Donald Dowell and the ghost of Barker Manor, a graphic adventure developed by ApeMarina, has been our first Italian to English localization. It tells the story of Donald Dowell, a 80-year-old Irish man who’s just retired and who suddenly finds his life utterly boring. He starts looking for a job, gets hired as a ghostbuster assistant and is sent to Barker Manor to investigate about some strange phenomena going on there. During his stay at the Manor, he will have the chance to meet a wide range of peculiar characters, such as a nymphomaniac maiden or a hotel director who likes to sleep in a coffin… and, needless to say, a whole lot of ghosts! The brave adventurers who are determined to solve the mystery of Barker Manor, will have to succeed in such tasks as fixing a time machine, destroying a happy newly-wed couple, evilly using a laxative meatloaf and many more!
We were very excited when we decided to carry out this project, mainly because Donald Dowell is a 100% Italian production which really deserves to be played by as many people as possible. Its dialogues are hilarious, its puzzles perfectly fit into the story and Donald is one of the funniest characters we’ve ever played: never before had we played a graphic adventure whose main character is an old man whose cynical comments, endless jokes and naivety you will be soon become addicted to. Donald will never spare you his comments about how easy it is for you to be sitting before a screen, forcing him to do the craziest things in the world, or about graphic adventures themselves, quoting milestones such as Monkey Island or Full Throttle now and then. In short, we felt we had to give Donald the chance to become available by international gamers, providing him with a full English Localization.
Localizing DD to English has not been easy at all. The original version features several jokes and puzzles based on puns and rhymes, which are definitely the toughest lines to translate. Moreover, there are some references to Italian culture whose meaning we’ve tried to keep (actually, there’s one character in particular who is like a giant walking reference to Italian culture, or we’d better say ‘misculture’). We tried our best to balance English references created just for the English version with Italian references which were part of the original script.
The game was released on December the 17th and can be downloaded here .
Furthermore, “Donald Dowell and the Ghost of Barker Manor” got 12 nominations at the 2013 AGS Awards, among which the best dialogue writing one stands out.