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I am looking for a SPECIFIC definition that includes environmental game objects but NOT other game objects. Trees, Rocks, or even Bridges. NOT items, NOT weapons, NOT Characters, NOT tiles. I'm looking for an answer that is extremely specific for certain entities but NOT most entities.

For my GameObjects, I have them stored as an ObjectType.

typedef enum
CHARACTER = 0,   //A PC or NPC
ENVIRONMENT = 1, //A tree, a Rock, a Bridge, a non-animate environmental object
ITEM = 2,        //A sword, bag of gold, pickup-able item
} ObjectType

Obviously, anyone would easily understand that a Character GameObject would be a Character (PC or NPC), and an item would be something like a Sword, bag of Gold, etc.

However, the word "environment" is obviously wrong. I thought of "foliage" to refer to any object that isn't a tile (grass, road, water, a floor) and isn't an item (can pickup, etc.)

Normally, I would call these things 'Objects', because a Tree, a Rock, a Bridge, a Bush, a collection of flowers- these are all objects. However, this is redundantly confusing when GameObjects are referred to as "Objects" and the term 'object' is so common in game engineering.

I couldn't help but think to myself, "There must be a term that is obvious, that I am just not seeing. A word that describes this very common type of game object."

Something that people could easily understand, so I don't have to resort to "EnvironmentObject".

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closed as primarily opinion-based by Josh Petrie Dec 10 '13 at 21:12

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Every engine/company has their own way of doing it, and you're going to get 20 different more or less equally "correct" answers. The most generic is the exact term you used: game object. – Sean Middleditch Jun 14 '13 at 17:14
Game Object isn't an answer at all. In fact, that would be an INCORRECT answer. GameObject is the name for the Game's Objects. A categorization for each object is what I'm looking for: Character, Item, Tree, Doodad, Prop. I cannot believe someone with 11k rep would provide the only incorrect answer, thinking it's a correct one. – user31353 Jun 15 '13 at 18:51
Who is the audience for this word? Why do you need the distinction? Is it for the name of a class? In a component-based engine, an environment object might not be anything more than just a game object that renders the kind of prop. Is it for artists to sort out the environment objects from other kinds of objects? – Tetrad Jun 15 '13 at 20:19
In the traditional world of simulations this fluff in the environment is called "culture." This idea comes from stuff encompassing artificial, "cultural" objects like roads and buildings. – Patrick Hughes Jun 18 '13 at 23:59
Related question:… – Byte56 Jun 20 '13 at 18:37
up vote 3 down vote accepted

Something which is part of the set is a "fixture", or "landscaping".

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Hi Anon! This is a bit brief - I think you should consider leaving this as a comment or editing your answer to contain a bit more information. – Vaughan Hilts Jun 14 '13 at 18:39
Great answer, thank you. +1 – user31353 Jun 15 '13 at 18:53
Chosen as best answer, because honestly this IS the best answer. I wanted a definition that could encapsulate environmental objects such as Trees, Rocks, or even Bridges... but NOT items, weapons, bags of gold, etc. "LANDSCAPE" is the absolute best answer. – user31353 Jun 15 '13 at 18:59
"LANDSCAPE" is the best answer because an Item is NOT a landscape. A character is NOT a landscape. A Tree however? Definitely. A rock? Definitely? A bridge? Could definitely be. This is the most specific answer, the only one that correctly answers the question, and the only person who read it correctly (although others DID provide great answers- but their answers could easily include Items, Weapons, and other props). – user31353 Jun 15 '13 at 19:06

I believe Prop ( See: and ) is commonly used. There are less ambiguous alternatives, for example Blizzard uses the word Doodad.

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Great answer, thank you. +1 – user31353 Jun 15 '13 at 18:52
Almost chosen as best answer. I used this for Items + Environment landscapes. I've always called them Props in Unity (i forget why), it makes the most sense when designing scenes, fits in anything that isn't a character, and is very generic but understandably detailed! :) – user31353 Jun 15 '13 at 18:56
This is it. I always call them, and seen them called "props". – Panda Pajama Jun 22 '13 at 6:59

I would use the word Doodad for those environmental things as it's a standard. When editing in both Titan Quest and StarCraft's Map Editor, they're referred to as Doodads.

I usually refer to objects an Actor can interact with as Props, just as if they were on a stage. Actors use Props to do actions, whereas the Doodads only complement the scene.

