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Dev Diary: The Vernacular Of Riddick Dark Athena

What kind of ridiculous terminology arises during a game's heated development? Starbreeze weighs in.

It's Friday, and you know what that means: Time for another installment in our series of developer diaries from Starbreeze Studios, the makers of The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena. This week, the boys from Sweden run down some of the more colorful terms that come into usage during the high-pressure months leading up to a game's completion.

We'll be back next week with the fourth and final diary. We've also got a final build of the game in-house, so we'll weigh in with a full review of Riddick in advance of the game's April 7 ship date.

The "N" Word


Martin Annander
Gameplay Designer, Starbreeze Studios

With contributions by

Johan Althoff
Sound Director, Starbreeze Studios

No, this doesn't refer to what you think it does. Among programmers, "nuking" something refers to removing it completely. If you nuke an event, for example, you remove it from the game and make sure the flow stays interesting without it. It's on par with the KYD expression from marketing: "Kill Your Darlings."

But "nuking" is far from the only word in the Starbreeze patois.

"Bitrot"
A data disease that strikes when code hasn't been given its due attention in a while.

"Fniss"
Most likely a simple mistake, easily fixed once someone can be bothered to take a look at it. From the Swedish word for snickering.

"Krick" (adj. Krickad, verb Kricka or Kricka ur)
Out of whack, broken, hasn't recently been shown the appropriate amount of love. Usually the result of bitrot.

"Hirr"
Yet another in a string of indications that a particular system is a can-of-worms and in dire need of an overhaul.

"Stolpskott"
A failed action that causes some humiliation to the performer. You can also be a Stolpskott. Not a nice thing to say.

"Kodfel" (Eng. "code error" or "code problem")
The collective term for a bug or error you don't understand, or don't consider to be your responsibility. It's vaguely similar to Douglas Adams' SEP (Sombody Else's Problem).

"Steka" (Eng. "deep fry", primarily used by audio people)
The likely result of a request to make a sound BIG-GER. Usually involves pushing all sliders to their maximum value, regardless of their effect.

"Pimpa" (from Eng. verb "pimp" or "pimp out")
Inherently vague, the term refers to the subtle art of improving a sound without really doing anything. Most often, it involves moving a few elements slightly to the left, or raising the volume by an undetectable amount. Makes a huge difference.

"Tårta" (Eng. "cake")
The dreaded result of over-pimping a sound, or adding too many elements to a mix. The project then ends up in an irrevocable state of chaos. Once your mix has become a Tårta, it cannot be undone, and you have to start from scratch, usually with an inferior result.

"Priblem"
This not an expression as much as a cipher. It shouldn't be a problem to understand what the hidden word really is.

"Borken"
As part of the popular Internet misspelling conspiracy, borken really means broken and it's usually either krick or fniss.

"You're a ..."
An automatic, almost instinctive response to any question or statement that twists the reply back to the inquirer. If someone asked, "Which dialogue number is it for the VO?" he'd be answered with "You're a VO dialogue number."

Personally, I'm mostly targeted with the worldwide derogative term "fanboy" whenever people pass my desk and notice the Master Chief helmet. I've already stopped explaining why the accusations are unfair, of course. It's futile. Once the wolves find a sheep among them... Well. I think you can see the consequences.

Of course, the accusations are quite unfair and it's my hope that someone will be on my side, eventually. Until then, I'll avoid as much bitrot fniss as I possibly can by telling the responsible stolpskotts: you're a fanboy!


Brad Shoemaker on Google+
40 Comments
Posted by Brad

It's Friday, and you know what that means: Time for another installment in our series of developer diaries from Starbreeze Studios, the makers of The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena. This week, the boys from Sweden run down some of the more colorful terms that come into usage during the high-pressure months leading up to a game's completion.

We'll be back next week with the fourth and final diary. We've also got a final build of the game in-house, so we'll weigh in with a full review of Riddick in advance of the game's April 7 ship date.

