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A game with an AAA rating is one that is considered 'best of breed'. These titles have excellent production values, large budgets and often come from well-known developers. Examples of AAA title games would include: Doom III, Final Fantasy VII, and Starcraft.
American National Standards Institute.
The science, art, or profession of designing and constructing buildings, bridges, etc.
American Standard Code for Information Interchange.

This is a standard for representing characters. In addition to text characters, other control characters are used. (Control characters include CARRIAGE RETURN, BACKSPACE, DELETE, etc.

An assembler is basically a low level compiler which translates assembly instructions into object code, which can be read by the processor. See also: Assembly language.
The binary number system is a base 2 number system. This system uses combination of 1's and 0's to represent data.
Short for binary digit. the smallest unit of data a computer can represent -either ON or OFF
See Also:Byte, Gigabyte, Kilobyte, Megabyte, Terabyte
Boolean Geometry
Named after mathematician George Boole Boolean geometry refers to combining multiple objects. Common operations include "unions" which combine two shapes and "difference" operations. Difference operations can be used to cut one shape out of another. 3d Studio Max and the game Red Faction for the Playstation II are good examples of how Boolean geometry can be used in practical applications.
Acronym short for "Blue Screen Of Death", commonly displayed after a major system error under numerous versions of Microsoft Windows. Seeing a BSOD generally means a reboot is soon to follow.
An error in a game or computer program. The word originated with mainframes; Insects would crawl inside the machines seeking warmth and destroy delicate wiring. "Bug" now means any error or undesired effect in a game or program.
A byte is 8 bits, which is the equivalent of 256 different possible combinations (0 to 255). A single letter (character) on a computer is normally stored as a byte in ASCII format.
A term used to define someone who acts as a sniper in a First Person Shooter. Usually used derogatively.
Capture The Flag
A multiplayer game with teams where the objective is to capture the other teams flag and bring it back to your own teams base while protecting your own flag.
Collision Detection
Collision detection is a means of determining whether two objects have come into contact with one another. In games, this is necessary in order to make decisions. For example, in a Fighting game, it is important to know whether a character's punch has hit or missed an opponent.

If the two objects intersect, meaning that they are in the same place at the same time, they are assumed to have made contact. In the Fighting game, if one character's fist and the other character's face are in the same place at the same time, someone has a bloody nose!

Electronic machine, operating under the control of instructions stored in its own memory, that can accept data, manipulate the data according to specified rules, produce results, and store the results for furture use.
The term coined for multiplayer games in Doom, usually consisting of all players trying to see who can get the most kills.
The game designer is the one who takes a game from an initial concept and flushes out all the components of a game until it is totally complete on paper. The designer usually writes this information into a design document.
This term refers to anyone who is involved in the process of development of games. This could include anyone in a game company, or it could only mean those who are directly involved in creating the game such as the artists, designers, programmers and musicians. Developer is also sometimes used as a synonym to a programmer.
Development is a process of creating something.
Difficulty ramping
Like music or theatre, video games often have a pattern of action that starts low, then steadily rises through the game, and climaxes near the end. This means that the challenges faced by the player are not equal in difficulty as the game progresses. Games tend to start with simple challenges and build to a higher difficulty level as the game nears completion.

Obtaining a desired difficulty ramp is one of the reasons developers make video games linear. As a linear game has fewer variables to consider, it is much easier to apply an even ramp to than to a non-linear game.

Dual Linear Program
Every linear program has a corresponding linear program called the dual. It is maxy {b · y | ATy c and y 0 }. For any solution x to the original linear program and any solution y to the dual we have c · x (AT y)T x = yT(Ax) y · b. For optimal x and y, equality holds. For a problem formulated as an integer linear program, a solution to the dual of a relaxation of the program can serve as witness.
Extended Binary Coded Decimal Interchange Primarily used on mainframe computers, EBCDIC is used to represent data.
See Also:ASCII
Something which performs like something else. In the game world, this is usually one system being able to run software that was created to be run on a different system.
This refers to the value of bits which comprise a number. Binary numbers are made up of 1s and 0s. A typical eight bit binary number looks like this: 1000 0101

Using a little endian system, the leftmost bit represents a high value, while the rightmost bit represents a small value. A 1 in the rightmost position (0000 0001) represents the number 1. A 1 in the leftmost position (1000 0000) represents 128. Using eight bits, any number from 0 to 255 may be represented.

