Game Development Reference
The following is a list of terms used in game development with which you
may be unfamiliar.This is not intended to be an exhaustive list, but hopefully
it will help you to understand gaming terminology.
Standards within the industry are highly variable, so it could be that the
company you work with has their own take on these definitions and may
even have different terms altogether.
Alpha : The stage in development where everything in the game is in place,
but may still contain a large number of bugs and may need polishing in
Anim :An animation file. Because games must react to the player, most things
are parcelled up into discrete units.Anims are small units of animation that
can be triggered very quickly as required.
Artificial intelligence (AI) : In games this generally has a different meaning
from true AI, where the artificial intelligence is expected to learn from the
input of the user. In games, AI is usually a pre-defined set of behaviours
or scripts that are applied to a character at run time to give the impression
that they are reacting intelligently to the actions of the player.
Audio design :How music and sound effects will work in the game, these
may include sounds based on the position of objects in the game world or
multi-layered music which is context sensitive.
Avatar : Another term for the player character - the character the player
controls in the game world. The term is more commonly used in online
games than single player games.
Background characters : Characters that may serve no purpose other than
scenery to make a world feel more alive. Some background characters are
interactive but usually speak very generic lines. In action games they may
also be used as cannon fodder.
Beta :The stage in development where all the final resources are in the game
and the final phase of testing begins in the lead up to release.
Boolean variable :A variable that can either be true or false.Very useful for
keeping track of imparted information in conversation scripts.