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Game Development Dictionary


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  Term Name Description


Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line. As opposed to SDSL (Symmetric Digital Subscriber Line), an ADSL connection runs through an ordinary phone line and receives data over the internet at high speeds, comparable to those of cable modems, though it transmits data at only a fraction of the speed at which it receives data -- but still faster than a conventional 56Kbps modem.


The reduction in signal strength during transmission over a network. Too much attenuation can render a signal incomprehensible. To solve this networks implement repeaters, and follow the maximum length standards for the medium (cabling) in use.


Refers to a measurement of how many bits can be transfered over a path at once. For instance a pipe may be able to send 16 bits at once which would be called 16 bits of bandwidth.


Bits Per Second. A measurement of speed for transfering information.

Cable Modem

An internet service which transmits data through a thick cable to the consumer; naturally, this means that a lot of data can be transmitted quickly. Though the technology itself has no self-imposed limits -- other than the maximum speed possible for transmission -- cable companies often place maximum speeds on the internet connections, since people generally don't need much upload speed. This is in the best interest of the consumer, because it allows everyone to have fair access to the total amount of speed available to the company.

Client / Server

An architecture in which there is a main source of information, the server, and it is accesed when the information is needed by the clients.


A cable specifically used in network situations involving only two computers. By using a crossover-cable there is no need of a network hub, saving you money. Often used in home situations and direct comunication between two network servers. There are two variants: -One using your COM/PARALEL ports. (not recomended: slow) -And one using your Network Interface Card. Check your local suplier for details, a good suplier always has a couple of crossover's on stock.


Electromagnetic interference, usually a near by cable or electronic device, affecting a signal being transmited over a medium network cable. In cases where closely bound cables/devices is unavoidable, shielded cabling is used.


The process of transfering information from a host source to a client. Ex: When you surf the web you are downloading information from web sites.


An abbreviation for "File Transfer Protocol". This is a technology which allows the transfer of files from one computer to another. FTP also allows for limited access to the files on a computer by reequesting a user name and password. Anyone who does not have a password can enter the user name "anonymous" and his e-mail address as a password. But users with special priviliges may have access to files to which the general public does not have access.

FTP site

A computer or website which makes files available for download using File Transfer Protocol.


A piece of hardware that connects multiple network connections together, such as computers. Can be active or passive. Sends a brodcast signle to all computers untill a response is received from the destination client.


Internet Protocol


Internetwork Packet Exchange. An unreliable (datagram) protocol introduced by Novell Netware. Complimentary protocol would be SPX.


Internet Relay Chat. A client-server created to allow people to talk to each over a network. The unit runs a IRC client, such as mIRC, and connects to an IRC server and can then talk to other through channels or directly.


The time it takes information to go from one computer to another. Usually it is only refered to when it is noticeably slow. See latency.


Local Area Network. A computer network limited to the immediate area, often connected with Ethernet. It is often supported in multiplayer games.


The time it takes for information to travel. Often measured in the time information can go across a network and return with the "ping" command. Sometimes called lag.

MAC address

Media Access Control address. The address on a piece of hardware, on the MAC layer of the network, that is used to identify a node on a network. This address is unchangable since it resides in the hardware itself.


A shorter term for "modulator/demodulator". This is a device which takes data from a computer and turns it into a series of audio pulses which can be sent over a telephone line; on the receiving end, these pulses are "demodulated" into a copy of the original data. Modern internet devices like ADSL and cable no longer use this exact type of technology, but the term "modem" has been expanded to include these devices.


Multicast Open Shortest Path First. A Multicast Version of OSPF


A group of computers which are connected together through hardware and software.


Network Interface Card. Hardware used to interact through a network. Usually on a LAN.


Any connection in a network with a unique MAC address. This can be, for example, a computer or a printer.


Usually refered to as being on the Internet or using the Internet.