How Jargon helped Stoked Skills take Escape the Room to Germany
When Gal first started working on Alexa skills in late 2016, he wasn’t planning on what happened next.
“I originally wasn’t that interested in it, but I attended an Alexa hackathon… from there I wanted to build an engaging experience for Alexa that people could enjoy - I focused on that and it did really well”.
This decision later led Gal to create Stoked Skills, a company focused voice app development with over 30 skills and 200,000+ users.
Gal Shenar of Stoked Skills
With Gal’s focus on building engaging experiences, as well as gaming in general, he went on to create a skill called Escape the Room. The skill wasn’t just any engaging experience; it ended up being a popular hit and led the U.S. for over 60 days as the #1 voice app in games and trivia. As the number of users grew, Gal continued to listen to his customers and iterate on his skill supporting new features as Amazon released them, including monetization. With the continued success of his skill, Gal challenged himself to think of new ways to increase discoverability and user base.
“I did not think about localization from the start… but I [had] been wanting to do it for a long time.”
As Gal explored new markets and localization, he knew one of the first non-English speaking countries Amazon introduced Alexa to was Germany. He decided to try out another skill he created, a much simpler skill compared to Escape the Room, to translate and introduce into Germany - and he had a few takeaways:
1. Translation is difficult and not everything translates well, and even more so in voice when it involves complex scenarios.
2. Since localization was not top of mind from the start, it was very time consuming to separate and prepare the content
3. Being a non-German and using a marketplace to translate his skill, he had no way of knowing what the quality of the translation was and got reviews from users who “didn’t like the sound”, but didn’t provide specifics that could be easily changed.
At the end of 2018, Jargon had the opportunity to partner with Stoked Skills. In the initial conversations with Gal, we went over his requirements for the game and the complexities it would require to localize his skill for a new locale. We quickly determined the need for transcreation - a localization method for translating creative content that requires a human translator to ensure the nuances of the language are preserved during the translation process. By using a human in the loop alongside tools made specifically for voice, the method allows Jargon’s professional localization editors to make decisions on what sounds best with voice services such as Alexa in mind.
After going through the complexities and requirements of the skill, we explored the various locales Amazon had introduced Alexa to including French, German, and Spanish for Spain and Mexico. Given Gal’s previous ambition with Germany, it was decided to continue the pursuit and introduce the skill into German.
To begin the localization process, Gal thought through questions regarding the tone and nature of his skill. Since Jargon is focused solely on voice content, Jargon’s workflow tools equipped the professional localization editors with the right context for their translations, enabling them to effectively think through each intent and response. The content for Escape the Room was then optimized for engagement in the new locale by adding a variety of responses to keep the content fresh - a localization step that is specific to voice.
“The most surprising [thing is] that i haven’t gotten a bad review yet… there’s usually always is when you make a change.”
Certification went smoothly for Gal and after a few weeks, the Alexa skill was promoted by the Alexa team. Escape Room, as it’s called in Germany, continues to build engagement among its users, receive positive reviews, and is listed in the top 10 for games in Germany. With many of the reviews already looking forward to new levels and updates for Escape Room, Jargon was able to exceed the expectations for Gal Shenar of Stoked Skills and provide a high-quality localization of his voice app.
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