East Coast Games - Game
By Forest J. Handford
A B C D E F G H I J L M N O Q P R S T U V W X Z
- 2D Game
- A game that only has X and Y coordinates for its objects
and characters like Tetris and Pac-Man.
- 2.5D Game
- A game that has X, Y and Z for it's coordinates but only
a small amount of Z coordinates. An example would be Doom
or Wolfenstein 3D. These games
had three possible Z coordinates for every X and Y
coordinate pair. The Z coordinates would be for the
floor, ceiling, and an object or player. Because there
was only one Z coordinate for every X and Y pair that
could hold an object or character, no objects or players
could be above or below each other. This also meant that
no two objects or characters could have the same X and Y
coordinate. (See also 2D)
- 3D Game
- A game whose objects and characters can have an X, Y and
Z coordinate. Computers were not able to run reliable 3D
games until the 100 MHz barrier was broken. Consoles were
not able to run reliable 3D games until the Nintendo 64
was released. Before the 3D game developers had to make 2D and 2.5D games.
An early 3D game example is the original Quake.
- 3D Model
- 3D game artists need to make 3D
art. To do this they employ tools like 3D studio max.
Before 3D games, developers used sprites
to imitate 3D objects and players.
- 3D Shooter
- This is a genre of 3D action games where the object is
to shoot other characters. (See also FPS)
- A* is a game
artificial intelligence algorithm used to determine
the fastest way for a computer player to get from one
point to another.
- AAA Games
- A AAA title is a popular game.
- Action Game
- This is a genre of game were players uses their eye and
hand coordination to win. Sports
games and 3D shooter
games are types of action games.
- An alpha version of a game is a version where you can
play through a level of the game from start to finish.
(See also Beta)
- Artificial Intelligence
- (See Game AI)
- A 32-bit Windows feature that allows software developers
to automatically launch programs when a CD is inserted
into the CD drive.
- A beta version of a game is complete except for last
minute tweaks, tuning and bug fixes. (See also Alpha)
- A blit is a memory copy operation from a surface to the video card.
- A procedural compiled programming language developed by
Dennis Ritchie at Bell Labs. It was originally called B.
- A compiled programming language developed by Bjourne
Stroustrup at Bell Labs that is an enhanced version of C. Its programs tend to be
slightly slower then C and
about 15% larger then C but the
code is object-oriented.
- Circular Buffer
- A circular buffer is used to store sounds in memory to be
output to the sound card and speaker(s). Static buffers and streaming buffers are two
examples of circular buffers.
- In these games, the players connect to one server where
they download the game world from and upload update to.
As long as the server is owned by a trusted party and
isn't hacked, it is very hard for players to cheat.
- Color Key
- A color key is used to separate one color from an image
like how an actor or weatherman is separated from a blue
screen. The separated image can then have the color
replaced with the visible game world.
- Dead Reckoning
- This is a formula to determine where other players and
objects are by calculating their positions based on the
velocity and last location received. This information
will be replaced when other players change velocity and
send their new velocity.
- The Dreamcast is the last of Sega's
home entertainment systems. From now on Sega
will be a third-party software developer. They hope to
grow larger then EA, who
is currently the largest third party game developer, to
become the largest third party game developer. The
Dreamcast competed with Nintendo
64 and the Sony Playstation.
- DirectX is an SDK
by Microsoft that is used to quickly access hardware.
- (See Electronic
- Electronic Arts
- Electronic Arts (EA) is the world's largest third party
- A yearly exposition of the newest games, consoles, and
tools for electronic entertainment.
- A valid game strategy that was not expected by the game
- Emulators are programs used to emulate games that were
made for other game systems or computers.
- An engine is the code that makes a game run. An engine
can be used for multiple games by using different art and
data sets. The Quake 3 engine is a great example that was
not only used by the game Quake 3 Arena but also by Star
Trek Elite Forces and Alice. A good engine can often be
licensed to other developers.
- The first person shooter (FPS) is a genre
of games where you see through the eyes of the
protagonist. The games often have puzzles to solve but
most of the gameplay is about killing opponents. (See also 3D Shooter)
- To cancel a game due to legal issues relating to possible infringement of intellectual property by the game developers. The term is derived from 20th Century Fox Corporation causing a game mod to be cancelled.
- Game artificial intelligence or AI is logic used to
determine a computer players decisions. (See also A*, Team AI, LOD AI)
- Game Boy
- The Nintendo Game Boy was Nintendo's first hand-held game
system. The system had a back and white screen. At the
time it was released handheld game systems could only
play one game so the Game Boy quickly became popular
because it could be used to play any game built on the
Game Boy cartridge.
