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Questions tagged [terminology]

Terminology is the vocabulary of technical terms in the game development field.

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16 votes
7 answers
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What does the term "channel" mean when used in regards to computer graphics?

I was studying terminology for computer graphics, and this statement came up that confused me. The image can have alpha channels for transparency. I tried searching for the meaning of the term "...
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  • 311
-4 votes
1 answer
583 views

Why are payments for a game sometimes called "donations"?

Why are money payments (by SMS, or VISA) sometimes called "donations", and not "payments" or "purchases"? Is it a legal part of monetization (some details will be appreciated in this case), or just a ...
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31 votes
6 answers
180k views

What is the difference between an alpha and a beta release?

What is the difference between an alpha and a beta release? I'm surprised this question hasn't been asked here before.
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  • 413
1 vote
2 answers
2k views

What's the difference between an "SDK" and an "engine?"

In delving into game programming, I have encountered both "SDKs" and "game engines". What are their relationships and differences to each other?
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1 vote
5 answers
2k views

What is this type of camera called?

I am trying to find a name like "perspective view" of how a camera like this is called: It is 2d and 3d at the same time. I'm having a hard time trying to find the name.
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  • 11
2 votes
3 answers
837 views

What makes a game a 3D game?

This may sound pretty obvious to game devs here but I'm wondering if a game can be called 3D if it has 3D assets but static isometric like camera view and not rotating at all. I tried searching the ...
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0 votes
2 answers
283 views

A name that describes this type of turn-based battle system

I am thinking of a turn-based battle system that follows this workflow: ...
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  • 143
10 votes
3 answers
5k views

Is multitexturing really just "using more than one texture"?

This might seem stupid, but it bugs me. From what I understand, multitexturing is just using more than 1 texture per shader (usually to blend them somehow). So instead of creating 1 texture, I create ...
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14 votes
1 answer
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In platformer games, what are "hole in the ground" obstacles called?

In most jump and run games, holes in the ground are common obstacles: You need to jump over them, or you'll fall down and lose a life. It would be helpful to know for documentation, variable naming ...
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  • 271
4 votes
1 answer
3k views

What are the types of 3rd-person camera called?

I'm struggling with the terminology surrounding different types of 3rd person camera. What are the common 3rd-person camera types called? What are some notable examples of their use? Here's what I ...
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4 votes
4 answers
3k views

What defines a minigame? [closed]

A "minigame" (sometimes mini-game) is a rather common term used in game design and the general game industry. Therefore it has a definable scope, that is not opinion based, but rather established and ...
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1 vote
1 answer
596 views

What is the purpose of inertial space and what are its uses?

I'm currently reading about left-handed and right-handed coordinate systems when working with 3D and it's all very fascinating. These systems are made up of world space, object space, and inertial ...
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  • 1,107
0 votes
2 answers
146 views

A number of teams playing against each other: what is a fitting game term? [closed]

Basically I am looking for the right expression for a specific set (usually 2-6) of teams (a team is a group of individuals controlled by one player) in a tounament-like game. The team-set is a subset ...
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0 votes
2 answers
1k views

What is a Game Engine? [duplicate]

I am new to Game Development, All I have developed is some 2d Games, using Game Maker by YoYo Games. There game development is ...
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3 votes
1 answer
7k views

What is the difference between an "API," a "framework," an "IDE," and an "engine?"

I am just starting out trying to learn to develop games. At first I thought C++ and OpenGL were the tools a beginner would start out to make a game, but quickly found out the OpenGL was just a API for ...
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18 votes
1 answer
8k views

What are "world space" and "eye space" in game development?

I am reading a book about 3D concepts and OpenGL. The book always talks about world space, eye space, and so on. What exactly is a world inside the computer monitor screen? What is the world space? ...
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3 votes
1 answer
211 views

What is the term that describes the "user" of a status ailment [closed]

Suppose a Snake performs a skill that inflicts a "poison" status on the Hero, and every minute the Hero receives damage equal to the Snake's skill level. What is a term that would describe the snake ...
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  • 81
1 vote
1 answer
446 views

What is a GUI element with a filling-up rectangle shape called?

