392 THE GAME PRODUCTION HANDBOOK, 2/E
25.2 DEFINING CLOSING KITS
There are three basic types of closing kits: a full closing kit, a localization kit, and
a translation kit. Each of these kits serves a different purpose, but if there is time
to create only one kit, then the full closing kit is the best choice.
A full closing kit is comprised of all the uncompressed source assets (includ-
ing art, code, and sound), full documentation (including design, technical, and
packaging), proprietary tools used in the production pipeline, and gold masters
(including all localized versions) of the shipped game. If the full kit contains all
the necessary items, someone outside of the development team should be able
to re-build a full and playable version of the game from scratch.
A subset of the full closing kit is the localization kit. The localization kit or-
ganizes all the assets that are necessary to create localized versions of the game
in a central location. If the game code is localization-friendly (see Chapter 21,
“Localizations,” for more information), it is usually not required for the localiza-
tion kit to include source code and a full set of uncompressed assets. This kit
is smaller than the full closing kit and is sent to localization vendors who can
translate, integrate, and test localized versions of the game without help from
the development team.
If an external localization vendor is working on language versions that will
ship with the primary version of the game, it will be necessary to create a local-
ization kit before the game is code released. This is not the most ideal situation,
as the kit will contain assets that are not final and could change drastically during
the remaining production schedule. In this situation, the localization team will
need to stay in close communication with the primary production team in order
to remain up to date about any changes in the game.
A subset of the localization kit is the translation kit. This kit contains only
the text (and sometimes art assets) that need to be translated. Actual localized
versions cannot be created from this kit. This is an ideal kit to send to translators
because it is much smaller and less complex than a full closing kit. Essentially,
the translator is only receiving text files that need to be translated. The translator
can update the text files with the appropriate language, and send the files back to
the development team or localization vendor, who will then integrate the assets
and create localized versions.
25.3 CREATING CLOSING KITS
Closing kits are created after the game is code released so that the developers
can include all the final assets and source code. The contents of a closing kit
include assets, documentation, tools, and code. If patches or additional content