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In the early days of video games, the entire game could (and indeed had to) fit into memory at the same time. However, as game data grew larger, this became impractical. So game developers found ways of making games that only use a portion of the game's full data at any one time during gameplay, to avoid loading screens.

The necessary outgrowth of this is the fact that a game must swap this data out with other game data as needed. For example, if the player leaves a room, the old room's data has to go away, so that the new room data can be loaded. Therefore, there is a point in time when neither room is fully there; the new data is partially overwriting the old. Without Dynamic Loading, the player would be unable to play the game while loading occurs.

In the days of cartridge-based games, the time to load information was on the order of milliseconds; a blank screen for a couple of frames was sufficient. But data had to be decompressed before being run. While some games actually had load times (a few SNES games for example), as the size of games grew, larger storage was needed. And as is unfortunately the usual case for computers, larger storage is usually slower storage. But at least HDD is faster than optical media, and Solid State Drives are changing the game when it comes to how levels are built and structured in system memory.

If a game designer simply accepts that it will take 5 seconds to load an area's data, you get Loads and Loads of Loading. More reasonable game designers compensate for this with Dynamic Loading, sometimes called "streaming". The ultimate idea is that the player is able to play while it loads data in and out as the player moves and interacts throughout the environment.

There are many techniques used to affect a relatively seamless loading experience. They can be divided into several categories, several of which can be used at once:

Dynamic Loading Corridors

If you have two fairly large areas, and the player needs to move between them, add a smaller third area between them. While the player is in this interim section, the first area can be overwritten with the second.

This has one major concern: what happens if the player happens to reach the other end of the corridor before that area is finished loading? There are several solutions:

  • Winding Corridors: Make the Dynamic Loading Corridor really long and, importantly, have a snaking bend or two. The player will be unable to get to the other end before the data is ready, and if there are high walls they can't see both ends at the same time (one or both may be missing). May also be a Space-Filling Path.
  • Speed Bumps - Rather than making the corridor longer, throw stuff at the player for them to clear first. This can be enemies that must be defeated, timed traps, timed doors, vertical movement, and so on. Another common method is to have the player squeeze through a tight space: the slow movement will give the next area time to load in, and the wall itself will mean the player can't see all of the next/previous area.
  • Dynamic Loading Trot: Globally drop the player's movement speed, so that the player can't get to the other end too fast. This can also double as an example of Expository Gameplay Limitation, depending on the context. It's also occasionally used for in-engine cutscenes so that they have all their assets loading in before the player triggers it.
  • Limited Sprint: A perhaps more tolerable form of Dynamic Loading Trot. The player character can temporarily move at a faster pace than the streaming can allow, but the pace slows down in the corridor.
  • Dynamic Loading Fail / Hitbox First: Accept that a speedrunning player may occasionally go too fast for your engine, and load the most important data first as a failsafe. This includes at least the basic geometry, their hitboxes, and low-quality textures. Then, just make sure your corridors are long enough/the player's movement is slow enough that this basic info will be in memory in time. While the player is in the new area, simply allow more geometry and better textures to pop in as needed.
  • Hard Stop: if all else fails, you'll have to resort to freezing the player. This can be having the character appear to trip over and take a while to get up, or it can be as blunt as freezing the game and adding an emergency loading bar on screen.

Sit and Wait

These techniques have the player wait around in the level itself while part of it is loaded ahead of them, usually behind a door or in an elevator. These can be combined with Dynamic Loading Corridors to make "airlock" rooms that the player has to pass through when going from one area to another. This technique wasn't initially noticed at first, but after a few years players caught on to why they were there and became frustrated at having to sit through them, because doing nothing is the same as if it was a loading screen anyway.

  • Loading Doors: A door that takes an unusually long time before it opens up. This is often explained in-universe, such as having a long unlocking sequence or the character having to hack the door open. Not so bad if the wait is a second or two, but if it takes ten seconds for a door to open, the player will realize this trope is exactly why these doors take so long. Can also be combined with a Dynamic Loading Corridor so that the previous area can be dumped from memory first.
  • Elevators: The load is disguised by having the player sit in an elevator (which may or may not actually be moving). Functionally the same as Loading Doors, but with elevator music and maybe some banter between those present in the lift. If you're lucky, the elevator will have a big window so you at least have an interesting view while moving, which sometimes pushes it into the realm of...

Fixed Paths

This method affects the game design more deeply. What you do is fix the player's path, to some degree, so that you know that the player must go from A to B to C in order. In this way, every area is a Dynamic Loading Corridor.

The more you fix the player's path, the more you can be assured that your streaming will work out. And thus the more detail you can throw at players.

There are several degrees of this:

  • Limited Paths: An apparently wide-open area has only a few relatively narrow paths the player can travel on. This is the root cause of many an Invisible Wall and Insurmountable Waist-High Fence. Racing games are made of this trope, but using tunnels and geography to obscure parts of the world are very common in open-world games of all stripes.
  • Grind Rails - A quicker form of Limited Paths. The path is well-defined, known in advance, extremely narrow, fixed speed, and often one-way, making for most efficient Dynamic Loading. Permits faster travel, or more detail, as desired. Can also take the form of riding a small craft: if it lacks walls or a roof, it can be combined with Scenic-Tour Level to show off the rest of the level.

Progressive Loading

Rather than try to load everything at once, load only what's actually necessary to play the game, even during gameplay. Depending on the situation, either load everything else that's needed or continue loading only what's necessary. This can help keep the game feeling more responsive at the cost of potentially jarring, but very infrequent, graphical artifacts (which will be nonexistent in well-made games these days). This technique is practically required for open-world games given how, well, open they are, making it impossible to predict in advance where the player will go.

  • Asset Pop-in: In some games, graphical assets are loaded in their lower quality state first, if they're loaded in at all. Then after the game is done "loading" and the player can interact with it, start loading in higher quality assets and plop them in as necessary. Commonly used in modern open world games. So when you first start off, you might see buildings and characters gradually pop-in or textures looking muddy before sharpening as their higher resolution versions come in.
  • Partial loading: Some assets can be massive in size by themselves. For example, say you have a giant texture map of the world so you're not relying so much on piecing together multiple textures together. But you can't load this texture map all at once because it's simply too large and there's a good chance that most of it isn't going to be used. So instead of loading the entirety of the texture map, load only the chunks that's needed.

Games with static loading have more obvious loading, but can avert some of the tropes above.