A big endian system orders the bits in the other direction. In this case, a 1 in the rightmost bit (0000 0001) has the value of 128, while a 1 in the leftmost bit (1000 0000) has the value of 1.

Generally, PCs use a little endian system, while Macs use a big endian system.

Visit the site below for more information and a history of the problem. http://www.mackido.com/General/endian.html

Ethereal Darkness Interactive
Northampton, Massachusetts based Independent Game Developer founded by Raymond Jacobs and well known to GameDev.net; over the course of three years they designed, produced and sold the Indie game Morning's Wrath.
Euler Cycle
A path through a graph which starts and ends at the same vertex and includes every edge exactly once. Also known as an Eulerian path, Euler tour, etc.
Fibonacci Numbers
A sequence of numbers such that each number is the sum of the preceding two. The first seven numbers are 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, and 13.
First in, first out. This is opposite of how the stack works, LIFO. This stands for Last In First Out.
Another name for a kill, usually associated with First Person Shooter deathmatch. Originally used in Vietnam as slang for killing the officer with a "stray" fragmentation grenade.
Can be shortened to GB. 1 GB Approx.: 1 billion bytes
Gone Askew
The term refers to a glitch in a game. It's a word used by game programers when they come across a problem which causes the screen to sway from side to side on random moments in a game (like the camera was being shaken). Incorrect camera data positions and faulty code cause this rare glitch. Nick Askew was the person who first came across this while beta testing the game Doom. Ever sense then this 1 in a 1,000 chance of occurrence has been called "Gone Askew" (as a side note: many programmers use it as kind of a joke because it refers to "bad" programming and hours of work for it to be corrected)
One who is extremely familiar with games and gaming terms. Usually knows more about the industry than most, and enjoys niche and import games such as anime and RPG based games. Also, are known for being large fans of import gaming. Usually "live and breath" games.
Hash Table
The Hash Table is a data structure which is suited to searching large amounts of information by a key value. Hash tables are most useful with a large number of records are stored, and allow information to easily be located. Hash tables function by processing the key using a function which returns a hash value - this value determines where the the data the particular record will be stored. This same value can then be used to search the hash table, and will point to the same location.
The hexadecimal number system is a base 16 number system. This number system uses values 0-9 and A-F to represent values.
Hungarian Notation
A list of suggested prefixes to variable and function names created by Charles Simonyi. There are different versions for both Visual Basic and Visual C++. VC++: b - boolean operator by - byte (unsigned char) c - char cx / cy - size stored in a short dw - DWORD; double word, unsigned long fn - function h - handle i - integer l - long n - short int p - pointer s - string sz - ASCIIZ string terminated with a zero (null-terminated) w - WORD (unsigned int) x, y - short used as coordinates These can be combined in many cases. For instance, lpsz - long pointer to a null-terminated ASCII string. Visual Basic (almost all Visual Basic notations are three letters long): bln - Boolean chk - Check box cbo - Combo box cmd - Command button cur - Currency dtm - Date/Time (variant) dlg - Dialog Box (also used for common dialog control) dbl - Double (double-precision float) frm - Form fra - Frame hsb - Horizontal scroll bar img - Image box int - Integer lbl - Label lst - List box lng - Long mnu - Menu opt - Option (radio) button pic - Picture box shp - Shape or Line sng - Single str - String txt - Text box vnt - Variant vsb - Vertical scroll bar
Idle Motion
Idle motions are scripted events that are triggered when the player does not provide any input for a certain period of time. The motions are generally small, like fidgeting, or polishing the weapon.
In My Humble Opinion.
An integer is a whole number, positive or negative commonly stored as a group of bytes. The integer size usually is in proportion to the pipelining capabilities of the processor architecture it is implemented in. On modern x86 architectures, integers are normally 32-bits in length.
Intro Sequence
Generally an intro is a fully animated sequence that appears when a game is first loaded and explains the back-story of the game and may introduce the main character and nemesis.
The kernel is the core that provides basic services for all other parts of the operating system. A kernel also can be defined as the outermost part of an operating system that interacts with user commands.

Typically, a kernel includes an interrupt handler that works with all requests or completed I/O operations that compete for the kernel's services, a scheduler that determines which programs share the kernel's processing time in what order, and a supervisor that actually gives use of the computer to each process when it is scheduled. A kernel may also include a manager of the operating system's address spaces in memory or storage, sharing these among all components and other users of the kernel's services.

