One of the most challenging aspects of video-games culture for a newcomer, especially for a busy parent, is trying to learn and understand the many, many acronyms and specialised terms. GameHub HQ entries are jargon-free, so you can get the information you need as easily and painlessly as possible, but there are still some words worth knowing. Every Monday, we break down one Word Worth Knowing from the world of gaming.
Clipping. Done to sheep, dogs, wings and children with unruly fringes. But in games, its a pain in the bum. This week, we take you into the aggravating world of clipping.
What It Is: Clipping – a glitch in which two solid objects become embedded in one another.
What It Means: Digital items are not “solid.” There is very rarely such a thing as a solid object. Rather, an object is a shell, a digital mesh with a graphical skin stretched over it. Clipping occurs when the skin of an item, object or person is penetrated by another object, and becomes jammed in the empty space inside, unable to get back out. This can be both very funny and very annoying for players.
Why You Care: Clipping can cause players serious problems. If their character clips through a wall, the player may become completely stuck, unable to move in any direction and so forced to reload from a previous save. Clipping errors may be unrecoverable – e.g. every time the player loads up a saved game, their character immediately starts falling through endless space; because they have clipped through the floor, they will never land. Clipping can also facilitate cheating, by enabling players to walk or shoot through solid walls to access parts of the game where they shouldn’t or couldn’t normally be. Clipping can also cause important objects to fall through the floor or inside walls, making them impossible for the player to pick up. A well-polished game that has been through extensive bug-testing (a process called QA (Quality Assurance)) should not contain excessive clipping errors.