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FLOR: Hi there! Welcome to another episode of Open World, and this is today’s LocFact. But before we get started, don’t forget to follow us on our socials.
ALEX: Today we’re gonna talk about the cultural aspects of one of the most anticipated games of 2021, Far Cry 6.
FLOR: Far Cry 6 is set in the present day and occurs on an island in the Caribbean named Yara. This place has taken many influences from Cuba, not only aesthetically, but also politically.
ALEX: The island is described as being “frozen in time.” Now, Khavari, who is the lead writer at Ubisoft, explained that he spent a month in Cuba talking to guerrilla fighters and other locals. We all know that Cuba has been cut off from the rest of the world due to economic and travel blockades for a very long time.
FLOR: Historically, the guerrilla movement was born in Cuba back in 1959. So it just makes sense that he went to Cuba to get inspiration for making this game. So, through this game, they not only wanted to bring the story of a modern guerrilla revolution, but they also wanted to tell the story about the island that is almost frozen in time.
ALEX: That’s why Yara, in Far Cry 6, has the dynamic of being this beautiful, idyllic sort of “living postcard,” with vintage cars, picturesque landscapes, mountains, water, the capital city, all in contrast with the overwhelming oppression that is led by the game’s antagonist, Antón Castillo. And that same feeling gets to you as the player when you walk into the capital city.
FLOR: Far Cry 6 is the first game of the series that has a capital city. This is the seat of Antón’s power, and is where most of his supporters are. And on the narrative side, you feel like you’re almost walking into a lion’s den.
ALEX: That’s right. In this game, you will play as Dani Rojas, who can be either male or female depending on what players choose. Dani is a native Yaran who is caught up in the uprising to overthrow Castillo, and free Yara from the Presidente’s control.
FLOR: Dani Rojas is part of the guerrilla movement. According to Khavari, they wanted to tell a story about revolution. And when you tell a story about revolution, you’re talking about guerrilla warfare. And when you are talking about guerrilla warfare, you go to Cuba.
ALEX: I personally can’t wait to play it and experience everything myself! Now, when Juan Cortez, one of the key characters that will help you overthrow Antón Castillo, was introduced in the game’s trailer, he names a set of the rules of the guerrillas: “Rule 16: a guerrillero revolution never ends.”
FLOR: This is one of the most anticipated games of 2021, and we know… you also want to play with the cutest of all the characters: Chorizo.
ALEX: Thanks for joining us, everyone, in this interesting LocFact. And now stay tuned for a cool interview of our episode 15 with Ubisoft’s Latin American Language Specialist Sebastian Erasmy.
FLOR: Hi, everyone! Welcome to a new episode of Open World. Today with us we have Sebastian Erasmy. Hi, Sebastian! How are you?
SEBASTIAN: Hi, I’m great. Thanks for having me. How are you?
FLOR: Good. I mean, it’s Friday, so I’m excited. I’m looking forward for the weekend.
SEBASTIAN: Me, too.
FLOR: We are very, very happy to have you in this episode, because we want to learn more about your career and how you came to work with one of the largest triple-A publishers nowadays, that is Ubisoft. But we want to start with the beginning. What motivated you to become a translator? And what led you to video games specifically?
SEBASTIAN: Well, when I was in school, I wasn’t exactly the best in all the science-y subjects, but I did pretty well with languages. I went to a German school, so I speak German in my family, my father is German. So in that school, when you had Spanish and German, from the beginning, since I was spoken to in that language at home, it wasn’t that hard to learn English. So I always did well with those. And like, since this was the only thing I could do well, I kind of focused on that and I thought, okay, this should be something I’ll use for my future. So when it came to studying, I tried to do that. So at first I tried to be an English teacher, but it didn’t go that well. I was great with English, but, you know, all the teaching was a bit too much. It wasn’t for me. So then I tried something else entirely. I tried to become a lawyer. And then I realized I don’t have any memory capabilities when it comes to law articles, although I can, you know, name Pokémon, many of them. But, you know, it has to be something I actually like in order to memorize it.
ALEX: Selective, selective memory.
FLOR: You need to be motivated to keep all that information in store, right?
