The Fun of Game Localisation

The best translation of a game is a very specific challenge. Game localisation involves much more than just language. You need intuition in understanding the game mood and environment, accuracy in spotting the places where to perform the translation. You also deal with code strings, cells which require a short text, expressions which reflect a specific wording.

Translation or localisation?

For most games, finding the best translation would be enough to help the player enjoy the gaming experience. More and more games, however, aim to create a special story, e.g. a Medieval setting, with names and characters taken from mythology, history or fantasy. This is where the Best Translators Online make the extra effort in localisation, adapting names and stories to the audience of specific countries or languages.

Let’s see some of the specific challenges of game localisation with an example, Runefall, by Tamalaki Games. This game is full of text, dialogues, instructions, rewards and gameplay tricks, adding up to over 15,000 words and with constant updates.

What is different with Runefall?

Runefall is an innovative Medieval match-3 adventure game that pairs the classic matching with exploration and discovery, item collection, quests, town building, and more!

Traverse HUGE environments, collect resources, overcome obstacles, and upgrade the town of Rivermoor. It is localised in more than 15 languages so far, with a mix of old English, puns, flexible user interface, variables, and coded text made this game localisation more intriguing.

What are the challenges of game localisation?

A very common feature of game localisation is having to deal with variables: “{0} and {1} are not in the same row”. In this case, {0} and {1} are tiles, objects, but they could be numbers, names, etc. Note that the position of the variables will also change based on the grammar of the target language.

Colour markers and code markers are another challenge to be aware of. Cells like the following are quite common: “We’ll each need a &lt;color=#FF8000&gt;lantern&lt;/color&gt;“. The & markers are characters such as “<” or “>” and they enclose markers, such as “color” which are not to be translated. In the whole line above, the only word to consider is “lantern”.

Our comments on game localisation

Here are some of the translators who worked on this wonderful project. You can find all our professional translators in the Languages page.

Sérgio (Portuguese): “Being a fan of all kinds of games from the Medieval period, for me, it was quite easy and interesting to translate some parts of Runefall into Portuguese, which will certainly help all Portuguese-speaking players to get the most out of this game.”

Javad (Danish): “Runefall has its own story which might give a good sense in English. However, when the story has to be translated to Danish a great understanding of the game and storylines were needed in order to live up to the creativity of the game.”

Diana (German): “Runefall required a special type of finesse: rendering medieval flair with contemporary language.”

Nuala (Dutch): “Runefall is a one-of-a-kind game, it’s very fun and the translations are very interesting because of the context.”

Zuzanna (Polish): “Working on Runefall was an interesting experience, enriched by the uncommon vocabulary and the game’s originality.”

Where can I play Runefall?

Runefall is available on Apple Store or on Google Play.

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