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     Video Game Examples A-B 
  • The PlayStation game The Adventure of Little Ralph, released only in Japan, has a feature reminiscent of Sonic the Hedgehog 3: seamlessly interconnected levels. Once a player finishes a level, the game takes control of Ralph, moving him at a moderate speed, until the game data is loaded. Each level is connected through featureless corridors that match the decor of the next level.
  • Batman: Arkham Asylum uses many of these tricks to keep loading stalls to a minimum. The larger outdoor areas are divided by simpler corridors, doors could open faster or slower depending on how much loading is left to be done for the room on the other side, and in the worst case if Bats runs fast enough in some places he'll outright stall for a second while the game halts to catch back up. He's also forcibly slowed to a stoic walk whenever receiving a radio conversation. This is repeated in Batman: Arkham City; however, with much more of the roaming being done by grapple-hooking between buildings, it becomes rather noticeable when the game freezes for a second as you zip into an unloaded area.
  • An impressive feat for a fully 3D MMORPG first released in 1999, Asheron's Call does all of its loading transparently. Travelling via portal is the only loading screen you'll see in this game, and even the fact that it IS a loading screen isn't obvious. Simply running across the landscape, the content streams from the hard drive and servers as it's needed. Keep in mind this game was designed originally to run comfortably on dial up.
  • After the PS1 port of Blood Omen suffered from Loads and Loads of Loading, Crystal Dynamics took a different approach to Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver by streaming the entire game world as you played, loading new areas into memory as you opened doors and walked through long corridors. To give itself just enough time to load up the area behind the door, the game would conveniently present the door-opening cutscene from a high viewpoint to show as little of the unprepared area as possible. However, in the rare areas where the player can manage to move into a new area too quickly for the game to process, the game will halt the player's actions and display a screen which reads "streaming" until the area is loaded.
  • Modern beatmania IIDX games let you fill time during the song loading by giving you the chance to adjust your Hi-Speed and visibility options. You can adjust them in mid-song too, but you want to make these adjustments before the song begins, as you can't pause the game. If Hell Charge Notes are present in the chart you've chosen, you'll be alerted of them and will be given a brief demonstration of how they work. If you're still adjusting your options when the song is loaded, the game will give you a little extra time, or as much time as you need if you're playing consumer versions.
  • Borderlands uses a loading screen when the player moves to a new region and when the area is loaded, there is usually a case of texture loading failure since the game renders mostly the models and props first while using a low resolution texture for the models until everything is loaded. Thankfully this is extremely brief. And when loading a game or using New U Stations to warp, you are treated to a "warping sequence", which is masquerade for the texture loading.
  • Burnout Paradise uses dynamic loading, very noticeable when choosing a car at the junkyard (whenever you select a car, an off-screen crane drops it on the road, about 10 seconds after you asked for it).

     Video Game Examples C-D 
  • Castlevania:
    • Castlevania loaded the screen tile by tile in vertical columns; screwing with this process allows for Simon to keep climbing staircases that should have terminated (most infamously, for the final ascent to fight Dracula, but this can also be done to shortcut platforming elsewhere).
    • Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, the first Metroidvania installment in Castlevania series, had the different areas of the castle connected by dark hallways exactly one screen long. By the time the player could walk from one side of the hall to the other, the next level would be finished loading. The hallways even had a "CD" engraving in the middle of the screen letting you know it was loading from CD. These halls are also in many of the Game Boy Advance and DS installments of the series, despite being on cartridges that have much faster load time as it turned out that abruptly moving from one area to the next was rather jarring.
    • Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, which is a God of War clone rather than a metroidvania, has Patrick Stewart narrate as if a silent observer while a level loaded. You can end this prematurely if the level finishes loading before he's done, but why would you?
    • Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2, which does not have Stewart's narration in the same way, makes use of the Speed Bumps variant: a few hallways filled with lava have platforms that slide into place as the next area loads (with a dose of Dynamic Loading Trot), you use various objects to close the door behind you and 'decontaminate' or otherwise animate the environment before the door in front of you opens, and more Dynamic Loading Trot as you transition from castle to city and back.
  • Civilization had a text-based description of the creation of the world play while the game world was loading. Civilization IV has a similar sequence, with narration by Leonard Nimoy.
    • You could not skip the intro in the original game on older machines.
  • The Conduit uses featureless hallways, sewer pipes, or corridors to disguise mid-level streaming of upcoming areas.
  • Crash Bandicoot
    • The original Crash Bandicoot (1996) was ground-breaking at the time for how it dynamically loaded chunks of a level into memory as you moved through it, making it Progressive Loading. Importantly, load times were only five seconds long because the console would only have to load the start of a level, compared to 30-40 for most other games to load the whole level at once (this also meant that they could vastly exceed the size of the PlayStation 1's RAM, because not all of it would be loaded in at once). This feat was so impressive that other developers thought they hacked the console or were given secret development tools from Sony.
    • Crash Team Racing uses the Winding Corridor variant between hub areas. For the most part it's pretty seamless, but there are a couple of places where the textures in the corridor change slightly once the next hub loads, and in at least one spot it's possible to park with your kart angled in such a way that you're able to see that the corridor you're heading down has nothing at the other end.
    • Crash Twinsanity, being the first free-roaming game in the series, was highly succeptible to Dynamic Loading Fail - usually, levels would load during travel between linear tunnels, but if the player moves too fast for the game to load itself properly, Crash simply falls on his ass in a time-consuming animation if the player crosses the border too early...and he'll keep doing it until the level loads.
  • Comes in two flavors in Darksiders. The named (and large) locations are connected by long, winding areas, with some enemies, simple puzzles and items to mask their true purpose, and sometimes manage to be interesting places on their own. You can also use Serpent Tunnels to teleport between locations... but it forces you to walk through a series of featureless platforms suspended in a void, essentially an interactive progress bar. In both cases, the game opts for a momentary freeze, if the player moves too fast.
  • The Dark Souls series, its predecessor Demon's Souls, and its goth cousin Bloodborne all feature large, sprawling levels, some interconnecting directly through unusual paths. Its favoured method of dynamic loading is extremely slow-to-open doors. This not only helps buy time for loading the next level, it can also trap the player while the ravenous horde of monsters approaches.
  • The Dead Space series is an example of very well implemented dynamic loading. It uses pretty much every trick mentioned above, but in such away that it doesn't detract from the experience at all. In the first game, the only really long loads are between stages(and they're still MUCH shorter than most games, plus they allow you to save in the meantime). The second one practically has no pauses at all.
  • Descent used a variant of the "Winding Corridor": whenever you enter a given room, the game immediately pre-loads all adjacent rooms. The result is completely seamless gameplay, even on the original DOS computers the game was made for. Although it does still have to give you a loading screen at the very beginning of each level, for the opening room.
  • Diablo II has so called "Black walls" in multiplayer, but they only appear if there is lag. Without lag, the loading happens fast enough that you will practically never notice it.
  • Doomł has a lot of speed bumps, such as waiting for a ladder to drop or door to unlock while fighting Demonic Spiders, and winding corridors and limited paths.
  • In the PSP port of Disgaea 2, attempting to utilize any spells requires the game to load it from the disc. It tricks you by the players character often doing a wind-up animation, with the monster units using the sprite animation from launching spells to indicate they are prepping to attack, or with the human units simply spinning their weapon around like they are winding up. After a while, though, a player will realize it is loading since the load time for the attacks varies between attacks even for the same special.
  • Early use of this was in the C64 version of Dragon's Lair and its sequel, Escape from Singe's Castlenote . The game would load the next level in the background while playing the current one. The loading screen would show up only, if the game hadn't finished loading before completing the level. Apparently Readysoft also used streaming during gameplay in the Amiga versions of Dragon's Lair, its sequel and Space Ace.
  • Driver 2 had nasty Dynamic Loading Fail where certain scenery would fail to draw in, allowing you to fall through the ground into the void of death below.
  • Dungeon Siege Ironically, on newer systems the loading system can glitch resulting in the player reaching the edge of the map. This requires a reload. Additionally, if the player is strapped for cash they have to leave one party member to guard the loot while another character walks back and forth to the nearest shop, otherwise it will be cleared from memory as soon as it is out of sight.
  • The PSP iterations of the Dynasty Warriors series uses dynamic loading to get pass the fact that normally there are usually hundreds of AI controlled units loaded on a single map at one time. Instead of loading the entire battlefield, the game loads only 1 area at a time. You conquer each area and eventually conquer the entire battlefield.

