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Five Mantras for
L10N
Gordon Brown
Quality Manager
Latis Global
Gordon Brown
1. Not Everyone Likes the Same Thing
2. Don’t Bake It In
3. Hire a Painter to Paint, Hire a Writer to Write
4. We’re Worki...
Not Everyone Likes
the Same Thing
Tastes vary wildly across the world.
Sometimes in unexpected ways.
Not Everyone Likes the Same Thing
• Seems obvious, but this
can affect popularity in
surprising ways
Not Everyone Likes the Same Thing
• Why did Aion not meet expectations in NA/EU?
• Steep leveling curve  heavy grind
• In...
Not Everyone Likes the Same Thing
• Why did Guild Wars not meet expectations in JP?
• Entered late, US/EU users numbers al...
Not Everyone Likes the Same Thing
• If monetization determines design, you’re already limiting yourself.
• Monetization: N...
Not Everyone Likes the Same Thing
• If you are in early development:
• Think about implementing mechanics that have proven...
Don’t Bake It In
Be careful of making choices that you cannot change.
Don’t Bake
It In
• Mobile UIs are
small & compact
• Vertical text is
very difficult
• Most issues
caught in LBT,
so don’t ...
Don’t Bake It In
Language Length
• 설정
• Settings
• Parametres
• Einstellungen
• Configuracion
(Korean)
(English)
(French)
...
Don’t Bake It In
• Word wrap
• Required in all Western
languages
• Totally optional in the
big 3 Asian languages
• Often f...
Don’t Bake It In
• Variables outside of text strings
× 초 후에 시작합니다.
? Starting in X seconds.
× 개 판매 하시겠습니까?
? Sell X… (what...
Don’t Bake It In
• Variables outside of text strings
 [num_sec]초 후에 시작합니다.
 Starting in [num_sec] seconds.
 [qty]개 판매 하...
Don’t Bake It In
• Identical variables dependent on order in the string
× Deals {x} damage to {x} enemies.
 Deals {dmg} d...
Don’t Bake It In
• Text in art is expensive to redo for each language
• Try to minimize
• Consider creating custom fonts i...
Hire a Painter to Paint,
Hire a Writer to Write
Trust the resources you’ve hired.
Hire a Painter to Paint,
Hire a Writer to Write
• Localization = transfer of ideas, not words
• Direct, literal translatio...
Hire a Painter to Paint,
Hire a Writer to Write
You can be beautiful in the
future…
But you aren’t now!
We’re Working With You
Talk to your localizers. Often!
We’re Working With You
• Treat us like another team in your studio
• Comment as much as possible and share
• Context is cr...
Enjoy Regional Specialties
Tailor your events.
Enjoy Regional Specialties
• Social games excel at this!
• Very common in persistent games
Enjoy Regional Specialties
• Some cultural content may
require more explanation in
certain regions
Enjoy Regional
Specialties
• Do you have an
established IP?
• Consider customizing a
version for a large market.
• Where’s...
1. Not Everyone Likes the Same Thing
2. Don’t Bake It In
3. Hire a Painter to Paint, Hire a Writer to Write
4. We’re Worki...
Thank You
Any questions?
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[GAMENEXT] Five mantras for l10 (LatisGlboal)

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[GAMENEXT] Five mantras for l10 (LatisGlboal)

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Transcript of "[GAMENEXT] Five mantras for l10 (LatisGlboal)"

