23 March, 2009 WELCOME to the inaugural Game Localization Summit @ GDC Co-Advisors of the Game Localization Summit and chairs of the IGDA Localization SIG: »Miguel Á. Bernal-Merino (Roehampton University), SIG Vice-Chair »Tom Edwards (Englobe Inc.), SIG Chair
23 March, 2009 Our Great Thanks to… » Jennifer Steele and Think Services » ENLASO » IGDA Localizaton SIG Steering Committee » All our speakers and panelists » And YOU…for attending this Summit!
23 March, 2009 Your Feedback Matters! » What did you really like? » What can be improved? » What topics would you like to see in a future Loc Summit? » We Need Your Input! » PLEASE fill out the feedback forms! » Annual SIG Meeting: Another chance to provide direct feedback (Thursday, 4-6:30pm)
23 March, 2009 The Game Industrys Future is Global PricewaterhouseCoopers projections for 2007-2011 indicate a global gaming market worth $48.9B by 2011 (up from $37.5B in 2007). U.S. sales will lag behind the world during the next 5 years, averaging 6.7% annual growth while Asia and EMEA will average 10% or more. For example: through 2012, India and China are projected to be the fastest-growing game markets, within Asia the fastest-growing region.
23 March, 2009 »On a company-to-company basis, estimates for loc- generated revenue vary from ~33% to 70% of total revenue. »For some companies, % of company revenue from loc increased over 25% in just 1 year. »Bottom line: Localization is absolutely vital to the growth and expansion of the game industry. »This Summit is about starting a dialogue with and within the game industry around the role of localization. Loc Revenue is Significant
23 March, 2009 What is Localization? Members of the IGDA Localization SIG Steering Committee: »Miguel Á. Bernal-Merino (Roehampton Univ.) »Heather Chandler (Media Sunshine Inc.) »Tom Edwards, SIG Chair (Englobe Inc.) »Richard Honeywood (Blizzard Ent.) »Fabio Minazzi (Binari Sonori Srl)
23 March, 2009 What is Localization…for Developers? 1. Additional SKUs of the game need to be planned for Sim ship impacts schedule and approval process Designing with international audience in mind
23 March, 2009 What is Localization…for Developers? 2. A reliable localization pipeline Localization friendly code Localization part of core development Linguistic and Functional testing
23 March, 2009 What is Localization…for Developers? 3. Working with localization vendors Providing all necessary context and documents to vendor Plan for vendor needs in development schedule Open lines of communication
23 March, 2009 What is Localization…for Loc Vendors? 1. Service level Range of language and contents Provide staff and service continuity Standardized approach/flexible processes Local content production and quality control Pipeline with developer/publisher
23 March, 2009 What is Localization…for Loc Vendors? 2. Logistics of people, knowledge and contents Building and managing international project teams (linguists, actors, studios) Information gathering, deployment and flow inside the project teams International assets management N languages multiplier
23 March, 2009 What is Localization…for Loc Vendors? 3. User experience Identify and focus on local user needs Meet local media quality standards (books, TV, movies, cartoons)
23 March, 2009 What is Localization…for Translators? Textual consistency o Textual types o Small well-coordinated teams Tailored tools o TM, terminology db o Internal / standard o WYSIWIG game loc. tools? Data access o MM experience requires MM information Staff o Relevant education and training
23 March, 2009 What is Localization…for Translators? Time constraints (Synchrony) o Dubbing o Voice over o Subtitles Letters and characters o Different alphabets and characters sets o Variation of ± 30 % of space required Space constrains o UI, in-game text, manual, boxing Linguistic variables o Gender, number, and form of address
23 March, 2009 What is Localization…for Translators? Time o Crammed testing schedules o Cumbersome reporting tools Tailored tools o Easy-to-use, (semi-)automated tools o Streamlined bug tracking system o Allow for basic string-editing tool? Staff o High temporary staff turnover o Big teams = Consistency suffers o Relevant education and training Data access
23 March, 2009 What is Localization…for Global Publishers? »Maintain Game Context: A primary goal in game design should be to avoid disrupting the games context with culturally inconsistent content. »Geocultural Aspect: A deeper level of content scrutiny ensures the game will remain in the target locale without potential political and/or cultural backlash. »Risk Assessment: Performing a geocultural review is a risk assessment exercise, but also a great opportunity to discern locale-specific enhancements.
23 March, 2009 What is Localization…for Global Publishers? Review Boards do not review for geocultural issues! The following aspects are typically not considered by the ESRB, PEGI, CERO, and other game review boards: Socio-historical scenarios, either global or local Political depictions/similarities (symbology, nationalism, political figures, etc.) Religious/Ethnic/Linguistic sensitivities (hate speech and some ethnic issues only) Sensitivity by content types (flags, maps, etc.)
23 March, 2009 What is Localization…for Global Publishers? Culturalization…a step beyond Localization Culturalization is takes a deeper look into a games content choices and their geocultural risk/opportunity in local markets. Culturalization helps gamers potentially engage the games content at a deeper, more meaningful level. True culturalization only works when fully integrated with game development, starting with game design.
23 March, 2009 Localization is… The organization, creation, and delivery of international versions of the game. A coordinated international effort aimed at producing creative contents for a great local users' experience. Translating all linguistic assets of a game in order to enable its full playability and fun value for foreign locales. Game content that accounts for the diverse cultures of local end users to enhance game play, not detract from it.
23 March, 2009 Localization is more than mere translation. A truly localized product should feel like it was made for the local region by people from that region, and not feel like a foreign product. Localization doesnt mean that everything needs to be totally changed. There are plenty of books and movies written in one language about another cultures. A localized product should be able to compete with such truly local products. The end product should feel natural to the target audience. They should not have to know about the original culture in order to enjoy it. Make it more accessible to the local market, not just another translated product. This can entail changes in the story, in the art assets, in the animations, in the level of difficulty, in the controls…all to make it more accessible to the local market than just a simply translated product. Localization is about being LOCAL