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Game Development Dictionary


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  Term Name Description

Alien Breed

The Alien Breed series is a series of sci-fi shooters created by Team17. It all started in 1991 with the release of "Alien Breed". This game, along with all of the other Alien Breed games, was based heavily on the "Aliens" movie. The series was revisited 5 times, with the release of Alien Breed II (1993), Tower Assault (1994), Alien Breed 3D (1995), Alien Breed 3D II (1996), Alien Breed 2004 (Cancelled). Some would say that the series was a 2D precursor to Doom.

Morning's Wrath

Created by Northampton, Massachusetts based Independent Game Developer Ethereal Darkness Interactive; Morning's Wrath is a Classical Adventure/RPG game. The emphasis is placed on a strong storyline and intellectually stimulating game play. Players guide the main character, Princess Morning, through a series of locales containing tasks that require the completion of puzzles.

Ethereal Darkness Interactive

Northampton, Massachusetts based Independent Game Developer founded by Raymond Jacobs and well known to GameDev.net; over the course of three years they designed, produced and sold the Indie game Morning's Wrath.


The successor to the Microsoft Xbox, this console uses new ATI graphics chips as well as multi-core IBM PowerPC CPUs capable of running six simultaneous threads in hardware.


A series of games from Maxis that allowed the player to create a town. Progressive installments in the series added sewage, garbage disposal, and other resource management to the player's plate. Notable for being one of the first games to simulate a complex reality-based system on the relatively underpowered machines of the time. In series: Simcity, Simcity 2000, Simcity 3000, Simcity 4000 (Multiple expansion packs released for each). Computers/Consoles: SNES, Saturn, PlayStation, PC, Mac among others

Jagged Alliance 2

A turn based/real time tactical squad strategy game. A very unpopular genre which is my very favorite. Similar to games such as Silent Storm, Xcom, and Soldiers At War. You were a mercenary leader (with an in-game avatar), who hired other mercs. Each one had TONS of fully voiced lines, and had their own likes and dislikes for other merc. If you ask Drakkcon you'll find that this was the best game ever made.


A graphical roguelike/RPG game written in Java and released as open source GPL software.


A Korean-based translated 2D sidescrolling free MMORPG. Currently (as of Nov 15, 04) in Beta production stages. Features clean, cute anime-style artwork. Can be downloaded at Mapleglobal.com. Warning: Extremely addictive!

Counter Strike

A mod to the popular Half Life engine, Counter Strike is with out a doubt the most popular team based FPS (first person shooter). Counter Strike was even cited by ABC News in 2004 as a contributer to the decline in TV viewers in the male 18 to 34 age bracket. Counter Strike blends the quick paced action of a FPS with a team play element that is unmatched.


The third installment in the Elder Scrolls chronicles. This is a highly detailed world with a vast amount of freedom for a character while still having a great storyline. Morrowind is a first person Fantasy RPG that aims to bring all of the depth of Daggerfall into the high tech 3D world that is ensuing. As Daggerfall became a timeless classic so should Morrowind.

Baldur's Gate II - Shadows of Amn

An enthralling game by BioWare as a sequel to their original Baldur's Gate Game. This RPG captures a great deal of imagination in its Isometric simplicity as you travel with up to 5 party members on your journey. One of the little perks in this well written storyline is the way your character interacts with party members of the opposite sex, especially if there are more than one that take an interest. There is a whole lot of gameplay to be had in this masterpiece. There is also an expansion pack to this game titled "The Throne of Bhaal" where you continue your quest towards the ultimate goal of godlike power.

NeverWinter Nights

A very in-depth Role Playing Game released by BioWare. It has a very well constructed multiplayer system and allows for DMing. The rule set is based on AD&D but manages to keep the Player away from the dice rolls and other unnecessarily complex systems. The viewing angle is fully 3D isometric, but the view can also be rotated and zoomed in for a different viewing angle depending on the players discression. This game is by far a gem of RPGs and has a very entertaining single player campaign.


A Remake is generally a newly programmed version of an existing (usually quite old) game. Remakes can be true to the original, but most tend to use improved graphics or enhance gameplay with new ideas. There are several websites dedicated to making Remakes.(e.g. http://www.remakes.org)


Highly popular space combat game by Nintendo for their SNES platform. Recently converted into an RPG for the GameCube platform by Rare.


One of Nintendo's most popular game series. Zelda always centers around an action/adventure style of play in different fantasy worlds. The main characters in the series are Link, an elven heroe (the player), and Zelda, a princess who is, most often an intricale part of the plot. Zelda's appeal and history have made it a best-selling series throughout Japan and the United States.

Lunar: Silver Star Story Complete

A PSX Remake of the Sega CD game Lunar: The Silver Star. Lunar is an RPG game with almost an hour of anime FMVs and a story about a boys quest to become a hero and his journey to rescue the girl he loves from an evil magical emperor. Of course along the way there are many twists and turns where the hero and heroin both realize thier fate. Lunar also spawned a sequal in which a boy name Hiro must accompany a girl to see the goddess of Lunar. Both stories intertwine greatly and both have endings that set them for a sequal.