  1. 1. Five Mantras for L10N Gordon Brown Quality Manager Latis Global
  2. 2. Gordon Brown
  3. 3. 1. Not Everyone Likes the Same Thing 2. Don’t Bake It In 3. Hire a Painter to Paint, Hire a Writer to Write 4. We’re Working With You 5. Enjoy Regional Specialties
  4. 4. Not Everyone Likes the Same Thing Tastes vary wildly across the world. Sometimes in unexpected ways.
  5. 5. Not Everyone Likes the Same Thing • Seems obvious, but this can affect popularity in surprising ways
  6. 6. Not Everyone Likes the Same Thing • Why did Aion not meet expectations in NA/EU? • Steep leveling curve  heavy grind • Infrequent positive reinforcement/reward • High death penalties • Only open PvP servers, unavoidable • Many bots & gold sellers • To a North American gamer, Aion looked like 2009, but played like 1999.
  7. 7. Not Everyone Likes the Same Thing • Why did Guild Wars not meet expectations in JP? • Entered late, US/EU users numbers already falling • No transfers for existing Japanese players • PvP not popular in Japan • New players dumped in with highly experienced ones • International zones blocked kana • Japanese gamers did not feel welcomed to the game.
  8. 8. Not Everyone Likes the Same Thing • If monetization determines design, you’re already limiting yourself. • Monetization: No single solution • Aggressive • Play-limiting mechanics (Energy, Hearts, etc.) • Frequent pay-walls (“nickel & diming me to death”) • Passive • Tricking players into paying by obscuring real cost • Encouraging players to pay • Make users feel good about spending money, and many will. Make users feel obligated to spend money, and most won’t.
  9. 9. Not Everyone Likes the Same Thing • If you are in early development: • Think about implementing mechanics that have proven popular in markets you want to target • If you are in late development: • Think about what mechanics already in your game appeal to your target market and emphasize/build on them
  10. 10. Don’t Bake It In Be careful of making choices that you cannot change.
  11. 11. Don’t Bake It In • Mobile UIs are small & compact • Vertical text is very difficult • Most issues caught in LBT, so don’t skip
  12. 12. Don’t Bake It In Language Length • 설정 • Settings • Parametres • Einstellungen • Configuracion (Korean) (English) (French) (German) (Spanish)
  13. 13. Don’t Bake It In • Word wrap • Required in all Western languages • Totally optional in the big 3 Asian languages • Often forgotten by Korean, Japanese, and Chinese developers
  14. 14. Don’t Bake It In • Variables outside of text strings × 초 후에 시작합니다. ? Starting in X seconds. × 개 판매 하시겠습니까? ? Sell X… (what item?) × 에게 ? To: X
  15. 15. Don’t Bake It In • Variables outside of text strings  [num_sec]초 후에 시작합니다.  Starting in [num_sec] seconds.  [qty]개 판매 하시겠습니까?  Do you want to sell [qty]?  [name]에게  To: [name]
  16. 16. Don’t Bake It In • Identical variables dependent on order in the string × Deals {x} damage to {x} enemies.  Deals {dmg} damage to {targets} enemies. • Choose distinct variables/placeholders × {132b02}  {PC_name}, <fire_damage>, %item_0012%, etc.
  17. 17. Don’t Bake It In • Text in art is expensive to redo for each language • Try to minimize • Consider creating custom fonts instead • What can be left as is? • Keep your layered work files! 
  18. 18. Hire a Painter to Paint, Hire a Writer to Write Trust the resources you’ve hired.
  19. 19. Hire a Painter to Paint, Hire a Writer to Write • Localization = transfer of ideas, not words • Direct, literal translations are the worst • Uninteresting • Idioms & humor usually don’t translate well • Experienced translators can capture nuance and convey meaning much more effectively
  20. 20. Hire a Painter to Paint, Hire a Writer to Write You can be beautiful in the future… But you aren’t now!
  21. 21. We’re Working With You Talk to your localizers. Often!
  22. 22. We’re Working With You • Treat us like another team in your studio • Comment as much as possible and share • Context is crucial • Regular communication • Kick-off • Query board • Meetings (face-to-face, Skype)
  23. 23. Enjoy Regional Specialties Tailor your events.
  24. 24. Enjoy Regional Specialties • Social games excel at this! • Very common in persistent games
  25. 25. Enjoy Regional Specialties • Some cultural content may require more explanation in certain regions
  26. 26. Enjoy Regional Specialties • Do you have an established IP? • Consider customizing a version for a large market. • Where’s My Water taken to China, used popular character 喜羊羊 with great results.
  27. 27. 1. Not Everyone Likes the Same Thing 2. Don’t Bake It In 3. Hire a Painter to Paint, Hire a Writer to Write 4. We’re Working With You 5. Enjoy Regional Specialties
  28. 28. Thank You Any questions?
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