubbing actor takes into account the articulation of the character and the length of the line, so that the picture with the story does not move and was organic.
In addition, it is important not to forget to translate not only the subtitles, so that users with disabilities, can also enjoy the gameplay.
Translators from INWORD translation agency do linguistic testing of the game translation. It is necessary to do this so the text in the graphic interface of the video game would not be blurry and curvy. The text should look nice, not move over the picture and not disturb the eye with ripples. The translation is always fixed with finishing proofreading, correcting typos and spelling mistakes.