Using scripts for localization: Allcorrect Group experience

How easy is the problem of declension solved when working on texts in games, in a small case for App2Top.ru he told me Igor Nyrtsov, Editor of Allcorrect Group.

Igor Nyrtsov
The commercial success of localization depends on little things that are not at all obvious at first glance.

One of such significant details is personalization.

Players are not satisfied with the standard address “Dear User”, their location can only be achieved by an individual approach. The game should communicate with the player as naturally as possible — and constructions full of officiousness do not contribute to this.

An interesting project in which we had to solve this problem was the Megapolis citybuilder of Social Quantum, which has been promoting its project in 20 countries since 2012.

Our task was to translate in-game texts (the main part and additions). First — from Russian into English, then into other languages (German, French, Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, Italian, Turkish, Simplified Chinese, Japanese and Korean).

Let’s say we want to compose a typical message for the gaming news feed in Megapolis.

If we go the simplest way and refuse to take into account the gender of the player, we will get: “The Angelina player built an industrial diamond mining center.” Sounds awkward, doesn’t it? Further — worse: “Get ahead of him!” … Angelina?

To encourage the player to take any action – to build a new building, to buy a game item — this will not work. What to do?

The translators were asked to come up with some way to switch the gender in the text so that the players would not be offended.

The Megapolis development team proposed and implemented sex tag, since the game was able to determine the gender of the player by the profile on the social network.

Sex tag. In Russian — the gender tag. It switches the gender of the word depending on the gender of the player in question. Now it is easy to make a “Countess of Hungary” out of the “Count of Hungary”.

We inserted these tags directly into our main working tool, the MemoQ automated translation program, and this:

in the game it turned into this:

The idea was introduced at the early stages of development, so it is difficult to assess how much it affected the financial results. However, the players spoke positively about the innovation, and sextags were used in subsequent projects of Social Quantum — Wild West: New Frontier, Ice Age World and Poker Jet.

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