What’s the first thing to do if you want to localize the game? There are a few vital aspects, but there is no proper translation without a terminology. So that’s what we’ve been doing recently; preparing the glossary and, of course, playing the game like crazy. The “players” team details will speak soon; today it’s the diary of terminology team.
Believe it or not, but terminology means intertextuality. Beholder is all about totalitarian, dystopian future (although it’s set in, surprise surprise, 1984). Well, to begin with… Let’s read some books! 1984 and Animal Farm by George Orwell, The man in the high castle by Philip K. Dick, Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, etc., etc.
Carl Stein, the main character in the game, is to keep order in the building, but also to report the authorities about everything he may get to know about the tenants. He is a public servant of the oppressing state that controls all actions of its citizens. And the word “comrade” used so often… It is impossible not to associate the world in which Beholder works with the communism. The project turns out to be very interesting in term of historical context. Poland has survive a years of communist oppression. That’s good news because we will be able to understand all the references very well. The bad news is that we work on the English version which has been localized from Russian. How many juicy cultural connections have been lost in that translation? We need to spice it up to create an appropriate impression in gamers’ minds.
The terminology needs to contribute to that aim. A lot of difficult choices are currently being made, especially in case of proper names, names of quests and institutions mentioned in the game. All the terms related to a totalitarian reality need to be properly translated. A few hours already spent in the historic library, and a few more to come! Beholder contains a couple of hidden messages; we need to track them all down. Probably an expert on Russian language will be useful to help us understand the vision of the authors better.
Terminology team is working. Today all club members met to brainstorm the ideas for the most significant proper names and quests in the game. We came up with some crazy ideas! We’ve already prepared the file for translation. The strings are divided into categories and once the glossary is ready, there will be nothing but translating all night long. Sheer fun! Stay tuned on LocLog guys, the tension is growing!