Put an eye on community

If you saw the second “Ask Kinslon” interview, you know that Aion are bringing update 1.9 to the live servers in May. Many of Aion players have been asking what takes so long to bring these patches to other territories.  The following answer is from Aion  online.

We have to go through quite a few steps to bring an update from the Korean to Western markets. The first step, obviously, is getting the update so we can begin testing. This step, while seemingly simple, involves several moving pieces: receiving the localization content (the words, tooltip information, UI text, names, quests, and so on), the client update, and the server update. Depending on the size of the patch or expansion, our localization team will begin receiving the new content and poring through it for up to weeks in advance of receiving the software client that goes with it. The localization team creates new terminology for new systems, creatures, maps, names, and pretty much anything else that is new and language-related. After that, the team makes sure that any new files it has received match the previous terminology changes, which leads to lots of exacting search and replace work. Once terminology is complete, the localization team goes through all the new story-related content (quests, NPC dialogs, and so on) and rewrites it. The team transforms that content into native English speech delivered in a natural tone and idiom that makes sense in a westernized culture while preserving the unique lore of Aion. When the team members finished that, it’s time to translate that English version into French and German. After that translation, another round of editing goes on to ensure the translations were done correctly and convey the intended meaning and use the correct idiom for those languages.

When the content is solid enough that it can be tested and we’ve received the client and server update from Korea, our QA team goes to work testing not only the functionality of the update (testing against patch notes and system changes) but also to test the new content in all three languages. Many times, the content goes through several testing iterations during which we change the wording, tweak the UI and its labelling, and fix bugs as they are found. As the testing is going on, we also prepare the technical side for an update. We create new installers, plan the server updates, and plan and test the backend technical pieces that deliver the new software, integrate it into the software, and talk to the various databases that are integral to getting the content and new features from us to the player.