     Video Game Examples E-F 
  • The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion uses Dynamic Loading for running around in outdoor areas. The 360 version has a bad case of Dynamic loading Fail if you move too fast.
    • You still get a loading screen when moving from one area to another in any other case (entering/leaving dungeons or cities, fast traveling, etc). If you're on a PC with enough memory, and the game is configured to use it, recently visited areas will be kept in memory (as long as there's enough of it), and returning to them will often skip the loading screen.
    • If you max-out your athletics, and you're traveling in a particular direction (so you aren't hitting the dynamic loading areas edge-on but "cornering" them), it's possible to get a loading screen in Oblivion's wilderness, even on PC. Just unlikely.
    • Every Bethesda game across both the Elder Scrolls and Fallout franchises has used Dynamic Loading in their exterior open world areas. The open world maps are broken up into distinct "cells", which are loaded in a radius around the player as he approaches them and then unloaded when he moves further away, with views of areas outside this cell radius being taken by basic terrain textures and paper doll graphics that require minimum processing. Interestingly, the radius of cells loaded around the player can be modified in most games' configuration files, though doing so will most likely introduce Game Breaking Bugs, as cutscenes or other events that trigger when the cell is loaded near the player will instead trigger upon loading when the player is much farther away.
  • Fallout: New Vegas divides its main overworld into cells connected by Limited Paths, hence the large number of insurmountable hills. A few indoor areas are also dynamically loaded (i.e. no Loading Screen, but you have to wait when opening a certain door, etc.). When Dynamic Loading Fail occurs, low-res or glitched textures result, and objects can be seen "popping in" in the distance.
  • Fallout 4, when taking an elevator between areas that would otherwise require a Loading Screen, utilizes dynamic loading in its place. The larger the cell being entered, the longer the elevator ride, especially when going from interior to exterior.
  • Fifa games allow you to have a one-on-one with the goalie, while NCAA and NBA Live 10 allow you to shoot some hoops.
  • Final Fantasy XIII has this on the odd occasion. If you move back and forth between two separate areas, then try to proceed into one of them the game will occasionally hit you in the face with an invisible wall and a small "Loading" sign in the corner.
  • Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: The Crystal Bearers streams most of its loading screens by preloading everything, and indicating it's done by a door ahead of you opening. There's still some spots that give you the familiar Now Loading text though.
  • Final Fantasy XII has a variant of the Unreal Engine 3 Dynamic Loading Fail. After you enter an area, Non Player Characters suddenly pop into existence as they finish loading. In busier areas this can take 10-15 seconds.
  • Final Fantasy VII was particularly sneaky about its load times. When entering a battle, there is a Fight Woosh animation that takes up a few seconds, and then when the battle starts, the camera begins focused on only one side of the fight, giving the game a couple more seconds to load the other side's models. Even the "charging up to use magic" animation is taken advantage of to allow the game time to load whatever spell was being cast.
  • Final Fantasy VIII wasn't exactly slow when it came to loading, but it did kinda do this whenever you challenge someone to a game of Triple Triad (the card game). It takes almost 30 seconds to load the card game which is usually over in 60, and strangely enough, it starts out by letting you hear the background music for the card game, before the game is even loaded completely. That's right. It loads the music first, despite the fact that it isn't necessary.
  • Fire Emblem: Three Houses usually has quick loading times for pretty much everything in-game, except when trying to enter the Cathedral when exploring the Monastery. The player is barred from entering it by a portcullis, until the area is loaded. It can take a while.
  • Dissidia Final Fantasy has some pretty long loading times as well, but at least, the ones before combat are pretty well-concealed. The game allows you to take a look at the enemy's stats, equipment and accessories before the battle begins, so most players don't notice the "Now Loading" icon in the bottom-right corner.
  • The platform game Flushed Away, based on the movie of the same name, hid Dynamic Loading Corridors in sewer pipes. It also had Grind Rails for speed through long complex areas, to a rockin' soundtrack no less.
  • The reason spells had charge time in Final Fantasy Tactics was to disguise the animation's loading times.
  • Fuel uses procedural map generation, due to its incredibly massive environment.
  • In both Freelancer and the X-Universe series, star systems were connected by hyperspace gates so a wormhole animation played while loading.

