First Time Player Review – DC Universe Online. Is it worthy playing?

Hello, everybody.

 

Today I’ll be talking about this not so old MMO game that I’ve just started playing and you may have heard about it. Still, many people that I talked to have never played before or tried once, but gave up.

dcuoHowever, before you think this is one more Review just like the others with experience people and talking, think again. My idea here is to bring a review from a first-time-player and not the I-spent-500-hours review. Why does that matter? Well, think about it. After you play a game for 500 hours or more, everything will be easy to understand, to remember, easy to do and explain to others in your own words! It’s really nice to have someone explaining everything and how it works. Makes you want to play it. Well, I kinda thing that sometimes that doesn’t work and having a first-player-review is like testing the game for the first time. The UI should be friendly and easy to use making the player experience wonderful and not hard. You’ll get what I mean later.

Here are some things to make you think about the game.

DC Universe Online (or as some people call DCUO) was developed by Daybreak Game Company and co-published by Daybreak Game Company and WB Games for PS3, PS4, Xbox One, and PC based on, of course, DC Universe of DC Comics. Released in January 11, 2011, this “not so free-to-play” gives the player an opportunity to be a super hero or a super villain in Gotham City or Metropolis City.

So, where do we start? Oh, yeah, the intro!

The start cinematic, beautifully developed by the producers, includes Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Robin, Cyborg, Flash, and Green Lantern in one side and Joker, Lex Luthor, Harley Quinn, Circe, Deathstroke, Black Adam, and Giganta fighting in the ruins of Metropolis. It’s worthy watching. At the end, Lex explains that the War was caused by the subtle manipulations of Brainiac. During the game, you can see in Gotham and Metropolis Brainiac’s ships hovering over the cities and the invasion all over.

With the end of it, its the players turn with first the creation of the character. I’m not going into all the things you can do, powers, skills, etc, because theres a lot of websites

Gender
First screen to create a character

talking about it. Roughly, you can choose between a super hero where your mentors can be Batman, Superman or Wonder Woman, or a super villain having mentors as Lex Luthor, The Joker or Circe. The character creation is really amazing and you have a lot of options to build your char, including your uniform which can be based in one of the heroes or villains or you can work on your own. With a variety of forms, types, colors, and shapes for the feet, wrist, back, head, hands, chest, shoulder, and legs you can sure bring something unique to your hero/villain or create a uniform like a Super Sayajin or One Punch Man (really, I’ve seen those…). Your first “mission” is to escape from Brainiac’s ship. Somehow, you were one of the heroes/Villains Brainiac was draining energy from. You can consider this as a tutorial for the controllers, communication, interface, scenario, powers, skill points, etc.

Uniform
Character based on … guess who!

After this first “stage” you have to go over missions that your mentor or other super hero/villain will give you. It goes from breaking into places, destroy things, rescue people, healing people, and all kind of mission related. Eventually, you will also find someone trying to break into a building or trying suicide. Just stop/talk to this NPC to get some free XP. With that, you are able to do raid instances (some require a specific level to get into), update your character with weapons, and armors. The world is huge and, even flying or using super speed, it takes a while to go from one point to another in the city.

The game has a lot of good sides to talk about, its really addicted, and you want to keep playing more and more. It’s a nice feeling to have super powers and go around messing or saving people. As of August 2014, according to Wikipedia, the game had 18 million registered users, AllGame gave 3.5 out of 5, Eurogamer 6/10, GameSpot 7.0, GamesRadar 6/10, IGN 8/10, PC gamer (US) 88%, and X-Play, 4/5. But, as any other game, it sure has some down sides. Really.

So, I played this one on the PS3 and PC. First, PS3, if you don’t have the way of controlling a character in a full open environment, do not try it on your console. Have you ever played Call of Duty or Battlefield on a console? Probably, yes, but aiming and moving the camera around should be made only for mouses, not controllers…. but that’s just me. I suck on that kind of game in a console. I’m not good using a controller where it should be a mouse. The PC version feels way more fluent and playable. To tell the truth, when I first tried on my PS3, I played for 15 minutes and gave up. Weeks later, I tried on the PC and here I’m writing about it.

DCUO-A&D
Research & Development Interface to create Exobites

Took me a while to get used to the user interface and many times I found myself using Google to search for how to do this, how to do that, what is this for, what is that for… The tutorial and interface for the items do not help at all. Yeah, after a while you get the way of it and some people would say “ah, that’s not so hard. I know everything and it’s quite easy”, because you took a while to search, go over, and understand it. Think about it. EVERY game, no ones know how to deal with, how to play, how to manage the skills, powers, items… and if you spend a lot of time playing it, you will eventually realized everything was easy and every piece fits together. This should be simple from the first time or at least on the first hours playing. Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that you should know the whole game on the first couple or hours, but the more you play the more you understand what you are doing and move on. You shouldn’t look for stuff all the time. I can also add that I saw other people, new players, asking the same questions in game, same problems, having the same issues. So, yeah, it’s not just me and I do believe the, in some point in history, you did Google how to do something. Exobits and Exobytes are and example of it. Those are not a bad idea – way far from that – but I had to Google and ask people how to deal with that. If I’m a new player, it should be simple, with a better tutorial,  friendly, step by step… otherwise, people would just give up because its “complicated”. (Still, its worthy to keep pushing it).

