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Game Development Dictionary


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  Term Name Description


What does AAA stand for? We have found one definition saying: "What does a Triple A rating mean? The ILFs are rated independently by the rating agency Moody's Investor Services. AAA (Triple A) is the highest rating that can be assigned by the rating agency to ILFs of this type. The rating is independent of JP Morgan Fleming and is only given after a thorough examination by the rating agency of a number of elements. These include an examination of the portfolio management team and its investment process, internal control procedures, the quality of securities held by the portfolio and the consistency of performance by the ILFs. A full technical definition on an AAA rating can be obtained from Moody's Investor Services. " From: http://www.efs-online.com/efs/faqs/jpmorganfaqs.asp, Q11


The term “abandonware” was coined in 1997 to refer to any game that has been discontinued by its publishers. Even through a game isn't being commercially sold, it doesn’t make it legal to download from sites not permitted by the publisher. Even if a company stops distributing a product, does not mean the copyright lapses.


Advance on royalties. Money given from a publisher to a developer to create a game that will be recouped from the developers royalties on sales. For instance, if a developer is given $25,000 as an advance to create a game. When the developer is finished with the game and it is sold, the developer will not recieve any money from the sales royalties until the advance has been paid back. So if the product is retailed for $30, and the net proceeds for the publisher to sell the game is $15 and the developer has a 10% royalty, the developer will recieve $1.50 for every game sold. Before the developer recieves any money after the advance the game will have to sell 16,667 units ($25,000 / $1.50).

Affiliated Chain

A group of retail stores who take advantage of large-scale purchasing or co-op advertising buying efficiency by associating with each other.


Agents will normally be a buffer in between a publisher and a developer, working for the developer. The standard agent's pay is 10% of what the developer is given on the advance.

Blizzard Entertainment

Renowned game designing company who created the smash hit games Diablo, Warcraft, and Starcraft, as well as their sequels.Praised by pc gaming columnists worldwide, Blizzard Entertainment has earned itself a reputation for releasing only high-quality games.


In game industry there is no real director position, besides possibly a corporate position like "Director of Technology". The position which is closest to this film position in games would be a designer or producer, depending on the company.


Someone who distributes items to retail stores. For instance, a publisher will have a game printed into its material/box for and then send them to distributors who will store them in warehouses and distribute them to retail stores when they are needed.


A business that buys, warehouses, ships, invoices and sells to retailers for non-competing products. Contrast to a wholesaler which carries non-exclusive lines of products.


The Electronic Entertainment Expo. This is the main event of the year for the game industry for publishers to woo retailers and show off games that will hopefully be ready for the Christmas sales season.


Acronym: "European Computer Trade Show". This is Europe's premier industry trade show and is roughly analogous to the US' own E3 (q.v.). It is held in London and usually uses one of the sprawling Earls Court exhibition complex's many halls. The ECTS is specific to computer games and the interactive electronic media industry. Although there were attempts to run it twice a year initially, it is currently held only in September to coincide with Christmas release schedules.

End Cap

A display that is placed at the end of a retail shelf and considered the premiere placement. Publishers will pay extra for end caps so that their games are more prominent to customers.

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.

Expansion Pack

An expansion to a previously sold game which usually includes new characters, enemies, levels, stories, and bug fixes. Sometimes refered to as Mission Pack.


A concept that grew out of the desire to make software free for use, but not to give up all authorial rights which a public domain license does.

Game Developer Conference

A conference for industry professionals to gather, do business, attend lectures and round tables given by professionals and schmooze. Abbreviated GDC, this event is hosted by Miller Freeman and information can be found at http://www.gdconf.com/.

Game Schools

There are several University type schools for game programming, a list of which be found here: (WWW)


Game Developer Conference

Going Glass

Terminology used when software is burned onto the final CDs that will be distributed and sold. So named because in contract to "gold" CDR discs, the distribution CDs are clear. See Going Gold.

Going Gold

Terminology used when software is burned onto a "gold" cd that will be sent to the CD manufacturers to be reproduced.So named because of the CDR burnable CDs are gold backed normally. See Going Glass.

Gold Master

The CD that will be sent to the CD manufacturers to be reproduced. So named because of the CDR burnable CDs are gold backed normally.


Interactive Digital Software Association. An organization dedicated to improving the business aspects of the industry, often in the areas of piracy and the industry's image.

Independent Developer

A developer that is not owned by a large publishing company.

Infinate Power

Infinate Power is a game development group based out of Alberta, Canada. There focus genre(s) are: R.P.G.'s Fantasy, Action, and Adventure. For More information go to http://www.geocities.com/SiliconValley/Monitor/9250

Intellectual Property

The art, sound, music, code, 3d models, design, story, and the like created during game production that make the product what it is. Typically, IP can be copyrighted, trademarked, or patented.