Category talk:Portal 2 Puzzle Maker

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Style and Terminology

I would like to open a discussion about the style and terminology we use in this area of the wiki, because I'm seeing a lot of different terms used for common puzzle maker elements and some of them are a bit confusing--as is the lack of consistency (and I've been as guilty of that as anyone). To start with: Panels vs blocks vs squares vs tiles vs Hammer units etc, for the 128x128 cubic brushes in which all world geometry in the puzzle maker is generated and measured. Semantically there are several ways these terms are used--

  • As a unit of measurement:
    • "Stairs are two panels deep, and when deployed allow the player to walk one panel high."
      • The most commonly used term, and IMO the worst. It is far too easily confused with the Panel testing elements.
    • "(Entity Cost) 1 per square for Glass, 2 per square for Grating"
      • This is a little better, but something about it still doesn't feel right.
    • "(Piston Platforms) move vertically in 128 unit increments, up to a limit of 384 vertical units."
      • This is the least ambiguous and most accurate, but is also likely to confuse PeTI users, especially since the editor does not use or expose these units anywhere in the GUI.
    • "...which can be placed in a Deadly Goo pool of 1 block depth..."
      • This is the term I personally prefer--it is clear, immediately evocative of the units the user works with in the editor, and is not confused with any testing element or Portal-related terminology.
  • As a reference to a specific face of a single 128x128 block:
    • "The target for the Faith Plate's landing can be adjusted in the editor by dragging the bulls-eye icon to a different tile"
      • This is clear and unambiguous. I don't mind it.
    • "These require space to activate/deploy, and do not permit anything to be placed in the square in front of them"
      • Also clear, and would allow for more consistency if "square" was used for measurement as well--but as before, just doesn't quite feel right.
    • "...flush with the outer edge of that block."
      • I am leaning towards this one, particularly since it is consistent with the term I prefer for the unit of measurement.
  • As a general reference to the usable surface of any given world geometry:
    • "(An Angle Panel) is a panel attached to an arm that can be positioned on a wall and set at different angles."
      • No good--"wall" implies only vertical surfaces, when a Panel can be attached to floors and ceilings as well.
    • "Glass and Grating must be anchored to a fixed surface, and will display an error if the surface to which it's attached is removed."
      • I strongly favor this term. I have used it fairly consistently in my writing here so far and IMO it is by far the clearest and most versatile way to refer to this concept without having to refer specifically to floors, walls or ceilings. Those can then be used only when we specifically mean one (such as a Dropper only being attachable to a ceiling).

I'll stop there for now, since IMO this is the real big one. Thoughts? Particularly from anyone at Valve who might have preferred internal terminology to use. Catsy 10:11, 7 June 2012 (PDT)

I don't think Valve are necessarily the best example to follow with regard to terminology; they make fantastic games but have proven themselves inconsistant and even lazy when it comes to documentation. That's not to say their opinion is without vailidity, I just don't think it is more important than anyone else's in the community on this particular kind of issue.
Personally, I am happy to go with block but given that context is everything, it may well demand the use of another term in certain places. For instance, I am inclined to think that tile is more appropriate in a two dimensional context ("dragging the bulls-eye icon to a different tile" works marginally better than "dragging the bulls-eye icon to a different block" in my opinion). As for glass/grating, I don't think tile or block works particularly well and square isn't that much of an improvement.
I do agree that we should probably avoid terms like wall and units (unless you're specifically talking about differences between Hammer and Puzzle Maker, for instance). --Nacimota Talk | Contributions 15:46, 7 June 2012 (PDT)
That's a good point about 2D versus 3D references. "Block" and "tile" are sounding better to me. I'm struggling to think of how else to convey the fact that the entity cost of glass and grating is per-"square", for lack of a better interim term. Catsy 21:03, 7 June 2012 (PDT)
I'm partial to existing 3D terminology myself. Face, surface, brush (for "blocks"), etc. No need to reinvent the wheel. Nor to try and follow in-universe fluff naming for things. --Msleeper 20:32, 7 June 2012 (PDT)
I am too all else being equal, but this particular section of the wiki is aimed at the typical PeTI user, who isn't really likely to understand what a brush is or how it's relevant to the puzzle maker. And none of those really work as a unit of measurement anyway, and we need one of those. Hammer units aren't going to cut it; they're not exposed anywhere in the editor and won't mean a thing to PeTI users. Catsy 21:03, 7 June 2012 (PDT)