Exobits_In_Gothan
First screen to create a character

Exobits are all over the cities, but you don’t know what to do with them and, when your inventory is full (we’ll talk about that later), and you have no more space for nothing, its time to learn how it works. From there, you have to keep collecting them.With some Exobits, on a R&D Station, you can build Exobytes, with the right plan (you can buy some and others are drooped by bosses). When they are ready, you can add them to your armor. (Its like the diamonds in WoW or Diablo).

Now. Prices. Lets talk about the “free-to-play” marketing. Sure you can do that, play for free. I’ve been playing for free. However, your inventory has limited space as your bank and if you want more space, you have to subscribe. And it’s not a simple subscription .You have to keep paying for 1 month, 3 months, 6 months or, if you’d like, 12 months. Another issue is you don’t have access to all your money, for example. Long time ago, I heard you could handle only $2000. The overrun value goes to something you can call an “investment account” where you have to pay for the game so you can access that money. I didn’t get that at the first time. I thought that would be unlocked after I reached level 10/15/25/30. But, no. Today (2016), it’s still the same, but the amount you have available is now $1500. And to make things better, the value of fixing your armor is nothing more than $10, depending on the armor and how many pieces, and to pay better plans to build better mods to your equipments costs around $1550 or more. Thats right. A little bit higher than what you can handle. Anyway, you are still trying to learn how the game works, so you won’t be worried about it until you reach level 30. Nothing hard to do if you play 4 to 5 hours 2 (sometimes 3) days a week. Do the quests and you’ll be fine.

Another interesting thing is some parts of the game that you can only have access if you buy that specific part. As chapters are released with new content, you have to keep buying them to have access to certain areas. Now, the game has a 22 chapters or episodes, $4 each and some of them for $9.99. Want to keep playing, buy it.

Ok. How about the subscription!?

dcuo membership
Subscription table for the Free, Premium, and Legendary accounts

If you get a subscription and kept paying for that, you’ll have access to a few stuff as the DLC packs, Free replay badges monthly, in game currency (access to your savings account), more space in your character inventory, Broker slots, banks slots (Free – 12 slots, premium account 24 slots, and legendary account, 48 slots), trade items and cash with people, powers (example:light, electricity, earth, quantum, celestial, and rage you have to pay $29,99 to have it), etc…. Somewhere in the game you get the chance to have a HQ. Your own place to call cave, home, place, cell, whatever… You can put furniture in it, place your armor, allow people in, even but some busters to have a sidekick and other nice things, but it doesn’t go much far than that (I really don’t know at this point because I haven’t paid). You don’t have a locker or a place you can hold items (you have to pay for it, I guess). If you want power cells to get other adds to your character, you’ll have to pay for it (really…). Some of this and other stuff can be bought using in-game money (DBC money) however, guess what? They cost money. you can find more info here.

Oh, I almost forgot, as a free player you can only create 2 characters and, if you logout and try to login again, sometimes the game puts you into a queue to get into the game. Yep, you have to wait to people to disconnect so you can play for free. If you pay, you’ll wait 1 second to login. Free player, around 3 minutes but I had usually waited 5 to 10 minutes sometimes. The game also keeps giving you Prometheum Lockboxes which contains (I don’t know, have never opened one) great items, armor, weapons, better than the ones you find in the game. And if you plan to keep them until you have enough time, level, money to buy the game, think again. The lockboxes are only available for 30 days. After that, they disappear. I found close to 6 or 7 and through all of them away, so far.

You may also bump into some kid playing the game and chatting all the time instead of letting you playing, but it doesn’t really make a difference in your game. Just ignore them. Another interesting things is someone may also call your attention if you are speaking too weird stuff (because there are kids playing the game). Again, not a big issue, but it’s weird, isn’t it?!? Feels like Captain American telling me to watch my language… Anyway, a mix of culture is also interesting to find there as I saw Turkish, Brazilians, Chinese, Americans, Canadians, Europeans, etc.

dc_universe_online-widescreen_wallpapersOverall, the game is really good to play and people should definitely try it out, but they could make a better UI and work on those tutorials. Explain better stuff and how to use them. Most of the that I figured it out but not without at least once, going online to look for help. I would say, if you have sometime and are looking for a fun no so “free-to-play” game, this is your game and, if you feel you are going somewhere with it, just go for the membership. I do believe its worthy and compare to other games and costs, it’s not that high.

As me, I’m going to keep my self a free player for a while…

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Translation and Localization in Brazil

Hi!

