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Game Development Dictionary


Design


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  Term Name Description

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).

RPG

Roleplaying Game. A game that is usually based on controlling one or more characters to finish some large and more minor quests while fighting and gaining experience points.

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.

First Person

A perspective in which a player's character is not represented on the screen, but rather the view is such that the player "sees" what he or she would if they were actually performing the actions found in the game (looking through the window of a cockpit, for example).

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.

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.

World

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

Real-Time

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

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.

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.

Single-Player

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

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.


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