After every game of StarCraft 1, the statistics screen shows up. The part I like on this screen is the points counter. It starts from zero and then it counts up to the points you have achieved, with a ...
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  • 199
11 votes
2 answers
5k views

What is data-driven design? [closed]

I've been reading up on a lot of articles covering data driven design for games. It seems to come down to: No hard coding No game-specific code in the engine Scripting for AI, cutscenes, et cetera. ...
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  • 339
4 votes
1 answer
333 views

Is there a name for this kind of composited sprite animation technique?

Character avatars composed of different sprites for each component (arms, legs, head) connected together through a series of joints seem to be trending lately. For example, Scrolls, Candy Crush (in ...
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14 votes
3 answers
1k views

What makes a game "casual?"

I've seen the term "casual" used to describe games at times, and have seen people refer themselves or others as "casual gamers." What exactly is a "casual" game? Is there any real difference between ...
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6 votes
2 answers
1k views

What is the edge glow shading technique used in Super Mario called?

What is this Super Mario shading technique (the edge glow) called? It can best be seen on the legs.
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18 votes
4 answers
10k views

What is "tools development?"

I have been looking at different jobs in the games industry and a lot of the jobs that I have seen advertised are for a "Tool Developer" position. I do not know what this actually is. Could someone ...
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  • 483
2 votes
1 answer
199 views

What's the term for the "vertical looking angle" in FPSs?

I guess the "vertical angle" of looking in an FPS could be called the pitch of the camera, but surely there is another term for it? (I'm trying to mod ArmA II, but I can't find anything in their ...
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-1 votes
2 answers
385 views

Can I still call something a "game engine" if I use other APIs to build it? [closed]

I am planning to create a game engine for iOS that is similar to Cocos2d. I wanted to use frameworks like UIKit to display UIViews and UIImageviews. In Cocos2d they don't use the objects in UIKit. If ...
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  • 219
-3 votes
2 answers
757 views

Is a "game engine" a necessity for making a game? [closed]

What's up with the terminology confusion anyways? Some have claimed DirectX SDK to be a game engine itself. According to Wikipedia a game engine is a system for making games. But along what lines do ...
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32 votes
4 answers
22k views

Difference between Material and Shader

In games, materials often only influence the visual appearance of objects. The visual appearance is effected by shaders. So regarding to terminology is there a difference between materials and shaders?...
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2 votes
1 answer
207 views

Shadow cubemapping?

I am working on a game with C++ and OpenGL 3.2. I have successfully implemented directional shadow maps and now I'd like to upgrade them to shadow cube maps (for point lights). I've done some Googling ...
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  • 657
35 votes
4 answers
33k views

What's the difference between mesh and a model?

Which one is created first? For example if a team worked on a graphical asset of a car, what would be a model and what would be a mesh of the car?
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6 votes
1 answer
2k views

What is this type of sound effect called?

There is a sound typically associated with a bright flash of light, which starts with a lower whirring noise, then breaks into a higher pitched sound. What is that type of sound called? I'm not sure ...
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  • 657
3 votes
2 answers
107 views

terminology: a position and a facing

my units have a function that returns a position (vec3) and a facing (quaternion) for any point in time. A position and direction is perhaps called a ray or, in some contexts, a line segment; however,...
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4 votes
2 answers
7k views

What's the difference between a game engine and a physics engine?

What's the difference between a game engine and a physics engine? How do they work together, and what's the meeting point between them?
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5 votes
2 answers
1k views

What are the properties of "position, velocity, acceleration, rotation" collectively named?

They say naming things is one of the hardest problems in computer programming. They were right. Given the pseudocode below, what is a more appropriate name for this collection of properties? "Course",...
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18 votes
3 answers
11k views

What is the technical definition of "sprite batching?"

