Web-based Casual Games: Easy to Play, Difficult to Translate
28 October, 2016
Creating new web-based casual games requires new ideas. New ideas need new markets to grow. And to reach new markets and succeed, we need motivation and localization.
Fred Di Giacomo and Otavio Cohen had more than enough motivation to succeed. These two brave entrepreneurs and their fantastic team created a very original game for the Brazilian science magazine Super Interessante (In English: Very Interesting) called Science Kombat.
The game illustrates the constant fight between religion and science in search of higher knowledge. It combines famous scientists in a Street Fighter/Mortal Combat fighting mode, plus one final boss that relates to the “metaphorical fight” in between Science and Religion.
The main idea of this game is that each character (a world-known scientist) has a special power, related to the scientific discovery this character has made in his/her real life. For example, Isaac Newton has special powers related to optics and gravity.
The final bosses of the game represent the deities of some of the major religions in the world.
Fans of classic games will like the design of this game, as it pays tribute to old arcade games.
What about localization? In order to succeed in other countries, these games have to pass some interesting translation and localization challenges:
- Localization of character/heroes names
For example, the name “Charles Darwin”, in Brazilian Portuguese may remain as “Charles Darwin” as in English, but in some languages, it will require adapting. For example, in Latvian, it becomes “Čarlzas Robertas Darvinas”.
- Localization of achievements and discoveries
They may translate differently in each country. For example, Natural Selection can be translated into Spanish as “Selección natural” while in German this can sometimes be reduced to “Selektion”.
- UI (User Interface) issues
This is a common localization problem not only in web-based games but also in other web-based programs. UI behaviour can truncate and overlap translations, generating comprehension problems and cosmetic issues that affect end user usability.
These are just a few of the issues you may encounter. So this is why game developers should take localization into account from the planning phase, to avoid delays in the release of the source and target versions of the game. Counting on a reliable localization partner is, therefore, essential.
In the games industry, adapting names, discoveries and historical events is critical to capture the attention of the users and to keep them playing until reaching the Game Over screen. At Jensen Localization, we are very aware of this, and we know how to get the proper translation for each language variety.
Also, our skilled translators and dedicated project managers will help developers prevent localization issues. This teamwork between developers and localizers can help entrepreneurs to promote new ideas, as the more they learn about the specifics of each language and culture, the more additional features or special releases of a game for a particular market they can create. If budget allows for it, of course.
We have the knowledge and the tools to localize such games and to help their creators reach global success. Are you curious to know more? Do you like innovation? Contact us today!
If you would like to play it for free, visit Super Interessante.
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