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Game Development Dictionary


Design


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  Term Name Description

RTS

Real-time (not turn-based) Strategy.

Rule

Guides for actions. Rules for board games are usually given as written instructions, which the players then opt to follow. In a computer game, the rules are inherent and the player is forced to follow them.

Semiotics

Part of the science of communication. Specifically, Semiotics deals with the use of symbols and 'signs' (in a very broad sense) and how well/badly these perform their tasks. Anything from ideograms, gestures, alphabets and even road signs are affected by this science. For computer games, Semiotics comes into its own when dealing with the User Interface design and 'signposting' within a game.

Simulation

A system of rules that tries to emulate reality.

Simulator

Software that attempts to emulate a real event or action.

Single-Player

A game which was made to be played by a single person.

Storyline

Provides a rationale for the gameplay. Game storylines vary from the very simplistic (e.g. rescue the princess) to exceptionally complex and involved storylines (as found in RPGs such as the Final Fantasy series).

Strategy

A systematic plan of action, often used with military plans.

Top-down

The process of creating something by looking at the big picture first, then working your way down to the details. Opposite of Bottom-Up.

Tree of Death, The

The term used for an overabundance of branching pathways in game design. When the number of possible outcomes governed by player choice becomes unmanagable, it is said you have planted "The Tree of Death".

Turn Based Strategy

Often a war game that the player will be given as much time as is necessary to move or perform the actions they wish. Actions will then usually performed one at a time and the sides trade of. For instance, Chess is a turn based strategy game.

Turn-Based

A game which progresses in stages where time is only applied after the player has finished making their decisions for their next actions.

User Interface

The part of the game that in which information is displayed and presented on screen with various commands that the user uses to communicate with; The uses of the controls in the game, supportive peripherals needed to accomplish certain game actions, the on-screen interface (inventory icons, life gauges, scoreboard, etc.), on-screen text and messages, menus, commands, and options that are described or presented for the user to use to communicate to the game visually and/or audibly.

World

World - Usually a series of similar levels that are grouped together into a mega-level.


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