     Video Game Examples G-H 
  • God of War received a LOT of technical applause for being a console disc game with almost no loading. Its many, many battles rely heavily on Instant Enemies, presumably to enable this.
    • As well, the game will freeze and load should the player backtrack through previously explored areas. However, since it doesn't feature Respawning Enemies, and since often Kratos destroys said areas, this need to load is quite rare.
    • The first two games relied heavily on Dynamic Loading Trot and Limited Sprint.
      • Kratos' top running speed is a moderate trot. It's so slow that some enemies can catch up and pass him while they're moving backward.
      • His roll moves are much quicker, but have a long recovery time (Limited Sprint) to prevent players from outrunning the Dynamic Loading. Never the less, it's possible to abuse glitches to roll almost continually, generally resulting in a "Loading" message before long.
    • When the high-definition remastered God of War Collection was released on one PlayStation 3 Blu Ray disc, "outrunning the dynamic loading" became more common, leading to more frequent loading pauses.
    • God of War (PS4) is able to utilize a fast travel system with a game that is one continuous shot by using loading corridors. When Kratos fast travels to another location, he is shunted to Yggdrasil first, a small area that loops endlessly until the new location is loaded, at which point a door appears. This is most noticeable in the late game, as earlier fast travel will have conversations between Kratos, Atreus, and Mimir fill the void. Do it enough, and they'll have nothing left to say, calling attention to the emptiness of the sequence.
      • Additionally, Kratos and Atreus will frequently encounter tight spaces, narrow ledges, and huge rocks blocking their path. The first two are trots, lowering movement speed (with one exception, where transforming a ledge to a proper walkway is part of a timed puzzle). The latter is a stop as Kratos' lifts the stone clear, albeit a much shorter one than the crawlspaces.
    • This approach was repeated verbatim in God of War Ragnarök, due to it being one of the last games released on the PS4.
  • GoldenEye (Wii) uses a combination of Fixed Paths, Winding Corridors, Elevators, and Speed Bumps.
  • Grand Theft Auto (from Grand Theft Auto III onwards).
    • Chinatown Wars for Nintendo DS has no loading screens. Going too fast can cause you to arrive in a gray, featureless place until the landscape loads, though - this could be the result of the DS not having enough time to decompress the graphics.
    • Due to the disc only nature of consoles, it was not uncommon to see loading screens when passing into new zones. The PC versions of all GTA games avoided this — mostly due to having it installed on a hard drive — although occasionally a loading screen may flash on the screen unreadably fast anyway (this happens in Vice City when you go from one island to the next and is probably a glitch).
    • Sometimes you could simply sink under the road or fall into nothingness due to a Dynamic Loading Fail, which is more common when using modifications or running games on newer consoles.
    • Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas streamed the entire game world on the fly, which was several times larger than Liberty City or Vice City. In doing this it put a lot of strain on the PS2's already fragile DVD laser and was the death of many a console.
    • Grand Theft Auto IV, at the time of its PC release, had a bug where dual-core systems would hang the disk thread after a period of time, leaving you driving on invisible roads above a blurry low LoD ocean. This was fixed relatively quickly in a patch.
  • In Halo, some parts of the level load as you walk along. Shown by Loading... done for about half a second each time a part of the level loads - it's almost seamless.
    • The first game has a lot of Winding Corridors, eg on "Assault on the Control Room" and "The Library". Limited Paths (sometimes involving "kill barriers") and Space Filling Paths are also often used, as well as Loading Barriers, elevator action sequences, and Speed Bumps (airlocks, timed doors, Hold the Line sequences). Sequence Breaking can lead to Dynamic Loading Fail.
    • Future titles would have maps load in the menus, so you could tweak the settings while the game loads. Or just sit there, and listen to the kick ass menu music.

     Video Game Examples I-J 
  • inFAMOUS did this pretty well, hiding it behind cutscenes.
  • Jak and Daxter took advantage of Limited Sprint - Jak 'trips' if he runs too far in a single direction. Often, however, this needed several flips to manage, and unless you know what you're looking for.
    • Ironically, the second and third games actually took a step backwards in this respect, as they had more blatant "airlock" doors at points that took several seconds to open.
  • Jedi Fallen Order does this whenever you travel in between worlds. As you're going from one part of the galaxy to the next, you're free to chat with your crew members about the next mission, customize your lightsaber, save your game, upgrade your abilities, and check on your hydroponics collection, among others.
  • Jet Grind Radio

     Video Game Examples K-L 
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • The Legend of Zelda has a brief pause when you move to the next room or area, which is used to load the next area plus whatever enemies that are there. Sometimes the enemy data takes longer to load than normal and causes the sprite to appear as a puff of smoke until the sprite is fully loaded. This can also happens to the NPCs you meet in caves and you can't move until they are loaded since you are usually forced to wait for their text box to finish.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time sometimes makes you walk along short "hallways" between two rooms (only if there is no door to separate the rooms) so the next room will load if you pass a certain point in the hallway. You can get to a room without it loading it by using the levitation glitch, when you make it to the room it will be missing everything that wasn't visible in the other room. Try levitating from the main area in the Kokiri Forest to the Great Deku Tree's area and you'll be surprised by what you find... or don't find.
    • In The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker islands load while you are sailing towards them. In fact, the developers set the sailing speed as seen in the Gamecube version in order to ensure the islands do get loaded. If you somehow managed to beat out the dynamic loading, the game irised-out and reset you in your boat in the loaded quadrant without a word. With the improved hardware of the Wii U, loading has improved to the point of being able to load the entire Great Sea at once, and there is a new Swift Sail for the boat obtainable in the game.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword uses small cutscenes to mask loading times in several areas. Dungeons and other parts of the game have doors separating rooms which take ~2 seconds for Link to open while the game loads the next room. Additionally, a cutscene of Link skydiving gives the game time to load the surface world.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom's deep chasms are an obvious way to hide load times when journeying into the depths. However, you can break this by diving head-first the whole way through, making the game freeze for a bit so it can load properly.
  • Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver: Back in 1999, dynamic loading was so cutting-edge that gaming magazines wrote whole articles on how Soul Reaver's seamless game world was a revolutionary leap forward.
  • Little Computer People had a feature where the game would periodically save the state of your Little Person, so that you could pick up where you left off the next time you loaded the game. The problem was, due to how the Commodore 64 worked, the character sprite would disappear whenever the drive was writing to disk. The solution? The Little Person would take a bathroom break, shutting the door for privacy and taking the character out of sight for a few moments.
  • The Living Books games were forced to use this, since it was in the early 90's and it was complicated to find a way to load the game quickly. Very often, the game would distract us with a long animation while the game was frantically trying to get everything loaded for the next screen. Since Technology Marches On, the games being played on newer computers makes this a little bit unnecessary.
  • Luigi's Mansion has an homage or parody of this — there's a door loading animation a la Resident Evil, but you can just press the button and skip it.
  • In Luigi's Mansion 3, an elevator is used to get to different floors and as Luigi is travelling, the selected floor is loaded. Luigi can still move about and perform moves while waiting or, if kept still, begin humming the elevator music.
  • The Last of Us used Dynamic Loading Trot; sometimes sprinting would have Joel tear across the area, while other times holding L2 wouldn't even make him jog. The game also got a lot of mileage out of unskippable in-engine cutscenes. Loading only really comes from dying, and even then it's not too long.

