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Problem:

I'm working on coding a few light-weight touch-tablet games and often get stuck with difficulties naming my user interaction/interface classes and their relationships with each other (architecture?). I'm rarely satisfied with any of my solutions, thus doubt and change them several times on down the line. For example, I have a board game with these components (among others):

  • "HUD" - the HUD frames the view of the game world thus enabling user interaction
  • "boardOverlay" - this is invisible and lies on top of the viewed game world. It receives and interprets touches, consequently calling methods in "thinger".
  • "board" - maintains all elements on the board.
  • "thinger" - the class that gets things done, changes game state. I call it thinger since I dont know what it should be called. Better to have a non-descript name than one that will be misinterpreted.

Searching for enlightenment:

Now I would like to have general/abstract names/architecture for these components which will likely be used in many other games/apps. But I have difficulty coming up with satisfying ones. I have searched the net many a time for guidelines/advice but I find that all of the sources are language/technology/API specific and seldom like their approach.

I don't know the name of this discipline/practice to search for for enlightenment. I have tried "event driven framework", "event driven naming conventions", "GUI architecture", "+oop +GUI +taxonomy"... on and on .... .... with no luck.

Question1:

Can anyone provide a resource to enlighten me? A technology independent resource that philosophizes about this type of naming and architecture.

Extra credit question:

It would also be great with a reliable/concise resource discussing practices/disciplines of this context? There are too many different and overlapping usages/interpretations out there. Example: GUI framework, GUI architecture, GUI structure, GUI design - what should the proper usage of these terms be?

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2 Answers 2

Have you heard about the Model View Controller (MVC) Architectural Pattern? Maybe it would help you to name things clearer if you apply this pattern to your software architecture/design.

If i would apply this pattern to your components i would do it like that:

  • HUD = Hud View

  • boardOverlay = Board Controller

  • board = Board View if it's main task is rendering, Model otherwise

  • thinger = Game Controller

Hope this helps.

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Just what I was looking for. "Architectural Pattern" is just right. My HUD however will offer touch input as well as provide output. So I will have to think about whether "view" is the right pattern for that. Thank you much JoR. –  Amoxus Feb 19 '12 at 10:50
    
Thanks. You could create a HudView for rendering the actual values of the HUD and a HUDController for getting the inputs. –  JoR Feb 21 '12 at 15:53

If not by MVC, maybe you can separate them logical layers and name them as such? GUI, Middleware, DataAccess, Security, etc.

Personally, I would try and follow an architectural pattern or see if your implementation fits any existing pattern. From there you can use their naming structure and go from there.

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Architectural pattern it is. Thanks johnofcross. –  Amoxus Feb 19 '12 at 10:51

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