Sunday 27 January 2013

Mobilizing Community For Game Translation

by Simon Dean, Project Lead

It's not the most sensational blog title ever written I grant you, and no crowd puller judging by the tumbleweed that rolled across our teaser post on facebook. But for Gamers out there for whom English is not your native language, this snippet of news hopefully provides for a little cheer: the Folk Tale demo is planned to ship with translations*. I heard that moan from the back of the room, "Oh no, more terrible auto-translation." No no no. They'll be great translations. Why? Because we're appealing to the Folk Tale community to help us translate Folk Tale using the Community Translation Tool web app.

"Sounds like a disaster waiting to happen." Well yes, naturally there is some risk.  So we've gone one step further and added voting.  You won't be able to up-vote your own translations, and all translations are anonymous ( apart from to us ).  Translations voted as being the best quality will make it into the demo and your name included in the credits ( subject to your opt-in via the app profile page ).

Thanks to feedback from one of our community members in Poland, we've added Glossary Tags, our solution to consistent referencing of terminology.  For example, Peter may refer in his translations to werewolves as "hairy dogs" whereas Sally might refer to them as "fanged beasts".  In an ideal world everyone would refer to werewolves in the same way as voted for by the community, and that's where Glossary Tags come in.  By inserting tags into your translations, we can insert the highest rated translation for that tag.  Now all we need to do is expand on this to support multiple inflections.

During February, we're providing email newsletter subscribers with access to the alpha build of the web app.  You are invited to take a look around, add a few test translations, vote on a few, and generally familiarize yourself with how the app works.   We'd love to hear your feedback on ways we can improve the system ready for go-live in March.  We will be wiping the translation database of all data at the end of alpha, so please don't spend too long providing accurate translations.

Once the system is live, we hope to modify Folk Tale to grab live translation updates from our servers, updating the base translations so Kickstarter backers get to see the translations in-game as soon as they are approved.

Email Newsletter and Beta Sign Up
Gain access to the Community Translation Tool by signing up for beta and opting in to receive the monthly newsletter.

* text translations only, subject to the success of the community translation project