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165 votes

What are "affordances" in game design?

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 ...
Philipp's user avatar
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79 votes
Accepted

What is the difference between a HUD and a GUI in a game?

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 ...
DMGregory's user avatar
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66 votes

What is the term for a 3x3 tile set used to create larger areas?

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 ...
DMGregory's user avatar
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48 votes
Accepted

What does SoC stand for?

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 ...
Vaillancourt's user avatar
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44 votes

What is the little dot/icon at the center of the screen in an FPS game called?

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 ...
drmuelr's user avatar
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42 votes
Accepted

What's the technology that allows programming inside a game?

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. ...
Philip Allgaier's user avatar
42 votes

In games physics engines, what is "tunneling", also known as the "bullet through paper problem"?

What is tunneling and why it happens In video games, physic objects will have an specific position which is updated by the physics engine each frame based on its velocity and any forces applied to it. ...
Theraot's user avatar
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41 votes

What are "affordances" in game design?

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 ...
House's user avatar
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40 votes
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Name & explain shimmering patterns seen when looking at a grid of objects from a distance

It's a moiré pattern caused by aliasing. In your examples, the Moiré patterns occur when a repetitive pattern of high spatial frequency is sampled at low resolution. Consider the Wikipedia example ...
Pikalek's user avatar
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39 votes
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What is the term for a 3x3 tile set used to create larger areas?

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 ...
Vaillancourt's user avatar
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39 votes
Accepted

What is the difference between a Sprite and a Texture?

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 ...
DMGregory's user avatar
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39 votes
Accepted

Why is it called "roguelike" and "metroidvania"?

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 ...
Charanor's user avatar
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38 votes

What is an actor in game development?

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 ...
Bálint's user avatar
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37 votes

Is there any term for reverse gamification?

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 ...
Philipp's user avatar
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36 votes

What are "affordances" in game design?

"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 ...
Almo's user avatar
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36 votes

What's the difference between 'Dynamic' , 'Random', and 'Procedural' generations?

Disclaimer: If true random exists in our reality, and what is the nature of free will are topics beyond this answer. The random I speak about in this answer is pseudo-random (when I say "random&...
Theraot's user avatar
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34 votes
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What is a 'Mask' in Game development?

Conceptually, masking involves selectively ignoring something, usually to isolate something else. The two main uses I've familiar with are: Masking data such as bit fields or flags for bitwise ...
Pikalek's user avatar
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32 votes
Accepted

What is a vertex color?

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 ...
Philipp's user avatar
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27 votes
Accepted

Why is this Procedural Content Generation while that other isn't?

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 ...
Engineer's user avatar
  • 30k
26 votes

What is a vertex color?

In theory, Vertex Color allows to color a model without having to bother with textures. This is quite common in CAD. In practice, it's just one more slot you can use to push data into the vertex, ...
Peter's user avatar
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26 votes

What is the difference between a HUD and a GUI in a game?

Interactivity. A HUD is not interactive: it displays information only, it cannot be clicked, dragged, closed, etc. A GUI in a game is like any other UI: it is interactive. It has menus, buttons, ...
Bram's user avatar
  • 3,719
21 votes

What is meant by "System Programming"?

Josh's answer is really good but I figured I'd throw down some bullet points about the Systems team where I work. I don't work on Systems but I work with them a lot. The responsibilities of a Systems ...
Honeybunch's user avatar
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18 votes
Accepted

What’s an "IHV"?

Your assumption is correct, IHV in this context means Independent Hardware Vendor. In the linked answer it refers mainly to AMD and NVidia.
LukeG's user avatar
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18 votes
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What is "simulated human operator" cutscene camera movement called?

Quoting the Wikipedia article on "Shaky Camera": Handheld camera, shaky cam, queasy cam, queasicam, run-and-gun or free camera is a cinematographic technique where stable-image techniques ...
DMGregory's user avatar
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17 votes
Accepted

Is there a term for the sounds that play when text is printed out letter by letter?

TV Tropes calls this Voice Grunting: Voice acting is ubiquitous in video games today, but in the old days, when budgets were smaller, sound hardware was more basic, and disk/cartridge space was ...
DMGregory's user avatar
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14 votes

What is an actor in game development?

By my understanding the term is a side effect of hiring writers to make the stories for games. Since they usually come from theater or screen, they are accustomed to the terms ...
Stephan's user avatar
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14 votes

What is the canonical name of the interaction symbol over NPCs heads?

Disclaimer There is no canonical name as far as I'm aware. So, instead I will provide terms that I hope will be useful for you. And while I cannot provide a definitive source these terms, I do not ...
Theraot's user avatar
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