     Video Game Examples M 
  • Mafia: The City of Lost Heaven would often have the whole city loaded all at once in FreeRide, but would dynamically load in missions, such as the ones taking place in the country.
  • Mass Effect has had a storied history with this trope. Many of these have been alleviated by the Legendary Edition on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S with their SSD loads (to the point that doors you'd use to wait behind now open up instantly like any other door).
    • The series overall uses Winding Corridors a whole lot as well as Elevators to help break levels up into manageable chunks. This was especially common in the second and third games, which added more detailed and open-air spaces, but resulted in odd layouts like Illium, where apparently the best path between two points is a Z shape.
    • Mass Effect:
      • The elevators, which set the records for being the slowest elevators in any game, ever. The elevator from C-Sec up to the Presidium could take up to two minutes to get there. Interestingly the elevator's speed is adjusted to match the loads: the lifts move slowly on PlayStation 3 but are lightning-fast on PC and PlayStation 5 (although oddly not on Xbox 360 using the Install feature). To compensate this, you'd often get an ad or character-based small talk between Squad Mates to pass the time for ten seconds (so, about a fifth of the loading time). These are part of the reason why the prompt to skip the loads in the Legendary Edition are optional: outside of being beloved by some fans, you pick up two Assignments this way and get to know your Squad.
      • Other loads aren't as lucky: the "decontamination" airlock on the Normandy serves as a loading screen in disguise, as is the elevator down to the Cargo Bay.
      • Dynamic Loading Fail - In large, detailed areas such as the Citadel Presidium, it's possible to outrun the Dynamic Loading, causing the game to pause with a "loading" message to catch up. It's also possible to get stuck in some pieces of architecture if you get there before it's fully spawned.
    • Mass Effect 2 replaced all the elevators with standard (if particularly shiny) loading screens, but still uses Dynamic Loading for the individual levels. It's possible to outrun it. Most EA games concurrent and post Mass Effect 2 throw up fancy loading screens with lore-related animations (also seen in Dragon Age 2, for example).
    • Mass Effect 3 also uses this, notably for when you access the War Room on the Normandy. The War Room offers a terminal that gives the player access to the "galactic readiness" statistics from both the single-player campaign and the percentage modifiers gained by the online multiplayer stages. Because of this, there is a scanner adjacent to the conference room where the player is forced to pause for a security scan to allow the game to connect to the game's online server and collate data and then to disconnect and release data not readily available. This is a necessary tradeoff, as the security scan loading takes place regardless of whether the player actually accesses the terminal in the War Room or not, as otherwise the loading would take place when directly accessing the terminal where it would be far more noticeable. The scanner station remains in the Legendary Edition compilation, though it no longer serves a purpose as all online multiplayer elements have been removed, meaning that only local single-player factors affect the galactic readiness score.
      • Another common tactic from 3 is the Bypass sequence, which is totally automatic, but never instant in order to cover up a load time, usually for an exciting cutscene (or just to load Liara's office).
    • Mass Effect: Andromeda uses this — to varying degrees of success — to handle transitions between sections of the expansive planets without having to put up a loading screen.
      • Unfortunately, if you drive the Nomad across large sections of the map, you can often outpace dynamic loading, leading to Dynamic Loading Fail. In some cases, the Nomad will suddenly freeze but will still sound like it's moving, as if the game has crashed, but the player can still move the camera around; then, after five to ten seconds, the world in the direction you're heading will suddenly become more detailed and the Nomad will resume movement as if nothing strange just happened.
      • Kadara provides an example of other, very unfortunate examples of dynamic loading fail. For some reason, many loading points were placed in the middle of enemy encampments/combat zones. In one case, this leads to the frustrating effect of having the map hang for loading while strifing mid-combat, then hanging AGAIN if you strife the other direction. In another case, the dynamic load actually unloads some of the enemies you were fighting, causing them to disappear and combat to abruptly end without earning any experience points.
      • Most frustratingly of all, the game does not indicate to the player _why_ the game has frozen. There is no loading animation for dynamic map loads.
  • Max Payne 3 replaces the game's famous graphic novel cutscenes with real-time cutscenes, but the game now transitions smoothly between cutscenes and gameplay with no noticeable break (often many times per level to add a more cinematic flavor). Because the cutscenes disguise loading screens, attempts to skip them are denied until the level has finished loading.
  • Levels in the original MDK were divided into several "arenas" which were connected by tunnels; the next arena was loaded when the player traversed one of these tunnels. Same applies with MDK2.
  • The 2010 Medal of Honor has dynamic loading fail of epic proportions where an entire section of a level sometimes fails to render.
  • Mega Man game for NES was originally planned as a Famicom Disk System title. The boss's animation cels would load in the empty corridor before the boss's room. The loading (but not the corridors) was scrapped when the game was ported to a cartridge. Despite this, both these corridors and miniboss rooms with black backgrounds serve as a place to swap tilemaps and background palettes cleanly, as doing so during a screen transition would corrupt the graphics of the previous room.note 
    • In the later Mega Man games for the original PlayStation, the corridor still wasn't long enough to load all data needed for the boss from the CD, leading to eight-second "WARNING" delays in Mega Man X 6.
    • The GBA and DS based Mega Man Zero and ZX games keep the "WARNING" concept, partly because it is a semi-good idea (it lets you know this isn't a mini-boss), and partly because many bosses lack the corridor room before the boss. It also pops up in SNK vs. Capcom: SVC Chaos whenever Zero fights a boss character.
    • X8 featured locked corridors within levels where you usually had to kill a wave of Mooks before the next door would open. These were probably meant to avoid loading screens within levels.
    • A brief Dynamic Loading Fail happens in Mega Man 2, between the "Boss Introduction" and "Stage Start". It is so brief that it can be seen for exactly 1/60 second, resulting in a brief flash of garbage data. And here is one example (at 1/10 of its original speed) of that error.
  • Metroid:
    • The first Metroid game has corridors before bosses to aid in loading the boss data before it starts.
    • Also in the first Metroid, the elevator rooms between areas exist as an excuse for the game to bank-switch and load the next area—in fact you can see this happen when the elevator shaft flickers and changes color at the halfway point. The so-called "Hidden Worlds" result from bypassing this bank-switching, causing the game to use room data from the wrong area.
    • The elevator sequences in the Metroid Prime Trilogy games serve this purpose. The games also have several small corridors that are either twisty, filled with obstacles, or littered with enemies. The idea is to basically slow you down enough so that the next room can be finished loading when you reach the door. Hallways like these exist because if several large rooms were directly connected to each other, the load times would significantly increase and the doors would stay closed longer until the loading was done. Small rooms/halls are used as the bridge point to connect two large rooms together without slowing down the game.
    • Metroid Prime 2: Echoes has a "travelling in a Pillar of Light" Warp Whistle in addition to its elevators, though that ability doesn't come until near the end of the game (namely when the Light Suit is acquired).
    • Metroid Prime 3: Corruption has numerous scenes of Samus's gunship sailing through the air, entering or exiting a planet's atmosphere, or of Samus herself riding a platform, train, or whatever to disguise its loading screens. A bit more varied than simple elevators, but essentially the same idea.
    • For the entire trilogy, loading of the next room doesn't start until you're in the proximity of the door, which will refuse to open until the loading is done. Players who try to bum rush past enemies will be halted by the frozen door, whereas taking time to take out enemies or simply not rushing gives the game ample time to load the room by the time you reach the door. In the first Metroid Prime, a flaw in the loading code can cause the game to freeze if the player approaches a door too quickly.
    • Metroid Prime: Hunters, as in the console trilogy, has very short hallways that act like this. Once you walk in and shoot the next door, it won't open right away. Instead, it will load the next section's data. For the case of bosses, the door before the boss will also do nothing when shot and touched until the FMV introducing the boss finishes loading.
    • Metroid: Other M also uses the above examples as well. Elevator sequences help hide loading for the next area and enemies fill corridors to delay the player so the next area will be ready. However, people who swiftly bypass enemies or blaze through the area with the Speed Booster may find the door not opening right away and the game will literally throw up a "now loading" message on screen until the data is done loading. Thankfully, those are very brief. Other M also has to load everything when you start a saved game. It disguises the loading time by giving a recap of what happened previously in the game in the form of a text scroll. Once the game is ready to start, you can skip the summary if it's still playing. The game also used literal speed bumps—little ledges Samus vaults automatically to prevent the player from using the speed booster everywhere.
  • Boss rooms are preceded by loading corridors in Smash TV for the NES.
  • In Microsoft Flight Simulator, you have an initial loading screen (which can be quite lengthy depending on your computer's speed, selected display settings and add-on scenery installed), but after that you can fly around the world (literally) without ever seeing a loading screen. If you change your location abruptly instead of flying there (e.g. by using the "go to airport" function) you end up in a very low detail environment that will get progressively better as the game loads the scenery in the background. Additionally, later versions will load the selected location while still in the menu screen to shorten the initial load.
  • Minecraft has Dynamic Loading and Dynamic Map Generation: 16 x 16 chunks of the world literally don't exist until the player gets close enough. And only the chunks near the player are being simulated. This can cause Dynamic Loading Failures if the player uses means of travel faster than walking like teleporting, full-speed minecarts, Speed potion effects, and flying in Creative mode. The world itself usually loads up in time, but animals and enemies take some time to spawn.
  • Mirror's Edge uses:
    • Elevator rides
    • Speed Bumps - e.g. waiting for a fan to shut off.
    • Dynamic Loading Fail via developer-overlooked shortcuts. Can make the next section of the level unavailable (either requiring special tactics to bypass, or making the shortcut unusable).