SEBASTIAN: I know, like I have so much pop culture trivia that I can always remember, but that? Nope. So I quit. And then I said, okay, there’s one thing I always wanted to try and it’s translation. And I went into the program and it was amazing. It was everything I dreamed of. It was just focusing on the language and it was something I could really, really do great. And, well, I was an avid gamer since… always, and I really loved RPGs. That’s my favorite genre. So I, you know, was exposed to a lot of text, a lot of reading since I was a kid, so I kind of… like, it improved my English over time. And then when it was time to do my thesis, I decided to do a thesis on World of Warcraft, because no one had done something with that and I thought it would be interesting. And I played World of Warcraft for more than a decade and I loved it. It was really, really fun. So I thought, okay, I’ll do this. I’ll analyze the localization of the names of the weapons and armor in the game. And I used the… I compared the localization for Spanish in Spain and for Spanish in Latin America, because at some point, they switched. At first, Latin America used the same localization for Spain, but then they got their own localization when Legion dropped the expansion. So it was an interesting exercise to see how their localization paradigm had evolved. And at first, for Spain it was always word by word, very literal. But then, with Latin American localization, they started using transcreation and more, you know, updated paradigms. So it was really fun. I really loved it, it was great. And it came out pretty nice. So, you know, I did the nerdiest possible thesis I could ever think of, and I’m so proud of it.
FLOR: Hey, I mean, I’m so excited. And my next question was, has it been published? Because, hey, we’re all nerds about video games and localization and languages, and in particular, Latin American Spanish, so I need to read that.
SEBASTIAN: Well, you know, it’s on the university’s web page, so you can always have access to it. I’ll send you the link if you want. It’s there.
SEBASTIAN: It was fun.
ALEX: Now this is a question that actually… For every guest that we have that says that they play World of Warcraft, we have to know if you play Horde or Alliance.
SEBASTIAN: I play the Hoard. I started Alliance because my friends were Alliance, but at some point I was just like, “Why am I doing this? I want to be Hoard.” I love red, so it was obvious.
ALEX: It was out of the question.
SEBASTIAN: Yeah. And I want it to be pretty, so, you know, I just rolled the mage, the blood of mage, and that was it. Since then, I play mages. I just love casters. So, yeah.
ALEX: Nice. Sebas, we know that you work at Ubisoft, right, as a Latin American Language Specialist. But from a personal point of view, right? You talked about your thesis that you used your video game, your favorite video game, to work on it, but what’s the most exciting video game localization project that you have worked on, like on a professional level?
FLOR: [Cut-off audio]
SEBASTIAN: Good question. Umm, one that was… When I first started at Ubisoft, I started with the DLC for Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, uh, the Legacy of The Hidden Blade. And that was interesting. It wasn’t for Latin America, since it didn’t have localization for Latin America, it was for Spain. But I can still do it, right? I mean, I might not know slang, but a game like that is not using slang, or not much of it, because it’s set in ancient Greece. So yeah, so it was really fun. It was really exciting. And also because of the relevance of the DLC since it spoke of the origins.
ALEX: It’s the best DLC of Odyssey in my opinion.
SEBASTIAN: Yeah. The Origin of the Hidden Blade that’s so iconic for the franchise.
ALEX: With Darius…
SEBASTIAN: Yeah, exactly. It was really, really cool. So it was really fun to… That was basically my induction training, and it was lots of fun. Then I did The Division 2, and that was also great because I got into the project very early on, and it was great, it was a great project. It had like a lot of budget and the localization was really amazing, we had amazing voice actors. So for me it was awesome because they had voice actors we listened to in series and, you know, anime or whatever all the time. So I was just hoping that they would have made some mistakes so I could just write new lines for them, right? And then they would have to be recorded. So it happened and it was so cool. Like the guy that does, you know, James from Pokémon, el Guajolote Macías, is really great and he was a famous, like very important character in The Division. I wrote a line for him and I was like, “This guy is reading my lines. I’m so proud.” Then in Ghost Recon, we had the guy that does Vegeta in Dragon Ball.
ALEX: Oh, my God!