Talking about Localization, we saw that this is the process of  the language adaptation, appearance, and functionality of a product to the public in a specific country. There are many things to take care of and this professional has to be aware of the culture and more.

Deeper into this subject, we have the Brazilian Portuguese Localization. No different from what I said before, but aiming the Brazilian public. Our biggest problem here, and the complains of many people that I talk to, are the movies. Dubbed movies are, most of the time, horrible to watch and make a lot of ears bleed if you know how to speak English. Of course not all the Brazilians can learn English – or another language – and watch the movie with the original sound, but, if they only knew what happens, they may agree with me.

Well, one example is the translation of movie titles. Let work with a really nice movie that I liked a lot because of the sound tracks – Tenacious D and the Pick of Destiny. In Portuguese, the translation of that is “Tenacious D – Uma Dupla Infernal” (In Portugal is it call – Rock dos Infernos – En: Rock from Hell). So, let supposed that the movie was released in Brazil and we had to translate to English. The name would be “Tenacious D – An Infernal Double” or “An Infernal Couple”, something like that. Wouldn’t that sound pretty weird?

Now, assuming that the movie is about 2 guys that are looking for a magic guitar pic, why wouldn’t translate the title to “Tenacious D – A palheta do Destino” (Original English name: Tenacious D and the Pick of Destiny).

Well, that’s because that wouldn’t be so good as “Uma dupla Infernal”. If you research and check the movies here in Brazil, most of it has really different names and that is because of Localization.

I started to understand why they give such names to the movies that would sound so good also in Portuguese. Brazilian people are not used to these kinds of names and, to reach most of the population, they have to call that. According to the online newspaper ultimosegundo.ig.com.br, only 2% of the Brazilian population knows how to speak fluent English. Then imagine you releasing a movie here In Brazil with the original title. And more, most of the Brazilian people are not used to the kind of music that is played on the movie. Hard/Heavy music are some styles really hard to get into the Brazilian culture. So, that’s why – and for other reasons – that they had to change the name.

I have to say that really makes me feel bad, because, when talking about music, it is a pretty good movie, but I have to agree that it wouldn’t reach so many people with the original title translated.

There is where we come with the localization. Not only on the movies, but in games. If you do not do a really good job, not only translating but localizing, something in the game will be out of tune for the Brazilian public and it make take you game – which can be amazing – to a disaster just because you didn’t do a good job.

Another think about it is how you translate and how you localize a specific game to a specific public. But I will try to talk about that in another post.

Part II – Tips for a Good Translation

Hi.

There I am again with second part of the Tips for a good translation. Once more, these are information that I found over the internet and if you want to check the real source, please IT IS ON THE POST. Read all of it. If after reading once, you couldn’t find the source, READ IT AGAIN! Then if you couldn’t, again, find the source, make sure that you really could find it and send me and e-mail that I will personally (as being the only one working on the blog right now) include it. J

Source of the text: http://www.terminologia.com.br/2011/09/dicas-ao-aspirante-a-tradutor/ (Yo, you found it!!!!)

Translation and adaptation to English: Blog’s Author. Enjoy the reading!

1 – Do the right thing. To understand a pair of languages is indispensable, but NOT enough. All the languages have its own particularities, idiomatic expressions, etc. e.g. a good translator is not the one that translates everything word by word, but the ones that knows how to understand the info and express it correctly on the target idiom;

2 –Research A LOT. Search about the text and work you are doing, so you can understand of what you are writing about. Invest as long as it necessary, because that will give you more confidence and agility when working;

3 – NEVER GUESS. When you get to a point where you have to translate something that has many meanings, make a “cross comparison” of the term’s definition on the main language and target language. Compare them until you find a better translation that fits on your work;

4 – Update yourself. Get into Forums about translation. It is a good way to count with others experience and still be updated with what is going on in the market.

5 – Use, but do not abused the internet. Search engines, as Google, are really helpful when talking about translations. But never trust on the “superficial look” or, “just a quick look” to check something. Go after many sources before deciding to use a term. It doesn’t matter that a term back with 1 million accesses of views, it still can be wrong.

6 – Lear how use a computer. This is your main object of work. Do not stay just on writing texts and using Word. Get into the internet, write e-mails, connect yourself, discover. There are a lot of information (useful ones) if you know where to look and how to do a search;

7 – Be ethical and professional. Read all the text and analyses before accepting the job. Calculate how long you will take to research about the subject, translate and revise everything. Even when the water is coming up to your neck, be ethic: never share a work that was given to you. If you won’t be able to do it, refuse it. Not knowing how to deal with dead-lines can be really bad for your image and it’s better to say that you can’t do it, then to accept and not deliver on time.

8 – Put some efforts into it. Sorry, a lot of efforts into it. To translate is not a “cheap job”. It is a professional like any other that requires a lot of efforts, dedication and improvement to do a great work and build a client list.

Still, there are a lot of other things that we have to learn, but those are the basic, according to the web site where the text came from as below.

