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Community Translation Guide


Designer / Community Manager
Brightrock Games
Dec 8, 2012
Brighton, UK
Greetings All,

At long last with the advent of Patch 1.5 we’ve developed a whole new set of tools to make community translations as easy as possible. We know that a few dedicated fans have already set to work translating the game into their native tongues and we want to make it easier for both you as content creators, and for your subscribers to get their hands on your translations.

We also recognise that WFTO is a huge text-heavy game and we add a whole bunch more text every content patch, so we’re going to be helping you by releasing new lines in batches as they come off the press - and we’ll also do our best to highlight whenever lines are updated.

Best of all you’ll now be able to upload your translations to the Steam Workshop at the press of a button. How convenient!

Useful Files & Templates
We’ve assembled all the files you should ever need in another forum thread. We’ll do our best to keep the primary template up to date, and if you started your translation before the latest batch then you’ll also find all the batch files for Patch 1.5 onwards.

Useful Files & Templates thread

Best Practice
Naturally, as with all user-generated content, we can’t really control what you do and we don’t intend to. However, we still have a list of things that would constitute “best practice” for your efforts:
  • If you’re starting a new translation project please create a new thread in the Community Translations forum.
  • Title your thread with your language name in both English and the language itself so others can find you.
  • When you come to upload your translation to the Steam Workshop include both native and English names for your language in the title.
  • Include your contact details in the description of your translation file, whether that be a forum link or other means - this will help players report problems.
  • Include instructions on how to activate the community translation in-game for your players. By default community translations are not enabled, so they’ll need to navigate to the Language menu to activate it - see below for more information.
  • Be sure to check your Steam Workshop comments to track whether players are having any issues with your files.
  • If you encounter a bug in the translation system then please report it to us as soon as possible and we’ll do our best to resolve it.
Localisation Guidelines & Advice
Translation is a complex art, and when bringing a game to another language there has to be a degree of creative freedom permitted to the translators. As you likely realise there are many cases where some things don’t work when literally translated into another language, not least of all jokes and wordplay, which you’ll find no shortage of in WFTO. So we have a few suggestions for you on how to approach things. As above, you’re under no obligation to follow our advice.

1: Localise for your audience
The difference between translation and localisation is who you’re aiming the words at. When we wrote War for the Overworld we wrote it with a British audience in mind. This means that the humour, cultural references, and stylistic effects like wordplay might not be understood by another culture. Here we encourage you to be creative in your interpretation of the English text, such as changing a cultural reference to something more appropriate for your audience, but which retains the “spirit” of the original.

2: When clarity is important
When it comes to describing critical systems or gameplay mechanics to the player, such as in tutorial messages, tooltips, or game options, we encourage you to remain as close as possible to the intent conveyed by the English text.

3: Don’t translate proper nouns unless necessary
The names of individuals are generally considered to be “sacred” and so should not be translated. There are many examples of proper nouns in WFTO, such as “Emperor Lucius”, the leader of the Empire. These should always be kept in English, or remain as faithful as possible in non-Latin alphabets.

Be aware that you may change an individual’s title. For example Mandalf the Maroon’s title changes between different colour names each time he respawns. In this case, retaining the colours is preferable (since they match his visible clothing), but if the joke does not work anymore then you may want to be more creative.

Similarly, “Lord O’Theland” is a contraction of “Lord of the Land” (a reference to a certain game where you keep a dungeon). You may see fit to change this name to a similar contraction or joke in your own language.

4: Remember context
Context is important in any delivery of text or speech, and some languages require different word choice depending on the context. Unfortunately when we first generated our translation files we didn’t provide very much context alongside them, and this still remains an issue (though is something we’re working to address in future releases). So you may have to look at the game to get more information about the context of certain texts. However, we are more than happy to answer questions on the Community Translations forum if you are having difficulties deciphering context.

Using the Template Files
In the Useful Files & Templates thread we have provided a template in CSV format which you can enter your translation into. This template, after a few adjustments, will be ready to upload via the in-game interface. This section will walk you through the process of using these templates.

Brand New Translations
If you’re starting a brand new translation you’ll want to use a completely clean template file. When you open this file in a spreadsheet editor (such as Microsoft Excel, Google Sheets, or OpenOffice Calc) you’ll see a screen similar to this:

You’ll see that the sheet has been divided into four columns:
  • Key - The unique identifier that the game uses to identify a line of text. The game uses this to hook up a translation to the correct text asset. It’s very important that you do not modify anything in this column unless you are pruning duplicates (doing so may cause your translation to be unusable).
  • Your Language - Where you can enter your translation for a specific key.
  • English - The English text associated with a key, which you are translating.
  • Notes - Any additional notes we’ve included for the line of text. Sometimes we add extra notes here to help convey intent and context.
The process of using the template is quite simple: enter your translation for a specific key into the Your Language column using the English text to guide you. Take plenty of breaks - there are thousands of lines of text in WFTO, so a complete localisation will take some time.

Optional: You can also enter your languages' two or three character code as defined by ISO 639-1 and ISO 639-2. This is currently not used for anything but may be used in the future. To do so replace the XX at the top of the Your Langauge Column.

Updating with a New Batch
Whenever we are preparing to release new content we’ll be releasing new or updated keys in batches as best we can. These batches will match the format of our template and you can simply add them to the bottom of your existing translation file.

You can find all our latest batches in the Useful Files & Templates thread.

Preparing for the Steam Workshop
This template should be completely ready for direct upload to steam workshop.

Your Document should be ready as soon as you have completed the file. Please ensure that your translation is in the second column of the sheet.

Important: Your CSV file must use commas “,” to separate values. No other separator will work. This should however be performed automatically by your spreadsheet editor when you save the file in the CSV format.