SEBASTIAN: So it’s really, really cool when you actually see your script being recorded. Even though the translators see this all the time, I just fixed what the translators didn’t get right. But still, I get to do that sometimes, and it’s so cool. So it was so exciting. And now we had Immortals Fenyx Rising and it was a huge game. It was a new franchise for Ubisoft. No one expected it, it came out of nowhere, and it was fun. It was really fun. It was a new type of game, a different tone to it. It was funnier and it was exciting. Again, it was for Spain, but I was part of it. We were basically a huge Spanish team. We are four testers for Spain and two for Latin America, but we combined to do a giant six-man team. And it was fun, it was really great. And it is so satisfying to see your name in the credits when it comes out. It’s just beautiful, you know? It makes your heart all warm and fuzzy.
FLOR: I guess that you answered my next question, was what you enjoy the most about being a video game translator, the passion behind it?
FLOR: Yeah, yeah.
FLOR: The pride of being behind those projects, right?
SEBASTIAN: Yeah, it’s great because unlike the translators who are never featured in the credits, we are actually in the credits since we are Ubisoft employees, we are part of it. But translators only get a mention basically saying Keyword Studios did the translation and that’s it. So that contributes to keeping translators invisible. And we always talk about that. No one knows about the translators. No one knows who translated your Windows or your smartphone, right? But someone did it. But we’re always invisible. But in this case, we get visibility all the time. So we are so privileged that we are actually in the credits, even though people think we don’t do much because the translators do all of it. We’re just fixing whatever mistakes they can get to because of context or whatever, since we actually see the game and they don’t. So they translate blindly, and we fix that. So they do most of the work, but we do fix some things which are pretty blatant. We are basically the last bastion of defense between the game and the player. So it’s a huge responsibility because there are countless errors that you can’t even imagine that we have to fix. And it’s not only translation, there is just a button that is too small for translation, that is too big or whatever. There’s so many things to think about. So, yeah.
ALEX: It’s amazing to see how the localization work gets done inside such a beautiful game. I mean, I’m a big Assassin’s Creed fan, and The Legacy of the Lost Blade in particular was amazing for me. I didn’t finish the Atlantis one because, man, that DLC is long.
SEBASTIAN: It is.
ALEX: But now that we’re talking video games, what would you say that is your favorite video game?
SEBASTIAN: Oh, I’d say a first place would be, I think, Xenogears from PlayStation 1. That’s an oldie from Squaresoft. It’s really, really dense. It has a very long and intricate story, and it had amazing characters. And you could ride mechas into battle and you could, you know, fight with them, like pressing like a kick or punch and doing techniques. And it was really, really fun. It was really, really good. And then it sprouted other RPGs like Xenosaga on the PS2, and Xenoblade Chronicles. So they were really good. I really liked Xenogears. I played it like three times and I loved it so much. Also on the PS2, I really loved Shin Megami Tensei Nocturne. I love Atlus’ RPGs. I love them because they’re really dark, they’re different. They’re all…
ALEX: Have you played the Persona saga? I remember the first Persona I played was the number three for PlayStation 2.
SEBASTIAN: Me too. Me too. I actually played Persona 3 in PlayStation 2, and Persona 4. I haven’t played Persona 5 yet, and I really want to. So I really love Atlus games because of how they are and the whole thing with the monsters, like the whole… You get monsters from all different religions and myths and everything.
ALEX: Yeah, it’s very well made.
SEBASTIAN: It’s great. It’s great. And Nocturne was extremely dark. It actually scared me a bit when I was playing it, and how it evolves. Final Fantasy is always so hopeful and, you know, bright and, in the end, everything is great. Here, it isn’t. And I really, really liked that it was different. That was good. Oh, and honorable mention for Snake Eater on the PlayStation 2, obviously, because it’s just…
FLOR: The honorable mention. Love it.
ALEX: That soundtrack. The soundtrack, the bosses.
SEBASTIAN: Everything about that game. Kojima is just insane. And it was beautiful. It looked like a PS3 game. I don’t know how he did it, but it’s perfect. Oh, my God. I’m playing Death Stranding now, and even though it’s so weird…
ALEX: Did you finish it?
SEBASTIAN: I adore it. Not yet, because I’m just building roads. I’m addicted to building roads. I don’t know. That game is just…
ALEX: It starts slow, but…
FLOR: Yeah, yeah. You need to put like at least 20, 30 hours to fully enjoy it.
