As Roblox continues to expand internationally, more and more of our Developers are seeing non-English speaking communities playing their games. To help you (the Developers) support these communities, we’re happy to announce the public release of our new “Game Localization Tools” plugin, now included in Roblox Studio!
This will allow Developers to translate their in-game text into any language they want. Check out this video to see it in action and learn how to get started:
We also have a rich suite of APIs to control and interface with these systems from scripts. You can find more information about those on the developer portal.
Our documentation team has written up a very nice tutorial you can find there as well.
We really hope these tools will help you get started with localization quickly. It’s important to remember that like your game, localization itself requires ongoing maintenance. Your first pass translations probably won’t be perfect, and new features that you add will need new translations as well. You’re not only opening your game to new markets but to new cultures who might have different tastes and expectations as in gameplay too. Exploring new markets can be easy and fun, but being successful in them will require effort and understanding. That’s a whole new community that needs care and support! Success in new markets isn’t free!
The tools do have some technical limitations that you should be aware of as well:
- The text capture tool doesn’t support start server / start player yet, just play solo.
- We can’t translate text included in images.
- I’d recommend using GUI text overlaid on a text-free base image. Then it’s easy to translate.
- Otherwise you’ll have to make separate images for each language yourself.
- If you’re using custom text effects or animations like “typewriter” effects where characters are added one at a time…
- The text capture tools and automatic translation system will not work very well.
- You’ll have to do translation look-up in scripts. Luckily we have nice APIs for this.
- Remember to use utf8.graphemes to break up non-English text correctly!
- We can’t translate text displayed with custom fonts as individual character images.
- You’re really missing out on our browser-class typesetter with extensive Unicode coverage and font fallback support.
- You can use the translation lookup APIs, but you’re on your own for Unicode support.
We decided to release this feature as a built-in plugin since we would like to provide Developers with access to this tool as soon as possible while still retaining flexibility for future changes. At the moment the Game Localization Tools plugin only directly supports Spanish. We currently only support English and Spanish on our end for language detection, user account settings, and customer support, but we’re actively working on introducing additional support for other languages! The underlying systems in LocalizationService and LocalizationTables can already support many more languages, so don’t let us stop you from getting ahead of the game.
If you have any bug reports for the new localization tools please don’t hesitate to post these in the following sub-category with the “Localization” tag.
We hope this tool will help you diversify and grow your audience through Roblox’s rapidly growing international market
The Roblox Team
Problems and limitations that we know about and plan to fix soon:
- There’s a studio bug affecting the plugin button states after you exit play mode. The buttons will appear disabled until you switch tabs or click the main view (or both).
- The plugin does not work in team create and appears disabled.
- Text from the game that is displayed in Core GUIs is not currently captured or translated. This includes team names, score names, tool names, and notification toasts.
- TextBox placeholder text is not currently captured or translated.