Platform and language agnostically, how is sprite batching defined? It seems as though there are many different techniques for lessening the amount of work when drawing, and that they are often lumped ...
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6 votes
1 answer
889 views

Unit selection circle

I do not know whether it's called a circle, or whether it's called a halo or whatever. But, I do know that I want to know what is the game development world term for this. So, how do we call it?
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24 votes
5 answers
22k views

What is the difference between a game framework and a game engine?

What is the difference between a game framework (for example, XNA with C#, SDL for c++) and a game engine? Do game frameworks use engines? Does a game engine encapsulate sub-engines like physics ...
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4 votes
6 answers
836 views

Should I refer to browser-based games as HTML5 games or Javascript games?

First of all, I know that there are alternatives to both HTML5 and Javascript, but I worded the question so generally ("browser-based") because if I had said "HTML5" or "Javascript" games that would ...
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-2 votes
3 answers
75 views

Word for the combination of location and orientation (other than transform) [closed]

I'm trying to come up with a name for a class that encompasses an entity's position and orientation. This class isn't a transformation in the 3D sense- a transformation is something this class might ...
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0 votes
1 answer
4k views

What are "view frustum", "focal length" and near plane distance?

I've been reading through "Mathematics for 3D game programming and Computer Graphics" lately. Specifically definition of the view frustum and how the APIs generally process it, author introduces the ...
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2 votes
2 answers
572 views

What is the proper term for "permanent world"?

How to name the fact that for a MMO game there's one big session, the same things are happening for all the players, you log out and after two days log in to the same place as the same person ? I'd ...
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28 votes
3 answers
29k views

What is a "Gameplay Programmer"?

In job descriptions, I often see positions called "Gameplay Programmer." What do people in that position do?
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5 votes
3 answers
2k views

Are polygon normals really shadeable?

Garry's Mod has a copy-protection trap that shows this error: Unable to shade polygon normals It made me wonder if such a problem could ever actually exist. Can polygon normals be shaded? Is a ...
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  • 1,020
4 votes
3 answers
582 views

Is there a better term for a thing that hosts a game story script than "game engine?"

When I recently entered the field of game development, I actually assumed that “game engine” meant something with which you can make your game story script run in an environment where non-player ...
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32 votes
3 answers
10k views

What is the difference between a library and an engine?

I am working on a library to help 2D game development with Scala. So far, it is a collection of helpful classes, file loading, collision detection, images, sprites, etc. So when does it stop being a ...
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38 votes
4 answers
8k views

What is a fragment in 3D graphics programming?

What is a fragment in a fragment shader? Wikipedia says that: In general, a fragment can be thought of as the data needed to shade the pixel, plus the data needed to test whether the fragment ...
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6 votes
2 answers
1k views

What does the term 'photorealistic' really mean?

I was wondering about the term 'photorealistic' in regards to rendering and was wondering how this is used. Is it used to describe a shader (or set of) that have certain quantifiable features? Or any ...
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  • 2,634
10 votes
6 answers
7k views

3D Illusion of a 2D Planet Texture

Several years ago I overheard a technique that gives the user the illusion of a rotating planet by using a 2D texture. Given that the user isn't able to change its position or viewport. What's the ...
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3 votes
1 answer
278 views

Name of the model in memory that you use for map collision detection?

I'm trying to remember the English name for a memory model of a map built exclusively for handling collision detection. I think this is especially frequent in tile-based platform games. I believe the ...
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  • 1,562
4 votes
2 answers
400 views

What term is used to refer to iPhone and Android games?

What do you call games developed for Android or iPhone to differentiate them from games developed for other platforms?
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5 votes
3 answers
408 views

What is the name of the balancing technique that reduces the incremental value of bonuses?

Some games, including Dungeon Crawl (example), use a balancing technique that attempts to prevent certain values (stats, damage, etc.) from being excessively high. The algorithm looks like this: <...
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