160

An Affordance in general is an action a person perceives as possible. Adding a handle to a desk drawer generates an affordance to open it. Without the handle it just looks like a panel and someone would not get the idea that opening it is even possible. Or notice the link I posted as the second word of the answer. It is displayed in a different color and ...


108

Slotting is a technique which is used to confront the player with an overwhelming number of enemies and still give them a chance to win. Instead of having all enemies attack at once, there is a limited number of "slots" of enemies which attack the player seriously, while the rest of the enemies keep their distance and just look threatening but do not do ...


102

Does it change the state of your game world? It's logic code. Does it display the state of the game world? It's rendering code.


80

I'd argue that HUDs are graphical user interfaces: they're ways to present information back to the user graphically. In contrast to what some other answers say, the term GUI doesn't require that every element be directly interactive - the label next to a control on a form is still part of the GUI, guiding the player in how to interact with the system, even ...


73

Ambient light is a light type in computer graphics that is used to simulate global illumination. Ambient occlusion is simply a simulation of the shadowing caused by objects blocking the ambient light. Because ambient light is environmental, unlike other types of lighting, ambient occlusion does not depend on light direction. As such, it can be pre-computed ...


63

I'd disagree with the accepted answer here. I'd call this an autotile, and not a 9-slice "9-Slice" (or 9-patch) is usually used to refer to a system where the content creator slices the image along 4 lines (not necessarily equally-spaced tiles). When rendering a rectangle, the corner slices are displayed at their native size, and the edges/center are ...


60

The terms 2D and 3D (as you probably already know) refer to the number of spatial dimensions in a Euclidean world-space. This dimensionality must be an ordinal number; there is no such thing as a half dimension, so the term 2.5D is really a nonsense term, and has no intrinsic meaning. That said, 2.5 is "somewhere between" 2 and 3, so 2.5D generally means ...


48

It stands for Separation of Concerns, i.e. designing a software so that each section has a specific purpose. As you guessed, it's a general software engineer priciple and it is not specific to game design/programming. This is often done (and not limited to) to reduce the coupling between sections, resulting in better reusability, code clarity and (...


44

When companies talk about hiring a gameplay programmer, what they are talking about is a programmer who will be responsible for code that directly touches on the game experience. That is, the programmer will be responsible for actually constructing the games, rather than engine or larger game systems. But beyond that, things vary a lot: Some companies ...


43

Mathematically, a quaternion is a complex number with 4 dimension. But in game development, Quaternions are often used to describe a rotation in 3d space by encoding: a rotation axis (in form of a 3-dimensional vector) how far to turn around that axis Note that this information is encoded with sines and cosines inside the quaternion, so in general you ...


43

In addition to what Josh Petrie mentioned: if you're looking for more advanced ways to aim weapons, the center dot in your bottom image is also called a "pipper" in real-life applications. This especially applies when some device is actively predicting where an arcing projectile will impact, like a bomb or grenade, instead of simply showing which direction ...


42

Scripts written in scripting / embedded / interpreted languages such as "Lua", "Lisp" or "AngelScript" (more here) can be updated during the game [*] and then are interpreted (= executed) on the fly. You can bind elements from those scripts to your native compiled coding (C++, etc.) so that the scripts can then execute logic from your application. E. g. a ...


41

A mesh is part of a model. The mesh defines the vertices of an object. Typically storing them in such an order as to imply their connectivity, like every 3 form a triangle. Like a mesh of vertices to define the shape of an object. The model can have other elements like an armature, animation and texture information. It can additionally include more than ...


41

Teaching without words. Essentially, allowing common sense and simple reasoning to do the teach the player how to use the mechanics of the game. Allow me to give you a real world example. When approaching this door, do you push or do you pull? Without words, it's not really clear. You either need to try and get lucky or they need to put up a sign, with ...


40

Digital colors can be made up of three components: red, green, and blue. Combine these together, and you get final color, eg. yellow is 100% red, 100% green and 0% blue. The fourth component is, as you mentioned, transparency. Together, these form the tuple RGBA (red, green, blue, alpha) which represent an image. Now, instead of pixels, think about it ...


40

A name that will give you actual results in Google is 9-slice. Another way to call it and ask Google about it is 9-patch. As per this chat discussion, 9-pane seems to also be used, but the almighty Google will not show you what you need, unless you're into windows or something. Thanks to Kevin and Josh in chat for that.


40

As you mentioned, an actor can be literally anything; trees, NPCs, buildings, etc. A similar term is "entity". It doesn't need to have a behaviour in the traditional sense, it can be static. It's just a way to say "an object in the game".


37

In traditional software engineering, Alpha releases will still be introducing new features, while Beta releases will see no new features, but rather polishing up the existing stuff. However the current development environment in game dev is that both of these are simply "not complete yet", and alpha is generally just "less complete" than beta. Beta ...


37

Extra Credits made an episode about De-Gamification a while ago. But I am not sure if that's what you mean. They are talking about removing incentives and obstacles to allow the player to interact with the game world more on their own whims and not be too focused on success. You could also be talking about the axis of Gameism vs. Simulationism. Gameism is ...


37

At the end of the day, sprites and textures are just images - blocks of raster colour data (although sometimes we push the bounds a bit to put non-image data into them). The distinction is largely in how we use them. We usually call an image (or a part of an image that contains many separate pieces) a "sprite" if its intended rendering purpose is to be ...


37

Roguelike and Metroidvania have pretty unconventional names but they do in fact describe the gameplay elements of the game, just not as straight-forward as the other genres. Roguelike originates from the game Rogue released in 1980, hence the name roguelike. However some claim that there are earlier occurrences of roguelike genre games such as Beneath Apple ...


36

"Affordance, to put it simply, is the quality of an object that communicates a way to use it." Good affordances in game design will mean that the players know how to interact with items without significant instruction. An example of a good affordance is seeing a lock after you've already found a key. Here's an example from Activision's Mindshadow of one of ...


30

A material is a combination of attributes which describe how a surface of the given material should look like. Some engines use different shaders for different materials, in which case a material definition could look like this: [Material] Shader=NormalMappedSpecular.glsl Texture1=Rock.png Texture2=RockNormal.png Texture3=RockSpecular.png Other engines ...


29

Vertex colors aren't that relevant when you have a fully textured 3d mesh. But it gets interesting when you have an untextured but colored mesh. In that case you assign a color to every vertex. The shader would then color each pixel of a polygon by interpolating between the colors of the three vertices. Vertex colors can also sometimes be interesting in ...


28

Time investment is the main criteria. If a game can be rewarding to players who only pop in every so often and only for short time periods, it is casual. "Hardcore" games are those which require either a lot of time investment into skill (possibly from playing other similar games) or time investment into game sessions in order to enjoy the experience. An ...


27

The first game I'm aware of that had the term "2.5D" applied to it was Doom (although Wolfenstein 3D qualifies in some sense too). Wolfenstein 3D was a basically 2D game with a 3D presentation. You navigated a 2D maze, all the floors were flat, all the ceilings were at the same height, there were no windows, doors were floor-to-ceiling and opened sideways, ...


27

By way of analogy A circuit does not generate power. A light bulb does not generate power. A battery does not generate power. None of the things which use or store generated power, are power generators. A gasoline-driven generator is a power generator. A solar panel setup is a power generator. They can be expected to spontaneously generate when they are ...


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