Because the code that makes up the kernel is needed continuously, it is usually loaded into computer storage in an area that is protected so that it will not be overlaid with other less frequently used parts of the operating system.

Can be shortened to KB or K. 1K = 1024 bytes, 8192 Bits
Kolmogorov Complexity
The minimum number of bits into which a string can be compressed without losing information. This is defined with respect to a fixed, but universal decompression scheme, given by a universal Turing machine.
Kripke Structure
A finite state machine, whose states are labeled with boolean variables and whose next state is chosen nondeterministically. It may be extended with fairness constraints.
A point lattice generated by taking integer linear combinations of a set of basis vectors.
1) A character level: This is a measurement of a game character's strength, ability, etc. In many games, especially RPGs, the characters which the player controls may grow and become more powerful or more skilled throughout the course of the game. The character's level provides an indication of how capable the character currently is.

2) A monster level:

The relative strength and skill of monsters and NPCs may also be indicated by level. For example, a 1st level monster is very weak. But a 23rd level monster is a much more formidable opponent.

3) A difficulty level: In some games, the player is able to control how easy or difficult it will be to play the game. For instance, playing the game on the "easy" or "please don't hurt me" setting makes the game easier, while playing the "difficult" or "I'm completely insane" version will be much different.

4) A game level: A section of the game. Most modern games require the computer to process a tremendous amount of information. These data cannot all be stored in the computer's main memory at the same time. (Sound files in particular take up a lot of space.) So the game is broken up into sections, or levels.

When a game level is to be played, the computer loads only the information which is required for that section of the game. When that portion of the game is finished, the computer loads the information for the next game level. (Because this usually means that the player must wait before continuing to play the game, some developers have chosen to implement "streaming", in which portions of the game are alwaysbeing loaded.)

5) To gain a character level: Some allow the player's character to increase in level. When the character attains the next level, the character is said to have "leveled up". It is not uncommon for players to refuse to stop playing an RPG until a character has reached the next level.

