Localizing online tower defense

The process of localizing Age of Defenders

Before we start, quick note. If you are missing Age of Defenders being localized into your language, skip right to the end of this article. There is a manual how to get the localize the game into your language too :)

As a small Czech-Slovak game studio, we've obviously evolved our game with text in our native language. Of course, the game could not exist anywhere in the world without English at least, and so it came also to us. We had to get the game translated into other languages.

Firstly, we will shortly tell you what the localization is and how it works ... well, at least from the perspective of a non-programmer. To localize the game, or generally any software, does not only mean to translate it, but it also needs to be customized. For example, in countries with metric system, kilograms would be used, but in America pounds would to be used. Fortunately, we have avoided these problems (knock, knock on wood), and it is just about the text for us.

Actually ... "only" the text ... but there is a lot of text in the Age of Defenders. More specifically, there are more than 2,000 of them. However, it is always better than in an RPG.

How does the localization work? Each text, from the "continue" button to a heartbreaking Joseph’s monologue in the sixth mission has been assigned its own unique key. This has perfect advantages. Firstly, repeated text such as "name of the unit" or "continue" does not need to be written several times; secondly, we just tell the app which language needs to be shown, and the correct text in the correct language will be substituted there instead of those keys. When our programmers create a new button or anything that requires text, they create a meaningful key name that theoretically could understand what it was supposed to be. In practice, however, it sometimes looks like this: "EFFECT_BONUS_ARMOR_PLACEMENT_TITLE." Do you know what text it includes? No? "Bonus place!" Well, I admit I also had to look for something like that since 99% of all cases are really comprehensible.

And now, when we know what the keys are, there is only a small step to translation. To each key, there is bound an English text from which the translations are converted into each language. Now, all necessary text is sent to translators who will translate it. What if we have some new text and new keys for them? Then, they need to be uploaded into our wonderful, fast server tool that does not contain any errors of course. Yes, I meant it sarcastically. We have to look for a whipping boy who will fix it. Poor guy.

If that’s all uploaded on servers, we will export all important files that are then put into the app. Currently, we have completely localized text in the English and Czech languages, whereby the single-player story is dubbed only in English. Dubbed units and multiplayers are also in the Czech language, and in dubbing all the team members have been involved. Other languages, that have localized everything except for SP story (ie. SP text remained in English) are now Polish, Spanish, Japanese and Korean.

Localization is not difficult work, but it requires great concentration and feeling for language - especially when there are just two lines of text for an explanatory note, and you want to write so much information there that an entire paragraph would not be enough. I think that it’s done pretty effectively in our case, and all the people included on our team deserve great appreciation for their effort.

Have best multiplayer tower defense in your language, too!

If you are interested in this article and would like to see the Age of Defenders also in your language, you can help us with that! Any assistance in localization into new languages is more that welcome! The guidelines to do that are provided here (in English):

Step 1: Go to http://www.geewa.com/translate
Step 2: Log in with you facebook account or create new account specifically for this site
Step 3: Set the language - Translate from English to "Here goes your language" (if by any chance you miss your language in the list, let us know)
Step 4: Translate everything related to "Age of Defenders." In order to launch a localized version, we need all sections to be translated except for one -“Single-player dialogues” (this one is extensive and is not required, but the rest should be there so that we don´t create any weird experiences).

Translations are done easily – just click on the text next to the pencil icon and enter your description. After you are complete with the string, click Send Translation button. You can enter more translations and then vote for the best one.

Additional rules for translation

Please, read special rules here - http://www.geewa.com/help/translate-help

You dont translate parameters in and {brackets}. For example parameters {oppNick} must remain the same: {oppNick}

Should you have any questions or comments or suggestions, let us know. Thank you in advance for supporting us in any way you can! :)