- Game Boy Advanced
- Game Boy Advanced (GBA) is being released in the US in
2001. This is Nintendo's newest handheld system. It has
color and has as much power as the Super Nintendo. Many Super Nintendo games are being
ported to the Game Boy Advanced.
- Game Boy Color
- The Game Boy Color (GBC) is the first color handheld game
system that Nintendo created. Many custom versions were
sold that featured characters like Link on them. This
system is the same as the original Game
Boy except that the games are in color. Games from
the original Game Boy can be
played on the system in color because Game
Boy developers all used the same shading methods.
- This is Nintendo's latest game system. GBA systems can actually be
used as controllers for the GameCube allowing the players
to have a private screen.
- Game Designer
- Game designers tend to have the hardest to define role.
They work with the level
designers but aren't in charge of the levels. They
mostly work on tuning the game in general. They work on
parts of the game that are the same across all levels.
- Game Developer
- A person who develops games.
- A yearly conference where developers meet to learn and
share knowledge about game development.
- The important and hopefully entertaining interactions
between a player and the game world.
- A person who plays games.
- (See Game
- Hardware is the physical parts to a computer or console.
CD-ROMs, hard-drives and monitors are all examples of
- Installers are programs that setup and copy game data
onto a player's computer. Because consoles are run off
CD's and cartridges, they don't need installers.
- An interpreted object-oriented programming language that
is based off C/C++
syntax. It's generally slower then compiled languages but
the code can be run on any computer with a Java
- A scripting language that is mostly used for web
development. Natural Disaster is being developed in
- A hardware input device used to
- Level Designer
- A level designer is a designer who specifically works on
levels or maps. Although the theme of each level and map
is taken from the game design document the level designer
still has a ton of work to do to make a great level. (See
also Game Designer)
- Level Editor
- A level editor is used by level designers and artists to
create levels for games. Most level editors are to
complicated and user-unfriendly to release to the public
but some like Quake's WorldCraft and StarCraft's map
editor have allowed gamers to make their own custom map.
A level designer for a FPS
generally needs expertise in 3D
modeling and architecture.
of Detail Artificial Intelligence
- Level of Detail (LOD) AI
changes it's algorithms based on the level of detail
needed. An example would be a driving game like the
Getaway. Players can drive through several square miles
of London. In the game, only a small part of the game
world is viewable to the player so all the rest can have
simple AI. The simple AI being random chooses on ways to
turn. In the area that the player can see the AI will
need the computer players to watch their speed, driving
signals and other behavior so that it seems realistic.
- The sequential order of events or levels. Linearity is
directly related to interactivity. A movie is linear, it
has a begining a middle and an end. Generally a movie is
only viewed in it's linear order. This makes it
non-interactive. In most games a story is intended and
some linearity is needed. For example, in StarCraft you
can't play the protoss levels unless you have beaten the
human levels. This allows plot to be added to the game.
(See Also Non-linearity)
- Lobbies are places where players can meet to start and
create game sessions. Battle.net and Microsoft's Gaming
Zone are examples of lobbies.
- Metagaming is a part of the game that adds replay value
but does not effect the object of the game. An example of
metagaming is a chat system that is incorporated into the
game. See the game is Yahoo Chess. If you make friends on
Yahoo Chess, you'll want to return to see them again.
- A MIP-Map is a file with multiple images of the same
object. These images are different sizes. The different
sizes are used to reduce the amount of memory used if the
object was far away by using the smallest image of the
object that would be as small or larger then how the
image should look in the game.
- A programming tool used to prevent the launch of multiple
copies of the same game.
- Network Game
- A multi-player game that is played over a computer
- The original Nintendo was one of the first and most
popular home entertainment systems. It featured classic
games like the original Zelda and Super Mario Brothers.
- Nintendo 64
- The Nintendo 64 was the system that came before the GameCube but after SNES.
It was a 32-bit home gaming system with two processors.
This was Nintendo's last home entertainment system to use
- Linearity is sequential action.
A movie is linear. Non-linearity designs allow players to
face levels or challeneges in any order.
- OpenGL is a graphics SDK
for PCs and Macs used to develop 3D games like Quake.
- An image can be overlaid over other images. An overlay
image will not change often and will be placed over the
game view. An example of an overlay is a resource count
and health information that is displayed at the top,
bottom, or side of the screen over the game world.
