Unit 30: Vocabulary

Please study the 20 vocabulary terms below and press the Mark Complete button to continue.
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AI (artificial intelligence)
code designed to mimic human behavior by gradually increasing difficulty over time, adapting strategy, or similar responsive behaviors
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Game AI is nothing new, it has been an integral part of video games for decades.
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asset
a single game item or element including artwork, special effects, music, sounds, or even code
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Popular game engines such as Unity or Unreal Engine normally include a collection of game assets to get you started.
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bot
a game character controlled entirely by internal AI
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Even at the hardest difficulty level, the bots in CS:GO are no match for an experienced player.
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cheat code
a string of characters typed into a game to make it easier, such as getting free health or skipping levels
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Cheat codes were originally developed so that software testers could save time by skipping early levels of a game.
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collision detection
the ability for a game engine to detect the intersection of two or more objects
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Collision detection is one of the most fundamental principles of game design and most games would be impossible without it.
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cutscene
a short full-motion video (FMV) sequence in a video game meant to enhance or explain gameplay
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Although well-placed and directed cutscenes can add value and depth to a video game experience, most are just annoying diversions from gameplay.
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FPS (frames per second)
a common measurement of of how quickly the screen refreshes (frequency)
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Fraps is a handy utility for gamers that subtly shows the current FPS in a corner of the screen.
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GDD (game design document)
the basic story of a proposed game including gameplay, characters, maps, and anything else needed to convince the stakeholders to produce the game
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The publisher said the GDD was completely irrelevant without including a playable demo.
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game engine
any framework used to create video games, often including sample assets, code libraries, and other useful tools for programmers
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The project manager doomed his project by deciding to switch game engines in the middle of the development cycle.
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genre
a classification of a game based on its most basic gameplay elements
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The boy said his favorite game genres were shooters, platformers, and the occasional sports title.
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hitbox
an invisible shape around a game asset projectile
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Game developers obsess about the properties of hitboxes so players experience gameplay as believable.
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hurtbox
the area around an asset that takes damage from a projectile
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The smaller the hurtbox, the more precise one needs to be to trigger it.
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lag
a measure of network latency (delay) between the game client and the game server
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Excessive ping times will make FPS games lag and thus be unplayable
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level editor
a special type of software used to create content within a game
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Some games such as Super Mario Maker, Minecraft, and Roblox are essentially glorified level editors.
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lightmap
a graphics technology using extra lumination textures to create more realistic looking game scenes
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John Carmack was the first game dev to use lightmap textures during the rendering of his seminal game Quake.
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mod (modification)
a user-made enhancement or alternate version of a game
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Although most game companies encourage the creation of unofficial mods, the general rule is that you cannot sell them without permission.
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nerf
to reconfigure an existing game asset (such as a character or weapon) to make it less powerful
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After analyzing hours of beta gameplay, the devs decided to nerf the BFG rocket launcher by reducing its damage by 60%.
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replay value
a subjective measure of how many times a person will play a single game
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Games with high replay value tend to be complex, varied, and addictive without being too repetitive, long, or complicated.
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skin
a game mod or asset that changes the appearance of a character without affecting their capabilities
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New game skins can be obtained in many different ways including loot boxes, achievements, and even traded online for real money.
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Unity
a cross-platform game development package first announced at Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference in 2005
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The Unity engine is currently (in 2022) the most popular third-party game development software amongst developers worldwide.
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