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

Orthography

English spelling

Use American English spelling. For example:

US UK
analyze analyse
armor armour
artifact artefact
defense defence
dialog dialogue
finalize finalise
gray grey
plow plough
traveler traveller

Check what you type. E.g. the verb to pronounce is always spelled with ou, but the noun pronunciation is spelled with only u.

Calender years

The name of the game is 0 A.D., which includes dots, for stylistic reasons. However, dots are not used when writing down years. E.g. Augustus was emperor of Rome from 27 BC until his death in 14 AD.

Good Bad
BC B.C., BCE, B.C.E.
AD A.D., CE, C.E.

Dynastic factions

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

Greek and Latin

Greek words and proper names are Latinized everywhere, except in the specific name.

Good Bad
Aeschylus Aiskhulos
Darius Dareios
Seleucus I Seleukos A'

Also, use the English form if there is one.

Good Bad
Alexander the Great Alexander Magnus, Alexandros ho Megas
Athens Athenae, Athenai
Homer Homerus, Homēros
Livy Livius
Mark Antony Marcus Antonius
Ovid Ovidius
Ptolemy Ptolemaeus, Ptolemaios
Virgil Vergilius
Cataphract Kataphraktos
Hoplite Hoplitēs
Penteconter Pentercontor, Pentēkontoros
Theatre Theatrum, Theatron
Trireme Triremis, Triērēs

Terminology

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.

Actions

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

Cursor vs Mouse

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

GUI

Good Bad
Icon Image, Picture, Portrait, Sprite, Thumbnail

Resources

Good Bad
Food
Metal Gold, Iron
Stone Brick, Rock
Wood Lumber

Stats

Good Bad
Crush attack damage Crush, Crush attack, Crush damage
Health Hitpoints, HP
Melee attack range Attack range, Melee range, Range

Structures

Good Bad
Structure Building
Blacksmith Armoury
Civic Center Civic 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

Units

Good Bad
Cavalry Cavalry Soldier, Horse, Horseman
Champion
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

Typography

Capitalization

Use title case for:

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

Never use full capitalization.

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

Punctuation and spacing

  • A serial comma is used when listing three or more items. E.g. “Available to Britons, Gauls, and Iberians.” or “Capture, Melee, or Ranged.” and not “Britons, Gauls and Iberians.” or “Capture, Melee or Ranged.”
  • Only use one space, not two, after a full stop to end a sentence.
  • Do not use spaces before “large” characters (e.g. ?, !, :, %).
  • There are three options for parenthetical remarks:
    • parentheses (which have spaces on the outside, but not on the inside) are preferred;
    • en-dashes – which have spaces both inside and outside – can also be used occassionally if it looks better;
    • em-dashes—which have spaces neither inside nor outside—are better avoided.
  • Use “English-style” quotation marks, not «French-style» or „German-style“ (nor the other »German-style«).

Unicode

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

Good Bad Usage
… (U+2026, ellipsis) ... (three full stops) intentional omission
• (U+2022, bullet) - (hyphen) itemization
– (U+2013, en-dash) - (hyphen), -- (two hyphens) range of values (500–1 BC), oppositions (Greco–Persian wars)
— (U+2014, em-dash) - (hyphen), --- (three hyphens) source of a quote
− (U+2212, minus) - (hyphen) subtraction, negative values (−20% training time)
× (U+00D7, times) x (X) multiplication
“ (U+201C) " (programmer's quote) start of a quotation
” (U+201D) " (programmer's quote) end of a quotation
‘ (U+2018) ' (apostrophe) start of a quotation inside a quotation
’ (U+2019) ' (apostrophe) end of a quotation inside a quotation

Use the ordinary hyphen or hyphen-minus (-) for hyphenation, compounds (Greco-Bactrian kingdom), negations (non-starter), vowel separation (de-escalate), and to distinguish between varied meanings.

NB 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 5 days ago Last modified on Jan 14, 2019, 2:51:01 PM