Making Your Indie Game Multilingual

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Hi Andrew,

I think thats one of your best articles to date, external links, much conciser in writing, and a difficult subject to broach, not a wealth of information out there.

I'd probably suggest looking through a couple of libraries that provide this functionality (such as i18next) to see how they do it, to be honest it's not a hell of a lot different to the naive solution you present, at least, to get started its not.

You might want to touch on how such a system can grow to include stuff like pluralisation and stuff like feminine/masculine versions of words that a language could contain. At the moment you've just presented string replacement, which is fine but maybe touch on how this would scale for a real application.

Also, I think you should add a section on loading patterns, at least theoretically although I'm pretty sure people would be interested in implementation as this touches on stuff outside of translation (i.e. how to load stuff in to your app/game). The problem is that the translation object (which can be JSON) could be 50kb in size and your solution bundles all languages into the app when you probably only need one, if you support 5 languages thats 250kb of code you're shipping and you only need 50kb of it at a time, so its a problem you need to solve as soon as you have a couple of translations to use. You could touch on sites that allow users to switch languages and how you might handle that requirement whilst keeping load-time performant.

You also need to mention how you select a language in the first place, UA sniffing? user preference? something else?

I think once you have loading and a short section on which language to select then you have a really well-rounded introduction to adding translations to a project.

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