Sponsored By

What! Rect is not the shortened of Rectangle?

a funny experience of a programmer whose native language is not English

Tapir Liu, Blogger

April 27, 2015

5 Min Read

I am a programmer, more accurately, an indie game developer. My native language is not English.

At January of last year, I published my second mobile game. In this game, players can control two types of interactive rectangles to push other rectangles so that all kinds of game tasks can be finished. I planned to add more rectangle types at that time for this game. So I named the game as “The Rectangles”.

I had never promoted this game until the February of this year, for I thought its graphics was not good. As an indie game developer who is good at programming but has weak ability in art making, it was a long time frustration that I can’t make decent graphics for my games. In the months of last year after this game was released, I learned many graphics and color theories to improve my art making ability. Surely, I’m still can’t make the professional art, but I think I can make decent minimalism style art for games now.

I polished the graphics for this game by using what I learned at February this year and added more 29 levels (now 90 levels). And I found the current two interactive rectangle types are enough to create sufficient levels, so I decided not to add more interactive ones. For both of the current two types of interactive rectangles can push other shapes, I call them pushers. I think “Rectangle Pushers” is a more appropriate title for this game than the old “The Rectangles”. But “Rectangle Pushers” is too long to show fully below the app icon on mobile phone home screens. iPhone will show it as “Recta…shers” and Android will show it as “Rectangle Pu…”. So I decided to rename this game to “Rect Pushers”.

As a programmer, this is so naturally. “Rect” is popularly used as the shortened of “Rectangle” in many programming APIs. If you search “rect” on Google and Bing, all the results on the first 3 pages (even more) treat Rect as Rectangle.

I created a game introduction page on my personal website for this game and prepared to promote it. You will find the new art listed on this page is much better than the old one, at least for me.

Firstly, I created a thread in the AndroidGaming category on reddit. Then I got the first feedback for this game, a very surprised feedback:

(Please click above image to view it in full size)

What! Rect is not the shortened of Rectangle? Ahh, I learned a new word “Rectum”.

The second feedback:

(Please click above image to view it in full size)

Ok, looks the new game title is not that bad. But the two redditors both think Rect is not a shortened of Rectangle.

I was not convinced. So I asked a question, “Is Rect a good abbreviation of Rectangle?”, on Quora. It looks all Quorans think Rect is a shortened of Rectum instead. More interestingly, one Quoran said Rect sounds like Wrecked and Pushers is a slang term for drug-dealers, so “Rect Pushers” could be interpreted to be slang for “Drunk drug-dealers”.

English is so wonderful!

I was almost convinced that Rect is not good shortened of Rectangle. But in following days, I got more feedback from all sort of places. The more feedback makes me doubt what I was convinced.

The first feedback is a very positive review for this game from Tom Cutrofello, who is from New York. Tom is a puzzle game lover. I never sent him a review request. Tom didn’t mention the title problem at all in this review.

The second feedback is a mention on Twitter from an artist. She also didn't mention the title problem.

And this game got two new reviews on Google Play, both of them are five stars. And neither of them mentions the title problem at all.

It looks players don’t care about the game title at all. Now, I don’t know whether or not I should change the game title again.

The reasons I don’t want to change the game title again:

  1. I really can’t find a better one which is still short.

  2. There are many other games use Rect as the shortened of Recatangle on App Store and Google Play.

  3. I can’t understand if programmers can view Rect as Rectangle, why others can’t?

  4. The meaning of a word often changes in history, why can’t this game change the hint meaning of Rect?

I need more feedback and opinions from you. Should I change the title to another one?

[update]: I have collected enough suggestions from several threads (1, 2 and 3) on reddit and decided to use the long one, Rectangle Pushers, as the formal title, but still show a short one on home screen. It looks the website culture between Quora and Reddit is large. The are quite a lot of redditors don’t think the short title is a problem.

(My Twitter: @TapirLiu, my website and games: http://www.tapirgames.com)

Read more about:

Featured Blogs

About the Author(s)

Daily news, dev blogs, and stories from Game Developer straight to your inbox

You May Also Like