Source of the text: http://www.terminologia.com.br/2011/09/dicas-ao-aspirante-a-tradutor/ (Yo, you found it!!!! AGAIN!!!)

Originally posted in 21/02/2014.

The Truth About Being a Game Tester – II

Hello, again!

As I was going through the Internet, I found out this information – more – about being a Game Tester. A lot of people may have a variety of different opinions, but they can say whatever they want, for me, it still seems a dream job.

Video game testing plays a crucial role in the development of new video games. Game testers put games through the paces while still in development and when finished, to ensure gamers have a good experience. Game testers conduct video game QA, or quality assurance, finding mistakes, bugs and other problems that could annoy or turn off the gaming community if they’re not fixed.

Don’t let the word “game” in this job title fool you. Video game testing is a serious job. If you think it involves whiling away the hours playing the latest games, think again. Video game testing can be as tedious and frustrating as any job. It requires an organized, disciplined approach to product testing and not just finding new ways to score high or beat the game.

Video game testers must have lots of patience, be methodical in their approach and have a keen eye for details. They must be good communicators and have some understanding of computer hardware and software. And, of course, it helps to have awesome controller skills and the hand-eye coordination needed to navigate through multiple levels of increasing challenges. Yes, being good at video games is helpful to video game testers (but not absolutely necessary)!

(Blog’s Author: One more thing. Imagine that you love to play games like resident Evil, Fear and survival horror and you are working in a company that ask you to test a soccer game. Try to play something like Winner Eleven or FIFA and you realized that you are not just a fan of sports, but you really don’t like games like that either. Well, it may be really boring to play that for thousands of times and have to go over it again and again and again.

Well, this is just another way of seeing things and trying to understand it but as I said, still playing, still having fun.)

Source: http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/video-game-tester.htm

New Tips about a Good Translation

Hello, everybody!

Sorry for taking so long for another post, but I had a few things going on and didn’t have time to update.

Well, I am back and I will try to keep everything updated.

Once more, here I come with more tips about how to do a really good translation. Important to say, and I hope you also read this that the text IS NOT MINE. I just translated from a Portuguese Forum where Translators give each other tips about the work. Also, at the end of every post I make sure to include the SOURCE of the text if anyone wants to check it.

Hope you guys make good use of the tips. This first part of the tips are from a Forum where a guy – named Moicano – give some of the things that he use and used during his life experience. Also, those are specifically tips for Game Translation.

1 – Always read carefully the info on the topic of the project, this is the place the administrator will post how he wants the translation, dates of delivery of the files and other rules. Also, before you start translating, you have to know how you will translate, because the file format of the games changes from one to another.

2 – The best program to translate is Notepad ++ (Author’s note: Agreed. I personally use this one). Whit it, is possible to work will all kind of files and it’s Free! Still, you can use the one of your own preference.

3 – If it’s possible, try to use both languages. Most of the translations are made with English as based language and Spanish as support. And knowing how to use these both idioms can make the difference on the time of the translation. […] (Author’s note: This is an article focus the Brazilian people. However, you can adapt to your language as much as you need. Try to find another language similar to yours (if possible) to help with the translation.)

4 – DO NOT translate every word. This is a common mistake that all the translations made when thinking that they have to translate everything. In a good translation, the author creates ways to adapt the text and the information. You have to remember that the translation is being done for the people that speak your language, so nothing better than a good interpretation of the text and dialogs.

5 – ALWAYS use a Spelling and Grammar tool. Most of the time, it correct punctuation and other things and that can make the difference, if you spend a few minutes correcting and reading again what you’ve done.

6 – Ask for help. Post your questions on Forums and discussions sites. Do not stay stuck alone translating things. Nothing better than share the knowledge and learn a little more every day. You can also help some other translator to finish they work faster as they can do with you.

7 – Use dictionaries, translators, wikis as below:

Bab.la – Great dictionary, translate into many languages, explain all the possible translations of the word, give examples on how we can use the words, etc.

Urbandictionary – American Slang’s dictionary. It is also important to underline that American slangs has now translation to Portuguese. So there is where UD comes in handy. As a translation, you can read, understand and translate to Portuguese (Or any other language that you are working with). Also is a good one to search for the synonymous words of what you are looking for.

Wikia – Wiki Gamer, a complete wiki of games where you can find a lot of information about (GUESS) GAMES! Also, it is really important to use it because many games have their own terms when talking about guns, items, objects. So you can’t just translate it. (Author’s note: I also posted another text about that here on the blog).

WordReference – Besides being a good translator, what it’s important to underline is that it helps you with synonymous, definitions and other in Portuguese and Spanish. This can come in handy when you’re checking a sentence that doesn’t really fits the game of the situation.

When, so far that’s it. Once more, the text is NOT MINE and I am just spreading knowledge to other. Also, you can adapt to your own work and language. There is no rule on how the translation should be done. Still, you can follow some of them to help you out at work.

Hugs and hope to see you guys here more often.

