The LocJam 2 Started Today! Game Localization Report for Day 1

The LocJam 2 (a game localization contest) officially started today, a couple hours ahead of schedule. As announced earlier, I decided to take part this year, as I managed to save just enough space in my schedule for it.

This year, “Grandpa”, an interactive story of about 1,800 words created during the GameJam, was picked. The game itself is very pleasant to play and I would recommend anybody to have a look at it. You’ll have to wait until May if you want to play it in a language other than English, though 😉

For translators, it offers interesting challenges, especially when it comes to style and consistency. But more on this after the contest!

Today, I got familiarized with the game and prepared the first draft, first round of proofreading included. The hardest part comes now: double-checking all strings in context and, even harder, perfecting the style. While the source text doesn’t look difficult at the first sight, it actually requires a lot of creativity to render nicely in French. Choosing between synonyms or sentence structures can be really hard at times. For an interactive story, the quality of the style is of course critical, and this is where I will focus the most.

On the technical side, nothing really out of the ordinary. Some line escape characters, a few tags here and there, pretty much what you’d expect for a game localization project. For people joining the amateur category, it might be a bit of a challenge, though.

That’s it for today! I could start testing and refining my translation now, but I’d rather give it time. There’s still a week ahead to send submissions, and I want to be sure my brain can digest the game at its own pace.