As of v235, ARK now supports user-created localizations and custom fonts!
How to localize ARK yourself
1. In the Windows game, you’ll find a new app here:
Run it, check the languages you wish to work on, and then click ArchiveFiles->XLS to generate an excel spreadsheet of all the localizations (separated by Tabs if you wanna work on more than one language at a time). This export process takes a couple minutes, so give it time and it will eventually say “completed” on the status panel.
Then you can upload that XLS to Google Docs or whatnot for easy group editing.
2. When you’re ready to reimport new localizations, click “XLS->Archive Files” and then choose your XLS, and it will import and integrate the localization data for the checked languages.
(Alternatively, you can skip the XLS phase entirely and iterate directly on the localization text files here: “\ShooterGame\Content\Localization\Game\YOURLANGUAGE\ShooterGame.archive”, but they’re pretty awkwardly formatted so spreadsheet is easier typically for translators to view. You must still do the “Generate Game Files From Archives” in the next step anyway,.)
3. Next, click “Generate Game Files From Archives” and it will actually prepare the corresponding shipping binary localization data for the checked languages for display in-game. (this “\ShooterGame\Content\Localization\Game\YOURLANGUAGE\ShooterGame.locres” binary file is what is actually used in-game for speed)
The localization files themselves are located here, in whatever language subfolder you want to specify:
There are no hardcoded language directory names, so whatever language subfolder name you want yours to be, you just then run the game with the following commandline:
(Ideally yourlanguage is the corresponding two-character language code from the standard here: http://www.lingoes.net/en/translator/langcode.htm )
For example, for Spanish:
Finally, to implement custom fonts, just replace any TTF (from “\Engine\Content\Slate\Fonts\” ) with a same-named TTF in your language’s subdirectory, and they will override the corresponding Font. There are also some “distance field” UASSET fonts that can be be reimported cooked out of the DevKit to be overriden:
Specifically grab the latest ARK Dev Kit from GitHub (v235), and open each of those Font assets in the Dev Kit. Goto the “Import Options” properties of each Font, change the “Font Name” to whatever Font you want to reimport as, and change the Unicode range to whatever is appropriate for your font (for Russian, it’s 0-451 for example). Then right-click the Font asset the Content Browser and select “Reimport”. You can iterate on how the Font looks by playing the game in PIE while you Reimport, adjusting the settings until it looks good with some test language text. After the Font has reimported satisfactorily, save it, and then right-click and choose “Quick Cook Single Asset”. Select an output folder, and then go ahead and copy the Font Asset from the Output folder (it’ll export into a \Output\ShooterGame\* subdirectory, so ignore all the subdirectories and copy the Font asset file directly) into your Localization Language’s folder (without any further subfolders). That Font UASSET will then override the corresponding one from the original game!
To distribute your localization, just zip up your Localization language’s subfolder and then be sure to tell your players where to extract it, namely into here:
You’re welcome to rename the multi-line string in the Join Session menu to give credit to the people doing the localizing. We forgot to add a dedicated Credits text field for that, but we will soon
Once enterprising groups get going with localization, we’ll edit this post with sticky links to good work-in-progress localizations!
Have fun and soon we’ll be providing some big bounties for quality localizations in every (real world) language under the sun! Good luck all, and happy multi-lingual surviving to you!
Source: Drake’s post on Steam
Frequently Asked Questions
My game is in [language] but I want it in English again
Go to your ShooterGame.exe file (\ShooterGame\Binaries\Win64\ShooterGame.exe) and add the following commandline to it: -culture=en . You should end up with \ShooterGame\Binaries\Win64\ShooterGame.exe -culture=en and after launching the game everything will be in English again.