Localization or Creative Adaptation — Localization Case Study — Game Streets of Rogue

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About the game Streets of Rogue

In 2017 tinyBuild released Streets of Rogue, a unique visual successor to the hit game Punch Club. Streets of Rogue is remarkable for the variety of its game features and genre elements. The developers combined an intense top-down roguelike, a retro pixel art style, an atmosphere of irrepressible excitement, classic character leveling, and questing. The game revolves around playing through a series of randomly generated cities. This can be accomplished via brute force, stealth, or hacking — it’s up to you!

How and why the game needed to be localized

Streets of Rogue quickly garnered a warm reception from gamers and the press alike, so tinyBuild naturally decided to bring the game to a wider international audience.

Screenshot from the Game Streets of Rogue

What was localizing Streets of Rogue like?

TinyBuild’s games all feature striking pixel art, dynamic gameplay, and a humorous atmosphere. As such, the texts of these games are full of “special treats” for the translator, and Streets of Rogue is no exception.

Screenshot from the Game Streets of Rogue

Translating the game’s humor

Translating humor is a tricky business. For instance, a joke might be funny to Europeans, but incomprehensible to people from Asian cultures. What’s worse: a joke could end up being offensive and even inappropriate in certain countries if improperly translated. So, we had to adapt the game while factoring in the unique mentality and cultural milieu of a given region.

Translations of funny item names

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Translations of statuses and effects

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Translations of character names

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Localizing dialogue in Streets of Rogue

You can’t have humor without dialogue, right? Unlike short, funny items and character names, the dialogue in Streets of Rogue is a “living” text full of slang, exclamations, and interjections. All in all, it offers tons of space for creativity.

Translations of humorous dialogue elements

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Localization or creative adaptation?

We should really replace the conjunction “or” with “and” here. Translating Streets of Rogue didn’t just hone skills our team already had; it also gave our creativity a workout. And we loved it!
We had a blast working on Streets of Rogue. And we plan to continue localizing content for tinyBuild on a regular basis.

About Alconost

We localize apps, games, websites, & software and provide video production, multilingual marketing, & instant translation services. Visit us at alconost.com