Side-Quest 161. Meaningful Gibberish

Hello, and welcome to another episode of Talk This! It’s Dangerous to Podcast Alone. This week, we’re talking about fictional languages in games. Do you speak Simlish?

As always, you can listen to our podcast basically anywhere you want. Check it out on Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsSpotify, and Pandora (or head over to our episodes page for even more options). Or just listen below!

The Topic

Image of the in-game instruction manual in Tunic

How are constructed languages made for video games? What different types are there and what sort of utility do they serve within a game world? What are some of the difficulties of creating them? Why might a developer choose to create a “real” language versus one that only sounds or looks “real”? 

The Actual Discussion

Promo image for The Sims 4

We talk about some of the constructed languages that have featured in video games, from more complete languages you might find in Bioware, to the ciphers of Tunic or Final Fantasy X, to convincing gibberish from The Sims or Nier. Tying it back to gaming history, we even bring it back to the beeps and boops of dialogue boxes. Also, we touch on games that are about translation rather than just featuring a language itself.

Enjoy the episode! Tell us what you think in the comments or on social media. Make sure to check out last week’s episode and look forward to next week’s where we’re talking about PaRappa the Rapper and Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *