Localization Summit
Jason Shirley
Audio Producer
Localization
Case
Study
Microsoft
Games Studios
- Ireland
23 March, 2009
Fable II Localization Case Study
» Jason Shirley, Audio Producer
Microsoft Games Studios – Ireland
» Will Braham, Design Producer
Lionhead – UK
» Palma Cedele, Production Coordinator
Binari Sonori – Italy
23 March, 2009
Fable II multilingual cutscene
23 March, 2009
Jason
Shirley
Jason Shirley
AudioProducer
Producer
Audio
Microsoft Games Studios
Microsoft Games Studios - Ireland
23 March, 2009
Agenda Items
»
»
»
»
»
MGS Ireland
Fable II localization
The successes
Tools / Technologies
Recommendations
23 March, 2009
Microsoft Game Studios Ireland
» Manage MGS Localization for Xbox
and Games for Windows
» Engineering, Test, PM, Audio,
Management
» Partner with 10 Loc Vendors covering
Translation, Test and Audio.
» Gears of War 2, Halo 3, Halo Wars,
Scene It?, Mass Effect, Fable II
23 March, 2009
Fable II Loc Team
» Lionhead

Will Braham: Design Producer
» Microsoft Game Studios





Declan MacHugh: Project Manager
Virginia Spencer: Loc PM
Jean-Philippe Chassagne: Lead Engineer
Alan Davis: Test Lead
Jason Shirley: Audio Producer
» Binari Sonori

Translation & Audio production
» Logrus

Translation & Audio production
23 March, 2009
Fable II Languages
» 15 languages
» 7 Full: French, Italian, German, Spanish,
Mexican, Russian, Japanese.
» 5 Partial+: Polish, Czech/Slovak,
Hungarian, Korean, Chinese
» 3 Partial: Nordic, Brazilian, Arabic
23 March, 2009
Fable II Localization
»
»
»
»
»
»
420,000 words to translate
48,000 audio files per language to record
54 actors per language
50 quests = 238 hours of game to test
Male or Female hero
Sim Ship release
23 March, 2009
The Successes
»
»
»
»
»
Communication
Text management
Smooth VO Production
Build Portability
Creation of custom tools / technology
23 March, 2009
Tools / Technology
» Automated testing
» Management of text content
English
420,000
words
.XML
23 March, 2009
Character1
Translator1
Character2
Translator2
Character3
Translator3
Character4
Translator4
Localized
420,000
words
.XML
Language support and
language interface packs
» Allow for dashboard language changes
on-the-fly
» Automatically support Downloadable
Content (DLC) packs
» Support the addition of extra languages
after release
23 March, 2009
Recommendations
» Engage with your loc team
23 March, 2009
Recommendations
» Engage with your loc team
23 March, 2009
Recommendations
» Use a database to store text for UI
and VO scripts
Design
Writers
Geopolitical
Database
Editors
Production
Loc
23 March, 2009
Recommendations
»
»
»
»
Build portability, Independent loc builds
Chronological order for scripts
Avoid concatenated sentence
Track VO SFX
23 March, 2009
Recommendations
» SFX Batch processes or realtime DSP
» For pre-rendered movies use
multilingual cinematics
» Avoid pre-rendered text or subtitles in
cinematics
» Avoid time constraints for non cinematic
23 March, 2009
Will
Braham
Jason Shirley
Design
Producer
Audio
Producer
Lionhead Studios
Microsoft Games Studios - Ireland
23 March, 2009
Lionhead
» Our approach to localization on Fable II




Learning from past mistakes
Minimal impact on game development
Processes that driven rather than fire fighting
Collaborative planning
23 March, 2009
Text
» The pipeline



Internal database
Exported as .xml
Compiled into game format
» Using the exported .xml



Loc Studio
Translated text stored by the localization team
Easy to use and manipulate
23 March, 2009
Huge .xml file
» The .xml Splitter Tool



