Localiser Disgaea D2 : entrevue exclusive26 août 2013
Localizing Disgaea D2: A Brighter Darkness
Gamer Quebec: Hi and thank you for taking the time to answer our questions today. Can you please introduce yourself and tell us a bit more about your job at NIS America?
Steven Carlton: Hello, my name is Steven Carlton, and I am an editor at NIS America. My job is to edit the translations, then, along with the translator, oversee the voice recording, and then, along with the translator, oversee the debug of the game. I also work on our anime projects, but the process for that is a little different.
GQ: When you tackle a big project such as Disgaea D2, what are some of the first tasks you are required to do as part of the localization process?
SC: First, we like to play the game to familiarize ourselves with the systems, presentation, storyline and characters. If the game is part of a franchise, we have to make sure to take note of what is completely new to the game, what is the same as the previous games, and what has been tweaked from the previous games.
GQ: Knowing the Disgaea series contains a myriad of jokes, would you say it is harder to adapt the content for an American audience because of the cultural differences with Japan?
SC: Any time you’re dealing with the localization of humor, it’s going to be a bit tricky with how you handle adapting the content for an American audience. But compared to other comedic projects that I’ve worked on, it wasn’t particularly difficult, mainly because the humor of Disgaea doesn’t rely heavily on Japanese wordplay, which, in my experience, is the most difficult type of humor to localize.
GQ: When NIS America works on Disgaea D2, does NIS Japan intervenes or do they let you do your thing until the product is completely localized? If they do intervene, could you please say how?
SC: The only thing we really needed approval on when localizing Disgaea D2 was the title and subtitle. And for that, we presented them with a few choices, giving them explanations on how they relate to the project, and which one we think would work best. Luckily, they tend to agree with us. As for the content of the game, they trust us to handle that on our own.
GQ: Disgaea D2 has already been released in Japan. That was more than six months ago. According to your experience with the series, how much time is required for a thorough localization of such a product?
SC: The No.1 factor that determines how much time it takes to do a thorough localization of a project is the total amount of text in the game. There are a few exceptions to this, *cough*What Did I Do to Deserve This, My Lord!?*cough*, but for the most part, it all comes down to the line count. For Disgaea D2, I think the schedule for the project was just about perfect.
GQ: Who’s your favourite character and least favourite character from Disgaea D2 and why?
SC: My favorite character from Disgaea D2 would have to be Etna, because she’s always so awesome to characterize. I don’t necessarily agree with her decision to ditch the miniskirt for the booty shorts, but I’ll support her decision if I have to. Plus, there will be DLC (free for the first month!) to switch her back to the miniskirt…
For my least favorite character from Disgaea D2, I would have to go with Porkmeister, because he was so much cuter last time.
A big thank you to NIS America without which this interview could have not seen the light of day!