Devlog #12 - Translating Readable Objects (Localization Part 2)

Hi there, Andre’s here again. This post is a continuation from my previous devlog about localization which you can read here.

On the last post I’ve mentioned about our new data driven system as a solution to our speech-based contents such as monologues, object names and choices. All those speech-based contents are basically datas or texts that can easily be change by a mere change on the database. But our needs for localization met a roadblock which are the read-able objects.

Before I continue let me explain more about the read-able objects in Pamali. These are objects that contains texts or writing that are presented via a texture (image) that is implemented on a 3D object. Examples of these objects within Pamali are letter, books, and notes.

Initially we do this by instantly showing a 2D image on the screen but after a few iterations the writing is directly implemented to the 3D object and you can inspect it. You can read more about his on our 8th devlog:…..

With now the need of localization, we need to as well find a solution on how to translate the textures within Pamali’s readable objects. One of the solution we have thought of, is simply to add an additional button that shows a new UI containing the direct translation of the writing in the object.

^One of our concepts on how to translate our read-able objects.  

This is a very cheap/low-cost solution because we could just instantly take the translation from a data set using our data-driven system. But we didn’t use this solutions because it removes the immersion of reading the object directly. Moreover it may cause the player to focus more to the texts in the UI rather than the object. We didn’t want this to happen because it can cause player to miss other visual storytelling we may have implemented on the object. For example; how the handwriting looks like or how the letter was written, or as for the case of a book player may not be able to see the cover of the book as whole together with the image and the typeface of the title.

So finally we arrives to a solution that literally changes the text within the texture of the object. If players inspect an object, they will be able change the writing within the object to the language they have chosen in the game settings. We do this by literally creating another texture for the corresponding object.

^dynamic material in UE4

This is done by lerping or gradually changing the texture implemented to an object to the localized texture. In Unreal, we are able to accomplish this using dynamic materials.

We are very happy with this solution (even it ends up creating more work for us) because it keeps the immersion of the game and allowing us the keep the authenticity of our game. The game was about folklores, characters, and locations based on Indonesia. And in away it is strange for the writings and texts to be written in english. But with the help our new texture localization system, we can allow players to see the writings on its original language, visualized in the way its supposed to be.

^the result!

Hopefully this new feature will not only allow localizations but help enrich our object interaction system and the game’s narrative as well. That’s it for my devlogs about Pamalis localization, I’ll be discussing about other things on my next devlog. See You!

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