Running for IGDA Localization SIG elections

Today, let me take the chance to announce that I’m officially running for the IGDA Localization SIG elections, with the hope of landing a seat in the steering committee. Voting takes place here for IGDA members only.

After half a dozen years in the industry, a role with the IGDA Localization SIG would be the ideal chance for me to both contribute to a fast-growing industry and keep learning from the more experienced members of the group.

I will do everything my current experience and enthusiasm allow to help our industry move forward and increase awareness about localization, its value and its challenges.

Program and activities

Research on technical aspects of localization – formats, tools and processes: As a former developer, this is an area that really fascinates me. I am always curious about how developers concretely go about localization: what format do they use, where do they store the strings, what files formats do they use, how do they implement translated strings and track changes?
Of course, there are already tutorials out there for certain platforms or formats, but I feel we lack of industry-wide data. Having a better view of the technical aspects of localization and its best practices would help us produce guidelines and standards for developers. Here, I share some of the benefits of a common localization format.

Research on the benefits of localization: Localization is an investment, and it can be hard for small developers with tight budgets to go for it. This is especially true when you don’t have the data you need to make an educated decision. What are the potential benefits, what are the markets to target? Some data started showing up recently, but it is generally tied to specific platforms or produced for marketing purposes with questionable methodologies.
Here, we could help and work on a report that would consolidate the existing data and our own research findings.
By giving developers a clearer overview of localization benefits, we can contribute to the industry’s growth.

Media involvement: Generally, when media mention localization in their game reviews, it’s for all the bad reasons. It would be nice to encourage media to have a closer look at localization quality when they review games. Having some kind of yearly awards to celebrate outstanding localization efforts would be a great way to increase awareness about our industry. Here are a few thoughts about the possibility of game localization awards.

LocJAM: Organizing LocJAM requires an incredible amount of efforts, and I would be happy to use my skills and experience to help the current organization team. Promoting the event in my native language is also a no-brainer.
As for offline activities, I plan to organize a workshop in the Kansai area (Japan) to encourage more Japanese translators to join the contest, as Japanese was one of the least represented languages in both editions.

Other activities: Of course, the LocSIG already produced a wealth of useful resources, including game localization best practices. Increasing awareness of existing resources, supporting the group’s current efforts and joining in-person events whenever possible are some more examples of activities I would love to join.

Where can I make a difference?

My experience covers most jobs related to video game localization. Coding, translating, reviewing, testing, even marketing, all of these are hats I’ve worn at some point during my career. I would like to use my experience to help developers and translators work together more efficiently, as a lack of mutual understanding often hinders communication between both parties. We need standards, formats and tools that make localization seamless for developers and more manageable for translators. This could result in practical recommendations and tutorials/case studies.

When I start something, I always do it with all my energy and motivation. I will use my time and resources to the greatest extent possible until this vision becomes reality.

Candidate Statement

During my 6 years in the localization industry, I had the chance to work in-house for both game localization agencies and game developers. Add a couple of years spent as a freelance translator and a background in software development to the mix, and you have someone with a good idea of how the localization industry works.

My contribution to the localization world so far may be rather limited – some blog articles and a couple of small interviews for GamesTm/The Guardian-, but I am here with my all motivation.

Concretely, I am planning to help with local events (I have the next LocJAM in mind especially) and online contributions (research, content production, event organization, etc.)

Again, I’m probably not the perfect candidate, but my enthusiasm is here for the greater good.