ALEX: I love Death Stranding.
SEBASTIAN: I’m at 120 hours, and I’m just not even close to anything because I’m just building roads. I just love the trip, I love delivering packages. I should be an Amazon worker. I don’t know. It’s great.
ALEX: You just keep on keeping on, right?
FLOR: Yeah, exactly.
SEBASTIAN: Exactly. It’s gonna be 200 hours for me, I’m sure. It’s just great. So, you know, I’m taking it slow, enjoying it.
ALEX: And besides gaming…
FLOR: Well, I…
ALEX: Yeah. Sorry, Flor.
FLOR: I was gonna say that I love that you find time to play. Like one common denominator among many of our guests is that they have busy lives, and that they don’t get enough time to play. And what’s your secret? I mean, is there any recommendation? Because we ourselves are trying to play more often, you know, and sometimes it’s hard.
ALEX: We need to put a calendar date to play.
SEBASTIAN: I know, I know. And it’s terrible. In my case, it’s not like that because of the nature of our work. We’re not translating, we’re fixing games. So if there’s no game to fix, we get time to just play. We might be at the office…
FLOR: You’re doing research, right? Via playing games.
SEBASTIAN: It’s exactly that. And that’s not even a joke. I mean…
FLOR: Yeah, I know!
ALEX: No, it’s literal.
FLOR: We take it really seriously here.
ALEX: We take games seriously.
SEBASTIAN: No and, honestly, like, when I was doing Ghost Recon… What’s it called? Oh, I forgot. Breakpoint. Breakpoint. Always when you do achievements, they always have references to pop culture or to other games, so you have to be very aware of pop culture in order to understand references, right? So when I was doing… when we were checking the achievements for that game, there was one that was called Simple Geometry, and no one understood where it was from. But since I play Overwatch a lot, I realized that that was a reference to Hanzo, one of the characters, because Hanzo used to have a shot called… He has a bow and an arrow, he’s an archer… called Scatter Arrow. And it would bounce, it would throw three arrows that bounced around, and then you could kill multiple people at the same time. So the achievement referenced that, it said if you get three kills with one shot of something specific. And it’s called Simple Geometry because Hanzo, when he did that and the arrows would bounce around the room, he would say “simple geometry,” as if he had basically calculated how they would bounce to kill them, right? So no one knew what that was. So what I did, because I knew immediately what it was because of the description, I booted up Overwatch, I changed the language to Latin American Spanish, I went into the game, I checked Hanzo’s voice line, and I checked how he said “simple geometry,” the translation they used for that, you know? For Latin America. And then I changed it. I changed the name of the achievement so it fit, because it said “geometría pura” or something, and it wasn’t that. So I fixed that. So it’s really important that you play a variety of games, that you watch a lot of movies and that you’re aware of the world, basically, because you’re gonna need this. So yeah, when I’m playing something else, I’m actually doing research. I mean, it did help me in this case. In Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, it also happened with the Mjolnir achievement, when you get the hammer, it basically…
ALEX: The hammer and the whole Thor outfit, right?
SEBASTIAN: The achievement was called Worthy, and the translators, for some reason, did not… I mean, it’s referencing, obviously Marvel’s Thor, who was worthy to wield Mjolnir, right? But they didn’t get it, so they just translated it in a completely different way. So we changed it back so it would reference Marvel’s Thor, so people understood the reference. So it’s really important that you’re aware and that you consume as much media as you can so we can do this job right.
FLOR: We also wanted to know, what are the main challenges that you face as a video game translator, and how does a day in a Localization Specialist look like?