A sub Genre of RPGs. Sim RPGs combine the elements of RPGs and Turn based strategy. They have experience, Levels, Story and Various other Roleplaying elements but the gameplay is focus more towards battles and Story than exploration. Infact Sim RPGs usually lack sidequests and secrets. Examples: Final Fantasy Tactics, Ogre Battle, Vandel Hearts.


Released in 1998 by DreamWorks, Trespasser was very much overhyped to contain realistic physics, highly intelligent dinosaur AI, and hyper-realistic environments. Unfortunately, it didn't meet its expectations and was immediately shunned by the industry as a flop. Regardless, it was years ahead of most games in terms of physics, shadows, and simply realism.


MMORPG stands for: Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game. A type of role playing game that supports a huge number of players in the game world. Such examples are Ultima Online, Everquest, Ragnarok, the new up and coming Star Wars: Galaxies and many more.


First Person Shooter. Shooter of the first person perspective. E.g. Quake, Unreal Tounament, Rainbow Six, etc.


A wonderfully innovative Puzzle game, designed by Alexy Pajitnov. Tetris was the original "falling blocks" game.

Tetris was a 2D puzzle game. The play area was an empty box. A number of different shaped, randomly selected pieces would fall one at a time from the top of the screen. The player would be able to rotate these blocks, and move then toward the left or right as they fell. Once the current block came to rest at the bottom of the screen or on another block, its place would be fixed, and another block would enter the playing field.

The blocks would continue to fall until they were piled to the top of the screen, at which point the game would end. But a player would put this off as long as possible by carefully stacking the blocks in a compact manner.

Whenever the blocks were stacked in such a way that an entire horizontal row of the play area was completely filled with blocks, that row would disappear, and the blocks above would fall down to take their place. Every time the player completed a row, he would be awarded points.

Through careful planning, is was also possible to complete several rows at once. When this happened. the player would be awarded more points in proportion to the number of rows completed simultaneously.

The game mechanics of Tetris were uncomplicated, and it was easy for people to learn to play in just a few moments. Yet the gameplay was addictive, and Tetris became very popular.

A whole host of Tetris clones have been created. And because this type of Puzzle game is relatively easy to program, it is common for new programmers to learn by creating their own versions of Tetris.


A evolutionary body that regulates the intrinsic intelligence of Living and Artifical Living systems. Developed in 1979 Eigen, M. and P. Schuster, hypercyclic systems have become primary factor in the study of evolving systems. Since 1999, the Bionic Bros. GmbH lauched the development of an ALife gaming system based on the Eigen - Schuster Proposal. Watch it evolve.. www.bionicbros.de


A classic arcade game. The game screen displayed a maze. This maze was inhabited by four little ghosts, and a creature called Pacman. Pacman was the player's character, and looked somewhat like a lemon pie with a slice cut out. Essentially, he was an eating machine.

The player directed Pacman through the maze. The maze was strewn with pellets, and when Pacman came into contact with one of these pellets, he would eat it. The game level would be completed when Pacman had gobbled up all the pellets in the maze. (This ensured that Pacman had been virtually everywhere in the maze at least once.)

The four ghosts would pursue Pacman through the maze. And if they caught him, he would die. When Pacman had died three times, the game would be over. (The player could earn extra lives by reaching certain scores during the game.) So the player would have to direct Pacman through the maze, avoiding the ghosts, and eating up all the pellets.

To help the player out, each maze featured four "power pellets". When Pacman ate one of these, he would gain the ability to eat the ghosts. This power only lasted for a brief time. But this added a wonderful element of strategy to the game.

Another nice feature was the presence of "side exits". These were openings on the side of each maze. When Pacman went out through one of these exits, he would reenter the maze through its corresponding exit on the other side of the screen. In other words, if Pacman went out one of the side exits on the left, he would reappear on the right side of the screen.

This often helped Pacman to avoid the ghosts. But the ghosts could also use the side exits. However, it seemed that the ghosts traveled through the side exits more slowly than Pacman did.

Pacman also featured very nice artificial intelligence programming. Each of the four ghosts actually followed a different strategy when pursuing Pacman. One followed him, one attempted to head him off by taking alternate routes through the maze, one stayed toward the center of the maze, and the fourth, who was a nice fellow (ut-bay ot-nay oo-tay ight-bray,) just sort of wandered about.

Monkey Island Series

This series of Lucas Arts' adventure games started with The Secret Of Monkey Island, and was created by designer Ron Gilbert. Guybrush Threepwood, it's leading character, continued in three sequels (The last one, Escape form Monkey Island, being 3D).

This series gained a wide variety of fans due to it's witty humour and interesting gameplay.

Chrono Trigger

Chrono Trigger is a game made by Squaresoft (makers of the Final Fantasy series.) The original Chrono Trigger was realeased on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES), and on the Playstation in the Final Fantasy Chronicles game.

The story of Chrono Trigger deals with a character named Chrono who gets transported through time when one friend's expirement conflicts with another new friend's pendant.

A sequel, called Chrono Cross, was released for the Playstation.