Originally posted in 20/02/2014.

The Truth About Being a Game Tester

Hello,

I found this text in another website and translated to Portuguese so many of my readers could understand. Now I am posting the original one.

Hope you like it.

Many students dream of being a beta tester or game tester, someone who plays games for a living. It sounds like the ultimate job, right? You’re someone who enjoys playing games, and so what could possibly be better than sitting in a comfy chair, sipping on sodas, and playing games while getting paid for it? There are hundreds of websites and advertisements out there trying to lure unsuspecting students into programs and schools to become a game tester, and there’s even a TV centered around it. It’s such easy bait that many students buy into the dream, hoping to end up in what sounds like a perfect job.

(Blog’s Author: Now, this is when talking about USA and other places as far as I know. It is important to underline that here in Brazil that is not so common and we hardly see adds about how you can be a game tester.)

Unfortunately, being a beta tester professionally isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Quality Assurance, or QA as it’s called in the industry, comes with a lot of negatives that students aren’t aware of as they pursue the rosy picture in their minds. I’ve worked with a lot of great people who are game testers, and while it may be a good career for some, for most of my students that I advise it’s no a wise choice. These are a few reasons for this, and there are some better options that I tend to steer students towards instead.

The first main drawback is that the work is actually not nearly as fun as you would think; on the contrary, it’s quite tedious. Students who imagine game testing imagine it being similar to when they have their friends over to play some games – sitting around, playing a few matches here and there, and trying out the newest games when they come out. Working in QA isn’t anything like this. The primary purpose of quality assurance is to find bugs and problems in the game, such as the game crashing, glitches in the images, or incorrect behavior. In order to find these bugs, QA has to play the game over and over and over again. For example, if you were working on Call of Duty, then when the first level was ready to play, then you would play through it. Then you would play through it again. And again. You’d try to do something slightly different each time, waiting for the game to crash. You will probably end up playing the same level literally hundreds of times. This is a far cry from the rosy picture most people have of testers and has a feeling much closer to assembly line work.

(Blog’s Author: Now, here comes something really important: Passion for games. It may be hard to do as he says, playing the same kind of level again and again, but you have to look at the real core of the business. You are playing video games as a job)

The second main drawback of being a pro beta tester is low pay. Of all the careers in games covered by the games industry salary survey done every year, QA consistently ranks the lowest, at over $26,000 lower than the next lowest discipline. Even leads and experienced QA personnel aren’t paid very much. This is a huge drawback when considering which path in games.

(Blog’s Author: This is something that I am going a little more further lately…)

The final drawback is that a career in QA has limited upward mobility. Some QA testers manage to move into other career paths like design or production, but most QA testers are stuck in QA for life, no matter how skilled they become. It makes it very difficult to move into another discipline, and since everyone wants to be a QA tester, there isn’t much negotiating power to move to other companies as well.

So what’s a gamer to do? In my career advising sessions with students and parents, I often advise them to consider a career as a pro beta tester or QA only after considering other paths first. While I have worked with many great people in QA, if you can become a designer, artist, or engineer, then you’ll be getting paid more, enjoy greater autonomy in your work, and have better mobility in your career.

Source: http://thegameprodigy.com/the-truth-about-being-a-game-beta-tester/

(Blog’s Author: Ok. Overall, I think Brice may be right in some aspects about being a Game Tester. One of the things is that he is taking the Game Tester as a JOB. (Of course it is a job!) But what I am saying is that many students that would like to work as a Game Tester want that because it is something -and it has to be in every job – fun. You have to enjoy doing it and you have to be happy of doing it. Think about it. You will have to spend 8 hours of your day doing that. It is more than 30% of your day, so you supposed to do spend it in something that you like.

Now, I do agreed with him that this work is not JUST fun. You will have to deal with bosses, coworkers, pressure, dead-lines, documents, pay your bills with the salary and may not be enough, deal with problems during the work, etc. And that is what people should understand when talking about Game Testing.

Overall, my opinion is that if you do something that you really like and enjoy doing, you won’t need to call it a job and the money and the rest will come naturally.)

Video Game Localization – Part II

Miss part one? Read it here!

IMPORTANT: DUE TO A FEW COMMENTS LATELY, I WOULD LIKE TO ADD THAT ALL THE TEXT RIGHTS ARE EXCLUSIVE TO THAIS CASTANHEIRA AND THE TEXT IS NOT MINE.

For more information about her, please note her website – http://www.thaiscastanheira.com/en.html


TEXT SOURCE: http://blog.gengo.com/video-game-localization/

A Successfully Localized Game

With the huge amount of games being released daily and the fierce competition for the next big hit increasing rapidly, the localization process is in many cases, unfortunately, becoming more about speed and output and less about quality and consistency. In many instances, translators simply don’t have enough time to study the game, play the game and perform Quality Assurance on the game once it goes live. In fact, in my opinion, it’s becoming very rare to see a producer that actually takes all of this into consideration when planning the localization project schedule.