SEBASTIAN: Well, I think now the greatest challenge… Well, it’s always the case, but now, because of what’s happening in the world, there’s gender issues all the time because we inflect for gender, English doesn’t. So the devs and whoever writes the script has no idea about what’s gonna happen when you localize this. And then suddenly we have a line that’s only referencing males, and then you have female characters, and then you’re like, okay, what do we do here? We cannot duplicate lines because, you know, it would be complicated. You have to program that certain lines would trigger only with female characters, so that’s complicated. So usually what we have to do is to neutralize the line so it doesn’t have gender inflection. But that’s not always easy because, let’s say, it’s the class of a character and it’s called in Spanish… no, in English, doctor or medic, let’s say, like in WOW, medic. In Spanish, it would be “médico,” but that doesn’t work because we also have médicas. So what do you do? And how do you find a neutral term that works in this case? In English, you have many. You can say “postal worker” instead of “postman,” right? But in Spanish, we don’t have that many choices, so it’s a struggle. And now we’re trying to be more diverse in games and we’re including, you know, recently Ubisoft announced that Rainbow Six is gonna have a transgender character. And now we might see non-binary characters, for instance, and they might choose to refer to themselves with specific pronouns. So that’s also gonna be a challenge since we don’t have this neutral pronoun in Spanish. In English, they’re using “they” now and it works. Singular “they” has been a thing for a long time, it’s not that unusual. You can say someone came in, they left a package outside my house, and it’s fine. But in Spanish, it doesn’t work like that. So we’re gonna have to get like specific instructions on how to deal with this, to know if we have to be very inclusive or not, if we’re going to neutralize lines or not. Like, how far can we go? Can we use something that has been, you know, in the news lately, like inclusive language, using pronouns that don’t exist, like “elle” or inflecting with an E? So we don’t know. It’s gonna be a huge challenge.
ALEX: But it’s an interesting challenge nonetheless, right? To be more inclusive for gamers, that’s very, very cool.
SEBASTIAN: It is. It is great. We had one joke… Sorry.
FLOR: I’m sorry. Go ahead.
SEBASTIAN: I was gonna say that in Immortals Fenyx Rising, there was a joke regarding a non-binary character that was the son of Aphrodite and someone else I don’t remember. And… Adonis, I think. And yeah, and they said that the baby was gender neutral, and then the translators decided to use “le niñe,” instead of, you know, what would be accepted by normal grammatical rules. So we already have a history, it’s starting to happen, so we might do that again in the future. But then again, if you inflect the whole text with an E, it’s gonna be hard to read. So it’s not easy. If it’s a one liner like in that case, sure. So we don’t know. But yeah, it’s super interesting, it’s gonna be a huge challenge, and we’ll see how it goes.
FLOR: I believe it’s super important because language is constantly evolving and, yes, we’re still debating on what should we do in terms of gender neutrality in Spanish and in other languages as well. That’s at least what I think, that the first ones that set the example are going to be leading the change, you know, that we’re looking for. So it’s great that… Yeah, it’s scary, it’s a great challenge. And it’s like you said, if you make a change and you implement it through all the content, it may not work, but at least baby steps to start exploring how communities and how gamers receive it, right? Because, of course, you also will have feedback on those choices.
SEBASTIAN: Yeah, exactly. So we’ll see how it goes. We always carry out surveys to know how players think about our translations and how it was for their language. So we’ll see what they say and what they think. And I think it’s great, it’s really important to be inclusive and to have representation. So, yeah, we will basically lead the change and this will help people justify using that kind of language in the future if they see it in popular media. So, you know, and that’s how language changes, by using it and by… you know. So I think it’s gonna happen, and we’ll see how we do it with the games. So, yeah, it’s fun to think about and really scary, but it’ll be cool. I think people will appreciate it in the end.
ALEX: Definitely. But now, how does a day as a Localization Specialist look like? I’m guessing that you never get bored, right?
SEBASTIAN: Oh, no, no. I don’t think I’ve ever had a dull day since I got here to Romania. I love going to work. Like many people say, “Going to work sucks! I want to sleep. Work is terrible.” No! I go to work and I play video games all day. And I play video games that aren’t even out before anyone else gets to do that. So it’s really great. And also, we have this very diverse office, we’re 32 employees from different countries, so we get to have this whole language and cultural exchange at the office. And also our teams in Latin American Spanish and Spain are all comprised of translators because, apparently, we just gravitate towards this in those countries. So… Which is not always the case in other teams. So we have this huge amazing brainstorming and debate going on every day, which is so enriching and so great. That’s always what I loved about class at uni. So when we have an issue or we have a translation challenge, we will all just, you know, huddle around one PC and start throwing ideas out and trying to get to the best translation. Who will find the rule on the internet? Who will find the source to justify whatever? So it’s awesome. It’s just lots of fun. And yeah, we basically just sit on our PC all day and play the games on PlayStation, on Xbox, on whatever platform they ask us to, on PC, Stadia, Switch. And now the newer generation consoles also. And, yeah, time flies. I don’t know. I’ve never been stressed at work either since getting here. I don’t know, it’s just… it’s great.