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Great answer, thank you. +1 – user31353 Jun 15 '13 at 18:51

"Decoration" has always been the name I've given to non-interactive, non-collidable elements.

When using flixel I would have level data defined by three separate layers Solid, Interactive and Decoration. Solid and Decoration would then be loaded into Tilemaps, both would be rendered but collision checks would only be made against Solid.

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Great answer, thank you. +1 I really like this answer too. Almost chosen as best answer. – user31353 Jun 15 '13 at 18:56
Just to let you know, this is definitely the 2nd best answer. It helps me answer a similar question I would have later when my game gets more detailed. I will be calling Trees, Rocks, Bridges, "LANDSCAPE" while calling fixtures such as torches, furniture, "DECORATION". The LANDSCAPE will most likely be transformable (chop down a tree, bust a rock) while Decoration is closer to an item but with absolutely no information besides graphical representation. – user31353 Jun 15 '13 at 19:09

Like Hatberg said I used to hear them called "Props" when I was younger but after I took a few game development classes in college (ironically taught by the founder for Iron Lore Entertainment (Brian Sullivan) who made/designed Titan Quest) I heard purely decorative game objects being called "Set Dressing". I guess it's just a synonym for Prop but I find most people prefer Set Dressing now a days.

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Sounds like a salad or food object, not a game object, lol :P – user31353 Jun 15 '13 at 18:52
what's wrong with salad? But yeah I actually thought it was a bit weird when I first heard of it too. I really only go used to it because I heard so many people use the phrase as well. – Benjamin Danger Johnson Jun 18 '13 at 15:50

You could call them Entities and give them an Environment tag as an enum. You could also go with a component based design and just attach a "Render" component so that all that happens to these environments is they sit there and look pretty.

Calling Trees and environments Entities may not sit well with people, but to me it makes sense to call them "entities" of the scene. It allows you to eliminate the need for more classes and thus making it more simplified to understand as long as you document your design.


My original answer is trash and was a result of not properly reading the question. As other better answers have already mentioned, you can tag these items are 'props' 'Doodads' or even 'Decorations'.

Just for this answer I hoped to provide you with yet another word after looking at the Doom3 source code. I have ripped through it looking for how they tag their "Entities" or "GameObjects as you have decided to call them. From what I can see they do not have an obvious tag for it. They seem to just build an IdEntity and give it a RenderEntity which has the data for the renderer to render. They also have a Model class, but no obvious Environment Tags that I can see. I will edit this answer if I end up finding anything that is close to an "environment" tag.


It looks like doom classic straight up built classes for "Wall" "Floor"(also functioned as ceiling) "Things" and even "sky". So I guess "Thing" could be used, although that seems vague. I guess it is similar to doodad.

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I figured Entity would be a better name than "GameObject". When I said environment tag I was being entirely too general and I definitely was not answering the question, considering your question was more focused on identifying a word for the tag itself. Obviously, I failed to really read and think about the question fully. It was more specific than I originally thought. I apologize. I believe others have done a great job answering the question but I can try editing my answer so it is not dead wrong in case others read it down the line. Thanks for bringing this to my attention. – Dean Knight Jun 15 '13 at 19:50
Thank you. If you edit, I will undo my downvote. – user31353 Jun 15 '13 at 20:15
@Regeta I edited it. I am still looking through Doom3 Source to see if they may have a fancy name for their Environment tag. Not having much luck so far. – Dean Knight Jun 15 '13 at 20:53
+1 for improving the website and being humble enough to self-review and admit not reading it fully. Other users on here didn't really read it either, and a moderator had to step in and reverse FIVE high rep user's errorenous opinion, and one in particular tried to troll in comments that he wasn't wrong and a huge paragraph as to why. @Dean Knight thank you for being a shining example of the type of person this community needs. Your humility and self-respect is something I wish upon all the high rep users who abuse their voting privileges. – user31353 Jun 15 '13 at 23:40
@Regeta SO has done nothing but help me. I enjoy trying to spread what little bit of knowledge I can. Thanks for being fair. – Dean Knight Jun 16 '13 at 20:50

Terrain works. You could also divide it into Terrain_water and Terrain_land

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Hey Thomas, welcome to the site. Questions like the above are subjective questions that require a bit more fleshed out answers. The see this help page at the bottom it talks about these types of questions and how they should be answered. – Byte56 Jun 19 '13 at 0:13

What about the word "Scenery"?

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You should try to add more to your answer, especially since this question has already been answered. – user15805 Jun 22 '13 at 13:50