[This is a guest post from Phoenix Labs]
As the “world’s first cross-platform hunting action RPG,” Dauntless has achieved huge reach – with around 25 million players worldwide. It is one of the most complete free video games today.
Creating a seamless gaming experience in eight languages, and even more regions, is a huge undertaking for any video game.
Yet in all markets – spanning across France, Germany, Japan, Italy, Russia and more –The reception of Dauntless has been overwhelmingly positive, in part because the game is suffering a vigorous localization process.
According to Phoenix Labs co-founder and CEO Jesse Houston: “We created Phoenix Labs to bring together gamers from all over the world, regardless of device, location or language. This is why it was essential for us to launch Dauntless on all platforms with multiple languages supported – global parity is sacred to us.
This begs the question: How can developers best ensure a seamless, high-level experience for gamers around the world?
Creation of consistent levels of localization quality
For the developers at Phoenix Labs, the goal was to achieve full parity between the localized languages, to the point that each player felt like the game was created in their native language.
Senior producer on Dauntless, Mickaël Bohin, explains that over the past year, they have moved from crowdsourcing translation to Keywords Studio’s XLOC, a content management system (CMS) to streamline the localization workflow. games and manage the asset pipeline.
“It makes life a lot easier to have all the content, iterations and discussions in one place for all languages - whether it’s in-game content or marketing assets, speaking with the translator. or speak with the project manager. “
Rather than simply translating the packaging, in-game text, or dubbing, XLOC has helped facilitate the efficient deployment of a comprehensive localization process that takes into account cultural, political, religious and historical differences between languages, countries and regions. An almighty task – especially during a global pandemic.
Despite the lockdown rocking the rest of the world, Bohin points out that having a central studio and dedicated CMS has allowed them to deliver Dauntless content on time, even as the game evolves with regular updates.
Communicate on every nuance
Be in permanent communication on the project-with translators, developers, editors, suppliers and LQA–allowed Phoenix Labs to smooth queries in real time, ensuring that the familiar feeling and expressions of the games are localized and culturalized rather than simply translated for each language.
While translation simply converts text, localization transforms the entire product from one language to another. It covers both linguistic and cultural adaptation.
Localization has therefore become a critical part of the ever-growing global gaming market as, during the pandemic, video games have been one of the most popular ways to connect people locally and internationally.
With a game like Dauntless, which allows players to customize every aspect of their appearance and make changes wherever they want, it’s critical to ensure that the audio experience is specific to the language and culture of the game. every player.
While most channels only take a few days to create, some vocabularies can be much more difficult. For example, how do you translate the word “weapons” and communicate its use in all languages? And persuade a player to try it?
All of these situations require ongoing discussion. Think about it: development is not static and sequential.
Anyone working in a development studio will understand that the creative process is fluid and ever-changing, with many tweaks applied to channels before they’re considered final. Discussions should take place continuously, and with as much visual aids as possible, across multiple time zones.
Whether you choose to build proprietary technology or use third-party software like XLOC, an all-in-one communication tool can eliminate some of the most important game localization issues.
Especially in an age of working from home, having a single source of information for all stakeholders saves time and helps create a consistent tone across all Dauntless assets.
Maintain a central asset repository
For accurate localization of a multi-market game like Dauntless, translation teams will also need a clear understanding of the type of source files and the information contained in those files.
Having a central repository for all languages makes it possible to effectively coordinate day-to-day operations. Bohin summarized the advantages of a central repository.
“It’s much easier for day-to-day operations and day-to-day communication with all the stakeholders involved,” he explains.
Storing all the resources (art, scripts, audio and beyond) in a centralized repository has made production infinitely more efficient on Dauntless, even with developers working from home. With everything under one roof, XLOC keeps location organized and easily accessible.
It is also much easier to upload text files in a build. For Bohin, “running a super tight ship with XLOC allows us to keep our playerbase together and ensure everyone has a top-notch Dauntless experience.”
As Dauntless is cross-play across all platforms, from the current generation to the next generation, it is all the more important to unite the player base and keep the content consistent in this way.
Provide global surveillance
What Dauntless demonstrates with its success in multiple markets is the need for clear communication and oversight in game location.
As we embrace next-generation consoles and ever-increasing data demands, Tracking assets closely throughout the locate workflow is a must. This is especially true when, more and more often, we see localized games with thousands of strings, very aggressive timelines, and complicated conversation structures.
A central management system such as XLOC allows developers to work on multiple source languages in an automated and synchronized manner, as in the production of Dauntless which was delivered in English, French, Russian, Japanese, Italian, Brazilian, Portuguese, Spanish and German.
With three billion people expected to play by 2023, game publishers hoping to increase their market share must broaden their horizons and ensure that the location and audio features of their games are paired with highly personalized player options. they have, in order to truly create a refined experience.