     Video Game Examples N-P 
  • The PSX version of Need for Speed II occasionally had Dynamic Loading Fail where you would run into the end of the loaded section and the game would temporarily freeze before loading the next section. Not to mention the horribly obvious popup.
  • NeonXSZ cuts down on the time spent in the static loading screen by having the level itself Fade In and letting the player loose while the game gets populated with friendly and hostile NPCs.
  • The first game of Team Ninja's Ninja Gaiden trilogy divides areas with door-opening cutscenes and narrow corridors. The name of the new area is displayed during the process. If Ryu manages to move forward faster than the scene can load, the game pauses with a "Now Loading" prompt.
  • Beyond the initial loading screen, Operation Flashpoint and its successor the ARMA series all exhibit near-seamless dynamic loading - on maps larger than those found in most open-world RPGs.
  • Ori and the Will of the Wisps has loading corridors (and sometimes cutscenes) between major map regions, and momentarily locks the screen scrolling if the player moves too fast for the loading to keep up. When fast-travelling via the Spirit Wells, the destination area is loaded during the warp cutscene. The Fade to White from said sequence may also be used in the event of Dynamic Loading Fail.
  • PlanetSide 2 utilizes dynamic loading to shorten the duration of its loading screens when respawning. When the game first came out, the system led to freshly logged-in players hot dropped into the combat zone landing in front of invisible enemy tanks while headless enemies sitting on a rock floating in a bottomless void mow them down with completely silent guns.
  • Pokémon has its gates, also known as guardhouses or lookout stations:
    • In Pokémon Red, Blue and Yellow, these weren't too bad, as they weren't common and usually had interesting things in them such as binoculars and people willing to make trades. On a darker note, they had superlong underground tunnels as well, which had maybe one hidden item nobody bothers looking for.
    • The remakes Fire Red and Leaf Green added eyecatches at the beginning of certain areas, viridian forest and some caves for example, that stay on the screen for a second before fading in or flashing to the actual map. These also appeared in Heartgold and Soulsilver. The Seagallop High Speed 7 was also a superfast loading screen whenever you wanted to visit the newly added Sevii islands. It was a split second long, but necessary since the Sevii Islands had their own separate map and couldn't simply be flown to.
    • Pokémon Gold, Silver and Crystal featured the guardhouses more frequently. The guardhouses from this generation generally had no other purposes.
    • Pokémon Ruby, Sapphire and Emerald eliminated guardhouses due to advances no longer making them necessary.
    • Starting in Pokémon Diamond and Pearl, Pokémon games store the full map as a grid of 32x32 sub-maps, and in addition to the sub-map the one the player character is in, it attempts to keep the adjacent ones loaded (similar to the Luigi's Mansion example). This can result in Dynamic Loading Fail (a.k.a."Tweaking") if the player rides a bike at top speed then makes a sudden 90-degree turn so as to trigger a load immediately before turning and another load immediately after the turn.note  This technique rendered the guardhouses unnecessary except when loading towns, which sometimes had unique textures that needed to be loaded.
    • The Guardhouses return in Pokémon Black and White since the areas are much more unique and a lot of them use dynamic camera angles to show off Scenery Porn. A strange case of this is applied to the first bridge in the game, the Skyarrow Bridge. Unlike all the other bridges, there are no trainers or interesting Non Player Characters or even items, the entire thing is a really long case of showing off as the cameras zip around while you're walking, running or biking through. There's a guardhouse before it, probably to load it, then another guardhouse afterwards which is probably used in conjunction with the bridge itself to load the next town, a sprawling metropolis that's the biggest city in the series that is itself divided into long streets.
    • In general, the game also loads whichever area you're going to with escape ropes, Dig, Teleport or Fly. In the first generation games, the game stayed on a blank screen for a split second during the transition, but this is not noticeable in the later games as they use longer but cool looking animations of flying to a different area. Flying to a big area with a unique camera angle in black and White also took a second to zoom out after landing as well. Battles are also loaded throughout the series with battle swirls, but apparently not so in Black and White, which sometimes lags for about 5 seconds before the battle swirl. Roaming Legendaries use an extra long battle swirl, however, as it also loads the current state of the legendary, which carries over from the previous time it ran away.
  • Portal had the elevator behind the emancipation grille at the end of each area, and Portal 2 had the red/green light doors with the short corridor behind them.

