Perfect World International: Localization of the Blademaster
The good folks over at Perfect World International have provided us with this visual representation of some of the ways that their game is being localized from the Chinese version to a North American version.
Not all Chinese people like American food, and not all Americans like Chinese food. You can probably find more Americans that like Panda Express (Americanized Chinese Cuisine) than Americans that like genuine Chinese food.
This is a simple analogy to the approach we took with our concept art for Perfect World International.
Some of the differences between these characters are extremely subtle, while others are quite obvious. One thing that we put a strong emphasis both in China and the United States is that these characters need to be representative of each country’s respective culture.
Here’s a brief analysis of both:
Right off the bat when you look at this character you’re drawn into his armor, his weapon, his cape. He’s a Blademaster and he means business. Blademasters are a heavy armor class that specialize in damage, and that’s the message he’s trying to convey. You’ll notice that his face and tone are very serious. His armor and his weapon have a heavy emphasis and are meant to draw your attention.
The first impression I got from this piece was, “Wow that’s a lot of skin for a class that’s supposed to be heavily armored.” Quite honestly, that’s the look we were going for. We wanted to go for an “Western Anime” type of style with this character. You’ll notice that contrary to the Chinese Blademaster, this character’s weapon is de-emphasized and a stronger focus is put on the face and body. She’s also much more animated, fluid, and lively. The last thing I want to point out about this character is probably one of the most obvious, and that would be that she looks western ethnically.