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World of Warcraft is one of those games that has become a genre unto itself. Over the years, legions of fans have helped shape one of the most complex and detailed universes in the video game world.
Taking part in the localization of the guide for one of the most eagerly awaited expansion packs made me feel extra responsible: millions of fans of the franchise would be eagerly awaiting the guide to wolf down each of its 253 pages.
If I had to summarize this project in one word, I’d definitely go for “consistency.”
Cataclysm is the third expansion pack of the most successful massively multiplayer online role-playing game of all time and it was published six years after the first release.
Over the years, the world of Azeroth had become colossal, so it was essential to keep a close eye on all the references. Each spell, object and location had to follow pre-established rules.
But, what happens when millions of users make a video game their home away from home? Well, among other things, they become an important part of the creative process, and language is possibly one of the key elements they contribute to.
All in all, this was an exciting project that allowed me to work with a team and with time restrictions that added a lot of thrill to the mix.
If I had to summarize this project in one word I’d definitely go for “consistency”
Researching the game was a genuine challenge. I found myself studying the most thorough glossary I’ve ever seen and spent hours surfing hundreds of fan communities in search of the terms they’d agreed on for the activities they performed during the game.
This was going to be a worldwide launch, so deadlines were tight! That made for an extra challenge for the translation team, but it also gave us the chance to test new technical solutions.
Faced with the daunting prospect of having to translate directly from the final artwork, I created a system to export data from the files in the original format to a specific translation software. Then I found a solution to reverse the operation.
We were able to speed up our work and I know that, somewhere in the world, there’s a designer that owes me a beer for all hours of work I saved him or her.
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