17 March 2011

How to localize your game with no budget - by Ivica Aracic

      Posted 03/11/11 09:23:00 am  

I recently stumbled upon getlocalization.com

The idea is simple: "GetLocalization.com brings Developers and Translators together to create applications everyone can understand. The translators can be professionals or members of your user community, you decide what is best for your product."

Sounds great! Since I wanted to localize my hobby project The Greedy Sponge, but had no budget to do it, I decided to open a project and check out what this site is about.

The system supports lot of string file formats (.strings, .properties, ...) and it is very easy to directly import your localization project files into the system as the translation master. Updates also work perfectly.

After this step, I translated from English into German by myself and the editor front-end is very easy to use. Finally, to get things in motion, I asked for the help in the reddit-community. Within a short period of time, I had full translations for 4 additional languages. I was honestly surprised how well this worked.

Now how about the quality of the translation: this is definitely a problem, as with a professional translation office, the translator has to know the language well, but he also has to know the context in which the translation is used. In order to be able to fine-tune a translation, the system provides a vote and suggestion system.

These were so far the basic (free) features of the system. People on a tight schedule or in a need for a professional translation, can setup bounties for specific tasks. Further, there is also an API for on-the-fly translations, i.e. your program automatically gets updated as the translation process advances. However, I didn't investigate these professional features further.

In summary, getlocalization.com offers an interesting and free way for developers (with budget or not) to get their games localized. And beyond that, involve their players into the development. 

I hope the site will offer soon a possibility to browse/search existing projects. It would be a great way to connect with people, provide help and get help. Quid pro Quo.

Curri Barcelo
12 Mar 2011 at 4:11 pm PST

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