Davide – Executive Localization Director

Meet Davide!

President of our Australian outback office… 😉
1) What is your name and where do you work?
My name is Davide Solbiati, I work in the Italian office of the SGS group, also if actually I live in Wroclaw, Poland.

2) How and when did you enter the game localization industry?
I was a videogames journalist back in 1994, working for The Games Machine, Italian’s leading magazine. When TGM Editor in Chief, Max, created Synthesis one year later, I was amongst the first translators of the group. Then, during the years, I became a PM and a partner as well.

3) What is your primary job at Synthesis?
I’m a partner of the SGS group. My daily job anyway is being a Project Manager and taking care of my direct clients.

4) What do you have to take care of today?
Today I just organized some meetings for the San Francisco Game Developers Conference (note: yes, this text was written some time ago…), then I prepared and sent out for translation some files in Russian, Turkish and Spanish. Plus the usual accounting and other little tasks.

5) What is your “Synthesis nickname” and what is the story behind?
My nickname is Shazam. The history behind it… well, it was the alias I choose for my first email address back in… 1993, I guess: shazam@galactica.it! It came from an old cartoon, not from Captain Marvel, if you’re wondering.

6) What is the funniest localization flaw you stumbled upon?
I remember one line in a support forum, in English it read: “Please use this form to tell US what do you think about our games”. The US part was in capital letters and it was translated as “United States”, and the result was pretty funny. But also the “autoexec.bat” file translated as “autoeseguibile.pipistrello” wasn’t bad (pipistrello is bat in Italian)!

7) What was your most demanding project and what made it so special?
It was a big RPG, a pretty famous one. It was really demanding in terms of sheer dimensions, being 300.000 words of audio alone, and number of languages involved, English, French, Italian, and Spanish. I was the global PM and I directly followed Italian and US English as well, so it was really a lot of work to do, for a pretty long time.

8) What is your favourite game and why?
My favorite game right now is the good old Skyrim, I really love wandering in the game world and discovering new places, the sense of freedom you can get from it. Then there’s FIFA, but since my son started beating me up, it isn’t my favorite title anymore…

9) What do you love about videogames localization?
I love the fact that it covers all the aspects you can find in the localization business (from technical translations to creative parts, like scripts). Then there’s audio, and the multilanguage. You really get a complete experience!

10) What do you hate about videogames localization?
Well… crazy deadlines, first of all. And the lack of planning that sometimes we see in a project. This really leads to a waste of time from our side, and of money from the client’s side.

11) Final question: What do you do when you’re not sitting in front of your computer?
I love running: I’m training for my first marathon, and I really look forward to it! Then, I love spending time with friends and my two children, traveling around the world and watching my favorite shows when I have some time – Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, I’m a Joss Whedon fan.