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Game Development Dictionary


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  Term Name Description


A side scroller that used a combination of the keyboard (to move) and mouse (direction to shoot) which became a cult hit. Made by the now defunct Crack dot com. (WWW)

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.

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.

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.


An early FPS from Monolith based on a raycasting engine and themed with a variety of non-standard weapons, such as dynamite and a voodoo doll. (WWW)

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.


One of the leading turn-based games ever developed. Originally based on a board game by Avalon Hill, and put to the computer by design god Sid Meier. The franchise contains Civilization (one by MicroProse and one by Avalon Hill), CivNet (A multiplayer version of Civilization), Civilization II (MPS), Civ: Call to Power (Activision), and various expansions to Civilization 2 (Multiplayer Gold, Fantastic Worlds, Test of Time). Alpha Centauri is often considered to be a Sci-Fi sequel. Civilization III has been announced to be in development.

Command & Conquer

The game that brought the Real-Time Strategy genre to the masses and one of the first major hits to include network play. The Command & Conquer franchise has had a series of hits afterwards such as Covert Ops, Red Alert and Tiberian Sun(WWW)

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.


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.


A dungeon based shooter with Isometric graphics and dynamic map creation system that has enormous popularity. Diablo 2 is currently scheduled for release. WWW


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.


Doom is a game that is a landmark for the first person shooter game genre. Wolfenstein3D was the first FPS game but Doom took this idea to the next level. With unique monsters, dark levels, motivating music and the monster noises designed to give you nightmares for weeks the game is a classic. There were 4 dooms released. Ultimate Doom, Doom ][, Doom: TNT, and Doom: Plutonia. The sucess of these games has spawned off many first person shooters and has made the market what it is today. These games were developed by ID software. Other titles made by ID include Quake 1, Quake 2 and the new Quake 3: Arena.


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.

Duke Nukem 3D

Duke Nukem 3D was a game designed by 3d Realms. It uses portals and sectors (similar to Doom) in order to give the illusion of 3d space using a 2d mapping system. The mapping system and level designer are called Build. In addition, the Build Engine was used in other games such as Blood. At the time of release the Build engine was eclipsed by the Quake engine developed by ID software. Duke Nukem 3d was still a successful game due to the nature of the main character and the interactive enviroment.


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

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.


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.


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

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


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

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.


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".


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