Indie Initiative: Football Chairman Pro
Great mobile games are the perfect way to brighten up a dull journey. The best game apps don’t so much help pass commuting time as turn it into one of the highlights of the day.
One such game is the insanely-addictive Football Chairman from Underground Creative. It came to our attention as part of our indie initiative, and soon had our competitive juices flowing!
Ever since Championship Manager (later Football Manager) burst onto the gaming scene, there has been an unquenchable thirst for football simulation games.
Even match-play giants FIFA added a career mode, such is the desire for a game that goes beyond simply playing matches.
In many ways, the progression of football games mirrors that of fans themselves. As youngsters, the dream is to become a professional player, the focus on playing and watching matches. As the years go by, there is more interest and awareness of the running of the club, who’s in charge and the decisions they make.
Football Chairman puts these decisions in your hands with an ingenious mobile strategy game. You start from scratch as a non-league team and have to balance budgets, managerial changes, transfers, player contracts, stadium development and a whole lot more on your journey to the top.
The matches play out with the same beloved text commentary style as the early Championship Manager games. For football fans, gaming doesn’t get more intense than waiting for the flashing signal of a goal in a big game.
The responsibility for the localization of Football Chairman fell to our Spanish team, who are never shy of reminding us of their recent footballing successes! Here’s what they had to say:
“Football Chairman was a great project to work on. We have translated many, many, many games, encompassing different genres and topics but we’ve never really seen anything similar to this fascinating videogame. In that sense, it was like a breath of fresh air.
“It’s always fun to have the chance to play throughout the localization process, though sometimes it was difficult to put the iPad aside and go back to translating!”
Localizing mobile games presents a number of unique challenges. The physical size of the screens, and the digital size of the game, can both significantly impact the process. So, aside from the vindictive temptation to raise ticket prices when your approval rating with fans drops below 50%, what puzzles did Football Chairman pose?
“The most challenging part of localizing Football Chairman was probably the terminology component.
“As a game where you have to manage a football club and its resources, not only did we deal with sports terminology, but we also encountered a number of different terms regarding other fields of specialization such as finances, human resources or sport facilities—so the research process was twofold.
“When a videogame is aimed at such a specialized audience, it is important to make sure you use the right terms translate with as much accuracy as possible. The players are specialists and they expect us to be consistent with the coined terminology.”
That last point is particularly important. Football is littered with particular phrases. Get one wrong, and the fans will soon let you know. You should see the reaction of our English staff when someone refers to “soccer”!