In 2D platformer games, what is the term or word for determining the size of the player character on the screen?

For example, the player character in Castlevania: Symphony of the Night is very small on the screen.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Are you looking for FOV (field of view)? \$\endgroup\$ Jul 31, 2023 at 19:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ @starikcetin No. I am talking about the size of the player character in platformer 2D video games. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 31, 2023 at 20:02
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    \$\begingroup\$ The size of the player character on the screen is called "the character size relative to the screen" 🤷 \$\endgroup\$
    – Theraot
    Jul 31, 2023 at 20:15
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    \$\begingroup\$ @JamesAnderson I don't think rudeness was intended, simply that they mean that there is no specific term for that and that you coined the most appropriate way to name the concept. \$\endgroup\$
    – Vaillancourt
    Jul 31, 2023 at 21:19
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    \$\begingroup\$ I'd upvote that as an answer — I don't think there's any more official term to offer. \$\endgroup\$
    – DMGregory
    Jul 31, 2023 at 21:21

1 Answer 1


While I agree that there's no consensus to define a character's size relative to the screen with a specific word, you can always relate two homogeneous quantities by defining a ratio between them. Now you can use your brand-new player-to-screen width/height ratio and incorporate it in your design.

Most engines use world units to give meaning to spatial measurements internally, but this doesn't prevent you to define your own unit of measurement for designing levels, objects, obstacles, etc. In fact, computing a ratio can also answer "How many of X fit in Y?" so you're expressing the screen width/height in terms of your character size.

As a designer, you want your numbers to assume values that achieve your game design goals. Your units of measurement are your own, and you can call them whatever you want:

  • "My character is 1x2 CharSquares when standing up."
  • "This chasm is 4 Crates wide, and my character is 1 Crate. If they run at 2 Crates/second top, they should be able to jump over it without falling."
  • "Player's avatar is 2 Tiles wide, and I want their maximum view distance to be 15 Tiles on either side. Therefore, I need to fit my camera to a total width of 32 Tiles horizontally, and doing so will result in a vertical viewing distance being..."

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