Therefore, we usually play the whole game. Okay, piece of cake, what more? What makes us so special? While we play the game, we take notes of all its possible ‘paths’ – that is to say, all the possible dialogues and comments any character could possibly do.
Only once we are done with all the path-finding, we start handling the original script. The point is that, because of technical reason, scripts are usually structured in a crazy and not linear way – you can’t translate them as you would do if you were handling a novel, because one sentence is not necessarily related to the previous and the next one (well, actually it is NEVER related to the previous and the next one, save a little prayer for poor localizators as we are).
Thanks to the path-finding, we localize comments and dialogues in a chronological way (that is, according to the linear unwrapping of the story told by the game). We read comments and dialogues directly on our notes, this time as if we were REALLY translating some kind of linear novel, then we find each sentence on the original script and replace it with its translation. That’s the only way we can make sure that every single sentence is fully contextualized and successfully localized.
While translating, we prefer to constantly keep in touch with the game copywriter or anyone who can answer to our question about peculiar dialogues and scenes from the game. Translating very seldom leads to a sentence which is identical to its original one, particularly when it comes to cultural references, puns and puzzles. That’s why we need to know exactly what the writer was thinking of when s/he wrote that particular sentence, and that’s why we need to keep in touch with her/him throughout the localization process.
Once we’re done, we can language-test the game as well. It’s up to you: we have done it before and we have no problem with it. Needless to say, even when testing we try all the different paths, in order to make sure that every single sentence came out fully contextualized.
How much does all this great stuff cost? We usually charge our customers 0.05 euros per word (while usually Italian localizators charge from 0.07 to 0.10 euros per word) – pathfinding and localization included. However, since at the moment we are focused on getting in touch with great developers and on building an interesting portfolio, our fees are definitely negotiable. Therefore, it is always advisable to ask us for an estimate of our work even if you think it is unaffordable.
Moreover, in case you are not sure about the incomes which may derive from the Italian localization, we can nevertheless find an agreement about a small percentage to be paid for each sold copy of the Italian version, so you would pay only for what you would have actually sold.