Indie Initiative: Heavy Metal Machines
With screeching guitars, riotous crowds and bombastic action, Heavy Metal Machines is a thrash metal concert on wheels. With weapons. And noise. Lots of noise. It’s time to put your pedal to the metal and Slay(er) your enemies!
This anarchic, addictive game – with a soundtrack to match – landed in MoGi’s inbox as part of our initiative for indie game developers. Once we’d stopped headbanging, we got to work on localizing the Heavy Metal Machines website – as a member of our German team explains:
“Translating a website, even if it’s for the same game, can be very different from working on the game itself,’”she says. “While you want to mirror the tone and style of the game, it’s also important that the information presented on the site is accurate and easy to understand.”
The premise of the game is simple – in teams of four, capture the bomb and deliver an explosive knockout to the other team’s base. How you choose to do it – with speed and agility or brute force and power – is up to you.
Elements of Heavy Metal Machines resemble a MOBA, which meant our teams were faced with the usual challenges of localizing games of this genre.
“With the game itself, most of our work focused on the skill names and descriptions. It’s especially important in games like this that the name of the skill reflects the action it performs. Of course, we also had the usual issue in German of character limitations. One example I recall is having to change the skill Thunder Tow to Thunder Magnet so that the German version both matched what the skill did and wasn’t four times as long as the English name.”
The action in Heavy Metal Machines is fast, loud and chaotic. In contrast, the localization process was smooth and relatively straightforward. In fact, the biggest challenge was putting the game to one side for long enough to actually do the work!