Localization from an Indie Game Production Perspective – Why, When and How?

Toftedahl Marcus Backlund Per Engström Henrik
2018 DiGRA '18 - Proceedings of the 2018 DiGRA International Conference: The Game is the Message

This paper investigates the process of game localization from an indie development perspective. The global nature of the digitally distributed game industry gives opportunities for game studios of all sizes to develop and distribute games on a global market. This poses a challenge for small independent developers with limited resources in funding and personnel, seeking to get as wide spread of their game as possible. To reach the players in other regions of the world localization needs to be done, taking language and other regional differences into consideration. In an AAA or big-budget game production, these questions are handled by separate entities focusing solely on the localization process – but how do small independent game developers handle this? Indie game developers in Sweden, China and India have been interviewed to investigate the research question of how indie game developers handle localization in the development process. The results point to a widespread use of community- and fan translation, and that only basic localization is done i.e. culturalization aspects are not considered. The results also show that the reason for localizing can be both business decisions but also to spread a specific message using games.


Indie Game Studies Year Eleven

Parker Felan
2014 DiGRA '13 - Proceedings of the 2013 DiGRA International Conference: DeFragging Game Studies

As independent or “indie” games become more visible and prominent in the digital game industry and in gaming culture, the idea of independence becomes increasingly difficult to pin down. This short paper provides a starting point for scholars interested in studying indie games. Beginning with a mission statement that addresses some of the challenges and opportunities of indie game studies, the paper surveys eleven years of research on the history, theory, political economy, and socio-cultural aspects of indie games and highlights tensions or gaps. The paper concludes by identifying productive avenues for future inquiry, arguing that indie games should be more fully integrated into game studies as a field.