Localization During Video Game Pre-production

Localization During Video Game Pre-production

Game creation begins long before the production stage.

During a video game development project, pre-production is the initial planning phase that focuses on creating core concepts and writing initial design documents that describe the future game. This pre-production stage influences the overall success of the development cycle and the team spirit, as everyone gets aligned and ready to achieve the best results.
Having been in the video game localization industry for over 10 years, I can tell that localization stakeholders are not always included in the pre-production stage, although their contribution is also very important for the overall success of the game.

So why should localization teams be involved in the pre-production stage?

We won’t deep dive into all the pre-production phases in this article (if you are curious about the steps you can read more in this fascinating article by Room 8 Studio), but there are two critical steps in the video game localization process that should happen during pre-production and all  beginner localizers should be aware of:

Culturalization (C13N)

If you want to take your game to an international audience, it’s important to assess the market in each territory and make sure you make the right creative and content choices. Sometimes your content will need to be adapted to a certain market in order to get more engagement from your players. Several culture-specific elements must be to be taken into account, such as history, religion, ethnicity, and geopolitics.

Internationalization (I18N)

Internationalization is basically everything that engineers (i.e. software, test, and content engineers) can do to enable localization to be done faster, cheaper, and with higher quality. It’s important for video game developers to know which steps they have to take in order for the game code to be able to accommodate more languages, and in many cases it is the localization team who will walk them through the process.

Do you want to learn about why involving the game localization team in the pre-production stage is a good idea? Sign up for the game localization master class, starting on June 14.

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Francesca Sorrentino has been in the video game localization industry since 2010, covering various roles: from marketing intern and translator for online games at Wooga and Bigpoint, to Senior Multilingual Localization Specialist at Electronic Arts managing large, multilingual titles such as FIFA, to Program Manager for the Games department at Alpha CRC.

Having experienced both the client and the service provider side of the industry, Francesca recently decided to become a freelance translator and consultant and is currently working as Conference Manager for Game Global, a conference dedicated to video game localization and QA, which is continuing to give her the chance deepen her knowledge about processes, challenges and best practices in the gaming industry.

Francesca holds a B.A. in Translation and an M.A. in Conference Interpreting, which she obtained in Italy, and has spent the last 10 years living and working first in Germany and now in beautiful Barcelona, Spain.

COURSES FROM Francesca Sorrentino

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