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Game Development Dictionary


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  Term Name Description

Unreal Tournament

A very popular First Person Shooter, developed by Epic Games. Many people have developed mods for this game. This support of the Unreal Tournament community helps to provide great replayability.

The Sims

An innovative simulation of suburban life. This game was designed by Will Wright, and published by Electronic Arts.

The gameplay in The Sims is open ended. The player is not given a definite set of goals, and so there is no distinct set of win or loss conditions. The player makes use of the game mechanics in whatever way he chooses.

The Sims was very popular, and a number of sequels have been made. A new MMORPG version is currently in development.


A top down Action/Adventure game. The game follows the character Ryan, who hears voices which urge him to assassinate people.

This game featured an interface which was innovative, but not very good. The game had good atmosphere. But many people found the puzzles to be overly difficult. It was given an 18 Certificate in the U.K. for violence and sexual content.


A popular series of games, from Akalabeth in 1979 (often referred to as Ultima 0) to Ultima IX in 1999. U-VII also had to extensions. Ultima Online was released 1995 and still (2001) has thousands of active players. The most of the Ultima games are played in a fantasy world called Britannia (except U-II and U-VIII). Britannia is ruled by Lord British which is the alias of Richard Garriot, the original creator of the Ultima world. All games in the Ultima series is tile-based except U-IX and Ultima Online 2 which is yet to be released.


Half-Life is an innovative First Person Shooter that brought real scenario and artificial intelligence. Its main ability relied in the fact that it was customable, so that people could program game mods (modifications).


A game that is somewhat different than other games; you're alone on a desolated island and you must solve some very complicated puzzles. A game for people with a good brain. Superior graphics. Made with Bryce (graphics) and Hypercard (underlying programming).


Play by E-mail. A way to play normally face-to-face games over the Internet. The most common genres include turn-based strategy and roleplaying games.


Dungeon Master. The term is trademarked to TSR/Wizards of the Coast/Hasbro and refers to the player who runs a session of Dungeons & Dragons. The generic term is Game Master.


A derogatory term for someone who has little or no experience.


A game released in 1995 by Interplay Productions and Parallax Software, Descent was the first commercial game to feature full 6-degrees-of-freedom movement inside a structure. The player's objective is to destory haywire mining robots, save hostages, destroy the mine's reactor and escape before it blows the whole mine to kingdom come. Descent also features an excellent enemy AI which learns the player's combat style, forcing him to change his tactics or die. Interplay has since released two sequels to this popular game.


FPS develped by Rare for the Nintendo 64. Seen by many people as the best fps on the system, and also one of its best overall. The game followed the plot of the James Bond film that it was licensed off, and gave gamers their first real chance to actually BE James Bond. The game is still popular, due to its powerful multiplayer component

Street Fighter

Thought by many to be the greatest fighting game series on the planet, and is most likely the longest running. Street Fighter II set off the 2D fighting craze that has slightly died down in recent months. The Street Fighter series has an ever growing number of titles which include Street Fighter, Street Fighter II, Street Fighter II Turbo, Super Street Fighter III, Street Fighter Alpha (Zero), Street Fighter Alpha (Zero) II, Street Fighter Alpha (Zero) III, Street Fighter EX, and many more. Street Fighter characters are also used in many games such as Pocket Fighter, Marvel vs. Capcom I and II, and SNK vs. Capcom. Street Fighter also spawned a cartoon series and several animation movies, as well as a live action movie.


A very, very popular RPG created by Game Freak and Nintendo. It stars 150 unique monsters called Pokemon, that trainers have to catch in Pokeballs.

Mortal Kombat

A series of popular fighting games created by Midway. Mortal Kombat was one of the first console games to show blood. Thus, it has always been a target, for the "Violence in video games" issue.

Frederik Pohl's GATEWAY

This game was developed by Legend Entertainment in the early 1990s. It is a Space science-fiction title based on "The Heechee Saga" books by Frederik Pohl.

Gabriel Knight Series

Series created by Jane Jensen for Sierra Online back in the good old days of Adventure games. You play Gabriel Knight, a horror writer from New Orleans, who comes from a long line of Schattenjagers (german for Shadow Hunter). This new title throws Gabriel into a new world of supernatural mystery connected to haunting past events and experiences. Currently, there are only 3 games in the series. 1) Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers 2) Gabriel Knight: The Beast Within 3) Gabriel Knight: Blood of the Sacred, Blood of the Damned Fans still hope and pray that there will be a fourth volume of this epic story.

Final Fantasy

Very popular RPG series created by Squaresoft, started in the mid-late 1980's. Most take place in a fantasy/sci-fi environment. So far there are 8 Final Fantasy games, with an upcoming 9 and 10. Extra tidbit: It's even getting a movie next year


This was a 3-D first person shooter by Epic Megagames. It was very similar to Half-Life in that you had to explore a unknown world and fight the alien race in it. It featured Stunning graphics for the time of release (roughly 1997) The game featured huge worlds to explore and was one of the first game that used scripted events to increase the in-depth perspective. Unlike what many people think.... the coming sequel tot he game is NOT a sequel for Unreal Tournament it is a sequel for Unreal... unreal is more single-player based althought it does have multi-player support, Unreal Tournament is almost completly multi-player based but it does include very challenging bots as well as it's own built in server so it is easy to find other online games.

Super Mario Bros

Mario and his brother Luigi were invented by Shigeru Miyamoto in the late 80's. Known as the trademark of Nintendo he has become the star of many games. Probably the greatest Mario game ever would be Super Mario 64 on the N64 which invented the 3D platformer genre.


Released in 1984, Elite was a milestone in the history of gaming - it was the first truly 3D game on home computers, and was one of the first open-ended games, allowing the player to freely explore a galaxy without tying him to a linear plot. It went on to sell over a million units, and was released on a multitude of platforms. It was followed by two sequels, Frontier and First Encounters (released in 1993 and 1995 respectively). Elite 4 (working title) is currently scheduled to be released in 2002. For more information see www.frontier.co.uk

Planet's Edge

A science-fiction role-playing and strategy hybrid, Planet's Edge grew out of the first attempt to realize a computer driven version of Task Force Games' "Star Fleet Battles." It featured a massive storyline, and offered the first fully customizable starships in a detailed space strategy environment. Created for New World Computing by Eric Hyman, Neal Hallford, and Kenneth Mayfield.

Betrayal at Krondor

A best-selling and award-winning title, Betrayal at Krondor was the first first-person role-playing game to use a true 3D engine, developed at Dynamix in Eugene, Oregon in 1993. Directed by John Cutter and Neal Hallford, it was inducted into the Computer Gaming World Hall of Fame in 1996.


A massively multiplayer online RPG. Takes place in a fantasy world and is based on the user to create a character using different races and classes in order to survive the harsh realms of Norrath.


Galaga was the definitive triggerhappy space shooter. It was probably the first game to give the illusion of being a topscroller through the use of a scrolling, randomly generated starfield.

Galaga, while no longer popular in its own right long before the advent of the internet, continues to be popular as a "mixing game".


A computer rpg by Black Isle Studios. Considered by some as the closest to traditional RPGs a computer RPG has come.