Lexicographical Order
Alphabetical or ``dictionary'' order.
Load Time
The time it takes for information to transfer from the storage deice, like a CD-ROM or cartridge, to RAM. Long load times from CD-ROMs were initially thought to be a potentioal problem with next-generation systems. Now dynamic loading methods are being developed to lessen or eliminate the load-waiting experience for the player.
The word 'logic' comes from the ancient Greek word for 'Reason' and is primarily about proof and reasoning in arguments. In a computing context, logic implies a precise, reasoned, provable system which can be rigorously tested for accuracy.
Lossy Compression
A Lossy Compression, used in such formats at .MP3, discards what it feels is 'unnecessary' information during encoding. Therefore, after compressing a file with a Lossy format, you are unable to decompress it to the same state in which it was originally. While many times this information truly is unnecessary, proponents of lossless compression would argue that it's a sloppy practice.
Markov Chain
A weighted graph in which all weights are nonnegative and the total weight of outgoing edges is positive.
massively multiplayer
A specific designation of multiplayer game in which the number of simultaneuous players is on the order of hundreds or even thousands.
Matched Vertex
A vertex on an matched edge in a matching, or, one which has been matched.
The value which has an equal number of values greater and less than it. For an even number of values, it is the mean of the two middle values.
Can be shortened to MB. 1 MB Approx.: 1,000,000 Bytes
Business that created OS Windows 3.1, 95, 98, NT, 2000. Also creates development SDK called DirectX which is used by most games on Windows OS. (WWW)
Short for modification. Many current games have tools that have been developed by the creators or players which allow the game to be changed by players to create different looking and sometimes playing games. See Total Conversion.
Model of Computation
A formal, abstract definition of a computer. Using a model one can more easily analyze the intrinsic execution time or memory space of an algorithm while ignoring many implementation issues. There are many models of computation which differ in computing power (that is, some models can perform computations impossible for other models) and the cost of various operations.
A mode of game in which the primary aspect is to compete against one or more human players.
The United States National Institute of Standards and Technology.
Parallax Scrolling
Kind of scrolling in which you have several (usualy) 2D bitmap/tiled layers that scroll at different speeds giving a Different Depth Sense to the viewer. It is usualy used in arcade games as the background world maps e.g. Jazz Jack Rabbit or Mortal Kombat series.
A game, generally a role-playing game in which there is no overall victory condition. There may be short-term victories and losses, but the overall goal of the game is to refine and improve the player's "character".
Can be shortened to PB. 1PB = 1,125,899,906,842,624 bytes
The science of matter and energy and their interactions.
Player Killing
Player Killing or Team Killing refers to the act of "killing" a player in a game that is on your team or general "side".
To convert a game to work on another platform than the one originally developed for. Example: Converting a PC game to work on Sony's PlayStation.
This the person who actually writes the software. There are often several different titles of programmers in a game development projects. There is normally a programming lead who coordinates the team and takes on a majority of the base programming. There is sometimes tool programmers who create the tools the artists and others use to add content to the game and there are also sometimes AI programmers.
Programming is the act of developing software.
To rewrite a piece of code in order to improve structure and/or readability without changing it's external behavior or overall meaning. Refactoring code will often result in simpler code which will potentially be more performant and/or readable than the original version.
A Remake is generally a newly programmed version of an existing (usually quite old) game. Remakes can be true to the original, but most tend to use improved graphics or enhance gameplay with new ideas. There are several websites dedicated to making Remakes.(e.g. http://www.remakes.org)
Read The Fu****g Manual. Usually said to people who keep bugging others with their questions BECAUSE they didn't RTFM. :-)
Skeletal Animation
The process of animationg by deforming a mesh over a series of contollable "bones" (seen in Half-Life)
Strategy Guide
A book designed to aid the player in learning basic and advanced strategies for a particular game. These strategies can range from simplistic (such as a moves list) to complex (such as a walk-through for an RPG). There are both official (approved by the publisher of the game) and un-official (have not obtained permission from the game publisher) strategy guides.
The abbreviation TANSTAAFL stands for "there ain't no such thing as a free lunch" and is quite often used by Michael Abrash when he talks about optimization. It means that whatever you do, there's always a trade-off, be it size, speed, or the developer's nerves.
Can be shortened to TB. 1 TB Approx.: 1 Trillion bytes
Total Conversion
A modification (mod) to a game that changes all of the graphics, levels and often adds in new elements of gameplay. For example, the Quake 1 was converted into a car racing game. See Mod.
UML is the Unified Modelling Language. It is a highly structured, object oriented methodology for software engineering. Currently, it is accepted as the defacto standard.
A standard for representing characters as numeric values.

Whereas the ASCII standard uses single bytes, and is therefore limited to 256 characters, Unicode uses two bytes to represent each character. This allows Unicode to represent up to 65,536 characters.

At present, Unicode only contains about 30,000 meaningful characters. But that is enough to represent virtually every major written language in the world. Unicode includes, for example, the entire character sets for Chinese and Japanese.

Because Unicode can easily represent characters from so many languages, its use is standard to the Java programming language. This is yet another feature which helps to make Java such a portable language.

Unicode is a standard which describes character encoding, similar to ASCII. However, in contrast to ASCII and other encodings, Unicode tries to encompass all characters ever needed. While ASCII is limited to one-byte units and therefore 256 different characters, Unicode uses three different encoding forms: UTF-8 uses 8-bit units; UTF-16 uses 16-bit units; UTF-32 uses 32-bit units. All three of these forms can make use of all characters covered by the standard; in UTF-8 and UTF-16, a character may however consist of more than one unit. The web site of the Unicode consortium is http://www.unicode.org/
1) A resizable array of elements (such as std::vector) 2) A mathematical object, usually in 2D or 3D space containing position elements of the same order. A vector is different than a point of the same magnitude in that it generally assumes movement from the origin of the coordinate system to the specified position.
Pirated software distributed over the Internet.
Windows Console
A Windows Console is basically a DOS prompt the opens under the Windows OS inside its own Window. In Windows 95/98, the Windows Console was truly a DOS prompt, which allowed the user to access the underlying DOS-powered operating system, where as in NT-Based Windows distributions, the console is enumerated, and has a bit less functionality than that of it's predecessors.
A word is usually the natural size of data that a processor works with. On early x86 systems, a word was 16 bits. On 32-bit systems, a word is 32 bits. (However, for compatibility with 8088 terminology, Windows uses "word" to mean 16 bits.) On 64-bit systems, a word is 64 bits, but often the operating system "word" is 32 bits for compatibility with existing 32-bit Unix systems.
Similar in context to byte, a word is string of bits of any length.

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