The Battle to Translate ‘This War of Mine’

At MoGi, there is nothing we like more than helping to bring exciting and challenging games to a wider audience through our high-quality translation and localization services.

Therefore, it was with considerable pride and excitement that we took on the task of translating and localizing the epic ‘This War of Mine,’ published by DeepSilver.

The story of ‘This War of Mine’

The game itself is based on the Siege of Sarajevo from the Bosnian War – a bloodthirsty battle that ran from 1992 to 1996. The focus of the game lies on the experiences and battle for survival of the civilians, rather than the standard format of turning the gamer into a soldier.

Gamers control a group of survivors in the destroyed city and need to make the most of whatever they can gather to aid their quest of emerging from the conflict (relatively) unscathed. Scavenging for essentials must take place at night, whilst the daytime is spent tending to the wounded, cooking meals, making tools, maintaining the shelter and evading the watchful eye of the snipers.
It’s every man for himself in this desolate landscape and gamers must decide whether to help or rob other survivors they come across.

How MoGi took ‘This War of Mine’ to the world

If the gameplay sounds like a lot to explain, imagine having to do it in an extra three languages! That was the challenge facing the MoGi translation teams when 23,000 English words arrived in their inbox, ready to be translated and localized into German, French and Italian, checked, checked again and returned to the client – all within a week!

Projects like these always get off to a fun start as the translators and project managers get to play the game! However, before you get too jealous, remember that they are playing to get familiar with the product so that they can create style-guides and agree the basic terminologies. They don’t care about high scores! (Well, not that much…)

From here, the files are split and sent to the relevant language department. To ensure the highest possible standard of translation, the teams use Computer Assisted Translation (CAT) tools, mainly SDL Studio and MemoQ Server. The keyword here is ‘assisted’ – it basically means that anything translated is saved in the Translation Memory so, if the same sentence appears again, the same wording is used to maintain consistency. There is absolutely no actual machine translation, which is why our standards are so high!

Once saved in the translation memory, the sentences are available on our server to all the relevant translators, which saves considerable time on both the current project and updates or future tasks for the same project.

Further quality assurance is provided through the use of tools such as Xbench. Once the files have gone through the CAT software, Xbench takes a look with an eye on discovering inconsistencies such as:

  • Numeric mismatches
  • Tag mismatches
  • Keyterm mismatches (with client glossaries)
  • Untranslated content
  • Double spaces
  • Anything else that may impact on the quality of the final file.

We are also in constant communication with our clients throughout the process so any queries are logged and sent to them to ensure the final result is exactly what they want.

The trials and tribulations of translation

A professional translator typically gets through between 2,000 and 2,500 words a day. Proofreaders can usually check 6,000 – 7,000 words a day. With 23,000 words coming in for ‘This War of Mine,’ several brains had to work very hard to get the project complete on time.

However, no matter how many people work on a gaming localization project, the final product should read as if it was made by one person. This is where the aforementioned quality assurance tools really aid our work as everyone can check the relevant Translation Memory and other files to ensure consistency and be time-efficient. Plus, for quick answers, there is always Skype!

Now it is done, we can all – English, French, German, Italian – get on with battling for survival in ‘This War of Mine.’

Happy playing! Explore our website more to find out more about how our localization services can help bring your games to the world.
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