A PM’s Perspective on Game Localization Projects

Welcome back to our Orient Team blog series! Our previous blog post in this series was about ideal vendor selection, so take a look at that if you haven’t read it yet! Today, our guest writer is our game localization project manager, and although we have another post about project management, this one is a bit more personal! We are talking all about the ups and downs of project management and focusing on game localization projects!

You are already familiar with what game localization is, how game localization processes work, and the role of the project manager in this process. Now, it is time to dive into the rollercoaster of Project Management. 

Why do I choose to call the game localization process a ‘Rollercoaster’?

As in every other profession, there are ups and downs in the management of game localization projects as well. Every request that pops up in your mailbox comes with its own ease and difficulty. Since the level of those eases and difficulties change from one project to another, we would like to call it a ‘Rollercoaster’.

When a request comes to your mailbox, imagine yourself at the beginning of a Rollercoaster ride, fastening your seatbelts for the journey. You open and begin to read the details about the project, you are pacing up slowly. Once you have assigned the project to the related linguistics and start the process you are at the top of the rollercoaster. If everything goes smoothly, you will go down at a stable pace, however, if something comes up on the way, you will start to stumble and then go down fast at a high speed.

In which cases you are prone to stumble?

When you are managing the localization of active games like PUBG, Minecraft, Halo, etc. you should expect tight deadlines. There could always be an update to the games where the creators add some new features, new skins or new characters and they want to publish those updates as soon as possible to add more excitement to the games. So, tight deadlines could be one reason to stumble. 

Another reason could be the time differences. Since we are working with clients from different countries around the world, there is at least one or two hours difference between us. Sometimes, for instance, when you have a query, it could be a challenge to wait for the answer. In these cases, you and your team should make the best assumptions and inform the client about those assumptions. Of course, there could be situations where you cannot make any assumptions, then you should definitely ask questions and never assume what the client wants. Never forget, communication is the key! 

game localizationIs it all about downs, do not we see the top? 

We sure do! First of all, if you have a team of linguistics with whom you can share anything from localization’s L to N, those downs do not feel like negative things at all, because you know that you have a reliable team who do their best to meet the deadlines and client’s needs. If there is a good relationship between you and your team, you are good to go! 

The more you put your cards open when it comes to the clients, the more effective your communication will be. Once you develop an honest and straightforward relationship with your clients, you’ll see that they will become more aware of your efforts and support, so it will create a bond between you and your clients. That will open a window of opportunity for future clients and localization projects. 

On top of all we have discussed above, if you love what you do and know your skills like stress management, etc., everything will go even smoother. Of course, no one is born with stress management skills, the more you face obstacles throughout the process, the more you learn about stress management. It can sound so cliche, however, do not forget to take a deep breath and relax your mind before taking any action towards the obstacles. 

I know that I sound as if I am a professional obstacle/stress manager, however, I am just an ordinary localization project manager and I am eager to learn something new with every request I receive.

Written by
Pınar Çömlekçi
Project Manager

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