We Were Here Too Newsflash #3

One of the things we think about a lot during the development process of We Were Here Too is how we can best engage with our audience. Our first game We Were Here was – and still is – played by people from all around the world, who not necessarily have English as their mother tongue. When we were in the process of getting our game We Were Here published on Steam, it was most logical to do this in English. As native speakers of Dutch ourselves, English is the foreign language we are most familiar with and it is also the language in which most games are published on Steam. We do, however, realize that this isn’t necessarily true for the people who enjoy playing our games.

This brings us to the topics of translation and localization. For We Were Here Too we are once again developing the game in English. This applies to all the written and spoken texts that occur in the game, but also to the ways in which we keep you guys updated on the development process through our social media channels and website. But besides that we do also want to engage as many people as possible in our game and have therefore decided to have We Were Here Too translated in a number of languages. The selection of languages in which the game will be available is based on the number of players by country, as shown on Steam, but also on the number of people who speak the language in general. This selection includes:

  • Chinese (simplified)
  • Chinese (traditional)
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Russian
  • Dutch
  • German
  • French
  • Spanish
  • Polish
  • Italian
  • Portuguese
  • Portuguese (Brazil)
  • English

As you can see, we have included some of the most widely spoken languages in the world, in order to get as many people as possible to play We Were Here Too in their mother tongue. The first step in this process is that the store description on our Steam page has already been translated, so that potential players can get to know a little bit more about the sequel to We Were Here. On our page: http://store.steampowered.com/app/677160/We_Were_Here_Too/, you can select the language of your choice in the top right corner, and see this for yourself.

Translating a game – or any other type of medium for that matter – is not a straight-forward case. There are various aspects that must be taken into account, because it’s not only a difference in language that plays a role, but often also a difference in culture. This is where the topic of localization comes into play.  

Localization in language can be described as the process of adapting a product that has been translated into multiple languages to a specific country. A product is in this case not only translated, but is also adapted to the cultural aspects of the target language users. In the case of We Were Here Too, the focus will lie on linguistic and cultural localization, although there are also other possible features of localization, where for example the graphics and music are adapted. This is, however, something we do not mean to engage in, because we want to offer every player the same type of gameplay experience. We wish for every player of our game to be able to talk to others about the game, discuss the puzzles on forums and watch gameplay videos made by others. Changing such aspects as graphics would not aid to this goal.

We have therefore decided to solely focus on the localization of linguistic aspects, by translating written and spoken texts, and to engage in cultural localization wherever necessary. But this does not mean that there are no challenges anymore that have to be dealt with. The main goal, after all, is to make We Were Here Too engaging for players all around the world. What will, for example, be done with certain puzzles, in which the player has to decipher linguistic hints to be able to solve them? Or what about imagery, wordplay or puns? These are all things that need to be taken into consideration in the process of translating and localizing We Were Here Too and will be aspects to think about during the development of the game.

To assure the quality of the translations, we are working with professional translation agencies and translators. The texts are translated by native speakers who are experienced with the genre of video games themselves. We also have a translation manager, who supervises the project and makes sure everything goes smoothly. This way, we are confident that the translation process of We Were Here Too is in good hands and that as many people as possible can enjoy our game when it will be published!   

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