Indie Initiative: Dungeon Souls
When Dungeon Souls arrived in the MoGi localization inbox as part of our initiative for indie developers, we knew we were in for a treat. Is there anyone in the world that doesn’t love retro-style games? If there is, to be honest we don’t want to know them.
Dungeon Souls is heavy on action, heavy on adventure and rendered in a classic pixelated style. Once our German localization team had prised themselves away from crawling the dungeons and slaying enemies, they got to work on the words.
“Dungeon Souls is about a wizarding father who enters a dangerous dungeon to save his daughter, who has been transformed into an owl. In this Dungeon, he has to defeat lots of different creatures. Furthermore, there are souls of ‘heroes’ kept in this Dungeon, which strive to escape it, but these heroes are evil. It’s every bit as mad and fun as it sounds!”
So, there’s a wizard, in a magic dungeon, trying to rescue his daughter, who has been turned into an owl. That’s going to provide some tough localization, right?
“A few bits were certainly challenging, but when you’re working on a game you really like, the challenges become fun. Plus, you’re extra-motivated to make sure as many people as possible get to experience the game! For Dungeon Souls, our translation work focused on the menus, item/skill names and descriptions, game modes and the achievements.”
Accurate skill names and descriptions are an essential part of the localization of these types of games. Literal translations rarely work, as the name of the skill has to reflect what it does to avoid unwanted surprises for players in the heat of battle.
“An eye for detail is essential when it comes to skills and items. You want everything to be nicely unified. This is less important for conversations between characters, when you can be more casual. Instead, the most important thing here is to strike the right tone. This is something we are particularly used to with German localization. How we translate certain speech is defined by the relationships between the characters, the context of the conversation and the overall tone of the game. Dungeon Souls allowed us to get creative and expressive with the content. This – along with the chance to work on awesome games, of course – is one of the main reasons we chose this career path.”
The experience of working on Dungeon Souls mirrored many of the games that have been part of our initiative. The passion these companies have for their projects shines through. It’s inspiring for us to work on them and see their release. Long may it continue!