There has been a significant development in gaming technology since the days of PlayStation and Nintendo. Today, the video game sector is going broader and more significant than the present-day music and movie industries, with 3 billion people, approximately 38 percent of the total world population, comprising gamers. This is why you need to localize your games to escalate the downloads number, enhance the sales, keep global players satisfied, be a part of this cut-throat market, and amplify your ratings at the App Store.
What is Game Localization?
Localization of video games involves preparing the hardware and software of a video game so that it sells in a different language, region, or country. Apart from translation, localization includes:
- Producing new manuals and packaging.
- Altering art-based assets.
- Transforming the hardware and recording audio in a new language.
- Making space for replacing content.
Game localization testing is an efficient way to localize your game successfully.
The final stage of game localization is called LQA or Localization Quality Assurance. It primarily deals with linguistic game testing and quality review of the translation. It also generally undertakes evaluation of UX/UI, culturalization, compliance testing, functional tests, internationalization, etc.
With the help of LQA, you can confirm how well-localized your game is to various languages you desire, ensure accurate translation of each string and perfect matching of hardware manufacturers’ requirements and terminology, and proper consistency and flow of the translation. Several well-equipped and experienced game localization services provide LQA services to help you with successful game localization.
How to Improve Your Game Localization Testing
When your game localization is on point, your context, hidden meanings, jokes, and tone are free of uncoordinated translations or average wording. If there is any lack in the process, your players will receive criticism, who will take no time to find out these mistakes and highlight them, making the game less entertaining.
So, here are some of the steps that you can take to get better results from testing your game localization:
1. Export the Entire Content
Apart from coding, you have to import the content of each string of code. Next, you must compile this imported content as resource files so translators can access them. You have to ensure that the localized version of your game makes the players feel like their native language was used to develop the game.
2. Context Matters
It would help if you remembered that it is impossible to directly translate sarcasm, idiomatic expressions, and humor into a different language. If you can describe the context to the translators, it would help a great deal with the localization process.
3. Localize the Visuals Correctly
Other than linguistic localization, it would be best if you also focused on localizing the game’s visuals, including colors, graphics, fonts, and digital artwork. For instance, your choice of typography dictates the end product text that appears in various languages. It becomes essential sometimes to select a completely different text style for other languages as the text tends to be rendered differently, making it challenging for players to understand.
4. Ensure There are No Strings Missing
While it is perfectly okay to make mistakes, the absence of a few strings from the resource file for translation can be costly. Though this is not a common mistake, it does happen, making it challenging for translators and developers to spot.
For instance, while localizing a game to 7 different languages, everything is perfect except for a missing string that makes the word ‘You’ appear in the translated versions. This is caught at the time of testing when you find there has been no translation of that word from English to those seven languages.
To avoid such a thing, you have to make sure that your script used for creating the translation file contains each string. You can play your game while the translation file is kept open on one side to check as and when possible manually. Alternatively, you can test by replacing all strings and then playing the game to check what has not been translated.
5. Make Your Code Translation-friendly
A big challenge with English is that it does not come with gender association. Although this makes it convenient for game developers to create randomly generated sentences, the translators have a hard time.
Translation of gender to different languages can sometimes create wrong sentences altogether. For instance, in the Portuguese language, the word ‘my’ translates in the male gender as ‘meu’ and the female gender as ‘minha’, which can be challenging to translate ‘my’ every time it appears on the screen. This, in turn, confuses the player.
This can be a complicated problem and is very difficult regarding localization. The best way to deal with this issue is to understand and research the different languages for genders and consider adding more strings to the code so that the translation can conveniently make changes as required.
6. Consider Localizing Contextual Elements
You don’t just have to localize the language but also make the contextual elements local so that the players get the feel of playing a local game. For instance, if you plan to localize the game for the Japanese players, apart from the language, you must change your characters’ looks, the narrative’s setting, design elements, colors, etc., to attract the Japanese audience.
At times like these, you need the assistance of efficient game localization services that are well-equipped with qualified localizers and translators. These services provide multiple native speakers who are well-aware of your players’ perspectives. They can help you reset the game’s contextual elements based on the target audience’s culture
With all these guidelines to help you with testing your game localization, it is worth trying to strategize your next game localizing plan accordingly. If you cannot handle things on your own, it is always good to reach out to the experts for proper assistance instead of messing up the entire process.