ALEX: You’re living the dream. You’re living the dream. You’re working at Ubisoft. Come on.
SEBASTIAN: I know! Every day I have to pinch myself when I think about it. I mean, it’s so great. Everything… The company is so great. We’re so well taken care of, too, so I don’t know, it’s just beautiful.
FLOR: Your inner child is very proud of you right now.
SEBASTIAN: And I still don’t know how I got this gig, but yeah.
ALEX: Well, but here’s something that I didn’t mention. I’m an English teacher, too. I mean, I don’t know if I told you this on our exchange first, but teaching wasn’t my thing either. So when you… when I read through your bio a little bit before you joined us here, and when you were saying this, I could see myself like some parallelism, right? Between you and me. How one loves languages, one loves video games, but at some point in our childhood/teenage years, it’s pretty hard to conceive to join these two things together and make it your career, right? So the fact that we are doing something with video games and with languages, especially in Ubisoft, is great.
SEBASTIAN: It’s really hard, especially since we’re from Latin America and there aren’t any video games studios in Latin America. And usually when you’re a translator, you will struggle. There are many translators. You will probably work a desk job just doing legal translation or something like that. It’s really dull and boring. So thinking about this is kind of impossible. And just by sheer chance, I got this opportunity and I got out, I left my country and I came here to Europe, and it’s been crazy. And I still don’t believe it, and I’m so grateful. And, yeah, I wish more people tried. And I think this is also, that you show this is really important because, for instance, we had one worker once who was from an external company from Pole to Win, just like Keywords. You know Keywords, right? They do translations, but they also have testers, and they send testers to companies when companies don’t have their own testers. So Pole to Win did that, and they sent us a tester for Latin America who was just a student who was in Scotland, and with his student visa, he was working in Pole to Win, and he got into this industry even though he didn’t wanna. He was an older man who was a teacher. He didn’t wanna do this for a living, but he got a chance to do that. So maybe students with a student visa, if they managed to go study in Europe, they might have a chance to get into the industry because here in Europe, Latin American Spanish is very exotic. It’s not something you will find everywhere, so you’re actually valuable. So if you get here somehow and you apply to these companies, you might get hired and they will need you. Latin American Spanish is really coveted. And we have EA in Romania, we have Ubisoft. And then in U.K., there’s Rockstar Games, Blizzard has their localization department. So if you go there, there might be a chance to work and, you know, to get a chance.
FLOR: That’s also something that we always like to ask to our guests. What advice would you give, other than, you know, looking for opportunities at these big companies? At least here in Argentina, for example, at uni, we don’t get enough information about the video game industry in particular.
SEBASTIAN: Yeah. Yeah.
FLOR: And the same happened to me. Back then, video game localization wasn’t a field where I could develop myself as a professional. So is there any advice that you would give someone who’s just starting? And… Having the conditions that we have nowadays, that we have more resources and access to more information, right? Things luckily have changed.
SEBASTIAN: The first thing I would tell them is to get on Steam and to go to the forums for the user translations, you know, those amateur translations, because many indie games cannot afford translators, so they ask the community to translate for them. So that is amazing practice, because you will start translating games. Even if you’re not getting paid for it, it’s experience. And what companies are looking for is experience in the field. So if then you want to apply to Keywords or to Pole to Win or companies like that, they will look at your experience and they will see that you have worked on games, and you might get hired. Actually, I have two friends who did that, and one of them recently got hired by Keywords in Mexico. Yeah. And she’s working remotely, so you can do the job from wherever. So that’s really amazing. So I have two friends who work at Keywords and they got their experience like that. Just, of course, you’re not gonna be fed by doing translations for free, so you’re still gonna have to work in something else, right? But if you get the experience doing that, you might open a lot of doors. Try to also apply to a lot of things. Like one of these friends I’m talking about is an interpreter, and he started just applying to stuff everywhere and never giving up. And eventually they gave him a chance. He took it. He did really well. And, you know, now he’s working, like he’s really, really… He has been working for Keywords for a long time. He has an amazing position, he’s making great money, and he hasn’t left Chile. He doesn’t have to leave Chile, he can live wherever he wants now, and he will always be working for Keywords. So that’s amazing. So you can do that. Don’t give up, don’t think it’s an impossible dream. You just have to… try, keep trying and learn as much as you can. Try to translate as many games as you can so you can get used to it, because there are many things to consider, like variables and all of the things you will see in the game. When they test you at Keywords, you will be asked to deal with variables, for instance, and if you mess those up, they’ll be like, “Okay, nope.” So that experience is really important. And, yeah, it’s totally doable. You just have to believe in yourself and don’t think that just because you’re in South America, there aren’t any chances for you. There are.