Conversely, there are still some very successful cases of localization out there as well. So, how about we focus on the successful cases and use them as our benchmark? And if you’re a game producer considering going global with your game, here’s a few tips I can share with you:

1. Hire a Localization Project Manager

Not too long ago, I was lucky enough to be part of the localization team for a Facebook game called Wild West Town. The game was created by a company by the name of Clipwire, and they did a fantastic job too. Why? Well, partly because they hired an in-house Project Manager (PM) to simultaneously manage all aspects of the localization process.

In a simple example, one scenario where the PM will jump in to help localizers remain efficient might be when a word that has many different meanings needs quick clarification. For instance, take the word “home” and on its own without any context it can mean one’s residence, the first page of a website or the start of a game. Because localizers can’t take any chances with words like this, they depend on the PM to guide them through their translations.

Also, by being there during the localization process, the PM can ensure that translations are correct the first time so that the entire team isn’t wasting time fixing minor errors after the localization is complete. Good characteristics of a PM include someone who can:

  • Manage deadlines to keep the translation and localization of a project on schedule
  • Ensure that mistakes are fixed in a timely manner
  • Prepare the files for translators
  • Answer questions that localizers have about specific content
  • Act as liaison between localizers and others in the game development (i.e. engineers, designers and content team)

2. Make Translators Play the Game

 Like I mentioned above, it’s always best that game localizers actually play the game. Still using Clipwire as a good example, this company provided all its translators everything they needed to play the game thus making it easier and faster for them to complete missions and clear levels. Trust me, there’s nothing like having an unlimited supply of game money, supplies, XP points and energy when playing a game. 😉 (Blog’s Author: That is soooo truth. haha. I had to do it with my translation of the game Alien Shooter – Vengeance from Sigma’s Team.)

The more time a game localizer has to spend with the game, the better suited they are when it comes time to using their creative insights for completing the localization process. It is this personal experience with the game, as opposed to knowledge or techniques (although these are also important), that really makes a huge difference in the end. Translators who play the games before localizing them have a chance to:

  • Experience the feel of the game
  • See the characters
  • Learn how the game really works
  • Conceptualize the story
  • And much more!

3. Bribe Designers Any Way Possible (Within Reason)

 (Blog’s Author: This is also important. Some words in a specific language fit better than others. Try to translate something into Japanese, for example, and the same word into Russian or German. It will fit different at the screen and the designer probably will have to go over many times through this as the text examples…)

If you don’t already know how much designers like to change their work once it’s finished, the answer is not at all! In the world of game localization, however,  the words “not at all” just don’t exist. The reason is simple. Every new language a game is localized into means the game must be tweaked and adjusted so that it meets the standards required by its new audience. This is why you want to treat designers nicely—give them lots of caffeine, candy and everything else they need to keep happy.

Here is a quick example for you. When the original version of a game (let’s say it’s a US English version) is created, the writers, developers, artists and everyone else on the team has a responsibility to create an environment that works for a US-based English speaking gamer—and that’s only one language. A designer could very well have to change the same image ten times for a game that’s localized into ten languages. For example, take a look at the photo to the right to see how the words “limited time offer” have been localized into several different languages. This is exactly what I’m talking about. Now here are some examples of what designers have to keep an eye out for:

  • A localizer might mistranslate a term due to an inaccuracy in context
  • The limitations of the new language effects the appearance of characters or game layout
  • The localizer later came up with a more precise translation for a sentence
  • Sentence lengths are either too short or too long when translated (Portuguese can be 30% longer than English!)

In short, a lot can change quickly in the midst of the localization process. And this is why it’s important to build in some flexibility so that changes to design and language can be made as needed. Above all else, keeping peace within the team is key. Of course, finding the perfect blend of patience and creativity is sometimes easier said than done.

4. Don’t Ignore the Quality Assurance Phase

 Quality Assurance is a very important step if you’re a game developer trying to create a successful game. This is particularly crucial if your game is one that’s played online through social media platforms like Facebook. The reason is because there are tons of social games out there to be played, which means the odds of someone choosing to play a poorly translated game when they can play one that’s been localized well isn’t likely. Not to mention, because social games are usually geared towards the more casual player (as opposed to the serious gamer), they have to be localized well to keep players engaged and coming back for more. Although there is a long laundry list of different areas that need to be checked and re-checked by the localization team, some of the important ones not to be left off the list include:

  • Checking for consistency with the images
  • Making sure character dialogues are clear and accurate
  • Verifying that all the content of the game is in the target language
  • Checking abbreviations—all it takes is one slip like “abb evry sgl wd of stce” to ruin that special moment for a gamer

(Blog’s Author: This is something that many people that want to work with translation/localization does not know. To have a good quality in what you are doing, you will probably have to go over the same place at the game thousands of times. Of course you may have a lot of people to help you if you are working for a big company, but on my case translating by myself, I had to go over the game over and over and over and over again….. okay, not that I didn’t like that, but some people may find it tedious. Not me! :))

So, that’s it! If you want to get into this industry, make sure to keep in mind that, as any other job you will have good things and bad things. The different is how you treat them and deal with all the situations. Something that is a problem for you, may be a solution for me….