     Video Game Examples Q-S 
  • The first two Quake games used the Winding Corridors method, in addition to elevators and speed bumps. The PSX version of the second game has somewhat jarring loading screens mid-level, due to RAM limitations.
  • Quake IV not only has Loads and Loads of Loading between levels, but also dynamic loading enforced by unskippable cutscenes, long elevator rides, and Speed Bumps such as time-locked doors, NPC roadblocks, and more egregiously, invisible walls.
  • Ratchet & Clank series
    • Elevators -
      • They're usually outside, where they act as one-way speed bumps.
      • The "Cage Match!" transition is a form of Elevator.
    • Grind Rails - The Trope Namer for Grind Boots.
    • Limited Paths - done well in the first two games.
    • Limited Sprint - Charge Boots slow to Ratchet's usual pace after a short time. Lampshaded in Deadlocked.
    • Instant Enemies
    • Even though it was touted as needing the PlayStation 5's fast SSD, Rift Apart may have not actually needed it as explained by a video from Coding Secrets. The video explains that the fast paced sections the marketing team said needed an SSD were small, linear, and the player's control was limited. These were then separated by lightweight "void" spaces that would allow enough time to pre-load the next section. They also have an example using another game where there's two separate scenes going on but the game is still working on both on a PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360.
  • The original Resident Evil and all official sequels until 4 used door opening animation to cover for loading. Distinct from a Loading screen as it represented in-game activity.
    • PC versions of the first three games let you skip these. The DS version of the original game, Deadly Silence, also lets you bypass the door sequences.
    • Resident Evil 3: Nemesis has the game use doors to load the next area just like the previous 2 games before it. However, it may have been possible for the game to have less loading screens due to one event where Nemsis can bash down a door to reach you, allowing you to transition between two rooms without a loading screen whereas you were forced to have a loading screen beforehand.
    • The GameCube remake of the first Resident Evil had rooms load instantly, so the door animations were removed in early development versions. However, focus groups thought that not having these screens was disconcerting, so the animations were put back in (even though they now mask nothing.) Some vestige of this can be seen when Hunters bash down doors to get to your character when they return to the mansion - once they do, going between the rooms where the door was results in an instant camera shift with no loading.
    • Code Veronica sometimes lengthened the door opening sequences for suspense.
  • Resident Evil 4 does this. Listen closely to your console while you're playing, say, the end of the village fight. The game takes the last few seconds of the village fight (triggered by killing x number of enemies) to load the next in-game cutscene and the following Ganado-less village. This means that the game jumps straight to the cutscene after killing all the necessary villagers. Another moment that comes to mind is in the El Gigante fight where his death cutscene is being loaded off the disc while you're fighting him.
    • Resident Evil 5 returned to conventional loading screens between sub-chapters.
  • The early Ridge Racer games often hid dynamic loading popup with hills, walls, and turns.
  • Rock Band 3 covers up loading time with thematic cutscenes featuring the band's active characters. These include the group setting up instruments and stages when loading a song, a character taking a taxi to a barber shop when activating the character editor, digging through old records when loading the music store, or meeting up in a hideout when in the Career menu.
  • Rogue Galaxy has lengthy elevator rides that load the next area while you sit around, bored, and possibly revolve the camera to try and see your female characters from different angles.
  • Both of the Saints Row games have a massive case of Dynamic Loading Fail, where you will drive into an unloaded area in a car, and you lose all control over the car/your character until the areas load (if they ever do). There's even a song about the broken loading.
  • Sensory Overload for Macintosh computers, one of the first FPS games to feature this trope, used elevators or airlocks for transitions between areas.
  • Shadow of the Colossus, uses Dynamic Loading almost exclusively. The game renders distant regions with less amount of details and additionally uses video effects to obscure imperfections. The data is loaded seamlessly as the player progresses through the world. It may sometimes lead to very minor Dynamic Loading Fails, especially when your console has problems with reading the disc.
    • Dynamic Loading Corridors show up in the form of narrow canyons.
    • A lot of (the horse) Agro's more aggravating qualities, such as slow acceleration and sheering off to one side, may not be for realism so much as to slow the player down while data loads in the background.
  • SimCity 4 only fully loads the part of the map where the camera is focused on in order to reduce memory usage. If the camera jumps to another part of the map or scrolls across the map too quickly, the loaded data at the first spot is purged while the area where the camera is currently focused on is loaded. Presumably, to avoid a crash due to load failure, the game always renders the ground first before loading any buildings and textures a la an old JPEG image, starting with a low-resolution version of the buildings and structures and then slowly adding full detail over time. In this way, even the largest cities can be loaded and played on a mid-end computer as long as the appropriate settings were adjusted. In extreme cases, the game may also default to preventing the player from using the highest zoom level. SimCity 4's dynamic loading is least obvious when using the U-Drive-It feature at maximum zoom level.
  • The console versions of Skullgirls have to stream the animation frames for characters in and out as they're needed, with the sprites occasionally looking derezzed when they fail to load fast enough. According to the developers, the characters can only use 130 megabytes of memory on a PS3, and six characters can take up around 900 megabytesnote . The PC port does away with this and has all the sprites loaded at the start of the match.
  • In the Sonic The Hedgehog games, Sonic can outrun the loading of the level, causing him to fall off the screen to his death, or the graphics to glitch. Granted, it's not like the developers didn't think the player would want to go fast in a Sonic game; you have to be breaking the game pretty damn hard.
    • For later games like Sonic Unleashed and Sonic Generations, there is a specific engine designed to load data quickly (the Hedgehog Engine), using "triggers" that load sections of the environment seamlessly as you run towards the goal. Speed runners that know how to go past entire sections of the level might skip these, meaning most of the level will be invisible until they go past the next trigger.
    • In the first level of Sonic 3 & Knuckles, after running through a hollowed-out tree, you encounter the first mini-boss who proceeds to firebomb the entire jungle area, with a wall of fire covering the screen. That wall of fire is actually the game loading what is technically the second part (Act, if you will) of the level, though the game tells you you're still in the first part.
    • The director of Sonic the Hedgehog CD really wanted time-travel to be instantaneous, but settled for a cutscene to allow time for the entire stage to reload.
  • Early games in the Spyro the Dragon series used whirlwinds as a form of this, giving the game time to load the next part of the level.
  • Star Fox Adventures is liberal in its use of winding corridors, one of which is actually a maze, and vertical-movement speed bumps. A few of them create a revolving-door type mechanism which provides the player a shorter walk at the expense of having to proceed all the way through.
  • NPCs in Star Trek Online sometimes don't finish loading by the time you enter a zone. While most of the time they simply fade in a half-second later, sometimes you'll be treated to the amusing sight of the NPCs beaming into the stage, complete with audiovisual transporter cues. It makes you wonder what they were up to before you arrived.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • Super Mario Galaxy uses the planet-to-planet star pads to stream in new data as Mario zooms through space. This is probably a big reason for star bits being in the game; so players can try to grab them during these loads.
    • Super Mario 3D World has a plain red backdrop appear on screen when you start a level as it shows the level name and characters each player uses. You can use this time to switch characters before the level loads completely and starts the game.
  • When the Super Monkey Ball games decided to go open-world, the adopted one of the stupidest airlocks known to gaming. The player has to carefully wind a huge turnpike ten times. There is actually a degree of precision involved; you don't just mindlessly roll the analogue stick in a circle, you actually have to make an effort to keep your monkey on the turnpike's handle. And like we said, ten full laps. And once you're in, you're trapped, no changing your mind and turning back, you gotta wind away. It takes over a minute each time and most areas have more than one turnpike.
  • Super Smash Bros.:
  • Similar to Brawl, Dragon Ball Z: Budokai series often has minigames instead of static loading screens.