Splitting a 50,000 line (10 MB) .xml file
Male / female hero gender
Created and maintained by MGS Dublin
23 March, 2009
Builds and Compiling localized
assets
» Builds


Builds provided daily
All builds smoke tested internally and reports
sent to localization teams
» Compiling localized assets


Localization Asset Build
Language Interface Pack
» Localization able to create and test
localized builds independently
23 March, 2009
Text Pipeline Overview
Lionhead
text
database
English
Char1.xml
Char2.xml
Char3.xml
Splitter
tool
English
book.xml
asset
build
Splitter
tool
translated
Char1.xml
Char2.xml
Char3.xml
translated
book.xml
Build with
English text
23 March, 2009
Build with
translated
text
asset
build
Localised
using Loc
Studio
Support and Communication
» Support


Localization Asset Build
String Context
» Communication


All communication channelled through
MGS Dublin
Regular visits from the MGS Dublin team
23 March, 2009
Summary
» Work with localization teams to
streamline processes
» Upfront planning to avoid fire fighting
23 March, 2009
Palma
Cedele
Jason Shirley
Production
Coordinator
Audio Producer
Binari Sonori
Microsoft Games Studios - Ireland
23 March, 2009
Early kick-off
» Accurate planning phase



Preliminary information on volume and
types of material
Defining number of batches has allowed
perfect synchronization between developer,
publisher and localizer
Microsoft experience has been fundamental
in the preproduction phase
23 March, 2009
Ad hoc team building
» International Coordination Centre

International Project Management





3 Project Managers (text/audio/supervision)
International Language Coordination
International Audio Team

Audio Project Lead

Audio Manager

13 Sound Engineers
International Quality Assurance
International Engineering Team
23 March, 2009
Ad hoc team building
» Local Project Teams




Local Project Management
Local Linguistic Coordination
Local Translation

6 translators

2 reviewers
Local Audio Team

Casting Manager

Dubbing Director

Sound Engineers
23 March, 2009
Ad hoc team building
» A monster Localization team
Over 130 people!
(not including actors)
23 March, 2009
Pipelining with Development
» MGS Dublin

Fundamental in managing the needs
of development and localization
» In-country Production Units

Ability to manage translation and audio
at the same time
» Lionhead

Excellent support throughout the project
23 March, 2009
Overview of Loc. Process
» Subdivision in batches (and sub-batches)
» The book
» The gender issue
23 March, 2009
Overview of Loc. Process
» Translation
23 March, 2009
Overview of Loc. Process
» Structured in-context revision
23 March, 2009
Overview of Loc. Process
» Gender control
23 March, 2009
Overview of Loc. Process
» Script in Excel format
23 March, 2009
Overview of Loc. Process
» Audio



Expert Casting / Dubbing Direction
Audio Post Production (250,000 audio files)
Full Proof-listening
23 March, 2009
Overview of Loc. Process
» Recording Volumes
Batch
(volumes for 1 language)
Recording Batch 1
N° of words
In-game
43.000
Recording Batch 2
Recording Batch 3 Part 1
117.000
Batch
(volumes for 5 languages)
Recording Batch 1
158.000
N° of words
In-game
215.000
Recording Batch 2
Recording Batch 3 Part 1
Recording Batch 3 Part 2
Recording Batch 3 Part 3
23 March, 2009
790.000
N° of
actors
N° of
audio files
7
7.400
40
3.350
2.700
9
15.120
24.000
45
3.240
4.000
18
20.176
N° of words
Time Constrain
3.000
N° of words
SoundSynch
115.000
N° of
actors
N° of
audio files
35
37.000
200
16.750
13.500
45
75.600
120.000
225
16.200
20.000
90
100.880
260.000
585.000
N° of words
SoundSynch
23.000
52.000
Recording Batch 3 Part 2
Recording Batch 3 Part 3
N° of words
Time Constrain
15.000
Questions?
23 March, 2009
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