How to get into videogame proof reading

September 12th, 2016
How to get into videogame proof reading

For the penultimate part of our six part series, we explore the essential role of Videogame Proof Reading. As the title suggests, proof reading is one of the final steps in localization where every element of the script and in-game copy is checked and, where needed, adapted to fit the game and its specific region.

At Synthesis, Proof Readers are the ‘script overseers’ for the entire localization production, ensuring the content and script are correct before the final production begins. If they miss a grammatical error or reference, this could be disastrous in the final edit and could potentially compromise the game experience.

With millions of customers about to spend hours playing through the game, that’s a lot of people who could be upset with a poorly delivered narrative!

To be a Videogame Proof Reader you need:

– to be a native speaker and have an excellent knowledge of the target language and writing skills
– an excellent level of English
– to have bug spotting capabilities/attention to details and a high level of concentration
– a good handling of Microsoft Word: spellcheck, search and replace, track changes, etc. and Microsoft Excel
– a strong interest in videogames and in any product of the entertainment industry
– the ability to work as part of a team, under pressure and within tight deadlines
– a preferred knowledge of CAT Tools
– organizational skills
– knowledge of another language is a major plus

Your work would involve:

– familiarizing with the product (which means playing it!) and creating a game terms glossary
– editing/proof reading/finalizing videogame content by revising and spotting any mistakes in mis-translations, grammar/orthography issues, poor style/characterization, platform glossary infringement, inconsistencies between the same batch of text or different batches of the same project
– shifting areas of linguistic focus depending on text destination (in-game, audio recording, box & docs)
– communicating with the team and checking the developers’ answers to questions
– ensuring a timely delivery

Working hours and conditions

As with every role within Synthesis in our focus on AAA videogames, you would need to be flexible about your working hours, which could be long and irregular depending on the project. Also, expect gaps in between projects and longer hours in summertime.

Entry requirements

There are specific training/academic studies in Translation in most countries which will help you enormously. CAT tools programs, subtitling courses, any formal training related to audio visual translation will also help. Ideally, you need to love your native language and be irritated by any mistakes!

Most important of all, you need to be connected to the ‘live’ English language, spoken in contemporary videogames, movies, TV series, comic books, on the internet and with your peers.

You also need a skill which is the most important of all: the ability to focus on a screen for long hours without getting distracted (even if the game is fantastic!).

Without the best proof readers at Synthesis, we simply couldn’t produce the best localized games in the world, so if you like challenge and a lot of responsibility, this could be the job for you. Best of luck!

For more information on potential positions at Synthesis, feel free to visit our website at the Careers section or please contact pikmin@synthesis.it