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HBS_Comanche

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Hello Global BATTLETECH Community,

After announcing that localization would be delayed in our 1.2 update, I wanted to open up this thread to help personally communicate where we are and where we are headed with the localization of BATTLETECH. We know you're frustrated with the delay - we're also frustrated and disappointed with the time it has taken to create French, German, and Russian versions of the game in fulfilling our Kickstarter promises. As the Producer of the game, I also want to acknowledge and take proper responsibility for this delay as a production issue, which falls on my shoulders. You deserve a deeper explanation as well as closer communication going forward, directly from me.

First, I will spell out a quick history of the localization effort on the project so you understand how we got where we are today. Second, I will share a brief roadmap for how we are correcting our previous mistakes going forward. Lastly, when we know more, I'll update this thread.- you should feel free to post your questions or comments here, and I'll do my best to respond in a timely manner as warranted. I understand that the proof is in delivery, not in whatever I write here, but at least you will not be in the dark about where things stand.

Brief History: We did our first export of text from the game for delivery to translators in early February 2018 - three months before launch. This was completely in line with our anticipated schedule for localization, as finishing touches on text would require a second export right after launch and we would wrap up QA in the few months afterward. So far, so good.

In the run up to launch and near post-launch period, we were stretched too thin on both the production and engineering side to address localization as intended, and we began to fall behind. Not unrecoverable to our promised timeline yet, but enough to send up red flags. When we were able to assign an engineer to localization development, a new text export was immediately created and sent to translators - it was larger than expected, but nothing too alarming - and testing began in earnest to track down the last of the text that had not been sent for translation. Except…

...The “last of the text” - uncovered over the next month of testing and corrective engineering work - turned out to be exceedingly large, basically another ⅓ of the entire game. We realized far too late that the lack of standards for the ways text had been implemented in the game (and admittedly had not been well-tracked), not only skewed our perspective on the scope of the potential issue early on, but made it exceedingly difficult later to extract the text for translation purposes. This was not known until very recently and that large set of text is currently in translation, which brings us to the present situation and announcement.

What Now? I should pause here to say that our colleagues at Paradox and the translators have been patient and accommodating of these internal challenges, and Paradox not only shares our studio commitment to get BATTLETECH localized as quickly as possible, but supports our efforts to position ourselves to meet or exceed expectations for localization going forward.

We are only focusing on delivering French, German, and Russian versions for the base game at this time. To be clear, no other languages are currently under consideration. Estimates now put those three versions out to you in Beta form in the range of mid-late October. We will not hold any language releases to wait for the others. As soon as one or more are complete, we'll release the Beta versions to you.

Moving forward…

  1. We are building an in-house localization team that starts with a producer and engineer dedicated to the effort.

  2. We are setting text implementation standards for the entire HBS team to follow so that no new text ends up falling outside our string collection tools.

  3. While we will still be offset in translating new content in the near term (i.e. Flashpoint), our goal is to be in sync and sim-shipping localization with new content by spring of 2019.

I apologize for the delays and thank you again for your patience, I also understand that you just want to play the game! We want you to play it as well and are doing everything we can to get back on track with localization. We assure you that there was never ill-intent from anyone at HBS or PDX regarding localization - only missteps in oversight that we deeply regret. I’ll be posting again here soon as questions or more info come up.

Chris Klimecky
BATTLETECH Lead Producer
 

Havamal

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Moving forward…

  1. We are building an in-house localization team that starts with a producer and engineer dedicated to the effort.

  2. We are setting text implementation standards for the entire HBS team to follow so that no new text ends up falling outside our string collection tools.
That is actually pretty awesome. And definitely the kind of thing that makes the future look bright.
 

Shinken

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Thanks for the honest recap. While the translation-ordeal has been very unfortunate so far, at least the team learned a lesson for future projects. Let's hope not too many foreign customers are gone for good.
Also good call to do a beta first. While it's a bit scary, as it could delay the final version even further if the community discovers too many bugs and errors, it's far better than the alternative of shipping the translated build blind and potentially embarrass yourself.

One last thing: While a translation is only a "nice to have" feature for me, it is essential for those with poor or no knowledge of the english language. As such it would be very helpful for those folks, if your update could be translated as well. I'll try to translate it to german (although I'm not a pro translator, so don't judge me too hard) and post it over in the steam discussions, because I doubt too many of the non-english-speaking folks are reading the paradox forums.

Here it is: \ Deutsche Übersetzung: https://steamcommunity.com/app/637090/discussions/0/1736588252416245388/
 
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Spartakus

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Wo Menschen arbeiten passieren Fehler - Mistakes are made wherever people work

Thank you for this open explanation where the issues are. Looking forward to reviewing the german translation.
 

