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Localization Testing Guide 101

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Making a video game with an engaging story, well-rounded characters, and a distinctive setting requires a lot of work. The work doesn’t end if you want to localize your video game to enter new markets. You must put in the time and effort to ensure that your game is well-suited for the market you are trying to reach. Testing your game for localization is the most crucial stage of any product’s development.

What is localization testing?

Software testing, known as “localization testing”, ensures that a product is suitable for a particular culture or location. It exclusively evaluates that nation’s user interface, vocabulary, currency, date, and time formats. Only the local version of the product is used for localization testing. Localization testing aims to confirm that the program is fit for usage in that particular locale. Localization testing can be divided into two major groups: linguistic and cosmetic testing.

  • Cosmetic testing: evaluates how well the text is incorporated into the game. Line breaks, text placement on texturing, font consistency, and text displays in dialog windows are all examined. Cosmetic testing must identify not only problems but also offer a workable remedy. For instance, they use a typeface that allows diacritical markings or shortens the interface text.
  • Linguistic game testing: is a thorough examination of the text. Priority should be given to checking for grammatical, stylistic, factual, or other problems. At this point, it is also determined whether the translation seems native or natural and whether it is acceptable for the game. Make sure, for instance, that “championship cup” wasn’t accidentally translated as “cup” or that “bow and arrow” weren’t accidentally translated as “a harmless ornamental bow.” Such errors are typical when a translator lacks context throughout the translation process, i.e., when they are working without access to item photographs or descriptions.

The quality of the finished product is improved through linguistic and cosmetic testing. A game’s localization should be undetectable, but as soon as the first issue arises, it is visible. Spending additional time reviewing a game’s text and presentation is crucial since such cases might destroy a game’s prospects of entering the worldwide market. The likelihood of a game being featured or recommended in Google Play or the App Store is another reason why LQA is crucial.

Why does video game localization testing matter?

To ensure that the localized and translated version of their video game is consistent, understandable, and of the same high caliber as the original, game localization testing is a crucial stage. Any language that a game is translated into will retain the authentic tone and feel thanks to a high-quality localization process. This level of quality is checked as part of the localization testing process for video games. Even if your video game is in a foreign language, you want your players to be able to play and understand it just as you intended when you first created it. Because translators and localization specialists aren’t skilled at what they do, the video game translation testing procedure is optional. It is essential as a secondary line of defense in a very intricate process. Many distinct strings must be translated for video game localization, and it’s common practice to translate these strings out of sequence or context, which might result in literal translation errors. To ensure that all of the content is accurate, logical, and consistent, localization testing is a crucial step that must be taken after the translation review.

What is the material needed for localization testing?

At the very least, game testers should have access to the game’s current build. That ought to suffice, but developers would ideally contribute more information to improve LQA. Here is a comprehensive list of resources that testers may use to assess a game thoroughly.

  • The build: The build should ideally offer in-game cash or hacks. In this manner, testers can focus entirely on the work and quickly review a substantial amount of game content.
  • Test plan: there is a list of things that need to be checked, such as missions, item collection, storyline, dialogs, and the interface.
  • Files with game texts: This is essential to check the inconsistencies against other texts in the game.

What specifically should be tested?

Your ability, the request, and the game’s format are all factors. There are the following alternatives:

  • Testing the first 5 hours of the game: Full testing will be expensive and time-consuming for relatively large games. Since the first three to five hours of gaming are the most crucial for hooking people and maintaining their interest, the client may request testing only those portions in this situation. After the first several hours of play, players typically assess a game, becoming less critical of mistakes and omissions as the game progresses.
  • Testing for s a certain number of hours: Depending on your financial situation. LQA will take precisely 20 hours if testing is limited to that time.
  • Testing needs volume: for example, if you need to test your game until level 100, that will define the number of hours and time frame.
  • Updates testing: when you are updating your game, it is also obligatory to test it.

Conclusion

Localization testing is a fundamental process for any game. It allows you to find bugs and errors before your players discover them, and launching a game with mistakes will ruin your reputation in the market. The best decision to make is to hire a game localization agency to do the process for you, with their experience in the gaming industry and the market needs will allow your game to break the cultural barrier and ensure that your game will satisfy the players.

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