Dabs Technical Glossary: The Gaming Edition

It’s easy to enjoy the gaming experience without understanding all the terms and definitions used.  But once you do understand the most common terms, it opens you up to an even greater appreciation of some the games that you have enjoyed.  And you’ll be better equipped to speak to others about the games you enjoy playing.  We’ve put together a short guide, on some of the most common terms, which I think will at the very least be helpful for a few.  Let’s get straight into it:

The Mirror Edge protagontist in a model view

The Mirror Edge protagonist in a model view

Models:  Models are the digital shapes of everything you see on screen in a game.  Depending on the game and it’s level of detail, models can be very complex and highly detailed, but they don’t usually include any colour schemes or detailing.  When a model is finalised, the textures are added to it as well as colour.  Textures are designed to give colour to everything you see within the game afterwards.

HUD:  HUD stands for Heads Up Display.  The Heads Up Display is anything that you can see on the screen while you are playing the game.  For example this could be information that is in the game such as health, the weapon of choice, ammunition, and a map.  Because there is so many different genres of games and so many innovations in each genre, every HUD is unique.  Good HUDs that are created by developers can really make all the difference to the accessibility and overall quality of the game.

Gameplay
: Gameplay is a general term that refers to anything you can do in a game. Gameplay features can include shooting, jumping, buying and selling in-game items, and interacting with Non-Player Controlled (NPC) characters.  A game with a high number of available gameplay features gives the majority of gamers a unique experience.  When executed well, this is can make for a more interactive and fun game to play.



Doom's First Person Shooter perspective (FPS)

Doom's First Person Shooter perspective (FPS)

FPS (First Person Shooter)First Person Shooters are an extremely popular genre of videogames.  In this genre, you see through the eyes of your character, typically with a weapon in hand.  In a number of FPS games, your character has no dialogue at all.  This is done so that any reaction your character may have is imagined by you.  This tactic is most often used to immerse the player further into the story, allowing you project as much of your own creation onto the character as your imagination allows.   A few of the most popular FPS titles include Call of Duty, Halo and Doom.


RPG (Role-Playing Game)
: In Role-Playing Games, you control one or more characters, and every attribute about them.  This means that while you play the game, your character(s) may get stronger, faster, gain intelligence, or improve in a number of other skills.  Most RPG’s are based in fantasy worlds and can take cues from popular mythology.  This genre specialises in creating very large and interactive environments for the player to explore and to utilise a very wide range of items and weapons.  Games of this genre typically take a long time to complete and have good replay value.

That a briefly look at some of the terms you may come across, this I would say is level one.  Of course there is so much more we can go through and I expect this will make up a future blog post.

Please let me know what you think and if there are any other areas or terms you would like covered.  If this is the first level, what term do you suggest should make up level 2 of this gaming terms guide?


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