Prussian Havoc

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I appreciate the effort and commitment to HBS Kickstarter statements that Chris expresses above.

I really like that there is a plan in place that by Spring 2019 there will be sim-shipping of Localizations with any new content released.

To me this is yet another instance of HBS actively capturing its Lessons Learned, adjusting they way they do business and implementing practices and procedures to mitigate against any future recurrence of the same problem.

While I can appreciate the feelings of those dissapppointed here, HBS remains committed to making this right and working toward sim-shipping Localizations in the future and that is very much appreciated. :bow:
 

scJazz

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Whelp that would certainly explain the delay. Thank you for taking ownership of the boo-boo. My condolences to whichever engineer got stuck with the job of going through the code to examine every single string and fix to the "Standard". :eek:
 

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BTW I really like that this post indirectly confirms at least one dlc after flashpoint in spring 2019 but possibly even more, because why would you need a dedicated team that oversees sim-shipping localizations when there's nothing to ship? :D
 

A_Gubin

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Write it in Russian, German and French. [Mod edit: English please in the English forum. ]
 

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Guys, if you need any help on Russian localization, I'll do my best.
 

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So HBS have done nothing in all that time ?
but hey ,sqeezzing out a DLC .for that is time enough :mad:

but dont hurry .people simple don't buy the game because of the missing localisation.
 

Rentier

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So HBS have done nothing in all that time ?
why are you saying they did nothing?
IIRC
2/3 of the text should already be done as we chat because that text was given to ranslators in february 2018
and the last 1/3 with the export after release was already sent to translation
 

Huntingwolf

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why are you saying they did nothing?
IIRC
2/3 of the text should already be done as we chat because that text was given to ranslators in february 2018
and the last 1/3 with the export after release was already sent to translation

A sobering message for European fans: The German, French and Russian translation of is not ready four months after release. In a message

It is said that they have encountered a bug in the translation software. That had delayed the responsible translators in their work.

They have solved the problem and the work is progressing again, who wants to enjoy Battletech in German, but will still have to wait "a few months". Exactly aiming one currently between
the Battletech translation, the final release will follow mutch later.
 

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The OP clearly states that what they thought was the complete text for the game, which was sent to translation in February 2018 (on-schedule), later turned out to be only 2/3rds of the text actually in the game. The complete text is now out for translation and will not be back and integrated into the game until October.

So far from "not doing anything" they had a plan that they were following to get the translated games ready for release when a bug was discovered that had hid fully 1/3rd of the text of the game. This is what has caused the delay.
 

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Hi @HBS_Comanche can you PLEASE put in a request for one of these regarding other missing Kickstarter goals? Missing mechs, legendary pilots, combined arms. HBS told us about the cuts to multiplayer and the Backers deserve to know what's going on. Thank you.
 

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Thank you for this open and honest communication on the matter of localization.

Though it is only a little condolence, many other developers face the same issues when dealing with localizing a video game for the first time and constantly fail at the same hurdles. I have seen this happen a few times in my career. Localization after all is more then just taking some text and translating it into language x. Good video game localization is an art and a science at the same time. Easy to learn hard to master.

Deciding to hire an internal loc team to professionalize your localization efforts is the right move imho.

A few suggestions if I may:

1) Hire an experienced/senior games localization project manager or localization manager to handle your external resources and interface with your loc partners/vendors.
2) Build an team of skilled video games localization editors for the languages you plan to cover, independent from your loc vendors to get an independent 2nd opinion on the quality you get. Those can be freelancers. Finding the right people will require testing. But it will pay out in the long run. Make sure they are experts in the lore of your games.
3) Decide early on on a professional tool to manage your localization (SDL Trados or memoQ) and your loc QA (Redmine or Jira). Will help you and your vendors equally.
4) Hire an loc engineer familiar with the chosen tool(s).
5) Involve loc from the start in your plannings and give them all the time and info they need to do their job. Loc is always at the end of the development process and usually ends up with the short stick time-wise. Planning ahead can alleviate it a bit. Better for your quality.

Just a few things.

Best of luck!
 

Prussian Havoc

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Hi @HBS_Comanche can you PLEASE put in a request for one of these regarding other missing Kickstarter goals? Missing mechs, legendary pilots, combined arms. HBS told us about the cuts to multiplayer and the Backers deserve to know what's going on. Thank you.
@Pewpew! - I will discuss with @HBS_HighCommand to see what we can do.
You have no idea how much that means to me and I'm sure others! Thank you
@Pewpew!, you're my Big and Stompy Hero of the Day! :bow:

Thank you. : )
 

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I'm on record saying that I don't really care about localization for myself, but I really appreciate this post - both for not disregarding the people that do want to play the game in their native language, and for giving an honest and no-BS take on where you guys are with it. Kudos @HBS_Comanche and HBS.
 
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