Game Design, Programming and running a one-man games business…


Ok, so after my fairly low key release on my own site, finally Democracy 3 was released in German to steam yesterday. It’s been trickier than I suspected it would be, mainly due to GUI annoyances and web page shenanigans, but it is on-sale now.

Sales to Germany have been pretty good, with 6% of revenue coming from there, in the English version 9and there are other countries that speak German, obviously). if I can boost sales to those countries by 25% then I have made money on the translation, so hopefully it will exceed that. It’s also cool to have more people play the game, and it’s interesting and exciting to have done something (funded and managed a pro translation) that I haven’t managed before. (Democracy 2 was translated, but on a revenue split basis).

As is typical, I’ve scheduled this for a stupid time (23rd December!) so I won’t get any press coverage, but just having the game come up with a German option has to boost sales in the long term. I can make German language copies available to any German gaming sites who only cover translated games, which is a bonus. I made a decision to go as far as I could in translation terms, so I translated the game text (obviously) and also the logo, got a new trailer done (twice!) translated the positech site page, and changed the steam screenshots and promo assets to have German text. I even have some German adwords ads I might experiment with a bit.

Anyway, if you have German speaking friends who have turned the game down until today, please point them at the games German website or at the steam page for the game. Danke!

2 thoughts on DEMOKRATIE 3

  1. No offense, but imo the trailer is just wrong. “Diemeinenwegenebten” !? “schulen begeleichen”? (schools instead of debt) :D
    in “Gesetzlichkeit” investieren? “Limite”? -schweizer deutsch?
    “amtsperiode bekommen”… that just sounds funny^^

    the accent is way to heavy. Don’t get me wrong, i don’t want to trash the women who is speaking. If she understands everything she says, she’s very good at german, but it does not click for me.
    the original trailer conveyed the emotions and intentions of the game in a smart and humourous way, this one is just funny/strange. it feels like it’s trying hard to capture everything of the original, but can’t.
    unfourtionatly for you it’s not bad enough to go viral as a fail video. ;)

    about the tagline:
    you can’t say “Nehmen Sie die Kontrolle über ihr Land!”
    better options:
    -formal (Ihr(em/es)/Sie = you(r) = Mr Harris)
    “Übernehmen Sie die Kontrolle in Ihrem Land!”
    “Übernehmen Sie die Kontrolle Ihres Landes!”
    -informal (deines -> du = you(r) = Cliff)
    “Übernimm die Kontrolle deines Landes!”

    or you’d have to come up with new taglines for the german version like “Zeit zum durchregieren!”

    and imo you shouldn’t have translated the game title.
    until recent years videogames almost always had english names in Germany.
    even a lot movies/shows have their original US/UK(/other english international) title, with sometimes a german subtitle added.

    Super Mario Bros. are not Die Super Gebrüder Mario/Die Mario Brüder
    Sonic the Hedgehog is not Sonic der Igel
    World of Warcraft is not Die Welt der Kriegskunst/fertigkeit/whatever
    Call of Duty is not Der Ruf der Pflicht.
    Prison Architect is not (Der) Gefängnisarchitekt
    Lost is not Verschollen
    Breaking Bad … i don’t even know how that would be translated. Auf die schiefe Bahn geraten? well that would be a hell of title :D
    Terminator is not Der Auslöscher

    and why not? english sounds cooler! and some titles would be ridiculous if translated word for word.

    on the other hand there are titles in german like
    Plants vs Zombies = Pflanzen gegen Zombies
    and even a few newer nintendo games got german titles, but for me at least they have always a funny/strange sound to them.
    e.g. Kirby und das magische Garn (how is that better than …Epic Yarn?)

    but the worst are automaticly translated titles in app stores… I won’t even get into those.

    so what i’m saying is gamers are used to english game titles here and often think translated titles don’t sound quite right or cool enough. For the 50+ generation on the other hand… ;)

    and for the trailer, if you really want to have a german one, i’d suggest get a native german speaking voice actor who is as good as, or even better than the english one in the original trailer, and let him/her/somebody else iron out the text, because you can hear someone trying really hard to put all the words from the original text in the right places in the german version. but sometimes it just doesn’t work that way.

    /constructive critisism rant

    I hope you had a good Christmas, i wish you einen guten Rutsch and a happy new year!^^

    1. I had the same impression when watching the german trailer. It conveys “unprofessional”, which is a shame because the english original is so witty and great.
      The german speaker has a thick accent (is she from India?), and sounds like she is reading a google translation (=a lot of grammar mistakes). One moment I even thought she might be a computer generated voice.

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