Take care!

New Tips about a Good Translation

Hello, everybody!

Sorry for taking so long for another post, but I had a few things going on and didn’t have time to update.

Well, I am back and I will try to keep everything updated.

Once more, here I come with more tips about how to do a really good translation. Important to say, and I hope you also read this that the text IS NOT MINE. I just translated from a Portuguese Forum where Translators give each other tips about the work. Also, at the end of every post I make sure to include the SOURCE of the text if anyone wants to check it.

Hope you guys make good use of the tips. This first part of the tips are from a Forum where a guy – named Moicano – give some of the things that he use and used during his life experience. Also, those are specifically tips for Game Translation.

1 – Always read carefully the info on the topic of the project, this is the place the administrator will post how he wants the translation, dates of delivery of the files and other rules. Also, before you start translating, you have to know how you will translate, because the file format of the games changes from one to another.

2 – The best program to translate is Notepad ++ (Author’s note: Agreed. I personally use this one). Whit it, is possible to work will all kind of files and it’s Free! Still, you can use the one of your own preference.

3 – If it’s possible, try to use both languages. Most of the translations are made with English as based language and Spanish as support. And knowing how to use these both idioms can make the difference on the time of the translation. […] (Author’s note: This is an article focus the Brazilian people. However, you can adapt to your language as much as you need. Try to find another language similar to yours (if possible) to help with the translation.)

4 – DO NOT translate every word. This is a common mistake that all the translations made when thinking that they have to translate everything. In a good translation, the author creates ways to adapt the text and the information. You have to remember that the translation is being done for the people that speak your language, so nothing better than a good interpretation of the text and dialogs.

5 – ALWAYS use a Spelling and Grammar tool. Most of the time, it correct punctuation and other things and that can make the difference, if you spend a few minutes correcting and reading again what you’ve done.

6 – Ask for help. Post your questions on Forums and discussions sites. Do not stay stuck alone translating things. Nothing better than share the knowledge and learn a little more every day. You can also help some other translator to finish they work faster as they can do with you.

7 – Use dictionaries, translators, wikis as below:

Bab.la – Great dictionary, translate into many languages, explain all the possible translations of the word, give examples on how we can use the words, etc.

Urbandictionary – American Slang’s dictionary. It is also important to underline that American slangs has now translation to Portuguese. So there is where UD comes in handy. As a translation, you can read, understand and translate to Portuguese (Or any other language that you are working with). Also is a good one to search for the synonymous words of what you are looking for.

Wikia – Wiki Gamer, a complete wiki of games where you can find a lot of information about (GUESS) GAMES! Also, it is really important to use it because many games have their own terms when talking about guns, items, objects. So you can’t just translate it. (Author’s note: I also posted another text about that here on the blog).

WordReference – Besides being a good translator, what it’s important to underline is that it helps you with synonymous, definitions and other in Portuguese and Spanish. This can come in handy when you’re checking a sentence that doesn’t really fits the game of the situation.

When, so far that’s it. Once more, the text is NOT MINE and I am just spreading knowledge to other. Also, everything that you read here, you can adapt to your own work and language. There is no rule on how the translation should be done. Still, you can follow some of them to help you out at work.

Hugs and hope to see you guys here more often.

Video Game Localization – Part I

Hello folks,

As looking over the Internet, I found this text from Thaís Castanheira, a Translator/Localization gamer in Brazil. Please, take sometime to read it, because this is pretty amazing and has some really good information.

IMPORTANT: DUE TO A FEW COMMENTS LATELY, I WOULD LIKE TO ADD THAT ALL THE TEXT RIGHTS ARE EXCLUSIVE TO THAIS CASTANHEIRA AND THE TEXT IS NOT MINE.

For more information about her, please note her website – http://www.thaiscastanheira.com/en.html

TEXT SOURCE: http://blog.gengo.com/video-game-localization/

What Makes a Great Game Localizer?

 Does it take a true game enthusiast to make a great game localizer? Well, in my opinion, the answer is a resounding “yes!” In fact, once in a while, fellow translators ask me how to break into game translation and the first thing I always tell them is “you must like video games.” The way I see it, translators who don’t play video games don’t have the necessary background and understanding required for translating the specific and niche-terms gamers expect in the gaming world. Not to mention, game reviewers can generally tell if the localizer is, in fact, a true gamer. That’s all there is to it.

Not everyone agrees with me on this. Some believe it doesn’t matter who the translator is as long as they’re a professional. But let me give you one example of why I am skeptical of this. (Blog’s Author: I do have to agree with her. You can’t have a good translation if you don’t love what you are doing. Otherwise, will be only another job…)

Once I was asked to translate the back cover of Assassin’s Creed – Revelations from English into Brazilian Portuguese. At the time, while I was aware of the game, I hadn’t actually played it. And even though I wasn’t a fan, I didn’t have to be one to know how important it was for those who were—especially since it was the third game in the series.

