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Daily Text Updates in Games How to Get Them Right

4 December 2019

In last week’s Nimdzi’s Finger Food post, we discussed the Games as a Service business model in the game industry. We’re talking about games that are alive and in continuous development, engaging the gamer community through different strategies, such as season passes, subscriptions or microtransactions.

The localization operations for this type of game must deal with:

  • Relatively high amount of daily text updates into many languages – remember, the game is alive.
  • Fast turnarounds, quite often overnight or just a few hours.
  • A humongous amount of previously translated content – including game terminology, lore, audios, onscreen text, website content, and so on.
  • Limited (or lack of) time for in-depth quality assurance testing.

The abovementioned items are the perfect ingredients for a disastrous and inconsistent game localization cake.

The time for QA is very limited, so it is very important to take extreme precautions to get things right from the beginning. And it is also important to put an efficient workflow in place so that daily text updates don’t become a bottleneck for the game developer nor the localization company.

So here are a few tips to try to get daily text updates right:

  1. Care about quality before even translating the text. How?
  • Create updated and comprehensive game glossaries.
  • Devote time to clean and update TMs.
  • Generate checklists for each game, both for your linguists and your project managers with everything they need to check before delivering the daily files to the client.
  • Prepare and update lockits to welcome new linguists in the project, or for the team to check in case of doubts.

2. Have a solid and regular team with background knowledge of the games. Preferably you will want users of the assigned games so that they can be the testers of their own translations at the same time.

3. Efficient management of updates. Simplify your project management workflow, getting rid of unnecessary steps that are not providing added value to your project. 

Game producers and localization companies should start rethinking the whole “per-word pricing model”, at least for microtransactions.  

Both game and localization companies could agree on a monthly or weekly fee to cover this type of request. This would greatly simplify the current project management workflows and invoicing on both sides. Is it really efficient to invoice 837 requests per month in 16 different languages with five different vendors?

Daily text updates in games can be a pickle or can be an efficient way to engage players across countries.

Localization is a crucial step and you can save money and improve quality if you put some best practices in place. So if daily text updates are still a bottleneck in your organization, consider the abovementioned tips or poke us at Nimdzi for help.

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