Essentially it should look like this:

Translate Template.png

Converting the Old GameText File into a Community Translation File
Some of you may have already begun your translations using the old GameText format, but fear not - it’s very easy to convert an existing GameText-based translation into a suitable community translation format. It’s simply a case of deleting columns.

Here’s an image of GameText for reference:


To convert GameText into the format of our template delete the following columns:
  • Columns C-L:
    • #B
    • #S
    • #W
    • #V
    • #R
    • #P
    • #I
    • #T
    • #U
    • #G
  • Columns N-W but excluding the column you used for your language:
    • #Recorded
    • Blank
    • #Translated
    • FR
    • IT
    • DE
    • ES
    • RU
    • PL
    • #VONotes
Essentially your first column must contain the keys, the second column must contain your translation. Any following columns will be ignored and you can add whatever you like.

You should end up with the following:


Uploading to the Steam Workshop
So you’ve been through the template, translated the lines into your language, and now you’re ready to upload. The next step is to get it up on the Steam Workshop and it couldn’t be simpler to do.

Firstly, just drop your prepared CSV file into “/yourWFTOdirectory/WFTOGame_Data/Translation/Community”. Then launch WFTO, head to the Extras menu and choose Custom Translation.


You’ll see the screen above. Select your file from the dropdown, add a title and description, and choose if you’d like to upload it directly to the Steam Workshop (and what visibility you’d prefer). Then click Publish Translation.

That’s it - you’re done! You should be able to find your file on the Steam Workshop where you’ll be able to add an image and more description if you want.

Updating Your File
Occasionally when we release new content you’ll need to update your translation file to match, if you want your translation to remain up to date. We’ll release a new or edited batch of text keys on the Useful Files & Templates thread, which you can then add to the bottom of your existing translation file. To upload your changes you’ll need to make sure you’re uploading the exact same file as before. (You’ll notice some numbers have been added to the top of the file as well - these are needed by the Steam Workshop and should not be edited.)

When you select the file for upload once more from the Custom Translation menu, you can change its name and description as required. (You should see the name and description that you uploaded previously, but any edits made on the Steam Workshop itself may not be reflected.) For example, it might be useful to update the description to mention that the translation now includes the latest batches.

Changing your Workshop Image
By default your community translation will upload with a default image that we have added to the game. If you would like to change that image you'll need to do the following:
  • Navigate to “/yourWFTOdirectory/WFTOGame_Data/Translation/Community”
  • To change your default image drop a new image into the folder and rename it to share the same filename as your .CSV.
  • Return to the game menu and update your files, you should see the new image when you go back to the workshop.
Images must be below 1MB in size and have the file type of .JPEG .GIF or .PNG

Using a Translation File
Once you’ve uploaded your translation file to the Workshop you’ll want to know how to activate it within the game. By default we don’t load custom translation files when the game launches, unless specified by the user. However, all local or downloaded community translation files are accessible via the Language tab of the Options menu.

Here’s the visual guide for activating a community translation file:




We’re happy to answer any translation questions you might have, whether you’re seeking general advice on how to approach a localisation, or additional context for specific lines of text. We’ve set up a Translation Questions subforum specifically for this. Just create a new thread there and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

Technical Help & Support
If you encounter any bugs with community translations please contact us as soon as possible via User Echo. Include as much detail as you can about the bug and we’ll investigate the issue.

Steam Store
We’re interested in working with community translation teams to update the game’s Steam store page for their language. This will increase exposure of the game in that community, and allow us to point interested players towards the community translation in their language. If you have a complete community translation team then please get in touch via PM to “Noontide” on these forums, or via Discord or User Echo.​


Last edited:
Likes: BlackBeard


Designer / Community Manager
Brightrock Games
Dec 8, 2012
Brighton, UK
Updated with the new rules & instructions for new templates.

Essentially this is the simple version of how these work:

  • If Column 1 contains a key that is present in the game, that same row on column 2 will be used for the translation.

We've also made the Language code optional (which is what was breaking the previous template) so you don't have to enter a code at all, though the template includes a placeholder.
Apr 28, 2018
"However, all local or downloaded community translation files are accessible via the Language tab of the Options menu."


Why "options" can't see file?

Tim White

Writer, Designer
Apr 26, 2016
Hi Einsiedler,

Sorry for the problem you have encountered. This looks like it might be a bug with publishing the map locally rather than to the Steam Workshop. I have reproduced the issue myself, and so have logged a ticket on our internal system for a developer to take a look. We will let you know what we find out.

In the meantime, I was able to get my test translation to appear in the Community Translation drop-down menu by publishing it to the Steam Workshop first (publishing it privately, which seems comparable to publishing it locally, since only you will be able to see it on the Workshop). I then subscribed to my translation on the Workshop, restarted the game, and the translation could then be selected.

I hope that helps!
Apr 28, 2018
Hi Tim and thank you for responding.
I won't to publish my translation, because it's not ready. Too many anything need to look and test. I like to work with it "privately", so... I will waiting for fix.

Tim White

Writer, Designer
Apr 26, 2016
Hi Einsiedler,

I understand, that makes sense. Though I may have failed to communicate my point clearly about private publishing for the purposes of testing: You could still publish your file to the Workshop, but ensure you select "Steam Workshop (Private)" from the "Publish Type" drop-down menu. You can then subscribe to your own translation on the Workshop, so that the next time you load the game you can select it from the Language options, so you can test it. Being a Private item, only you would be able to see it on the Steam Workshop - no one else would have access.

Then as you add more text to the translation, you can simply publish again with the same name, close the game, then open it again to see the translation changes. (Though I notice at the moment, to get the new changes, you need to unsubscribe then re-subscribe to the item on the Workshop.)

Though I understand if you would much rather wait until the local publishing is fixed :)

Thank you,
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