CleanWater

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Hi there,

There's someone here who is not American/British that translates your game to English? Can you share your experiences? If your game was well accepted, if the cultural references were well received, etc?

My main concern is that my games are strongly focused on jokes about cultural and linguistic references from my country. Translating them to something funny in English often makes them lost all the sense, and I'm not sure on how to adapt the text to make it more universal.

I noticed most of the JRPG big developers avoid releasing their games outside of Japan, maybe because of these cultural and linguistic translation issues?
 

Lantiz

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It's hard to compare, japanese culture is well seem I guess.
Who does not like a katana? :b

Anyway, I've made only one project public.
From the few people who played, one told me there were a few grammar errors, but didn't point me to them.

In my games, I tend to make use of jokes that makes sense inside of its own universe. I don't see a reason to use a joke that does not relate to the game world.

If your game takes place on your country, then ok, it fits. But otherwise you can pretty much come up with jokes refering to the lore of the people of your game's universe and stuff like that.

By the way, I think pop culture references are always nice. Stuff from popular movies, tv shows, animations, comics, etc.
 

Diretooth

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Long answer:
If you plan on releasing to a wider, more global audience, there are a few pitfalls to consider. One is the fact that cultural references and concepts don't necessarily translate well. For instance, if you're a Japanese game developer, and your game has several word puns, those word puns might not translate well, and may even make less sense to players of a different nationality. Similarly, certain locations, foods, and even moral values might not translate well for another country. Again, for instance, in Japan, people don't say 'I love you' like people in America say 'I love you'. In JRPGs, a male character is more likely to say 'I will protect you' as a show of love than actually say 'I love you'.
Another potential issue is localizations. If you're paying one or more people to translate your game, you're relying on them to not only have a coherent translation, but to make it as accessible to other players. A localization team might take a jab at a disliked politician that you're familiar with and change it so the disliked politician is, let's say one of the various Clintons. The joke is different, but the context is the same. Naturally, going the route of having people translate for you is costly, especially for a good, professional translation. In the case of an RPG Maker developer, it's best if you keep your game within the countries that understand the game's language. If it grows popular, and you get money from it, you can hire people to translate and localize the game so other people can play and enjoy it.

Short answer:
If the demand for the game is high enough, then having it translated is a good decision. Otherwise, don't bother.
 

MRHAPPYFACEMAN

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Mr. Wolf above brings a good point to the table. Obviously if you want to, by all means go right ahead, don't let this stop you. But if you are asking for business ethics, then it depends who your target audience is. Humor, culture, society, economics, ...pretty much anything with how one group of people live their lives in a particular place, if the game depends a lot on this, don't bother. If your game is fictional and say... is a girl running through the woods away from a man eating wolf, well - anyone can understand what is happening here. Ain't no one wanna be wolf meat!

But remember - English is that magical language that the whole world accepts as the universal language. So doing this in english is the best thing that you could have done... assuming that is what you did.
 

HexMozart88

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@Lantiz Pop culture references are only really good if your game is more modern. People in medieval games would have no idea what that even is.
Honestly translating the game is decent, in my opinion, but not a hundred percent necessary. Most RPG Maker games are unlikely to go global. I'm not saying there aren't the few that do, but often, the demand is not very high, so sometimes it's just a waste of time.
 

Lantiz

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@HexMozart88 I disagree
In medieval games we can have references regarding The Lord of The Rings, King Arthur and many others. It's not the game characters that must understand the reference, it's the player.

"Behold my new sword: Ordúril, also known as The cold of the east"
 
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CleanWater

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Short answer:
If the demand for the game is high enough, then having it translated is a good decision. Otherwise, don't bother.

But remember - English is that magical language that the whole world accepts as the universal language. So doing this in english is the best thing that you could have done... assuming that is what you did.

I had a really terrible experience translating two of my games to English and releasing them. Almost all reviews from Brazil were good (the only negative one I can remember now complained only about the price), and almost all reviews from foreigners were terrible. And these negative reviews started to affect my sales from Brazil too (people just look at the overall score, they don't care to read each and every review).

Maybe it was my fault, since I translated them both myself and probably didn't adapted the jokes well enough, or maybe the game was just too niche for a worldwide market. Sometimes I regret it, although I was kinda "forced" to translate them (stores like Steam, late Desura, etc, doesn't accept foreign games not translated to English).
 

HexMozart88

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@Lantiz oh, I thought you meant pop culture as in making Drake references in your game. I mean, LOTR is not super popular, nor is King Arthur apparently.
 

Lantiz

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@HexMozart88
Well, it's getting oftopic so maybe we should leave this for another thread [:
It's funny because I have no idea about who or what Drake is.
Anyway, are you really sure about the popularity of those two?
Maybe King Arthur is really dying, but even my 10 yo cousins knows about LoTR.
I'm almost sure that the JRPG players around the world knows about one or both.
 

Orb

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There's always a way to translate some jargon and silly expressions into another language, though it might be a bit difficult to do it so without slightly changing your character's personality. Nonetheless I always recommend to translate a game, just because it means that way more people will play it and enjoy it, especially when you're translating from a language that is not spoken/studied worldwide
 

Pine Towers

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This reminds me of:
3ca.png

There's nothing wrong in translating, but when your game have deep roots on your own cultural country, some jokes would need to be adapted.
 

Astel

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My games for the most part are pretty neutral, and not too difficult to be translated, I just don't have the patience anymore... when i was younger i translated a whole NES game script to spanish... i look back and don't have the slightest idea of how did i make that :kaoswt:
 

Chaos17

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I'm french but I plan to translate my game in English because there aren't a lot of french players. So Ask yourself, do you have an audience who will play your game in your native language?
 

sabao

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If your script has a lot of very local cultural references, just be sure to set up context when world building. A lot of popular games have gotten away with depicting foreign cultures, just set up context through exposition. Linguistics would be trickier. Best case, you find approximates in english which literally won't translate directly into your native language but would deliver more or less the same effect. This will be difficult without being at least competent in creative writing for both languages.

If you want more eyeballs on your game, translating to english is definitely something you ought to do. Just keep an eye on how much a (decent!) translation will cost you (time and/or money).
 

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