FLOR: Love it. Thanks. That’s great advice. And I love that you mention indie games as well, because I believe that that’s also another chance to gain visibility.
SEBASTIAN: For sure.
FLOR: Because if you collaborate with an indie studio, they will also mention you in the titles because you will be part of the team as well.
SEBASTIAN: Yeah, yeah. You’re part of the credits. It’s amazing. It’s really beautiful. Yeah. Yeah. So, for sure. And also helping indie games and making the industry grow is always amazing. Letting a game reach a wider audience is really cool. It’s basically what we started translation for, right? To build bridges from culture to culture. So yeah. I remember Hades that came out last year and it’s a beautiful, amazing game. The whole community…
ALEX: Amazing game.
FLOR: Yeah, we have a fan here. Alex is a big fan of Hades.
ALEX: I don’t have many… I don’t have much time to play, but I have like over 80 hours in that game. I find the time.
SEBASTIAN: It’s amazing. And the community did the translation for that since it didn’t have any budget for it. So, you know, it wasn’t the best translation at first, but it has been improving over time. But that’s how you make… That game is one of the best games I’ve ever played, probably. It’s so, so beautiful. So you can be part of that. You can be part of a game that’s part of history just by, you know, contributing. So, yeah.
ALEX: Lovely advice.
SEBASTIAN: Yay, memes!
ALEX: “The way it’s properly received in different cultures varies.”
SEBASTIAN: Yeah. If it has wifus, it’s gonna be, it’s gonna be making money, so, you know, follow the Japan example.
SEBASTIAN: It’s so true, though. We adapt so many jokes all the time, so it’s really, really, really important so the target audience actually enjoys the game. In Immortals Fenyx Rising, we added a lot of like… It wasn’t me, it wasn’t my idea, but there were some references to songs in English and in Spanish that didn’t make any sense. So my colleagues from Spain just added reggaeton titles and songs that were really famous in Spain. And then we had Zeus actually reading those titles out. It was amazing and so funny. And then in the DLC, there was a reference to that quest, so that was basically canonized and included in the DLC. So it was amazing. So it’s really important to do that.
FLOR: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, I really appreciate when studios or publishers do that, because it shows that they actually care about their audience.
SEBASTIAN: Yeah, yeah. Also, I think in one game recently, we had an achievement and we named it “Con permisito dijo Monchito,” referencing good old Chavo del 8.
SEBASTIAN: Of course. I mean, if we have a chance to add a reference that all Latin America will understand, it’s probably gonna be from Chespirito. So of course, of course. It’s so much fun. It always works.
FLOR: Mm-hmm. Absolutely.
ALEX: “Do you have any experience with server hosting? What’s a server? Welcome to Ubisoft.“ Ouch!
SEBASTIAN: [Distorted audio]
FLOR: Yep. Welcome.
SEBASTIAN: That’s real.
ALEX: This is a controversial one.
FLOR: Mm-hmm. Yeah. I love that you brought this one.
SEBASTIAN: I mean, it’s just banter. It’s fine. We can make fun of the company we work on. They have to work on the servers, so.
FLOR: Yeah, I mean, what’s the point otherwise, I mean.
SEBASTIAN: Yeah. Yeah.
FLOR: You have to have fun.
SEBASTIAN: And it’s constructive criticism.
ALEX: There’s always room for improvement. Always.
