IMC Games, a Korean video game developer, started using Smartcat for localizing their games a year ago. We asked Inês Gonçalves, the company’s localization manager, to explain why they picked Smartcat and how they use it in their daily workflow.
Customer & challenge
IMC Games is a software development team whose most famous games are the award-winning Granado Espada and the more recent, “cute”-styled Tree of Savior. Formed in 2003, the company usually has its games published by external publishers. In 2016, the team started self-publishing some of its titles on Steam and decided to adopt an internal localization process for those. As the volume of already-translated and soon-to-be-translated content was pretty hefty by then, finding a fitting solution was no easy task.
The team finally opted for Smartcat, and has since been localizing their two most popular MMORPGs on the platform. Here’s why.
1. Unlimited storage
Smartcat does not limit the number of projects or TMs one can have in a free account, which makes transition to it smooth and painless:
“We were localizing two MMORPGs which had a lot of text to process, so we needed a CAT tool that could handle large projects and very extensive TMs,” says Inês Gonçalves, localization specialist at IMC Games. “The fact that Smartcat allowed us to have that for free was a big factor in deciding to use it for our translations.”
2. Any number of users
Neither does Smartcat limit the number of users in account: Thanks to the no-seats policy, you can invite as many users to your account as you need, which is handy for in-house localization teams.
“We always have 2–3 people working on localization in-house, with more members added when needed,” says Inês. “Sometimes, if the content that needs to be localized ends up being too much for our intended deadline, we will work with a translation agency to deal with some of the burden.”
3. Real-time collaboration
All account users can work on the same document in real time. “We proofread each others’ translations and, after everything is complete, the translated files are sent to the team in charge of applying them in-game,” says Inês. IMC Games is also looking into the possibility of outsourcing some of the in-house work to freelancers or agencies using Smartcat’s translator/LSP marketplace, respectively, who will also work on the same documents in real time.
4. Tracking the progress
With Smartcat, you always know how much volume you need to localize, and how far along the way you are in the process.
“We receive the Korean text files and upload them to Smartcat to calculate the page count and set up a schedule for the English-language update,” says Inês. “The statistics page is most useful for setting the deadline for the project and checking our progress as we go.”
5. Terminological consistency
Finally, keeping the tone and terminology consistent throughout the text is paramount for video game localizations, as gamers are one of the most demanding audiences. Smartcat enables that with the help of glossaries and translation memories.
“We usually have more than one person working on content updates, so we depend on Smartcat’s glossaries to make sure our terms are translated the same across projects,” says Inês. “The first person to come across a new NPC name, region, item, etc. can simply register the term in the glossary so the others can see it pop up in the CAT section of the editor.”
The game developer has been happy with their transition to in-house localization in Smartcat. It has been cost- and time-efficient, with much faster response times to updates than previously. IMC Games’ case shows that even small teams can handle big localization projects successfully. They just have to have the right tools at hand and think not about license limits or restrictions, but about what matters the most — the game’s voice.