- Peer to Peer
- A multiplayer network game where all computers store a
copy of the game world. An example is Warcraft. These
computers in a peer to peer game can prevent cheating if
they detect that one computers game world is very
different from the other computers' game worlds.
- This is a genre of games that was made famous by Super
Mario Brothers. In a platformer a player must jump
throughout the game to kill monsters and to travel through
- The original Sony Playstation was Sony's first home
entertainment system. It was a large competitor of the Nintendo 64. Unlike most Nintendo
Games, Playstation games often featured violence.
Playstation games were on CDs instead of cartridges.
- Playstation 2
- The Playstation 2 (PS2) is Sony's latest home
entertainment system. The games are on DVDs instead of
CDs. Sony was able to release the PS2 before Nintendo
could release the GameCube.
- The number of polygons in a 3D
model. The higher the polycount is the more memory
and processing power is needed to display it. Artists and
level designers have to make sure they don't create a
polycount that's too high for the target machine to run.
- To port a game is to take it from its original system,
modify its code, and art assets to be played on another
system. Many games from EA
like Tony Hawk are ported to multiple systems.
- A version of BASIC developed by Microsoft's Bill Gates
and Paul Allen. QBASIC stands for Quick Beginners
All-purpose Instruction Code.
- The creation of a 3D image.
- Real-Time Strategy
- This is genre of game first seen in Dune 2. Real-Time
Strategy (RTS) games are strategy games that don't use
turns. Two or more players can attack, defend or build
simultaneously. (See also Turn-Based strategy
- Role-Playing Game
- This is a genre of game that has been around since the
beginning of computer gaming. In these games, a player
will use their character to defeat quests. These games
are comparable to dungeons and dragons. All of the Final
Fantasy games and Myst are examples of popular RPG games.
- The developers of the Sega Dreamcast,
Sega Genesis and Sega Saturn consoles. SEGA decided in
2001 to stop making consoles and instead just make games
as a third-party. Their games include Sonic the Hedgehog
and Crazy Taxi.
- Side-Scrolling Game
- A 2D game that most of the movement
through a level is done by moving your charachter left or
right. The original Super Mario brothers and Sonic the
hedgehog games are both side-scrollers.
- Super Nintendo Entertainment System. (See Super Nintendo)
- The inventers of the Playstation
series of consoles. They also develop several games
- Sports Games
- A genre of game that imitates a sport. The first sports
game was Pong. Today there are games that imitate
football, hockey, basketball, racing, and soccer, skate
boarding, skiing, and boating and several other sports.
- Several 2D graphics images of one object or character for
each of it's possible positions and states. The game
engine displays the correct image based on the object's
or characters position.
- A software development kit or SDK is a tool that
programmers use to develop games without having to write
hardware or hardware emulation code from scratch. Instead
they can use function calls to the SDK library of
pre-defined hardware and hardware emulation code. DirectX and OpenGL
are both popular SDKs that game programmers use.
- Static Buffer
- A static buffer is a circular
buffer that will hold a sound effect, like thunder.
- Streaming Buffer
- A circular buffer that
only holds a small portion of a music file. These are
generally used to store background music. As the buffered
sound is output, it is then replaced with the music to be
- Super Nintendo
- The Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) came
between the original Nintendo and
the Nintendo 64.
- A surface is a place in memory to draw a screen before blitting. To avoid tearing
finish a surface before you blit it.
- TCP/IP stands for Transfer Control Protocol and Internet
Protocol. It is used to send data across LANs, WANs, the
Internet, and dial-up connections. TCP/IP guarantees
delivery of all packets in their entirety in the order
they sent. Because of all the error checking it does and
because small packets sent after large packets will make
it to the destination first UDP is
often used for network games.
- This is AI
that allows a computer player to play nice with its
computer or human teammates.
- Tearing occurs when a surface is blit before it has been completed. This
causes objects or parts of objects to be visible on the
screen in multiple places at once.
- These are strategy games where people take turns, like
chess and unlike RTS games.
- UDP stands for User Datagram Protocol. UDP
is faster then TCP/IP because there is no error checking but packets
are often lost, sent out of order and not sent in there
entirety. Since computers are so fast in comparison to
networks, it's usually best to have your game do all the
- A 3D location where two or more
- Web game
- A game played on a web page. These are usually made in
- A console created by Microsoft.
- This is a technique to
determine which objects are closest to the camera so that
the closest object with a Z coordinate will not be
overwritten by one behind it.