Awesome specializes in the development of cross-platform software and is considered to be one of the Portuguese pioneers in creating solutions for Android devices. It was founded in 2008 and the following year it immediately leapt into the centre of the industry thanks to its nomination for the Pocket Gamer awards. This renowned platform is responsible for divulging various types of games and their users can vote on their favourites. The result? A well-deserved bronze medal for Awesome. After this victory, many others were won by this great little company based in Leiria, Portugal. The physical proximity to SMARTIDIOM was the trigger behind the collaboration that has defined the success of one of the company’s games.
The project was all managed around the release of the “Parigami” game in 2015, an entertainment opportunity in which users were presented to fun animal characters in origami and their adventures in a colourful paper forest. The name of the game is a twist on words (Paper Origami > Parigami) and the goal is to drag the rows and columns of the game to join three or more equal pieces and move on from scenario to scenario in a fully interactive map. Against this background and with the desire to expand the game to other markets, Awesome requested SMARTIDIOM’s help to translate the components of the game, from English into 10 languages: German, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Korean, Spanish, French, Italian, Japanese, Brazilian Portuguese and Russian. Additionally, the translations have expanded to the contents of the mobile application store for iOS and Android, as well as for the descriptions of the application on Facebook. At a later stage, Awesome further developed the game and created the “Parigami Gold” version, adapted to one of the most successful and revolutionary devices of that year: the Apple Watch. The premise of the project seems uncomplicated, but the variety of the target markets and the characteristics of the Apple Watch presented several risks. The cultural adaptation would have to be perfect for two reasons: the translation had to reflect the contents of the game; and also had to fit the linguistic and cultural mentality of the target markets. And the character limitation in an operating system like the Apple Watch would certainly provide SMARTIDIOM with unparalleled difficulty, not to mention a challenge that would have to be overcome brilliantly.
SMARTIDIOM was faced with the need to find solutions to these three challenges: the translation of a video game’s components, the respective localisation and cultural adaptation, and the answer to Apple Watch’s limitations. These realities resulted in the need to search for the most suitable people to handle these contents from the external service providers’ database. Several professional profiles were studied to find linguists with greater experience in video games, from a player’s and linguist’s standpoint and include the creative component to find the perfect solutions for the target audience to understand and admire the game in its entirety. After this thorough selection, SMARTIDIOM prepared the project’s specifications, summarised the client’s requirements and created a package of instructions, including the project’s implicit constraints, in order to send the external linguists a complex, but understandable proposal that would allow them to analytically study the project.
In a first phase, Awesome allowed access to an initial version of the game so that the selected translators could explore all of its features, study the characters and find all the components to localise. This experience was essential to ensure the accuracy of the translations. Subsequently, the translation of the app stores’ description was carried out, as well as all the parts of the user interface. This division of content allowed SMARTIDIOM to control the translators’ efforts through constant communication and regular progress reports.
The final phase was, without a doubt, the most intricate and crucial to the whole project: the contents for the “Parigami Gold”, the Apple Watch version. This device is an activity watch with a small digital display, which limits the game’s data and, as such, SMARTIDIOM came up with a work method which included the restriction of characters in Excel format sent by the client. This feature made it possible to ensure that the translations would not be truncated in the display of the players’ devices, which was clearly the most complex challenge for all the linguists involved. To control the working conditions, the partnership between Awesome and SMARTIDIOM was fundamental for the translators to rapidly exchange feedback, mostly via localised images, as well as to suggest new solutions wherever they deemed them necessary.
The main factors behind the successful results were, surely, the recruitment of skilled, creative linguists, the thorough organization of contents and instructions, and the evaluation and quality control procedures carried out by SMARTIDIOM and Awesome. The creative, versatile localised versions helped to ensure more than 10,000 downloads and installations of the game and to the positive ratings of about 8/10 points. A complex, prolonged project quickly took the form of an undisputed success case.
Founded in 2012, SMARTIDIOM offers innovative multilingual services, helping global organisations and brands to grow and achieve international success. Our solutions include technical translation, technical writing, website and software localisation, software and hardware testing, copywriting, transcreation (creative translation for marketing and advertising), subtitling, interpreting, narration and audio/video transcription. Actively present in 25 countries, SMARTIDIOM partners with clients from a wide variety of industries, including Marketing and Advertising, IT and Software, Telecommunications, Construction, Energy and the Environment.