Today, we are looking at localization from a (kind of) different perspective. So far, we mainly talked about linguists and game localization companies. Yet as we mentioned in The Ideal Team for Game Localization, clients are also extremely important in the process of game localization. In order to have the perfect game localization process, the input of clients is crucial. Let’s dive deeper into the role of clients in game localization!
The client can be quite knowledgeable about game localization, and in that case, our job becomes much easier. However, they can also be clueless about game localization, which is perfectly fine, but they should be open to collaborating during the localization process for the sake of their game. So, how and when can the clients help us?
Technically, we can use their help throughout the localization process, but let’s get into more detail.
Start of the Localization Process
Let’s say everything sales-related is handled, and it is time to form our dedicated team for the localization project. The role of clients is always crucial, but perhaps the most crucial role they can play is before the actual localization takes place.
Arranging a meeting between the client side and the game localization company can be quite helpful. The client can explain the game, how it works, what they want from the localization company, the game’s setting, characters, etc.
Also, a guideline can be prepared for the localization team beforehand. Especially if the volume is big, this guideline can do wonders for linguists. It is crucial to set realistic deadlines as well. If the two parties can discuss the timeline in-depth, they can settle on an appropriate time for both of them.
The Ongoing Communication
After the first negotiations, it is crucial to maintain clear and open communication. There might be problems that were overlooked, and for these to be resolved, we have to reach the client. For example, a word can mean lots of different things. Let’s take the word “watch”. It can mean the thing we wear around our wrist that shows the time of day; it could be UI to tell the player to look at something; it could mean to be on a watch where the player is awake and on guard. And the meaning is not even limited to these.
No matter how experienced the linguist is, this is not something that can be interpreted from the situation, and even if it can be interpreted, we cannot know whether it is 100% true or not. The ideal scenario is to work together from the start so that context is given to the linguists.
Testing in Collaboration
Even when the localization part is over, the localized game needs to be tested. The clients’ role is important during quality assurance and testing as well. To address any issues and problems, it is crucial to be timely and orderly. The localization team can implement the necessary changes according to the feedback received. And usually, localization continues after the game’s release with updates, new versions, etc.
As linguists, we always say that context is everything. In order to understand the text in the way it was intended, we need context. This is the number one reason why collaboration between the client and the localization team matters. Our primary goal is to adapt the game to the target market, and we can only achieve that by collaborating.
For a perfect game localization project, the most important aspect is consistent communication, which can only be established with the knowledge of a professional game localization team.
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