We’ve come a long way since Goodgame Studios was founded just about 6 years ago, catering to millions of people all over the world with our games made, created, and maintained by our more than 1200 employees. Each one of them contributes to this success. To enable everyone to make use of their talent, we believe that it is important to offer everyone creative freedom and opportunities to take ownership of tasks and projects.
Fahad, Game Engineer from our Role Playing Games Studio, lived up this ethos when he had the task of implementing the ICU Tool, a system for managing in-game languages, into his studio’s current project. This software downloads, converts, and implements all text data in a game to ensure that people all over the world are provided with the correct texts and names for buildings, units, and dialogues in their own language.
Fahad found that with a size of more than 6mb, the file was way too large. Especially for online and mobile games, it is important to keep files as small as possible, as the game’s performance is improved by having less data to download. Fahad took the initiative and reached out to his supervisor, suggesting that he create an alternative software tool. After receiving the go ahead, he started developing – and just about three hours later, he finalized a new tool which consists of roughly 10 lines of code!
The ICU Tool used previously might have been a handy tool as it is capable of managing in-game language for games based on various programming languages and platforms and offers extensive functionalities. This multifunctionality can be seen as an advantage, but is also the reason for the file’s size. When developing games for browser and mobile, not all parts of the software are necessary. Fahad’s new tool is much smaller because it makes use of the central language management system’s technical setup in a clever way. For those who are technically versed, the tool skips the step of downloading the full XML-file with the language data from the language management system, which would have been processed by the ICU locally on the game client. Instead, the language data is directly converted into a binary file and moved to the server as an asset bundle, which is then used by the game client.
“It’s crucial to guarantee creative freedom for your team because it enables them to make use of their talents and skills in the most effective way. I therefore put trust in every member of my studio, which means that they can take ownership and work on what they identify as most important”, comments Dr. Christian Kaul, Head of the RPG Studio.
As it is important to share knowledge among teams and studios, Fahad discussed his tool with colleagues from other teams and they agreed that this simple, yet fully functional tool works for their games, too. Together, they made it even better and offered it to the whole company. The tool now benefits many of our studios and has also been implemented in the upcoming mobile version of our Strategy Games Studio’s title, Legends of Honor.
Fahad believes that challenges exist to be solved and says: “If you see something that can be improved – just do it! It’s important to be able to take ownership and to pursue your own ideas because this is how we all contribute to creating something great together – we get better living by this creed every day in our studio.”