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Jo Lefebure- The Geeky Pen - DoodleMeeple

Jo Lefebure

Game Translator

We’re pleased to showcase the work of Jo Lefebure of The Geeky Pen on this edition of our Featured Creative. It’s great to see our roles outside the artistic side of games are growing with such top calibre talent like Jo. 

He’s localised rules for a vast number of games now, but I’ll let him tell you about that…

What I will say is that the localisation of your game can increase its demand significantly. Yes English is a very accessible language comparatively speaking, but printing in one language is a barrier of entry for a huge percentage of the global population.

Jo’s service is a great resource for publishers looking to add an extra gear to accelerate their sales. You can find Jo in our Creative Roster, check out his profile here.

What gets you excited to get to your desk in the morning, outside of a cup of coffee?

I have a confession to make. I don’t actually drink coffee. I know… Blasphemy, right?! I like to draw my energy from running. What makes me proud and excited is realizing that I found a way to turn my passion (board games, duh) into a sustainable career. It took me 6 years of hard work to get to this point, but it was all worth it. Our agency keeps growing year after year, I’m my own boss and I get to work on my own terms. It’s a very liberating feeling. I don’t think I could ever imagine myself working in a ‘traditional’ corporate environment again.

Why is it important for games to be available in multiple languages, and how do you ensure the rules in particular are adhered to but explained in a localised way?

I believe the overwhelming success of Kickstarter games has taken our hobby to a whole new level over the past 5 years or so. With thousands of new games coming out each year, both new and traditional publishers have to invest more money in quality artwork and components to stay ahead of the competition. If you want to reach players in international markets, quality translations are the next logical step in that process. More than ever before, players are demanding quality. You can no longer afford to have great artwork but a poorly written rulebook. Many publishers who were reluctant to pay for translations in the past are slowly realizing that proper localization isn’t a liability, but a solid investment in the credibility of their brand. This is why all our language teams consist of professional freelance translators who are also avid gamers. It’s a network that took many years to build, because profiles like that are hard to come by. But I’m proud to say all of us are addicted to detail and aware of regional differences. Every game, big or small, is treated with the same amount of respect, and is looked after by a separate translator and proofreader in every language.

What’s your dream project that someone could commission you to do?

I have a soft spot for games that contain lots of flavor text, because those allow for more freedom and creativity when translating. We recently localized games like Meadow and Trekking the World, which both use a type of language that’s very rich and educational. If I had to pick some titles that I didn’t translate myself but wish I could’ve worked on, I’d nominate Wingspan and Everdell.

Foto 29-04-2021 19 43 53

If you could tell all of your prospective clients one thing about writing you a brief to make your life easier what would it be?

When contacting us for a quote, please always include a PDF of your finalized rulebook if at all possible. If you don’t have one yet, try to provide us with as many images as you can. It’s much easier to translate a game if you have visual examples to support the source text. Also, in order to prepare a custom quote for your project, we need to be able to calculate the total amount of words. So please make sure the text in the files you’re sending us is selectable and that the box text is included. Thanks in advance!

How many games do you estimate you’ve worked on?

That one is easy, because there’s a counter on our website. As of April 29th, 2021, we’ve localized 134 games.

What’s your favourite colour meeple?

Green, but it’s always one of the first colors to get picked in my gaming group, so I’m often stuck with my backup color, which is yellow. I deal with it.

Check out our last Featured Creative: Benjamin Porter

benjamin porter miniature painter

Doodle Meeple Featured Artists

At DoodleMeeple we’re always looking for amazing new talent to show our growing list of creators.

We like to get to know our creatives personally to see what makes them tick. We know that when a creative finds a project they’re passionate about, they produce their best work.

That’s why we’re going to be interviewing the creatives that stand out to us, whether they are creating Kick-Ass work or just doing something really different, we want to know what creators can do to engage their brains and get them building out of this world projects with you.

With such a range of a diversity in our creatives, we can’t wait to see what we learn from them, that we can pass to you and spark some new exciting ideas.

If you have what it takes to be a DoodleMeeple Creative…

Sign up here