Going Worldwide – Regional Servers & LocalizationJuly 16th, 2018 at 2:59 pm
The community calls – Dynamight replies. Regional servers are coming, localization is in the making!
Hi, fellow gamer and MMO enthusiast!
Today, we’re going to tackle another topic which has been discussed aplenty, with lots of sensitive feedback from the community: regional servers and localization.
As some of you may recall, our initial plan was to have one single game server that players from all over the world would connect to. This decision was not due to technical reasons, but a specific game design choice – we wanted to create a unified, truly international experience, without splitting our userbase.
Well, it turned out this was a very clear situation where our vision conflicted with that of our community. Many of you reported to us unsatisfying experiences in other online games that adopted the same solution, and more stories of the like.
Hence, we started revising our plans. We tested out the smoothness and playability of the game, deploying servers in the US and connecting from the EU, where Dynamight is based. We touched base with Improbable – which, if you don’t know, is the company behind SpatialOS, our amazing backend engine and hosting platform. We even mentioned the topic to a couple of the publishers interested in Fractured.
The feedback was unanimous: in an RPG with action combat, where quick reflexes and skillshots lie at the core of combat, latency matters. Surprising, right? (*sarcasm*). Hence, here we go with our new plan!
SpatialOS relies on the Google Cloud for hosting, which features centers in the following locations:
If Google does, so does SpatialOS – and it’s available to us already, which means we can make use of it in Alpha 1 – Test 1 if we want to. Cool right?
Of course, the fact we can deploy servers to all these locations doesn’t mean that we should. Splitting the userbase too much would have negative consequences on gameplay – a bit of latency is better than an empty world. Hence, the plan follows.
If the playerbase is somewhat low, we’ll start Alpha 1 with a single game server, located in US East, which is a good compromise for NA, SA and EU players.
Once the userbase grows (or from the start, if large enough), we can start deploying regional servers. The first obvious split is from US East to US Central + EU Central, but that’s really up to player demand. Eventually, we could have a full server layout as such:
- US West
- US East
- Europe West
- Europe East
- South-East Asia
- South America
The fact our own backend for player data is also based on the Google Cloud allows us to potentially move a whole game world overnight. The fact we’re going to have time-limited testing phases while in development allows us to adjust everything before the start of each according to demand and data from the previous one. Hurray!
Our plans on localization were never a secret. However, we hadn’t approached the matter organically before we started working on Alpha 1.
Today, we can finally confirm that Fractured will be localized in the following languages:
Although Portuguese and Russian are considered high priority, that doesn’t mean we’ll get those done first, then the others later on. In fact, the most likely route is that we’ll tackle the localization matter all at once during Alpha 1.
Since we started working on Alpha 1, we’ve built the management of in-game texts to be translation-ready. We’ve recently reached out to a couple localization agencies too – haven’t reached an agreement yet, but we’re getting there. On top of that, we’re planning to get additional help from of our awesome community (which has already done many translation miracles!) through web tools like CrowdIn.
Of course, that doesn’t mean the languages above are the only ones we’re going after. Right now, 90% of our non-English community comes from countries speaking those languages, hence the pick. In the future, more may come!
That’s it for today.
As always, let us know what you think of this update and let’s keep the support for our Kickstarter campaign going strong. 9 days to go, we can make it happen!
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