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We are making an RTS game and we intend to add localizations to all languages our players use. So far we have 16 locales and about 3-4 are being planned.

Now some crazy ideas pop up from our community, players ask for "funny text" localizations. We have been already offered a pack that makes it for 1 of our languages. Now I was thinking where should we draw a line between official localizations which we include into the game and unofficial mods that players will have to install on their own?

Obviously overcrowding locale selection menu with all sorts of funny locales (LOL-cat, redneck, welsh, medieval, simplified, etc.) for all the languages seems way too much. But is it really? What are the hidden pros and cons of having too much locales and how much is too much?

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When you're spending more time on locales than what really matters –  Jonathan Hobbs Jul 11 '12 at 7:01
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3 Answers 3

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You can always sub-divide your menus into the real language locales and the modified, funny ones. Most software is split between built-in menu items and an "add-ons" section so it won't feel out of place for your players, I'm sure.

If these text variants are easy and cheap to produce then consider using them as marketing, release one every N weeks to give you an excuse to send out emails that remind people about your game and something new for it.

Even if you could turn out 100 overnight I would still release them at a slow pace. Anything that your players get too much of too fast will cheapen the impact, instead of feeling good "oh look at this neat thing the devs did for us" it quickly becomes "oh look at all this crap the devs throw at us."

In the end it's kind of a touchy feely answer since I don't have any good numbers; you want just enough so the menu option for it doesn't look barren and not so many that you have to scroll around endlessly just to find something.

In any case, it's a game and funny locales are... funny =) Is it possible to have too much fun?

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Excellent marketing advice! However, I don't agree with separating between funny and normal localizations. It just adds complexity to the menu, which just adds annoyance to 99% of the players. "Keep it simple, stupid!" –  Marton Jul 11 '12 at 7:49
    
Although I agree completly with K.I.S.S, there is also cases where Stupid Keeps it Simple, Just because it will add some complexity such as an extra choice in the menu options, the argument is if Stupid wants simple he wont touch the complex stuff therefore catering to both, soon as stupid is no longer using simple... well he just not as stupid as you thought ;) –  AbstractChaos Jul 11 '12 at 9:52
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It really depends on the style of your game (or the style you wish to convey). The only game where I have seen this kind of localization is the Worms series. It was a really funny feature, which added so much to the fun factor of the game. However, it might not have been so without the excellent voice acting.

Localization can be a tremendous amount of work if you have lots of text. You must think about the value it adds, and compare it to the effort it takes. How many people are going to play with the Welsh settings, if you have no voice acting? A hundred? Are you gonna lose those players if you don't have a Welsh version?

It seems that you already have a nice, constructive community. I think you should just provide them a way to make their own localization packs. Make it really easy (like an XML file), and your community will do it.

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Here's an excellent article about localization:

http://www.altdevblogaday.com/2012/06/27/localization-pipeline/

If you don't want to clutter your menu's with unnecessary localizations, hide them. Put them deep in the settings menu so they won't bother regular players.

But if your localization is defined in external files (like an XML file), it doesn't really matter, because then players can add any localization they like as long as it parses correctly.

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