This guide provides some ground rules to write user-facing texts for 0 A.D.


Use title case for:

  • Button captions
  • Entity names (including generic names of phases, structures or units)
  • Key names
  • Proper names

Never use full capitalization.

For example:

Good Bad
Click the Citizen Soldier iconClick the CITIZEN SOLDIER icon
Hold Shift and click Hold shift and click

Cursor vs Mouse

Mind the difference between the cursor (virtual) and the mouse (physical).

English Orthography

Use US English spelling.

For example:

analyze analyse
armor armour
defense defence
gray grey
plow plough

Dynastic factions

singular: plural: adjective:
founder of dynastymembers of dynastybelonging to dynasty
Achaemenes Achaemenids Achaemenid
Maurya Mauryas Mauryan
Ptolemy Ptolemies Ptolemaic
Seleucus Seleucids Seleucid


In texts that the user needs to understand, such as menu entries, help tooltips, and similar, you must be consistent with the vocabulary that you use.

An object should always be referred to using the same word everywhere in the game, and an action should always be referred to using the same verb. For example, if there is a unit type called ‘female citizen’, always refer to it as such, do not also use alternative forms such as ‘females’, ‘women’, and so on. Even in the same paragraph or sentence, you should use the same term.

Always be precise. E.g., if a technology multiplies the melee attack damage of cavalry by 1.2, the tooltip should be "cavalry +20% melee attack damage", not "melee cavalry +20% attack damage".

Furthermore, there should be a bijection between descriptions and classes. E.g. if a technology affects the Citizen class, write "Citizens"; if it affects the Soldier class, write "Soldiers"; if it affects only units that have both the Citizen and the Soldier class, write "Citizen Soldiers"; however, if it affects the CitizenSoldier class instead, then write "Citizen-Soldiers". (However, this should typically not occur: Citizen and Soldier are visible classes, CitizenSoldier is a non-visible class.)

For specific words that you should use or avoid in 0 A.D. gameplay texts, see the tables below.


Good Bad
Build (structures)
Collect (treasures)
Construct (ships, siege weapons)Build, produce, train
Gather (resources) Collect, get
Research (technologies)
Train (human units) Build, construct, recruit, produce


Icon Portrait


HealthHitpoints, HP


Good Bad
Structure Building
Blacksmith Armoury
Civic CenterCivic Centre, Civil Center, Civil Centre
Dock Harbour, Pier, Port, Quay, Shipyard, Wharf
Farmstead Farmhouse, Granary, Mill
Fortress Castle, Citadel, Fort, Stronghold
House Dwelling, Home, Shack
Storehouse Drop Site, Mining Camp, Storage Pit


Good Bad
Cavalry Cavalry Soldier, Horse, Horseman
Champion Cavalry Cavalry Champion
Champion Cavalry Spearman Cavalry Spearman Champion, Champion Spear Cavalry
Champion Infantry Infantry Champion
Champion Infantry Archer Infantry Archer Champion, Champion Archer Infantry
Champion Spearman (both cavalry and infantry)Spearman Champion
Citizen (cavalry or infantry, female or male)Worker, Villager, Subject, Slave, Servant, Serf, Peasant, Labourer, Gatherer, Builder
Citizen Cavalry Cavalry Citizen-Soldier, Citizen-Cavalry, Citizen-Cavalry Unit
Citizen Infantry Infantry Citizen, Infantry Citizen Soldier, Infantry Citizen-Soldier
Citizen Soldier (cavalry or infantry) Citizen-Soldier, Soldier Citizen
Female Citizen Female, Female Worker, Woman
Infantry Infantry Soldier, Footman
Melee Cavalry Cavalry Melee Soldier, Heavy Cavalry
Melee Infantry Heavy Infantry
Ranged Cavalry Cavalry Ranged Soldier, Cavalry Skirmisher, Skirmisher Cavalry
Ranged Infantry Light Infantry, Infantry Skirmisher, Skirmisher Infantry, Skirmisher
Ship Boat, Craft, Vessel
Siege Weapon Siege Engine, Siege


We have a somewhat complete Unicode support, do not limit yourself to ASCII and learn how to use Unicode input in your system.

For example:


However, Atlas does not support Unicode, so English strings of map files (e.g. anything under binaries/data/mods/public/maps/) should not contain Unicode characters for the time being. But you should avoid using combinations of ASCII characters to try and reproduce Unicode characters as well. Be creative, try to rephrase the content in question so that Unicode characters are not necessary.

Last modified 3 months ago Last modified on Aug 22, 2018, 11:42:11 AM