SEBASTIAN: For sure.
ALEX: “Man tasked with making score for a Monkey riding a swordfish underwater creates transcendent piece of music.”
SEBASTIAN: Yes. Because if you’ve ever played Donkey Kong, you know it’s the most amazing OSD ever. I mean, it’s perfect. Everyone knows the songs. Everyone knows the underwater song, which is very chill and beautiful.
ALEX: Even today.
SEBASTIAN: Yeah, and it’s been ages.
FLOR: We will have to add the music, this piece, to this section.
SEBASTIAN: Yeah, add it.
ALEX: We’re gonna add it to the description.
FLOR: Yeah. I mean, people have to experience that.
SEBASTIAN: Yeah. Well, yeah, it’s an old reference. We’re old. Oh, boy.
ALEX: Seasoned. Seasoned.
FLOR: Exactly. “I love Mario, he looks so cute in that yosha.” Okay.
ALEX: I’ve seen these, like, Yoshi taking out his nose, too, and stuff like that.
ALEX: These are what nightmares are made of.
SEBASTIAN: Yeah, who designed this? I mean, just don’t let them take off the Yoshi hoodie.
FLOR: Are they okay? Like…
ALEX: Is Mario okay?
SEBASTIAN: I don’t think so. Oh, boy.
FLOR: And… Oh, there it is. You wanna read this one, Ale?
ALEX: “None of y’all know what propaganda actually is, do you?” And then someone else replies, “It’s when a British person takes a good look at something.” Now, I’m gonna need an explanation for this one, because my South American brain can’t comprehend this one. But I am like that. I am like that. I usually, I’m slow at memes.
SEBASTIAN: I love puns. I love pun memes. I thought I’d send more, but I was like, no, no, no, no, no. It cannot be all puns. So basically, “to take a gander” is to take a look.
ALEX: “Gander,” okay. The “propa,” I got it.
FLOR: Proper gander.
ALEX: Gander. Oh!
SEBASTIAN: Oh, my God. I can’t get enough of these. I’m addicted to puns. I’m sorry, they’re very cringe, but I love them so much.
FLOR: No, please, don’t ever be sorry.
SEBASTIAN: I’ve shared so many of them.
ALEX: That and Dad jokes. I’m a dad, I have a two-year-old, and it’s biology. I mean, I became a dad and suddenly I’m a fan of dad jokes.
SEBASTIAN: Me, too. I love them. I’m not a dad, but I love Dad jokes, they’re great. They’re great.
FLOR: The Captain America meme, it’s one of my favorite.
SEBASTIAN: Oh yeah, yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah. It’s great. It’s really great.
ALEX: “Hello, 911. I am dying.” 911, “Let me see.” The guy says, “What?” “What meme are you looking at?” “No, I’m literally dying, 911. Help me.” 911, “Lmao. Tag me.” Will it come to that?
FLOR: Yeah, conversations among millennials, right?
SEBASTIAN: Right? That’s beautiful.
FLOR: We’re always dying. I mean, it can mean we’re literally dying and dead inside, I have no energy, or I’m dying because this cracked me up or I’m, like, literally dying.
SEBASTIAN: I don’t know what happened, it’s very nihilistic humor, but I love it. It’s great.
ALEX: We need context again. Always.
FLOR: And I believe that was the last one. Yeah.
ALEX: Those were great, Seba. Thank you very much.
SEBASTIAN: I mean, fresh memes, again, it’s not easy. It was just the crop of the day, so.
FLOR: I know. I know it’s a hard task, and we like to make our guests work for us a little. Just a little. I mean, we like to know what makes you laugh, right?
FLOR: The memes you share say a lot about who you are. So thanks for sharing a bit of who you are with us.
ALEX: And also, if we invite you back some other time, you’re gonna have to give us a fresh crop.
SEBASTIAN: I will. I will. I will find something. I’ll send it, like five days earlier so they’re very fresh memes.
FLOR: Freshness assured. I had so much fun today. Thank you so much for…
SEBASTIAN: Me too. Thank you so much for having me.
FLOR: …for making this interview happen. Thanks, everyone, for tuning in. See you next time in our next episode.
ALEX: Bye, guys.