I am creating an indie game and since English is not my first language, I would like some help on this.

In my game, you have buildings and units (soldiers and such). The overall theme is militaristic, so I would like something in that area.

Now, here are the expressions used by the players:

To make a building, you need a blueprint associated to it.
To make a building, you perform a "build building" from a blueprint.

Now I need the equivalent for units:

To make a unit, you need an ABC associated to it.
To make a unit, you perform a DEF from an ABC.

I would like some suggestions for ABC and DEF please.

  • You train recruits. But this seems a little off-topic. A is to B as ___ is to D - reminds me of the 11-Plus. Oct 3, 2013 at 22:56
  • ok but then what are the "blueprints" for units? So I would train an unit from a ABC :|
    – Discipol
    Oct 3, 2013 at 23:00
  • 1
    You could train a unit from a tactical guide, maybe.
    – Kit Z. Fox
    Oct 3, 2013 at 23:23
  • The player might want to buy the "unit blueprint" which would imply some sort of an itemization of it, so tactical guide wouldn't be proper. For items there are recipes.
    – Discipol
    Oct 3, 2013 at 23:27
  • Strategies? Playbook? Oct 4, 2013 at 0:03

4 Answers 4


I sounds like you are asking what the raw material for the former would be, so what about the term recruit.

You construct a building from a blueprint while you train a soldier from a recruit.

This gets interesting when you get more complex units such as an fighter plane, however one can argue you either train the pilot from a recruit, or build the plane from a blueprint.

  • the blueprint represents an abstract idea for a building. A recruit on the other hand represents a person and a soldier represents another person. What I am searching for is the same abstract term like archetype but something that wouldn't sound bad for a player. Seems its more difficult than I thought.
    – Discipol
    Oct 4, 2013 at 0:21
  • As an exercise in English its quite difficult, but given that this is highly related to Game Design, it might be worth migrating this to GameDev.SE or perhaps even UserExperience.SE given the UX implications.
    – user53089
    Oct 4, 2013 at 0:26
  • 1
    I'd say soldier is to recruit as building is to pile of construction materials - It's raw material, not a plan for changing one into the other. But this is the accepted answer, so I guess it works for the OP.
    – user867
    Oct 4, 2013 at 8:00

A blueprint describes how a building is to be constructed, in all of its details (a complete set of blueprints, anyway).

The structures of military units are described by the Table of Organization and Equipment (TOE or TO&E). The TOE describes the organization, staffing, and equipment of units.

The structure of a military organizations can also be described in a more dynamic fashion using the Order of Battle (OOB, ORBAT, O/B, or OB). The ORBAT shows all aspects of how military units are structured, including the organizational hierarchy, the command structure, the disposition of personnel and of equipment.

The ORBAT is dynamic in that it is an adaptable description, and can change according to the the situation for which the unit(s) would be used. The TOE is generally specific to a type of unit, and the ORBAT would describe attributes that differentiate a unit from the general TOE.

You activate, commission, or stand up a military unit (see stand up)


It would strongly depend on the "unit" in question.

A blueprint makes sense for a building because it is frequently associated, however, a blueprint does not mean "a plan for a building",


a design plan or other technical drawing.

As you can see, it doesn't have to be a building in any sense. But for the purpose of your game I believe you want to use "blueprint" for "building" because of the strong association.

Therefore you would want strong associations between the noun you will use for a 'design plan' and the noun you use for a 'unit'.

I assume you will many different types of units, based on your detail that this will be primarily a militaristic game, here is an example:

Soldier - Curriculum 

Since an individual has to pass a test in order to become a soldier, it could be associated that the curriculum they use to test/study is the design plan.

  • Thank you for the suggestion! Unfortunately its strong Latin flavor turns me off as a player. Yes there are several types of units, with the required term being universal for all of them.
    – Discipol
    Oct 3, 2013 at 23:31
  • Could you give some examples of units? If curriculum is not to your tastes, perhaps a word like, module, would be better (its still latin)? Oct 3, 2013 at 23:37
  • module is good but works for items. Here are some examples: General, Veteran, Sniper, Xenobiologist, Field Researcher; and for another race: Rider, Charger, Archer, Mauler.
    – Discipol
    Oct 4, 2013 at 0:09
  • Thanks, I figured that you had unit names dependant on the roles they play in the battle. This would take some creativity on your part, I think that for every unit from the ones you describe you could use something that acts as a "design plan/blueprint" for that "job" rather than the "person" would be your best bet, remember that with games you have more freedom to use words that don't typically mean what they mean. General - Strategy; Veteran - Tactic ; Xenobiologist - Formula; ect, try to use "ideas" that surround that units' "job" as a noun also: Sniper - Patience; Rider - Bravery. Oct 4, 2013 at 0:17
  • The units themselves are pretty much the same, its mostly flavor and tweaking the numeric values that give them uniqueness among themselves. I wouldn't mind a different term for each race, but for the moment my question revolves around the common, perhaps modern-day militaristic terms like Soldier, General, etc. So ignore the second medieval-themed race :P
    – Discipol
    Oct 4, 2013 at 0:23

'Blueprint' feels perfectly valid for units as well as structures.

Vehicles of war often begin as a blueprint.

The equipment a soldier carries, which often defines the role and purpose of the soldier, also started as a blueprint.

As an english speaker, the feeling of a blueprint being the way to train units sounds fine.

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