Indie Initiative: Pinstripe
MoGi’s localization initiative for indie developers has seen some extremely cool games appear on our radar, and few are the result of as much an intense labor of love as Pinstripe.
Looking at the breath-taking beauty of this atmospheric game, it’s hard to imagine that it’s the work of just one man. Yet Pinstripe – 5 years in the making – is exactly that. We could talk for pages and pages about the stunning artwork and graphics that have gone into this game. But a picture paints a thousand words, so check out the Pinstripe trailer here and see for yourself.
Stunning stuff, right? Now, back to a look at our own role in the project. Often, the highlight of our localization projects is the opportunity to enjoy an exclusive look at the game as we play through it to get an idea of tone, atmosphere and context for the language screens.
Sometimes it can be a challenge to remember we are playing in a professional context, not just for fun. Pinstripe was one of those times, as a quick chat with our localization teams reveals:
“We loved this game! It’s so impressive that the creator made the whole thing all by himself – that’s a serious talent. The second the game loaded everyone was delighted to be working on the translation.”
Pinstripe is named after the game’s villain. A demonic sleazeball who kidnaps Bo – the three-year-old daughter of Teddy, the game’s protagonist. As Teddy, players journey through the frozen after life in search of Bo.
Backed by a hauntingly beautiful soundtrack, you will discover clues, solve puzzles and battle beasts through a series of jaw-dropping animations influenced by The Nightmare Before Christmas, Coraline and Alice in Wonderland.
Ask any of our localization teams, and they’ll tell you that narrative-driven games are some of the best to work on because of the linguistic and creative freedom they offer. Pinstripe was no different.
“Aside from being a great game to play, Pinstripe was a lot of fun to translate. We were able to be as creative as we wanted, with no restrictions on things like character limits which can often make localization very difficult.
“The game has a dark humor with lots of puns and jokes. Translating these literally doesn’t work so we had to get our heads together to find solutions that kept the tone and style of the game. For example, at the beginning of the game, Bo sings a rhyming song to her dad. We had to write a similar song with the same ideas that rhymed and felt like a little girl wrote it.
“Solving these sorts of puzzles is one of the most satisfying elements of our job, especially as the developer was fantastically responsive to our queries – his passion and emotional investment in the project was clear. Effective collaboration always leads to the best localization.”
Speaking of emotional investment, such was the immersive and consuming nature of Pinstripe’s gameplay and heart-punching nature of the story, there were more than a few tears shed around our localization teams at the conclusion of the story. It’s always nice to finish a project on the verge of tears for all the right reasons!