Localizing on a short deadline
Challenging? Yes, as we had one and half a day to localize it.
By localizing, I mean to take the time to learn all we could about the game, try it, get familiar with its mechanics. We also needed to shoot our questions to the devs as soon as possible to avoid delays in the release, which would happen on the third day after receiving their request for localization. A very short deadline is not recommended if you want quality. Yet, here this project had an advantage, even two, that made a difference: context and testing
Trying out the game
First, we received keys from the devs to play the game. That’s how we could really get familiar with its universe, its characters, its gameplay. For a translator, that’s precious information. That’s context. In game localization, you will often have translators ask you to give them more context about characters, about the universe, or about pretty everything related to your game.
Because you know your game inside out, but we don’t. All we know about it is a dry Excel file with text.
Another thing we really appreciated on this project was that the devs left us notes for each string of text. They told us what was the text about, what it referred to, why this text appeared. This, too, is precious information. Especially when you can’t provide a copy of the game, whatever your reasons are. In those cases, provide as much information as you are allowed to disclose to the translators, so they have the best knowledge possible of your game. The more we know, the more we are able to craft an accurate localized version that remains true to the original while being seamlessly adapted to the audience: