What is game localization QA?
Video games can be a minefield of functional, linguistic, and visual bugs if not localized to perfection. So, how can this perfection be guaranteed? This is where game localization testing and Localization Quality Assurance (LQA) comes in.
LQA consists of the final step in the game localization workflow. Native, in-country experts will be set the task of checking the linguistic, functional, technical, and UI/UX performance of the game prior to release. This is the best way to ensure that a quality product will be delivered to your audience.
Pro Tip! The help of native, in-country specialists is paramount, since each language will have regional differences!
More specifically, LQA confirms that:
- Your game is properly localized into the target languages
- All strings are correctly translated
- The terminology is correct and meets your brand’s standards as well as the player’s cultural/linguistic background
- No issues and errors are encountered when playing the game
- The translations follow a natural flow and are consistent throughout
What does game localization QA include?
Linguistic Quality Assurance
The Linguistic QA confirms the integrity of the language on every level. This includes:
- Spelling, grammar, translations, voice-overs, … are all checked for validity and cultural potency.
- Numeric formats and symbols are confirmed for each region and language
- Metric conversions and currency are sued correctly
- Country-specific codes and numbers such as zip codes and phone numbers are double-checked
- Broken characters are targeted and fixed (for example Hebrew and Arabic characters)
- The consistency of the context and natural flow of the text is confirmed
- Voice-over timing with audio and subtitles are checked
- Regional and cultural sensitivities are taken into account. We don’t want to offend anyone!
Visual Quality Assurance
Visual QA confirms that the design is optimal for each target locale. This includes:
- Truncated characters as well as text overflow are identified and corrected (did you know that German can take up to 30% more space than English?).
- Any possible font issues, such as size and font type, are confirmed and fixed for each language
- Translated content on images and graphics are checked
- The game is checked for visual integrity on each platform (PC, tablet, mobile)
- Inappropriate placement or color/character-use in visuals are corrected
Functional Quality Assurance
During the Functional QA, the localization engineer will fix any errors that undermine the smooth running of the game. This includes:
- Input problems with international keyboard commands
- Making sure all the links work and send the player to the intended pages
- Confirming that the game code is localization friendly and all the localized versions of the game are compatible.
- Checking on nay performance issues
- Confirming the graphics are fully functional included texture, angles, etc.
- Making sire the audio file is not corrupted and plays when it should with perfect timing
The linguistic, visual, and functional qualities need to receive equal attention and the amount of QA testing rounds will be decided by the developers. That being said, keep in mind that testing and QA never really stops. Your game will always need to be updated in order to stay current and optimize your users’ multilingual gaming experience.