We recently showcased our game Asura at BitSummit held in Kyoto, Japan. We have also been to Taipei Game Show some time ago. During our visit to these shows, we learned that showcasing a game in an English speaking country is much more different than a country like Japan where English is not a common language. There is a certain prep work required so that you can have a successful show. For the same purpose, we would like to share some tips on how to showcase your game in a non-English speaking country.
1.) Electricals and Power Supply: Research on the kind of electrical specs that the country you will be showcasing demands. Japan has its variation of power specification and electrical outlets similar to that of the US, and if you are from a country like India, you will need to be prepared. Do not expect the organizers to provide you with them. Your best bet would be to get some convertible plugs and additional power strips. However, there are certain events wherein you will have to purchase the power for your booth. If such is the case then make sure you communicate with the organizers a month or so before the event. We had a friend in a neighboring booth who had to shell out 200$ during the show as he forgot to purchase the power before hand.
2.) Control Card: We forgot to make the Control Card for Asura during Bit Summit but you should not. Control card is nothing but a little banner or piece of cardboard which will feature instructions on how to play your game, key configuration, etc in the localized language. Control Card will save you a ton of energy while showcasing if you can’t speak the local language. It will also help visitors at your booth to understand the game much better without any hassle.
3.) Localized Banners, Flyers and Giveaways: This is obvious! Grab those fantastic banners and flyers you have made for the game and make sure to localize it for the show. We have made some amazing friends all around the world who are kind enough to help us with the localization if they know the language. You can do the same!
4.) Controller Preference: Some countries like Japan prefer Playstation controllers whereas the western folks are much more comfortable with an Xbox variant. Please do your research according to the place you will be showcasing. If you can, bring both the controllers then you can let the players choose according to their preference.
5.) Culture and Language: Try to learn a bit about the culture and etiquettes of the country you will be visiting. Chances are that some mannerisms which are OK in your country might be offensive or rude in the one you are planning to visit. Also, try to learn a couple of common greetings or words like ‘Thank you’, ‘Sorry’, ‘goodbye’ etc. You might feel awkward to communicate in a new language at first, but folks will love you for making the attempt. The point is to make everyone feel comfortable and language is a great weapon which you can use to your advantage.
6.) Summon your local friends: If you have any local acquaintance in the city where you are planning to showcase, invite him or her to the show. Your friend can help you translate and showcase the game much better due to his/her fluency in the local language. Usually, the organizers will offer a couple of extra passes. If you don’t have additional passes, e-mail the fellow devs who will be showcasing along with you and ask if they would have any extra passes. Make sure to treat them with a lunch or dinner if they hook you with an extra one
7.) Localized Game Demo: This is a tough one but try to localize the demo which you will be showcasing at the event. If your game is light on text then it should be doable. Trust me! The time invested for the localization will be worth it at the show. This tip does not count if your game is already localized.
We hope that the above points help you to maximize the success of your upcoming events. Please do note that the tips can also be applied for any showcase in general. Best of luck for your game and thank you for dropping by.