From the Devs: Localizing the Shadows
It’s time for another installment of our “From the Devs” series! In this article we have TheSeanConn and Kingdom5, creators of Shadow Run, guiding us through the fun and challenging obstacles of localization.
Shadow Run, a game where you run, jump and think your way through shadowy puzzles has more than just a few tricks up its sleeve. Despite the recent release of localization, Shadow Run already has support for 5 languages, with 5 more on the way! Not only is it one of the most translated games on Roblox, but it was also one of the first. Players can enjoy Shadow Run in languages such as English, Spanish, and even Romanian!
TheSeanConn and Kingdom5 have happily agreed to share their thoughts and experiences throughout the translation of their game. Here’s what they said.
Finding people to do the translations was the easy part. Our Spanish translation was done by the well known community member Ysko (https://twitter.com/rubenmveiga). He was awesome to work with and provided us with accurate translations in a very timely manner. Other languages that we decided to translate to were done by some of my ‘irl’ friends and others via Roblox friends. What I consider to be our most unique language, Hebrew, was done by a friend of mine, Arti_BLOX (https://twitter.com/Arti_BLOX).
Choosing the languages was more a matter of who I knew that could translate. The languages that we have either completed or in progress are Spanish, Hebrew, Romanian, Portuguese, Norwegian, Serbian, Dutch, Hindi, Deutsch, French, Danish, Swedish, and Arabic. As translations for languages are completed they will be implemented.
Quite honestly, the biggest challenge for me during this was managing each language sheet and making sure they got done in our time frame. We used Google Sheets to make it easy to share with everyone doing the translations and it has been very smooth so far! I’m sure KD can speak on the challenges he faced during the implementation.
Just go for it! There is literally NOTHING that you can lose from translating your game as long as it is done correctly! There are a large number of resources out there to help you. You just need to find people who are willing and able to translate your game correctly and you’ll be set!
Challenges: The most challenging part of translating the game was allowing for a larger text size for our GUIs while maintaining the original UI design. This task is complicated as Shadow Run uses the same UI for PC and mobile devices and a lot of testing was required to make sure that all the translated text displayed correctly for all of our supported platforms.
Advice: Having a good UI design is the key before including translation. TextScaled is very useful to handle the varying text lengths as well as using the TextService GetTextSize function in some cases. Setting up your GUIs the first time is the difficult part but adding more translations to your game after this is a simple task!
Thank you TheSeanConn and Kingdom5 for the great advice!
Try out Shadow Run for yourself and see if it has your local language supported!
For our Developer readers, or anyone interested in becoming a Developer, we recommend you check out our resources and documentation on localization here: http://wiki.roblox.com/index.php?title=Roblox_Localization_Tools
We’re always looking to expand our community of translators, and if you’re interested in hiring or becoming one, check out our list at the link below: https://devforum.roblox.com/t/list-of-roblox-translators/121165