I Call Haxe!

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Capitalization in Run 3

31 May, 2018 - 07:59

I recently changed a tunnel’s name from “Low-power Tunnel” to “Low-Power Tunnel.” It’s a small change, but it still broke a whole bunch of links to the wiki.

So why did I even bother? Well, I wanted to get it right, based on real-world rules. Even though it’s a purely fictional universe, capitalization in Run 3 still has rules.

Now, I’d like to take some time to talk about what the rules actually are.

Title Case

Most names in Run 3 use title case, including tunnel names, cutscene names, and achievement names. That means that all the “major” words are capitalized, and there’s only a short list of words that aren’t.

There’s a fair amount of disagreement over the exact details of title case, so I did my best to find the “average” rules. Conveniently, Wikipedia’s rules are almost exactly average.

Well… except for one thing. Most style guides prefer to capitalize letters, and Wikipedia doesn’t. Since I’m trying to stick with the most common rules, hyphenated words should be capitalized in Run 3.

But some sources do say to leave hyphenated words lowercase, which means “Low-power Tunnel” was perfectly fine. I could have left it as-is. But still, if I’m going to teach a capitalization rule, I want to teach the one that’s most likely to serve you well in life.

Lowercase Names

Throughout the game, the word “tunnels” is sometimes, but not always, capitalized. Why?

When it’s capitalized, it’s being used as a name. When it’s lowercase, it isn’t. A lowercase-t tunnel is any contiguous tube floating in space and made up of gravity-controlling tiles. The capital-T Tunnels are the group of lowercase-t tunnels in orbit around the Sun. When someone says “the Tunnels” with a capital T, they’re talking about all the lowercase-t tunnels, as a group.

(For the record, there’s no capital-T Tunnel, only the capital-T Tunnels.)

This rule applies to all the characters’ names as well. Everyone’s name has a lowercase version that also describes them. For instance, the capital-R Runner is a lowercase-r runner. The capital-C Child is a lowercase-c child.

Having a name does not mean you are the only one entitled to that noun. The Child isn’t the only child. The Pastafarian isn’t the only pastafarian. And since the Skater is also a student, the Student isn’t even the only student in the Tunnels.

Fun fact: the lowercase name must, by law, be accurate. When the Child stops being a child and the Student graduates from school, they’ll have to take new names.

The Word “The”

Characters usually use the word “the” before their name, but it isn’t capitalized unless it’s the start of a sentence. This is because it isn’t actually part of the name, it’s just something they say. This is also why the word “the” is lowercase in “the Tunnels.”

When talking directly to a person, they don’t have to use the word “the.” For instance, when the Pastafarian wanted to catch the Angel’s attention, she said “Skater! A moment of your time!”

This rule comes from a real-life rule: our moon and sun are literally named the Moon and the Sun, with that exact capitalization. (Note: I am not saying “the Sun” in Run 3 is the same as the Sun in real life. The characters use the same name for it, but that’s all.)