Continuous Localization and Sim Ship – GitHub and XTM Cloud
Lessons from Game Global Digital Summit
“Git version-control system and XTM Cloud can help achieve smooth continuous game localization”. That was the view from Dominick Kelly (XTM International) and Audrey Lepage (Bigpoint) when they spoke at the virtual Game Global Digital Summit on the 9th of June.
Their talk explained how best to approach game localization, and how connectivity and intelligent automation play a key role in the process. Thanks to continuous localization (CL) workflows, the resulting process is smoother, more predictable, and less error-prone. This has a significant impact on time to market, overall localization costs, and stakeholders’ peace of mind.
Does it sound too good to be true? Read on, and judge for yourself.
Before XTM Cloud Connect for Git was implemented
Prior to switching to a continuous delivery (CD) workflow, Bigpoint’s game localization workflows included many manual steps. To localize strings, game teams were sending new content from SVN to a proprietary translation tool, then exported and sent to suppliers in XTM for translation. Once translated, the strings were imported back to the game repository. The entire process could take a couple of days and the export on its own between 2 and 4 hours each time.
“Before the Git Connector was implemented, we were juggling between a lot of tools including the proprietary software where our texts were stored, the internal task management system, and XTM. The bottom line was that we were losing a lot of time processing every single translation task. And then came automation!” said Audrey Lepage of Bigpoint.
Updates and regular changes are a reality with modern development projects for game titles, and can even continue for an extended period of time after the product release. These are hard to manage with manual processes. In many cases strings get outdated before their translation is finished, adding version control complexity.
In traditional processes, quality issues including overlapping texts, untranslated strings (due to incomplete extraction), and inaccurate translations are more likely to appear. These issues are solved reactively, rather than being eliminated earlier in the process. This, in turn, means that simultaneous shipping (sim-ship) of all translated game titles at the same time as the original product is not possible.
Continuous localization with XTM Connect for Git
The solid connectivity between XTM and Git means projects can be sent to translation directly from the Git system. In XTM Cloud a project is created and updated as sprints are committed to Git. Once string translations are completed, they are transferred back to Git for publishing. An online centralized hub for localization is of great help – in-game strings, UI elements and other game assets are translated online. Changes are applied in real-time in XTM Cloud and Git.
Some of the features which Bigpoint took advantage of included:
- Unique string IDs meant ID-based matching was possible which enhanced leveraging and re-use and produced time and cost savings.
- Real-time updates that enable a single continuous localization project in XTM to adapt to the sprint cycles of their development team.
- XTM Connect for Git – QA search Using string(s) IDs or simple text searches from inside XTM Connect’s user interface to view and display assets that need to be edited.
- XTM Connect for Git – QA task creation From inside the XTM Connect user interface, individual strings from multiple assets/files held in Git can be gathered into a single QA project and fixed as they are reported.
XTM Quality Assurance for quality strings
Two minutes is the amount of time Bigpoint currently needs to perform QA tasks, compared to the two plus hours that were spent on QA tasks in the past. In-tool QA dramatically reduces overlapping texts, untranslated strings, inaccurate translations, which meant the high quality required to engage the players could be met in the most effective way.
Audrey Lepage of Bigpoint: “The Git Connector was the missing link between our development teams and XTM. It led to greater automation by enabling our game teams to send us translation tasks containing all of their new content at the click of a button. Manually exporting and importing files is now a thing of the past!”
With XTM Cloud Connect for Git, it’s possible to action QA tasks early on, solving potential quality issues when they appear, this saves hours of manual work. Localization managers can search the Git assets using word search or enter one or multiple string IDs without leaving the XTM Cloud platform. The identified strings are pulled from Git to XTM Cloud where changes can be made in the moment.
Bigpoint saw reduced error handling, lower overall localization costs, and a faster time to market on this program. This meant that sim-shipping was no longer a pipe dream for them.
Are you interested in finding out more about this case or how to optimize your continuous localization processes for global game delivery? Contact Dominick Kelly at firstname.lastname@example.org.