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Game Development Dictionary


Design


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  Term Name Description

NIS

Non-interactive sequence. Synonyms: cut-to's, movies. A non-interactive sequence is a part of the game when the player watches the events rather than participates (or interacts). E.g., a transition movie from one level to another.

Game+

Game+ is a game feature that allows a character who has beaten the game to play again, retaining some advantage that zie has earned, or allowing the player to start at a plot-branch point and travel the "road not taken". The first game with this feature that I know of was Chrono Trigger.

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.

Experience Points

Often used in Role Playing Games (RPGs), experience points are a way of measuring how much the player has experienced to grant them additional benefits often in the form of increased statistics or skills.

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.

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.

FMV

Full Motion Video. Video streams such as AVIs and MPEGs are examples of FMV. Games that used FMV extensively, both real actors and computer created, were often classified as FMV games.

World

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

Easter Egg

Something in a game that has nothing to do with the main game or is an unnecessary bonus. For example, some games have hidden pictures of their developers that can be viewed by pressing special key combinations.

Real-Time

A game that proceeds constantly which the player needs respond actively as it changes from second to second matching natural time progression.

Simulator

Software that attempts to emulate a real event or action.

Palette Swap

A technique in which a videogame uses the same basic character, with a different color scheme, to make that character look like a different character. Used often in may RPGs.

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.

Single-Player

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


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