aw a curious thing yesterday. I was working on my StoreyMinus CYOA (choose your own adventure) text game. It takes place in the subterranean world beneath London and will be up for walkthroughs (so you can see what it’s like) in a week or two. I’ve talked about Squiffy before and even did a short game about it HERE. Now that I’ve been playing with this application as a hobbyist programmer/writing, I’m ready to go full out on my first full-scale game.
Anyway, I realized as I played that with flashlights and torches and rooms that are lit and ones that are not, it’s a little difficult to keep track of if you are actually in light or not. See, if you are in pitch darkness, you move a lot slower (and that means you’ll face hunger and thirst problems after a shorter number of moves (since each move takes longer to complete, right?)). Since the game’s basic background is a scene-setting black, I decide to make the part over the text a little lighter to indicate that you are under low light (rather than no light) conditions. To do this, I kicked over to a site discussing HTML (don’t ask) to see what colors were available.
For this, they had a color background and a name. And there was a different color for each row. It was pretty distinctive, all sorts of alternating colors, one per line, looking like a rainbow on steroids. But then I saw a double-thick band of gray, an oversized thickness. Looked at the color name. Wait, names? Two names for this:
I looked at this for a bit before I realize that what I was seeing was the spelling from either side of the Atlantic, Gray for the colonials, Grey for the Isles. And this is because both nations spell it differently. The rule here is “A”=American, “E”=English (this is Babelfish serendipity of the highest order). But it makes sense. Most people aren’t going to look up the specific names on the site. They’ll just know they need the basic color (or colour) name. And this would cause problems in one country or the other, depending on who is chosen to be “right”. So, interestingly, they decided to officially use both names so coders on either side of the heaving Atlantic would be able to find their hue.
Just interesting, how spelling changes across time and location.