Mobile gaming is expected to generate $76.7 billion in revenue in 2020, marking a 12% increase on the previous year. This is one of the fastest-growing digital industries and the prospect of hitting it big with global gamers is attractive.
The thing is, convincing people to download your game, keep playing it and then spend money on it is easier said than done – especially when you are trying to engage gamers in foreign-speaking markets. Quality translation is essential for cracking international audiences and here are some best practices you need to keep in mind.
Best practices for mobile gaming translation
The best thing you can do for your mobile gaming translation is to hire an experienced language company that can handle the entire project for you and guide you through the design and development essentials. This way, you can build your game based on expert advice, knowing that you are not going to hardcode expensive translation problems into your game.
Here are seven best practices for translating a mobile game, which will give you an idea of the input you will get from a quality language company:
- Know your languages: Choose your target languages as early as possible and design/build the game with translation in mind.
- Adapt for local regulations to ensure features like ads, in-app purchases and other monetisation strategies are suitable.
- Mobile language selection: Design a language selection interface that is optimised for mobile experiences.
- Design UIs for text expansion: Words often expand when translated from English, potentially breaking UI layouts if elements don’t leave enough space – a problem enhanced by the smaller size of mobile displays.
- Localise your game/app store listings, including translated descriptions and images with all text in the correct language (e.g. you don’t want screenshots showing interfaces with labels in another language).
- Get quality translations from experienced gaming translators who understand the challenges of developing mobile games.
- Test your game on each audience to get feedback on translations and any potential bugs, such as broken UI elements.
The key to successful mobile gaming translation is to plan everything in advance so that your designers and developers can make decisions with translation in mind. This will prevent you from making any design choices that might break your layouts or formatting code in a way that makes it difficult to edit or add new languages, for example.
Design & develop with translation in mind
When you are building a mobile game for international audiences, it helps to understand that translation impacts every aspect of the experience – from the moment a user discovers your game to every interaction they have while playing it.
Yes, the in-game experience is the most important aspect of engaging players, but they are not even going to make it this far if your game listing, menu screen, language selector and other interfaces are not optimised to maximise gameplay.
Effective gaming translation starts at the early conceptual stages of design and development. By pinpointing the challenges of translating for each language, you are in the best position to overcome these problems before they hold back development and make your game more expensive to produce.
If you want to learn more about planning for mobile gaming translation, feel free to reach out to our gaming translation experts.
- Posted by Alexandra Kravariti
- On 18th September 2020
- 0 Comments