GDC09 Day One, Localization Summit (Monday)

March 31st, 2009  | By: Daichi  | Categories: Convention  | Tags:

Monday and Tuesday at GDC are Summit and Tutorial days. I wasn’t actually scheduled to work Monday, so I was able to attend the entire Localization Summit. (Actually I missed half of a session after lunch. Either way, I was still able to hit all the sessions.) Thinking back on things, maybe I should of hit a different summit, oh well. The summit wasn’t bad, however it had a big focus on the European and expanding market. Obviously more money can be made, the more regions you release a game in. There was lots of talk about the need for efficient tools and the ability to localize for several different regions at the same time. Lots of companies seemed rather proud about the tools they had set in place, like Sony and Lionhead. I loved hearing about the process they had for everything, however I am a bit more interested in the Asian <-> English localization market, doing something more like the companies: Atlus U.S.A., Inc; Nis America, Inc; GaijinWorks; and 8-4, Ltd. (Sadly the last two don’t have real websites.) So some of this was not as interesting to me as it could of been.

From going to these sessions, it really sounds like this localization industry is not something you can easily start off in, unless of course, if your a translator. I don’t think my experience with the much less professional Revolve Translations/mirror moon is really worth too much as experience, but it is certainly related. With revovle/mm I have done a little managing of people and tools programing, but I have mainly worked on the localization of art assets using Photoshop. Melty Blood Act Cadenza in particular had over 1700 individual art assets. I had to write some Photoshop scripts to automate the outputting of all the files, but that is a topic for later I guess.

The coolest guy who got on stage all day was Ryoichi Hasegawa a Localization Producer from Sega. He deals more with the Asian side of things and he added a bit of humor to his presentation. He was also wearing an “All your base are belong to us” T-Shirt. Hasegawa-san was also the first non Conference Associate industry person I spoke to at GDC, boy was I nervous. Thankfully talking to people only got easier as the week went on.

GDC Ryoichi Hasegawa

Oh, I did hear that Microsoft did put research into seeing if they could localize The Idolm@ster and decided they couldn’t make enough money back on it. I think it’s a shame they couldn’t bring that one over. I guess my quest for learning Japanese will certainly help me on those games that we will never see state side.

What do you think about game localization in general?

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