Newbye here. In the industry lingo, what is the best way to indicate the objects covering the ground (trees, rocks, ...)? Is props OK?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Can you tell us a bit more about the context? Many games these days will procedurally cover the ground in lightweight GPU grass or debris to disguise the bare terrain mesh. Since these are usually generated in the fly rather than specifically placed, they probably wouldn't be called "props," but other objects that your level designers place on the ground might be. Got an example of the kind of conversation you want to have with the word you're searching for? \$\endgroup\$
    – DMGregory
    Mar 20 '20 at 11:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ @DMGregory thanks for the comment! As you suggested, the objects (both small such as leaves and small rocks, and big such as large stones and trees) are generated on the fly. Someone in my studio suggested game assets. What do you think? \$\endgroup\$
    – albus_c
    Mar 20 '20 at 16:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm writing some technical documentation, trying to be both precise and reader friendly ;-) \$\endgroup\$
    – albus_c
    Mar 20 '20 at 16:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ If I'm understanding correctly, StarCraft calls such objects doodads. Link \$\endgroup\$
    – milk
    Mar 20 '20 at 23:00

I would say game assets is definitely not specific enough. Everything in your game is an asset — the terrain itself, the shaders and textures it uses, every JSON or XML data file.

Similarly, I'd argue props is also too broad. A chair or a sword could reasonably be called "props" too, but they're not scattered terrain items like you're describing.

(Though to be fair, maybe your game has no chairs or swords or any other variety of prop, and so in this case it's OK to use a broad term)

If your game has different biomes that need to scatter a different mix of grass and trees and rocks, I'd be tempted to call these "biome objects" — but that might be needlessly complex if you don't have multiple biomes.

Some other options: (none of these are particularly standard, just looking for phrases that describe your use case)

  • Terrain Dressing
  • Scatterables
  • Debris
  • Ground Cover

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