Game Development Reference
In-Depth Information
Localisation is the term used when versions of the game are created for
territories that have different language needs. The word 'territories' is used
instead of 'country' because a specific language version may be used in more
than one country. An English language version, for example, would also be
valid for Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United States. However,
because of differences in television hardware and spelling discrepancies -
between the US and the UK, for example - separate versions often have to
be created to match the target requirements.Though these are not full-blown
localisations, as far as building a release version of the game they are often
treated as such, organisationally.
US versions
When developing console versions of a game, the US market has different
technical requirements to European territories because their TV input is
NTSC instead of PAL. Of course, the reverse is true and US developers must
also deal with the different technical challenges when creating versions of
their game for non-NTSC territories. When supporting multiple console
platforms, a version for each of them must be handled on an individual basis
and tested completely in its own right. Sometimes technical issues can throw
up more than just superficial differences and sometime bugs occur that never
surfaced in the original swathe of versions.
In terms of written content, creating a version for the US market is not
just about finding the words that are spelled differently - anyone can replace
'colour' with 'color' - but also identifying the differences in terminology.
'Petrol' becomes 'gas' and 'spanner' becomes 'wrench' are common examples
of the variations that occur.Although many of these are known to us through
a worldwide proliferation of US films and television programmes and the fact
that many of us regularly chat with others across the world, it is still unlikely
that we will be completely familiar with all terminology differences. How-
ever, a swift search on the internet can usually turn up the information you
For instance, in Britain, 'bottom drawer' is a mostly outdated term, tradi-
tionally referring to the place where a young woman will place the items that
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