If you aren’t a gamer, think about it this way. For a moment, imagine if you had played this game from the very beginning. Not only would you have seen exactly how the story first evolved, but you would have also saved the game countless times as you slowly worked your way through each level of the game defeating bosses, rescuing entire villages and discovering new secrets taking you to new and exciting places. Next, imagine that you cleared the first game, then the second and now you’re ready to play what could be the third and final chapter of this thrilling story.

Clearly, as a gamer, you’d want everything to be perfect, right? And this is the exact reason I knew that I had my work cut out for me. The content I was given to translate included:

  • A portion of a speech given by Ezio Auditore, the main character in the story
  • Copy about the weapons, enemies and an entire universe I wasn’t familiar with at all
  • General marketing and PR materials about the game

 Translation vs. Localization

 (Blog’s Author: This is also important. Translate is what really the word means: To translate. You simply work with one language and translate to another taking care of grammar, puntuation, understanding, local vocabulary, etc. But to localize is something totally different from that. You have to deal with the region you are working with, way of speaking, people, culture and more. You do Translate the text, but taking care with another things that a Translator wouldn’t normally care.)

I had a choice. I could either translate, or I could localize. And when I say “localize,” I’m not talking about just localizing it into Portuguese, but into Portuguese as it would be used in the world of Assassin’s Creed. This means translating words with the same vocabulary that appeared in previous games and marketing materials. And because fans of the game would expect it to be done this way, that’s what I did. Now let me tell you how.

  1. Become Familiar with the Language

(Blog’s Author: I always tell people that asks me how I work when translating a speech of some character. It is not just translating it. I have to see the character, understand how he/she thinks, her feelings, thoughts, where he lives, why he lives, etc. I try to understand the character because the way it speaks would affect the whole game. Can you picture Kratos talking smart words and like a nerd, just because the translator thought that would be better to use difficult words because of the developer or to impress with the work? Or even, that some bad vocabulary is not appropriated for the game and change it…..)

Gamers are your most valuable source of information when it comes to learning more about a game. And that’s why I always like to start a project by browsing the internet to read forums, pages about the game and comments in the target language. Having this background knowledge can be very helpful.

Here is an example of what I’m talking about. The main character in Assassin’s Creed (Ezio) uses a weapon called a hookblade. The Portuguese translation of this word is lâmina-gancho, but research showed me that most Brazilian players actually refer to it by its English name instead.

The reason is because the previous games of this series didn’t have subtitles in Portuguese, so the gamers learned the name of the weapons in English. Without research, I would have never known this important detail and I could have mistakenly translated the word into something that was “correct,” even though it wasn’t the word adopted by the gaming community.

Now how about this next example? The localized title of Assassin’s Creed is Ordem dos Assassinos (Assassin’s Order) instead of Credo dos Assassinos as many might think it would be. Again, the bottom line is that translating critical words (i.e. the title of the game) without careful research can be a move that’s detrimental—take my gamer’s word for it.

  1. Learn the Ins and Outs of the Characters

Who is this guy Ezio and why is he an Assassin? What is the Assassin’s Creed anyways? How was this game translated into my language in the first place?

Essentially, these were the types of questions I was pondering at the start of this project. Finding the answers definitely required some investigation. So I dove into Ezio’s life, learned his story and guess what happened? I loved it so much that I became a fan! In fact, I even bought the book and it still sits on my shelf today.

If possible, I also like to play previous versions of the localized game, but this isn’t always an option. Otherwise, I do whatever it takes to go deep into the story and use the (sometimes little) time available to try and understand what it is that makes so many people crazy about it—even if I don’t always agree.

In the case of Assassin’s Creed, I was hooked from the start, but this isn’t always how it works out. That’s why, regardless of whether I share the same sentiment about any of the games I translate, I always make sure I respect the feelings of the gamers who play them.

For more information about her, please note her website – http://www.thaiscastanheira.com/en.html

Text source: http://blog.gengo.com/video-game-localization/

My Work with Blender 3D – III

Good Evening, everyone.

First, I would like to say that I am sorry for taking so long to do a new post to the blog. I had to do some travels for my work as a Sales Executive and didn’t have time to post or do anything new.

Hope you guys enjoy my last work on Blender and keep checking the blog!

 Animated chain using Key Frame and physics details.

 First attempt to make an Ice Cube into a water glass. With not so many details, with work better on this one.

 Two bellpeppers into water. Working with water physics and 1000 Samples.

This was a Second try of working a soccer ball. On this one you can check that I did many other details, reflects and shape.

On this one, I used a few Layouts and the Node Editor to make the gas effect.

Thanks for reading and hope to see you again!
Originally posted in 02/02/2014.