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The following tags:

(total of 350 questions) are all mostly about the Entity Component System architecture.

Although is the most popular and has the best wiki summary, I suggest merging them into a new tag: .

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I wonder if there's value in entity-system versus entity-component-system though (where the distinction is that the first one is about entity systems that don't involve the currently in-vogue component-based model)? Is there another tag we could use to express that? Does it not really matter? My concern is mainly because undoing that merge later is much harder, so I'd rather we make sure we want to do this; if anybody has thoughts please post an answer. \$\endgroup\$ – Josh Jun 12 '15 at 21:36
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    \$\begingroup\$ (I agree that entity and entity-component are silly.) \$\endgroup\$ – Josh Jun 12 '15 at 21:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Kromster Is your intention to 'revive' the debate? \$\endgroup\$ – Vaillancourt Feb 8 '17 at 12:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ @AlexandreVaillancourt My intention is to attract more attention to this question and make it done as proposed. \$\endgroup\$ – Kromster says support Monica Feb 8 '17 at 12:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ That said, there seems to be some argument for some tag change, here. If we come to any conclusion involving tag change, we should make the two related questions duplicates of this one, as one is an obvious duplicate, and the other is older but appears contradictory to this question. \$\endgroup\$ – Gnemlock Feb 8 '17 at 23:34
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Gnemlock You're right, they're not duplicate, they're touching the same tags, but are not duplicate. \$\endgroup\$ – Vaillancourt Feb 9 '17 at 0:55
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In reference to Josh Petrie's comment, I think is silly.

When referring to an entity in the context of an Entity-Component-System architecture, for instance, the role of the Entity is quite agreed upon.

So in the context of the tags and , we have a good idea of what the entity there will be used for.

But when we use entity by itself, what does it mean? What is its role?

IMHO, when it is used on its own, it's generally used in the context of a set of parameters and features that form a whole; I see it as a synonym of object, game object, agent, etc.

Used in that context, we already have the tag , which, IMHO, would be equivalent.

Thus I don't really see why we need to keep the tag entity.

I think the questions that have the tag entity should be revised one by one, and re-tagged , or gameobject, (or just removed) depending on the content of the question.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ And I don't really see what would entity-component be about. \$\endgroup\$ – Vaillancourt Feb 9 '17 at 1:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ I would assume entity-component is about either the individual components making up the entity, or an entity based component system. \$\endgroup\$ – Gnemlock Feb 9 '17 at 3:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Gnemlock Would it be different than something tagged component-based? \$\endgroup\$ – Vaillancourt Feb 9 '17 at 3:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ Possibly, in a broad sense, yes. The two are not mutual. Thats the main reason I am hesitant to the idea of using synonyms; that said, it might have a better functional impact, if we clarify that the two are not generally synonyms (and we just bundle them together for the purpose of questions) in the usage guideline. \$\endgroup\$ – Gnemlock Feb 9 '17 at 3:40
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I agree with Alexandre Vaillancourt, in regards to the tag. However, I think we should discuss all tags within the scope; it seems redundant to make decisions on replacing a tag, when we are still discussing potential removal of the possible replacement tag.

I think a couple of the tags can be improved in order to assist usage, either through synonyms or usage clarification. I am going to bring up another tag, as I feel it works well as a potential synonym.


: A previous question raised issues in regards to confusion with the correct usage, suggesting it as a synonym for . I feel that the answer applies to this context, and highlights a common relation:

I don't think all entity systems are component based. Common consensus at this point in time might be to steer people who are asking about non-component-based entity systems towards component based systems, but I wouldn't call them synonyms.
- answered Apr 23 '12 at 14:14 by Tetrad♦


  • : I think we should keep this tag. However, we should amend the usage guidelines. The guideline should address the fact that entity systems are not always component based, and suggest additional use of the tag, if the user is specifically asking in context of a component based entity system.
  • : I do not think we should implement this tag. Between and , we have this covered. Furthermore, the two are not necessarily linked, so the single tag would not actually replace the two separate tags.
  • : I see this going one of two ways, but ultimately, I do not think we need this tag for the same reason we do not need the tag. Given that the context appears to be specific to component-based entity systems, the questions using this tag should use the and tags. I think it might be easier to simply merge the tag into (specifically because it has more relevance to an entity system than a component-based system), but we should consider any potential to confuse users who note that we have the two as synonyms, and thus assume that they are synonyms by definition and not by definition of how people are using the tags, themselves.
  • : As per Alexandre Vaillancourt's answer, we should assess each question. Some questions appear more relevant to , in which case, they should be re-tagged. Ultimately, I feel this tag should be made a synonym of , once the prior cleanup is complete.

While we are on the subject; I can find a couple more tags that somewhat fall into the context of this discussion. However, for the purpose of quality control, my stance is that we should clean up the tags already discussed before involving others. That said, when this reaches a resolution I am happy with, I might bring the other tags to the attention of meta, to ensure we are directing users and questions in the right place.

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Quoting Tetrad's answer on the similarity between and (or ??):

I don't think all entity systems are component based. Common consensus at this point in time might be to steer people who are asking about non-component-based entity systems towards component based systems, but I wouldn't call them synonyms.

And Josh Petrie's answer on merging re-tagging questions that have a both and or both and into a new entity-component-system:

Not all entity systems are component-based, and not all component-based code is an entity system.

I don't think it would be wise to merge all of the three tags into a single entity-component-system.

What we need is a better description for each tag.

I would have suggested to introduce a new tag entity-component-system (I already did :P), but, again, quoting (myself):

Here is what an ECS is:

enter image description here

(Image source)

By this, I mean that every dev and every company has its own view of what an ECS is or should be.

The tag would either be too specific or too broad. So I don't think we should introduce a new tag entity-component-system either.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I think the image makes the point confusing. The metaphor from the image does not really apply well to humans, given reasonable understanding in a programming environment. That said, I agree with not introducing entity-component-system, albeit for different reason. \$\endgroup\$ – Gnemlock Feb 9 '17 at 3:42

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