Glossary of terms

Term Explanation
Brand Guideline Document This is a document which gives restrictions to what someone can do with the brand but also gives way for where creativity can be applied. This means restrictions on sizing, logo changes, fonts etc.
Plagiarism This is when someone uses either an image or some text without correctly referencing the original source, thus making the individual to be committing plagiarism.
Pipeline A pipeline is a structure in which a company can work in order to achieve the best results. For example an art team could be a part of a big pipeline working alongside others to create a game.
Gamification This is when you take game mechanics and apply them in non-game settings for example gamification is used within education to make learning more fun.
Avatar An avatar is a digital representation of a person that you have made. People often make avatars based on their personality or how they actually look.
Copyright Copyright is when your work is legally protected for a particular number of years so that other individuals can’t use it without asking permission, crediting you and sometimes even having to pay a fee for using it.
Catharsis Catharsis is similar to venting, it is letting go and having relief from emotions which are sometimes repressed in an individual. Greek translation of ‘Katharsis’ means “Purification”
Grinding This is when a person continuously does something to achieve a goal for example people on Runescape may grind killing monsters to achieve the max level in the quickest time possible to achieve a skill cape.
Immersion Immersion is being deeply mentally involved within something for example when you find yourself deeply involved in a book.
Indie Game An indie game is a game made by a small company or an individual.
Intellectual Property Intellectual Property is pretty much anything an individual makes although an idea isn’t intellectual property
Level A level is a section of the game which is distinguished by a start and end point. A level could be an area, a chapter or even a skill.
Mechanic This is something which alters the game, such as an interaction. This breaks down into three different types of mechanics; Actions, constraints and conditions.
MMORPG This stands for massively multiplayer online role playing game. E.g World of Warcraft, Starcraft, Everquest.
Milestone A milestone is a checkpoint that an individual can achieve; this could be a level milestone or even a milestone in a quest. It helps break up big achievements with smaller goals.
Narrative Narrative is the story which is given to a game. There are many different types of narrative.
Publisher This is someone who sells the game to the general public. There are three types of publishers; mega-publishers, portfolio publishers and single franchise publishers. The one you use will depend on how you want your game to sell.
Sandbox Play Sandbox play is basically when the world can be played as the player chooses. The computer can make small decisions but mainly this comes down to the player.
Risk This is when something may be difficult and can cause the player to experience some kind of loss for example if the quest is lost then the player must start the quest again.
Reward This is something that is given to the play for completing an event or for achieving a goal.
User Interface The user interface is what the player interacts with.
Unique Selling Point The unique selling point are points which make your game different and unique when comparing against a similar game.
AAA games This is a high budget game which has had a lot of promotion.
Casual Game A casual game is something that can be played passively and typically appear on mobile and tablet devices.
Cinematic This is a scene which is a movie is inserted to break up the game and give the game narrative.
Cut Scene This is similar to a cinematic but is made from a software suit such as 3dsmax and have allowed to insert real characters rather than a separate film.
Iterative This is something that can be repeated on loop yet has small changes. For example play testing
Incremental This is something that is repeated on loop yet contains a variable resulting in changed each time. E.g. code. Another example is making small changes in a play test you can change the game slightly and see the different results.
Patent A patent is a document which says you are the one who has created your invention and gives you protection encase you need to take legal action.
Outsource This is when you hire someone from outside of a company to help you within your project for example IT Staff can be outsourced which would save money rather than have someone In house.
Platformer This is a game in which a player gets around the environment usually on platforms at random positions on the screen.
Playtest This is testing a game during different parts of a games development to help iron out any bugs or issues that a player may encounter while playing the game.
Trademark A trademark is a sign, symbol, word or words which are legally registered to distinguish your goods and services from other businesses. The trademark has to be distinctive and help explain what goods you are trying to sell or the service you are wanting to provide.
Agon This means Contest/Competition
Alea This means Chance
Mimicry This means Role playing
Ilinix This means Vertigo (Dizzyness, Spinning)
Ludus Controlled play – Games with rules, manuals and limits
Paidea Spontaneous play – Improvised, Childhood essence
Flow When skill meets challenge this can invoke flow depending on if that skill and challenge is right for you as a user. Everyone needs different things to reach flow.
Ludology The study of games and gaming in particular to video games
Play Engaging in an activity which is seen as fun
Player This is the individual who participates in play
Repertoire This is something that someone knows and commonly performs
Reward Schedule The reward schedule is a delivery mechanism in which the player will receive a reward during a particular point in its timeline. E.g. a player is rewarded at the end of a quest.
Alpha Map This allows you to create a ‘cut out’ effect using black and white channels.
Normal Map This allows you to create bump information on a model.
Roughness Map Allows you to make a model appear either shiny or rough.
Physical Based Rendering This uses a range of maps to create industry standard textures (Albedo, Roughness, Ambient Occlusion and Normal Maps)
Ambient Occlusion Map This map generates soft shadowing and can be stored as a texture.
Active Layer This is the layer that you are currently.
Anti-Aliasing This smooths any jaggered lines or smoothens roughness
Contrast The difference in luminance or colour which helps when trying to distinguish
Bevels This is something that appears in many software suites and allows you, for example, edit a poly in which it creates a slope on a surface or an edge.
Burn Tool The burn tool allows you to darken particular areas on an image, comes in useful when trying to make tileable textures
Brand This is a logo, symbol, name, saying, images or even colours which help distinguish a particular company.
Polygon A flat plain made up of three edges or more
Triangle This is a polygon made up of three sides or edges
Quad This is a polygon made up of four sides or edges
N-Gon This is a polygon made up of five sides or edges and should be avoided as it effects rendering time
Optimization This is the act of making something fully functional and work as effectively as possible to create the best experience or to get something working as best as it can.
LOD Models This stands for level of detail, not all models will use a LOD process but it is good for those models which have a very high polycount which you don’t want a lot of detail seen at a distance.
UV Map This is the process of making a 3d model into a 2d surface for you to manipulate usually for textures.
Texture This is an image which usually has been altered to go onto a 3d model.
Texture Resolution This is how big or small the texture is (256, 512, 1024, 2048, 4096)
Light Map This gives the light information such as the brightness of surfaces to the model. This is all pre-computed and static so that it doesn’t have to be dynamic which would put a lot of pressure on the engine.
Shaders This is a bit of software which runs on a graphics card to help the graphics card device how an object should be drawn.
Rigging This helps determine the characters skeleton structure so that motion can be added to create an animation and give it life.
Skinning This is the process of attaching the character mesh to the skeletal parts
GUI Graphical User Interface – A visual way of interacting using icons and menus.
Scripting This is writing a piece of software in a particular language, in some instances helps with the functionality of a game
Archetype A very typical example or an original which has been imitated. Also something that is recurrent e.g. mythological archetypes of good and evil.
Bug An error or a flaw in a computer program which causes the software/hardware to act in a unpredictable way.
Development This is the act of process, developing means that you are currently in the middle stage of creating something. ‘It’s under development’
Targa Truevision TGA often known as TARGA. This is a raster graphics file format. Known also as .TGA
JPEG Known as .JPEG or .JPG, this is a compression file format used for images.
MP3 Known as MPEG-1 or MPEG-2 but ends in a .MP3 file format, this is an compression file format used for audio.
Stakeholder This is a person who has some connection to an organisation either that be an interest, concern or sometimes helps with the finances of the business.

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