At Keywords, we know that players expect the most accurate localization when it comes to a game’s content.
Be it text or audio, our localization teams around the world have a proven track record in working with leading industry client partners to help deliver immersive native experiences for their players.
Alessandro Seccafieno has been working at Keywords Studios for more than 10 years. He started in Synthesis, a Keywords Studio, as Translator, then became a project manager and since 2017 he has been Lead Producer.
Marco Roncon has just celebrated 10 years within the company. He joined Binari Sonori, a Keywords Studio, in 2011 as Junior PM and then was promoted to Project Manager in 2014.
Here’s what they had to say.
Please describe your role – what do you do?
Alessandro: I manage a special team dedicated to a single multi-IP client, so all our efforts are aimed to ensure quality and consistency across all their games. My job is mainly to direct my guys’ efforts in the right direction and to maintain regular communication with the client.
Marco: A typical day at work involves managing all assigned projects from initiation through release (translation, adaptation, audio recording), identifying, scheduling and supervising all project phases and tasks.
We effectively manage day-to-day communication with the client as well as with all project team members and resources to ensure that quality, schedule and budget expectations are met.
Do you have a specific area in your role you enjoy focusing on?
Alessandro: The fact that we’re a dedicated team, expressly formed for this client, and almost all of us were acquaintances – if not friends! – even before landing in Keywords. Some of us hang out together outside of the office and this makes for a very strong bond, inside and outside work as well.
Marco: In this strategical role, I enjoy when text scripts “come to life” during dubbing recording sessions. I like the hard work of the dubbing directors and their artistic choices which always result in amazing performances by the voice actors.
What have you gained from working in Localization for Keywords?
Alessandro: Discipline, method, technique. Things you can only acquire working in a big company and that the freelance way can’t teach you, especially if you started working in the pre-Internet era.
Marco: I surely gained deep knowledge on how localization impacts on every final product in the gaming industry, and how every choice – even the smallest one – affects all the processes and phases, starting from the development to the final release.
What three tips do you have for someone that wants to work in localization?
Alessandro: 1. As with any other teamwork-based job, you need to learn how to work in harmony with others.
2. Keep track of EVERYTHING. Take down notes if you need but do not rely solely on your memory because there is only so much space in your brain and the inputs are massive.
3. Try to enjoy your job, even if it strays from what was in the beginning. Find the aspects you love the most and “use” them to compensate for some of the less enjoyable activities.
Marco: 1. Don’t be afraid of your ideas. No idea is stupid and in a world where even the smallest change can have a big outcome, nothing is written into stone.
2. Localization and, more specifically, the video games localization market is an extremely flexible and often quickly shape-shifting entity. Try to embrace every change, as every day there is something new to learn.
3. Never underestimate the power of your working team. Chances are that you will always be able to save the day but only with your teammates’ help.
Tell us an interesting fact that people may not know about you
Alessandro: I’ve done tons of jobs. Warehouse worker and truck driver; publicist and office clerk; waiter and chef; tour manager and instructor for occupational safety; audio technician and bouncer.
I have scuba diver and ultralight flight licenses. I started singing in a rock band in 1987 and didn’t stop since. Music is the most important thing in my life, along with snowboarding and mountain hiking. Oh, and I do cook – a lot!
Marco: Most of my contacts might already know it but I am a sports enthusiast. I have practiced martial arts since I was 10 years old and I’ve always commuted to work by bicycle. In 2019 alone I traveled around 9,000km by bike for my work commute.
And, finally, what is your favourite video game and why?
Alessandro: I cannot possibly answer this with a single title! I could name the games I played the most, like the first Command & Conquer or Tekken 2 in the past.
In the “modern era” I spend a lot playing Cities Skyline and The Witcher 3. But, if the time played is an indicator, I would say World of Warcraft which I joined with the American alpha (2004) and am still playing today. Why? Well, it’s the game that brought me here today. I’ll never thank WoW enough for this.
Marco: I believe that my favourite video game franchise is the Uncharted saga. I like the environment, the action and the story that evolved throughout the years. I even voiced a very minor Italian character in Uncharted 4!
If you are interested in an Localization Services role at Keywords Studios, you can find current open positions on our Careers page.