Part 6: Technologies
The majority of game localization service providers employ localization technologies commonly used within the industry to aid their translation efforts. In recent times, there has been exceptional progress in software development and there are now cutting-edge localization technologies that are anticipated to become widely used in the near future. Despite this, there are still plenty of new and exciting technological innovations that are still much farther out from being released and adopted as new state of the art solutions.
Technologies currently used in localizing games
Today's reliable game localization technologies include the likes of memoQ, XTM, XTRF and SDL software for managing translation. Additionally, there are an array of translation technologies that can be implemented based on which digital environment the game localization project is to be performed in. Your games localization company should be fully equipped with the industry's best available digital tools for maximizing process efficiency and quality outcomes.
Partially automated translation systems
Predefined game localization processes promote quality. On the other hand, current technology for continuous localization provides an integrated process that enables game localizers automation options for some text translation steps while avoiding the risk of adversely impacting the quality. A couple of key examples include automated text translation software, process management software and QA spot-checking, as well as full-scope testing software.
Process management software
String Extraction and Resource Generation Engine (SERGE) is an open-source solution that provides advanced tech alternatives that render some manual localization steps outmoded, such as tasks for exporting, converting and transferring files for translation. Other tasks that are now just as well handled by automated processes include reverse conversions, recording modifications in the version control system and a number of other essential tasks.
SERGE software obtains source content, queues it for the translation step and retrieves the translated text. It then integrates the translated text back into the game. Beyond auto-pulling and -pushing file mods, SERGE also syncs with the outside CAT tool you prefer to use.
QA checking and testing software
Machine translation (MT) is a widely used technology in the localization industry. It's a very useful software tool for examining your game product post-localization. It's also a good evaluation tool for discovering new ideas and approaches to modifying a game's design during the localization phase.
Before executing standard QA processes, QA spot-checks may be performed, as an added service (it's advisable to add QA spot-checks to your budget.) Good software tools for QA tasks include Verifika, QA built-in CAT and Xbench. ServiceNow is another useful tool for localization QA.
Games marketing technologies
There are numerous options for integrating your game marketing programs and platforms. Some of today's sophisticated alternatives include Sitecorp, AEM, Drupal and various open source systems. JIRA is a popular option for process management. Marketo is widely used for email marketing. Numerous other programs offer game marketers important tools for integrating the gamut of necessary programs for localizing and marketing games on the global market.
Among its competitors, ZenDesk is arguably perhaps the most popular HelpDesk platform that offers adequate user support for video gaming industry consumers, but there are viable alternatives for modern HelpDesk support for game product users.
Automated systems enable such advanced HelpDesk platforms to index tickets and users, and to track open items, as well as to capture time-sensitive activities for escalation in order to routinely manage massive volumes of user and service data at rates that would have seemed impossible a decade ago.
VR and AR
Both virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technologies promise to disrupt the video gaming industry in years to come. Enhanced with AI technology, both may reach heights of sophistication that have yet to be imagined. As these technologies become more prominent in gaming, they can also be expected to play an increasing role in localization as well in many facets of the process.
VR and AR applications can be expected to range from enabling a greater depth of characterization and immersion, to sharpening technical precision. Currently, there remain many impediments to fuller realization of these technologies in the gaming field, including adaptability and gross limitation on user accessibility. Ultimately however, these future technologies will become the mainstream of the market — literal game changers.
Neural Machine Translation (NMT)
NMT actually works through an manmade neural network. It's used for predicting word sequences and modeling them to produce translated sentences. NMT technology is becoming useful for more and more complex applications in localization work. However, only a more extensively equipped games localization company these days can be expected to be leveraging NMT. Currently, we can only speculate on the degrees of efficacy that the ambitious future generations will achieve through NMT technology.
Given the highly complex nature of games localization and its sub-processes, modern demands of the industry require technologies that are up to the job. An LSP's compound challenges to accurate translation and culturalization factors, intricate internationalization steps, and myriad project planning, management, testing, onboarding, communications and other daily activities are substantially facilitated by the best available technologies. In fact, it's fair to say that localization service as we know it today would not be feasible without the support of these critical tools.
So with that we now have a much clearer idea of what localization technologies are currently in use and what technologies may be coming future. Next we continue to Part 7, which is the all-important chapter on best practices. As you may have picked up by now, meeting the high standards of the gaming industry requires meticulous attention and processes to address vast volumes of considerations and potential issues. Though every project is unique, there are numerous shared experiences in the field and, subsequently, many best practices that every project can take into consideration. We share all these in and more in the next installment. We look forward to seeing you there.