     Video Game Examples T-Z 
  • Tales of Graces has the battles preloaded before you truly enter the battle. This becomes evident when you use a Dark Bottle to respawn the fodder. If you run into a monster before it's finished fading onto the field, the battle won't start. However, once you actually enter the battle, it's instant and there isn't any sort of traditional swirly-screen like most the Final Fantasys.
  • Later Tony Hawk's Pro Skater titles dynamically load areas during gameplay, removing the need for loading screens. In fact, Tony Hawk's American Wasteland's advertising campaign mainly revolved around the game having no loading screens. However, in that game, traveling between areas still requires you to traverse a long, mostly-empty hallway, during which the game will load the next map. If you traverse the loading tunnels faster than the game can load the map, the game will switch to a slowed-down "security recording" view.
  • Tomb Raider (2013) has short corridors in certain areas, including before every optional tomb, where Lara lights her torch and walks at a slow pace until the end of the tunnel. If the game doesn't load fast enough, there's an invisible wall right at the end.
    • Shadow of the Tomb Raider built on this by adding muddy areas that could only be waded through very slowly. At first they seemed cool, because they rendering of the mud is quite detailed and realistic. However after a while it became obvious that they had been thrown in between each area in order to let the next one load, regardless of whether or not you'd realistically find mud in that place.
  • Total Eclipse featured untextured, feature-less corridors during the levels to mask loading. The Playstation port, Total Eclipse Turbo, greatly reduces their use.
  • Any game that makes use of Unreal Engine 3 (e.g. The Gears of War series, Mass Effect, BioShock 2, BioShock Infinite) does this. You are guaranteed to see 8x8 resolution textures when you first spawn, at which point the game will actually start loading the full ones. Oh god, the texture popping. At least it makes the loading screen shorter. In some cases, the distant buildings, scenery, or sky will look "wrong" or mis-colored (e.g. the clouds and weather in BioShock Infinite) until you approach it. This is particularly grating in Transformers: War for Cybertron. You'll have the game loading right before a cutscene, so the characters in the cutscene will be 8x8-textured blobs. Soundwave's first appearance is a good example. And we endure a 10 minute HD install because...?
  • Vanquish switches to a first-person HUD/visor view and slows Sam to a walking pace when loading a level or sublevel. Other devices such as elevators or airlocks are also occasionally used.
  • Wangan Midnight Maximum Tune 3 has Dynamic Loading Fail that is continuous and doesn't need Unusual Faster Movement—the draw distance is worse than that of the previous two installments, so large structures such as skyscrapers and bridges will materialize out of nowhere. Before the Maximum Tune sub-series, Wangan Midnight R would sometimes fail to load the area in front of you, causing you to momentarily drive on an invisible road.
  • The Witcher 3 only presents players with a loading screen when fast traveling; otherwise traveling through the game world is completely seamless.
  • World of Warcraft extends this to all characters, making it possible to be killed by a player character whose model has not finished loading yet. Also, flying mounts are too fast for the Dynamic Loading to keep up in certain situations. The end result is the PC falling through the yet-unloaded ground and plummeting to his death.
    • The pre-Cataclysm patch applied Dynamic Loading to the entire game. One can theoretically start playing after downloading just ~300 MB of the 23 GB game, but any form of fast travel is likely to cause a Dynamic Loading Failure.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles X uses this for its vast overworld - the only loading screens are for entering or leaving your room, for loading the game up, and for using fast travel. Speeding around in a Skell reveals the Dynamic Loading Fail at times, though, especially if you rocket around to New Los Angeles from a significant distance to the east - the basic blurry textures loaded don't match the actual geometry, and the next 10-15 seconds will load everything.
  • A few games in the Yakuza series implement a clever loading screen hiding gimmick, wherein a mook will take a swipe at your character in a quick cutscene, or a quicktime event will play out, which conveniently relocates the player relatively seamlessly to as wide open a place as possible while also giving time for enemies to load in.

     Non-video-game examples 
Live-Action TV
  • In the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Future Imperfect", the Enterprise computer in the false reality has severe lag, and the turbolift temporarily fails. Both are given in-universe explanations, but in reality, they are being used by Riker's captors to give themselves time to make up things on the fly whenever he deviates from what they had expected/prepared.

Tabletop Games

  • Even a Tabletop Game can have this. If you have a smart but somewhat disorganized GM, they'll often feed you little lore tidbits and the like while organizing papers for the next event.

Real Live — Informatics

  • The engineers behind the GIF, JPEG, and PNG image formats planned for dynamic loading failure, which was common on the dial-up Internet connections of the 1990s. Each format includes an interlaced mode that stores a low-resolution image and then adds details. This way, a Slow-Loading Internet Image at least gives the viewer some idea of what the whole thing looks like early, as if pressing an Enhance Button, instead of wiping from top to bottom.
  • Reopening an app on iOS will give you a static, unresponsive screenshot of the interface for the program immediately, taken as it was closed last, while the actual app loads in the background.
  • Direct Memory Access, or DMA, is a hardware version of this. Rather than have the CPU handle transferring data between places, like say from the storage drive to a GPU, have another chip do that so the CPU is free to handle other things.
  • Operating Systems
    • Modern ones now load in parts of often-used apps as part of loading in the OS that when you do actually launch them, the app loads in much faster. To make sure that the loading time of the OS itself isn't as affected as much, these chunks are usually stored in a known place on the storage drive so it's easy to get to.
    • The Sleep and Hibernate modes of computers and gizmos are a way to let you "turn off" the machine without actually having to sit through the entire boot process when you want to use it again. Sleep mode shuts everything except RAM off, which allows the computer to more or less instantly jump back to where it was. Hibernate stores the contents of RAM into a file on the storage drive, letting the computer consume no power while being able to get back where you were. It takes longer to get out of hibernate than it does from sleep, but it's a lot faster than a cold boot. Windows has a special hibernate mode called Fast Boot that saves off the state of the hardware drivers so it doesn't have to initialize hardware devices the next time the computer is powered on. This allows the OS to boot faster while giving the user more or less a clean slate to work with.
  • World Wide Web:
    • Some web browsers are capable of automatically fetching the next page of a story spread across multiple web pages if each page's header specifies such prefetching. These meet the "fixed paths" pattern as the user reads the articles in order.
    • HTTP inadvertently was built like this. As the internet required more complicated things, instead of an all-or-nothing approach, servers first transfer just the HTML file, then gradually load in resources such as CSS markup, images, and other goodies. This way, even if you're on an unreliable connection, you should at least be able to see the text content with hyperlinks (which may or may not be enough depending on the website).
    • Many modern browsers will begin downloading a file as soon as the "open or save as" dialogue box or the file picker shows up, rather than only once you've confirmed that you want to open the file or save it to a particular path. If you take your sweet time deciding where to save your file and what filename to save it as, the file will likely be complete by the time the download progress bar appears.



Video Example(s):


Luigi's Mansion 3 elevator

Luigi can move around in the elevator between floors.

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Example of:

Main / DynamicLoading

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