The "N" Word


Martin Annander
Gameplay Designer, Starbreeze Studios

With contributions by

Johan Althoff
Sound Director, Starbreeze Studios

No, this doesn't refer to what you think it does. Among programmers, "nuking" something refers to removing it completely. If you nuke an event, for example, you remove it from the game and make sure the flow stays interesting without it. It's on par with the KYD expression from marketing: "Kill Your Darlings."

But "nuking" is far from the only word in the Starbreeze patois.

"Bitrot"
A data disease that strikes when code hasn't been given its due attention in a while.

"Fniss"
Most likely a simple mistake, easily fixed once someone can be bothered to take a look at it. From the Swedish word for snickering.

"Krick" (adj. Krickad, verb Kricka or Kricka ur)
Out of whack, broken, hasn't recently been shown the appropriate amount of love. Usually the result of bitrot.

"Hirr"
Yet another in a string of indications that a particular system is a can-of-worms and in dire need of an overhaul.

"Stolpskott"
A failed action that causes some humiliation to the performer. You can also be a Stolpskott. Not a nice thing to say.

"Kodfel" (Eng. "code error" or "code problem")
The collective term for a bug or error you don't understand, or don't consider to be your responsibility. It's vaguely similar to Douglas Adams' SEP (Sombody Else's Problem).

"Steka" (Eng. "deep fry", primarily used by audio people)
The likely result of a request to make a sound BIG-GER. Usually involves pushing all sliders to their maximum value, regardless of their effect.

"Pimpa" (from Eng. verb "pimp" or "pimp out")
Inherently vague, the term refers to the subtle art of improving a sound without really doing anything. Most often, it involves moving a few elements slightly to the left, or raising the volume by an undetectable amount. Makes a huge difference.

"Tårta" (Eng. "cake")
The dreaded result of over-pimping a sound, or adding too many elements to a mix. The project then ends up in an irrevocable state of chaos. Once your mix has become a Tårta, it cannot be undone, and you have to start from scratch, usually with an inferior result.

"Priblem"
This not an expression as much as a cipher. It shouldn't be a problem to understand what the hidden word really is.

"Borken"
As part of the popular Internet misspelling conspiracy, borken really means broken and it's usually either krick or fniss.

"You're a ..."
An automatic, almost instinctive response to any question or statement that twists the reply back to the inquirer. If someone asked, "Which dialogue number is it for the VO?" he'd be answered with "You're a VO dialogue number."

Personally, I'm mostly targeted with the worldwide derogative term "fanboy" whenever people pass my desk and notice the Master Chief helmet. I've already stopped explaining why the accusations are unfair, of course. It's futile. Once the wolves find a sheep among them... Well. I think you can see the consequences.

Of course, the accusations are quite unfair and it's my hope that someone will be on my side, eventually. Until then, I'll avoid as much bitrot fniss as I possibly can by telling the responsible stolpskotts: you're a fanboy!


Staff
Posted by Venatio

Ahh, great Swedish developers

Also lol at the "N" word joke

Posted by Venatio

Ahh great Swedish developers

And also, lol at the "N" word joking

Edited by loldetaerleo

I <3 my country's developers.

Posted by stephengotlost

GiantBomb should have its own indigenous jargon as well.

Edited by theMcNasty

     I've gotta say, Vin Unleaded has certainly earned my respect as a "game developer."  I've only read positive things about how he handles the business.  I'm sure he has some happy employees.

Posted by Scooper

Your mom's a Stolpskott.

Posted by Kohe321

This game is going to be awesome!

Posted by JoelTGM

they sound like nice folks

Posted by MattBodega

These Developer diaries have been really great. Keep them coming Giant Bombistas!

Posted by VibratingDonkey

Se out spelmarket, for the vind is vänding. Hjärtligt ihjälkomna skall ni voras. Pututis?

Posted by Alphazero

nuking, bitrot, and borked are all standard programmers lingo. The rest of those... I don't speak your crazy moon language!

Posted by MeatSim

Dude you can't say the "N" word.

Posted by Johanz
VibratingDonkey:
Haxelvax pututis!

