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Word game: American English spelling or International English spelling?

09-23-2013, 12:42 AM
#1
Word game: American English spelling or International English spelling?

As an Australian I would naturally spell words with International English.
e.g. "colour" instead of "color" and "centre" instead of "center"

When it comes to building a word puzzle game we have a choice to make. Because each puzzle is designed to fit according to the spelling, we must choose a standard and stick with it. I can see arguments for both sides. Any advice here?

Context: http://vimeo.com/75183225
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09-23-2013, 07:09 AM
#2
Joined: May 2010
Location: Lincoln, UK
Posts: 343
As you have to choose one, I would go with International English because the App Store is American-centric, therefore you will stand out more by catering for those who are relatively underserved. Plus it means using the spelling you are used to, so errors are less likely to be missed.

But make sure it is extremely clear that you are using International English. It possibly even needs to be in the title "Bonza: International English Version". That also allows you the opportunity to do a US English version later.

09-23-2013, 09:37 AM
#3
Quote:
Originally Posted by Moonjump View Post
As you have to choose one, I would go with International English because the App Store is American-centric, therefore you will stand out more by catering for those who are relatively underserved. Plus it means using the spelling you are used to, so errors are less likely to be missed.

But make sure it is extremely clear that you are using International English. It possibly even needs to be in the title "Bonza: International English Version". That also allows you the opportunity to do a US English version later.
Good idea! I'm not American so naturally i wouldn't go for American spelling as well, although the US would probably make up a large percentage of app sales/downloads so...

Anyway, like the look and style of your screenshots, lovely graphics!

Cheers
09-23-2013, 04:29 PM
#4
from my experience the US market while significant is not the majority.

You can choose to not release it in the US store and put a US version in there so you don't even have to let the buyer choose.
09-24-2013, 10:15 AM
#5
The US market not the majority? Maybe, if you include non-Anglo stores in the count. The US is a significant amount of downloads to annoy.

My gut says my strategy would be to make 2 versions. A US version, available everywhere worldwide, and an international version available everywhere but the US. Americans downloading the wrong one would be detrimental to your reviews, but international users are more used to american spelling only applications and would be more flexible.

If I were to select only one dictionary, it would be American. The US App Store accounted for well over 60% of my total downloads for my latest quiz game.
09-24-2013, 04:37 PM
#6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackharon View Post
The US market not the majority? Maybe, if you include non-Anglo stores in the count. The US is a significant amount of downloads to annoy.

My gut says my strategy would be to make 2 versions. A US version, available everywhere worldwide, and an international version available everywhere but the US. Americans downloading the wrong one would be detrimental to your reviews, but international users are more used to american spelling only applications and would be more flexible.

If I were to select only one dictionary, it would be American. The US App Store accounted for well over 60% of my total downloads for my latest quiz game.
I have a few apps and the US store doesn't make up more than 10% of the downloads of each.

But yes I get downloads from many non-english stores (and countries I have only now learnt exist lol).
09-24-2013, 07:08 PM
#7
Ideally we would use both. Either a different version based on location or an in-game toggle. There's a bit of work involved here.

The game doesn't actually use a dictionary, each puzzle is created manually because the pieces fit together to form a shape. In some cases, the different language will change the shape of the puzzle and therefore break it.

I'm told the US is the country with the highest word game installations. And it makes sense to tailor the experience to this audience but there's a proud stubborn Aussie in me that thinks we should stand our ground and be proud of our culture, perhaps spelling should come along with that? What if the question were about imperial measurement vs metric?
09-25-2013, 03:05 AM
#8
Quote:
Originally Posted by MiniMega View Post
Ideally we would use both. Either a different version based on location or an in-game toggle. There's a bit of work involved here.

The game doesn't actually use a dictionary, each puzzle is created manually because the pieces fit together to form a shape. In some cases, the different language will change the shape of the puzzle and therefore break it.

I'm told the US is the country with the highest word game installations. And it makes sense to tailor the experience to this audience but there's a proud stubborn Aussie in me that thinks we should stand our ground and be proud of our culture, perhaps spelling should come along with that? What if the question were about imperial measurement vs metric?
Being aussie too I would always use metric. While the americans still use the ancient system, they are also taught metric in school so it isn't such a problem (same way we still learn ancient here for historical reasons )
09-27-2013, 10:38 PM
#9
American here. As a UX person, I would say you should think about who you expect to be your target audience. You seem to know Americans will likely be >50% installs. Also, while most Americas know metric because it's an easy to learn system, they have no need to know the differences between American and international most of the time. It seems like the previous poster was right that for Americans this would be frustrating and interfere with gameplay, whereas international people might be more familiar with both spelling variations. Also, fwiw I don't recall ever hearing it called "international" English - I've always heard it called British spelling. (So you can see why that doesn't sound like a terribly important thing to remember.) My point being that I personally would not even have known what you meant by International.

However I can totally understand using the more universal of the two. What about a popup at the beginning of the tutorial that tells about how the game was made in Australia and that it provides a fun opportunity to learn about this more worldly spelling! Maybe a little humor in there?

In other words, whatever you pick, just make it super clear.

Love your graphics! Please forgive any horrid typos as I typed this on one hand while feeding a baby.
10-28-2013, 02:07 AM
#10
When you say "International English" are you are referring to British English? There are really only two forms of English: British and US. International English is an actual term used in the Cambridge English Usage Standards, which lists the most common English spellings in use worldwide and actually uses a lot of the US spellings, such as 'color', 'fetus', 'sulfur', etc.

But the truth is, US English is actually the original English. The US decided to keep the spellings, but Britain tried to appease France in the 19th century after a trade agreement and so agreed to francize a number of words. As ridiculous as it may seem, for a while England officially used these spellings: ambassadour, emperour, governour, inferiour, superiour; errour, horrour, mirrour, tenour, terrour, tremour. Most were dropped over time, but a few of the spellings, such as 'colour', hung around.

I guess it depends on how true to the language, or how much in favor of spelling reform, you want to be.

Either way, isn't it possible for you to have two dictionaries — one for US-English spelling countries, one for British-English countries — should be easy seeing as you're the developour.

Last edited by EssentialParadox; 10-28-2013 at 02:09 AM.