We don’t face changes easily. Yet, sometimes changes are good. In fact, sometimes, they are necessary. For example, when planning a product expansion in the international digital market.
Indeed, many game developers prefer to start locally only to start their expansion later. Such planning is quite common in the development world. However, it requires good preparations in advance. Early preparations will help you go through this process easier. Moreover, successful localization will help you reduce the cost. Thus, you get to save not only money on development but also time and labor.
Though, of course, adopting your new product to the international scene is a challenging process. You have to consider many factors, do extensive research, and still maintain the original ‘soul’ of the game. However, with a little bit of help, everything is possible. So, let’s see some tips on game localization. Here is how to produce credible video game content.
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So, you too should start the planning early on, preferably at the very beginning. Thus, your game idea can already include plans for expansions. Fitting into the international market is not easy. However, if you think big and consider going international early, the future expansion will go smoothly.
Waiting until the product is fully built will bring quite a headache to your development team. So, if you think that success is guaranteed and the international market is ahead of you, plan your localization game early. This way, you’ll avoid doing everything twice later on. Thus, graphics in the game can serve you as a great example of such planning.
Your goal is to avoid working on the same elements twice. So, see whether you have any text in graphics. Think about what role those graphics and text play and whether you can avoid doing so altogether.
Center your attention
Usually, very few game elements may require some type of rearrangements. For the most part, your game is good to go as it is. Thus, before everything else, decide on what elements of the product you want to change and which are fine as they are. You may even discover that the localization process will not be as expensive or extensive as expected.
However, centering your attention is still important to building a perfect final product for your international customers. You want them to enjoy the full experience just as the local market did.
Also, it’s super helpful to know where to plan localization in advance during the development stages. Thus, you will decrease the friction between elements and go around some sharp corners without wasting time on them in the future.
By the way, sometimes, you need changes in the smallest details. For example, fonts can really vary in different languages. Thus, you can pay attention to how texts, dialogs, and overall design look in a new language.
Know the key aspects
As mentioned, localization doesn’t change the entire game but rather certain elements. Knowing which elements to analyze will help you save some time and make notes for the future during all development stages. Thus, there are such aspects as interface, culturalization, marketing, laws, and, of course, translation. Make sure to go through all of these aspects in your localization planning.
Thus, you’ll need good knowledge of the new market to nail all these aspects. See what expectations a different market has from what you offer. Find ways to adapt the product to the new scenario. See new marketing strategies. Remember, the key is in detail. Your new customers should feel like the game was meant for them.
Make everything accessible
From now on, you and your team are not the only ones working on the game. Most likely, you’ll have people from other countries stepping on board to help you. So, your number one goal is to make everything super easy for them. Thus, look how accessible and readable all your docs and coding are. Your future translators, testers, artists, and coders should not waste time figuring out your old files. It’s your job to make their job as easy as it can be.
Always have professional translators
Good translation gives you 50% of success in the new market. Thus, you should never ignore the importance of professional translators on the team. However, don’t just give them the text and be done with them. Provide your new teammates with as much context as you have. Thus, they have a full picture of each dialog and text line they need to translate. Anything that can help translators better understand what they are doing there is much appreciated.