10 Must-Know Rules of Subtitling Services for Video Game

Posted by Gummy Tran on December 29, 2021.

Subtitling Services for video games are essential. Therefore make sure your subtitles are available in many languages when localizing games to satisfy gamers’ expectations.

Subtitles aid not only deaf users but also all players who prefer to read critical information rather than wait for it to be spoken during the game. They’re also helpful when ambient sound interferes, causing players to get distracted.

What’s the Deal with Video Game Subtitles?

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Subtitles in video games help the hearing-impaired immerse themselves in the narrative. Moreover, when done appropriately by professional subtitling services/your human resources, they contribute to the overall user experience and stimulate people to engage with the game. In contrast, poorly written subtitles that are difficult to read or include grammatical errors will divert the viewer’s attention from the story.

Numbers also say it’s critical to pay attention to the quality of your subtitles to ensure a great game experience in all languages. 95% of “Assassin’s Creed Odyssey” and 75% of “Division 2” gamers want to keep subtitles on, reports Ubisoft. 

In this post, you will find ten golden rules of video game subtitles to keep your gamers attracted. 


Say No to Google Translate

Subtitling services

When translating video game content, you should collaborate with a reliable subtitling services provider who thoroughly understands the target market and the local gaming culture. You won’t be able to acquire an appropriate translation by just running your original subtitles through Google Translate (or any other software).

Furthermore, because subtitles must be included within a specific time frame, the contents need to be revised to meet particular formatting criteria. This isn’t something software can achieve on its own–at least not right now.


Keep Lines of Text Narrow and Short

Video game subtitles are difficult to control since translations might result in up to a 300 percent content extension. It’s usually an issue when texts are relatively short in original languages, such as English or Chinese, but it may happen in some combinations of languages.

Hence, you should try to transcreate the content and conversations in short sentences on a regular basis. Short lines of text take up less space on the screen, making it easier for players to read. According to the BBC, set a limit of 38 characters per line and a maximum of two lines, or three (in some exceptional circumstances) on the screen at any given moment.


Use Standard Sentence Case with Subtitling Services

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Using ALL CAPITAL LETTERS can be considered a sign of bad manners or as “shouting” in many cultures worldwide. Furthermore, because most people aren’t accustomed to reading in this way, video game subtitles printed in uppercase letters might slow down gamers and get them distracted from the story.  

Unlike those who watch TV, Gamers have less time to concentrate on the subtitles when playing. As a result, you should keep the lines easy to read for the player. Let’s use the standard sentence case and save capital letters for moments you want to emphasize something for everyday conversations. 


Change Fonts for Different Languages

When working with other writing systems, the default font for your original content may not look excellent in other languages. It’s also worth noting that languages like Arabic or Chinese have fewer font options than those using the Latin alphabet.

By setting different fonts for each language, all gamers will read the content quickly and enjoy the experience. Look for simple and friendly fonts that allow players to focus on the game’s objectives and milestones rather than guessing letters in the subtitles.


Insert Captions to Source Dialogue Lines

Players might lose track of the dialogue and become confused if it’s difficult to discern who’s speaking. So to avoid friction, you should use captions to display each character’s name to source conversation lines.

Also, if you need to show lines from many characters, stagger the subtitles to make it seamless and easier to figure out who is speaking.


Use Center Alignment with Subtitling Services

Subtitles positioned in the center of the bottom of the screen would be easier to read and are less likely to hide any essential visual elements.


Include Important Sounds in Subtitles

Non-speech details are crucial to help players who play without sound get a sense of the game’s mood. Simultaneously, subtitles that translate the relevant noises provide information for hard-of-hearing people to grasp what’s going on in the background.

Just bear in mind that these captures should not distract gamers from the story; therefore, subtitles for dialogues should take precedence over transcriptions of non-speech sounds.


Ensure Your Subtitling Services Reflect What Players Hear

When recording conversations, voiceover artists frequently improvise to emphasize certain character traits or make the discussion appear natural. It’s pretty common, and it typically leads to a better gaming experience because the characters become more realistic.

Even if the voice actors stick to the script, gamers will notice the spoken dialogue and subtitles changes right away. While the discrepancies don’t directly impact the narrative, they can irritate some, mainly several times during the game.

Subtitles should be transcribed using the voiceovers to reflect what the players hear, not what was written in the original script. It allows you to maintain consistency while also improving the game’s quality.


Allow Players to Turn Subtitles On and Off Easily

Even though most gamers appear to enjoy having subtitles on, they should be able to turn them off whenever they want. Developers should make it easy for players to disable or enable subtitles while playing.


Localize Slang in Subtitles

Handling slang is one of the challenges in translating video games. In this situation, localization can help you maintain the game’s tone while making the conversation understandable to international gamers.

You’ll end up with bland characters that are less likely to create high engagement if you remove the slang to make translation easier.

Work with professional subtitling services who are familiar with the video game business and the target audience. They provide high-quality translations that help to recreate the game’s authentic atmosphere in a way that matches the expectations of the general audience.

Choose a Pro Partner for Your Subtitling services.

Successful subtitling services can’t stop at translation only. Linguists need to understand the video game industry, target audience, and even the culture and regulations of the locals when tapping into foreign markets.

If you are searching for a professional partner offering subtitling services, look no further than GTE Media.

Subtitling services

Our subtitling services include subtitle translation, subtitles for Deaf and Hard of Hearing (SDH), video timecoding, subtitle encoding, and subtitle review. Before commencing any project, we always perform considerable research on the target audiences to ensure that they are given appropriate information and emotions.

We see your products as ours and pledge to offer high-quality translations that match your target players’ expectations. Send us a message now and let our subtitling services experts give you a personalized consultancy.

You can look here for translation and localization services.

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