Essential Localization Resources for Game Devs

Localization is often done in the final stages of the development process. That’s when issues start happening, too, which may delay the project.
To avoid this, review our collection of localization resources and code your product with future localization in mind.

Game Localization Best Practices

Code your game for future localization
Best Practices for Game Localization — IGDA (and more in Best Practices for Game Localization)
9 game localization best practices by Aurelie Perrin

Localization Tools for Devs

Some popular localization tools

L2oN localization framework
Unity language plugins toolkit
Unity localization tutorial
Language plural rules: CLDR ChartvsCLDRIn Localization Guide
Translate Toolkit
Xbench, Version 2.9 (localization QA)
L10n in C# & Plugin for the Unity Game Engine
screengrab by Faastlane — Automated localized screenshots of your Android app
snapshot by Fastlane — Automated localized screenshots of your iOS app
Swift friendly localization and i18n with in-app language switching
LaunchKit, open sourced
Pology and Lbundle Check
GALAGlobal/TAUS Translation API
Twine, a command line tool for managing strings and translations
Polyglot — test your UI text length before localization to proactively detect problems like bleeding/cropped text

Game Localizers’ advice

6 Localization Notes: Issues we and our clients-devs had and how we solved them by Artem Nedrya & Aurelie Perrin
How to check game localization quality for free and when you don’t know the languages by Michal Tosza
Fan or pro? How to localize your game into other languages and actually win at it by Artem Nedrya
Make your game gender-inclusive by Isabela Pedrosa
Launching in Brazil by Paula Ianelli
On launching in China and Taiwan by Johnson Lin (IGDA Taiwan)
Handling German umlauts äöü, and ß correctly (font)
Problematic Case Conversion in Turkish (i->İ and ı->I)
Localizing Achievements, Trophies, and Other Shenanigans in Microsoft, Sony, and PC games by Adolfo Gómez-Urda Montijano

Reverse-engineer localized games

To see how other devs handled localization

IGDA LocJam open-source localized games

Open-source localized strings

You may use openly available strings localized by volunteers/non-professionals, but do find a good proofreader to verify them

Polyglot Project

File types your translators will support

Unless you’ll be working on some kind of localization platform, these are the file types that most translators can work with on their PCs

Trados file types
MemoQ file types

What rates professional localizers charge

Translation industry average rates

In-depth general localization guides

Apple’s Build Apps for the World guide
String Resources by Apple
Microsoft’s Globalization and localization guide
12 Commandments Of Software Localization by Zack Grossbart (general software localization)
Pseudolocalization to Catch i18n Errors Early on Google Blog
How to: Create a Localized Game on MSDN
Android Developers Localization checklist’s Localization Gide
Mozilla’s Content localization best practices
MDN’s App localization code best practices
CPanel’s Best Practices
WebDev Bootcamp’s Internationalization (i18n) and Localization (L10n)
Google Material Design Writing guidelines
GNU’s Preparing Translatable Strings

Localization inspiration

Approach the project with the right mindset

Translation is UX in A List Apart by Antoine Lefeuvre
Design for internationalization by John Saito
Localization quality. A myth or reality? by Max Lobanov
Video Game Translators Are on Your Side, So Stop Hating on Them by Kate Gray

Dev insights

Read advice from devs who’ve been there and done it

This HackerNews dev discussion
China is kind of a big deal for Indie Games
Was Localizing Defender’s Quest Worth It?
RISK AND REWARD OF LOCALIZING (into Polish by Marcin Iwinski)
Video: Crowdsourcing the localization of Gone Home
How Bungie localized Destiny for the world
Analyzing Localization Impact for Gremlins, Inc. by Charlie Oscar

Fan feedback

Analyzing such sentiments will help avoid similar mistakes

Twitter search, for example: “localization errors”
Reddit rants, for example: Be wary not to demonize Localization as a conceptWhere did the recent hate for Nintendo’s localizations come from?The line between censorship and localization

A deeper look into game localization

Localization talks at GDC – GDC 2017
TRANS. Revista de Traductología 15
Carme Mngiron papers
Check back later, more to come!