Good articles, man, with games like Riddick, Bionic Commando, etc, it makes me proud to be swedish. :)
Posted by El_Dom

All of these have been really cool and interesting. Lookin forward to the next one.

Posted by Brackynews

Bork bork bork!!

Posted by maladjusted

Så många svenskar på GB? Kanske inte så överaskande... Besudla lutan? Skämkligt!

Us Swedes should stick to three things:
1. Developing games
2. Making jeans
3. Promoting promiscuity

Posted by VibratingDonkey

Apparently everyone has seen Nilecity too. As it should be. Alla måste titta.

9862675. Candy.
Did you know turkisk peppar contains acidic fertilizer and can make your heart explode?

Posted by TwoOneFive

that was cool. thanks for these. even though the demo was weak and really didn't showcase what the game was all about (the stealth, for instance, felt totally useless in that demo), I can tell they are doing a good job at making another fantastic game. 

Posted by Daverix

This is really cool so many from my country on giantbomb! :D

I learned some words too there ;-)

Måste ju bara använda ordet fniss istället för bugg :D

Posted by JudgeDread

med klubba!

Posted by Lilja

Indeed, det bara sprutar svenskar :P

Posted by Mepsipax

Precis vad vi behövde, fler korkade slangutryck :p

"Har du vart i Göteborg? Ne de har du inte. Har du nånsinn slängt en cementblandare längre än femti meter? Ne de har du inte. Har du nånsinn satt på en chilensk städkärring så att trosorna åkte me in? Ne.. ne men se där då vaaaaa du ju en överklasskärring iallafall!"

Btw, it's not that mean to call anyone a stolpskott, we barely use the expression anymore. The best equivalent for you crazy yanks would be "a swing and a miss". Not tha you can actually call anyone that but both are sports references and virtually means the same thing. ( To atempt to score and fail... but in different sports.)

Posted by SamuSlave

The Starbreeze Studios are a racist.

Posted by BrainSpecialist

Is it just me, or that dude in the top right picture, does that look like Tom Morello?

Posted by twillfast

Omgazee. We're all swedish?
I think our language and candy needs to be brought up even more often on this site.

Posted by GeekDown

Verkar ju krylla av svenskar här på GB...

Posted by Regal

Det är många svenskar på FB. Om du går in på google trends och söker på Giantbomb så är Sverige en av de stora länderna som googlar GB. Vi är alltså något överrepresenterade av någon anledning.


(Sweden is for some unknown reason overrepresented on giantbomb, which can be seen  using google trends. I guess this is why stories like this gets approval on giantbomb.
Posted by SuperfluousMoniker

Remembering "Stolpskott" for the next time someone dies during a quick look...

Posted by wings

why is Tom Morello the lead picture for this story?

Edited by Venatio

Jag visste att det fanns massor av svenskar på den här sidan men inte såhär många, bra att veta att många svenskar gillar den här sidan, var många av er möjligtvis på Gamespot förut? Starbreeze ä grymma, ja längtar tills det här spelet kommer ut

Yes I wrote in swedish above there, just wondering some things about the swedes on the site and pointing out that alot of swedish people are on this site

Posted by floodiastus

Haha soft, mer svenskar :D

Posted by zoozilla

That's awesome.

I wish all game devs were from Sweden.

Posted by Mepsipax

Here's an example of a stolpskott; the Battlestar Galactica finale.

I wonder if it's just Tom or if all members of RATM are in Dark Athena. Hell, why not throw in Chris Cornell while they're at it.

And a little Swedish; Åsnan känns igen på öronen, den dumme på sina ord.

Posted by TheTemplar

Good stuff.

Posted by Kazona

GB is being invaded by Sweden!

Posted by GastenX

Too many Swedes at GiantBomb.. they're turning the comments into TÅRTA!

Woohoo.. Orminge representerar! Östra sidan äger.

Posted by Media_Master

yup

Posted by TheSmilingDude

This was a good read, and great in-house slang :) Kudos and good luck to Starbreeze 

Posted by FragArt1st

I hope they delivers.