Walk the walk and talk the talk.

3D Game A game with 3D artwork, especially a first-person scrolling action game.
Animation A technique where successive still frames of a particular object appear to constitute a seamless sequence of movements.
Arcade Game A game with fast action where hand-eye coordination is the primary skill needed to beat the game.
Artificial Intelligence An algorithm by which the computer gives the illusion of thinking like a human. Also, the action of a character in a game as it reacts to other objects in the game.
Bit The smallest unit that can carry information in a computer - this is a base 2 number, equaling either 0 or 1.
BitBlt BIT BLock Transfer, a bit string move, usually referring to moving the bits that represent an image from memory to display. Also known as a "blit".
Bitmap Arrays of data specifying the color of each pixel in a rectangular image of arbitrary size.
Blit To copy an image (or part of an image) from one place to another. See BitBlt.
Boss Enemy The biggest bad guy that must be killed in order to complete a level.
Cheat Code A keyboard sequence which, when used, gives the player an advantage in the game, for example infinite ammunition, infinite lives, the ability to walk through walls, or fly.
Cinematics An animated sequence at the beginning of a game, or animated transition screens.
Clipping Cutting off parts of lines and/or shapes (sprites) that exceed the boundaries of a viewport or clipping region.
Clipping Region Rectangular area that defines where objects will be clipped.
Collision Detection Method of checking if two or more objects come in contact with each other.
Continue Another chance to play the game where you left off after you've lost all your lives.
Coordinate A location, or point in space, which may be addressed using arbitrary units.
Credits Listing of those involved in the development of a game, typically including the programmer, artist, musician, and producer.
Demo Mode A self-playing mode, showing off the features and artwork of a game.
Engine Code used as the basis for building a game, including the various utilities and a skeleton game.
Energy A scale representing how close a player is to death. Usually energy declines as a player collides with enemies, and increases when a player finds certain energy items, such as food.
Episode One portion of a shareware game series. Most often the first episode is used to interest the player in the game, while others are used as incentives to encourage registering the game. Sometimes different episodes have different plots.
Fastgraph High performance programmer's graphics library.
Fat Bit Editor A feature of an image editor that zooms in on an area of the image, and displays the individual pixels larger for easier editing.
First Person A type of game where the point of view is as if through the eyes of the main character.
Flipping Changing the display start address of video memory, so that a completely new part of video memory is visible. Also known as page flipping or page swapping.
Frame A sequence of events ending in a page flip. Also known as an animation frame.
Frame Rate Speed of animation, usually expressed in frames per second.
GIF An image file format where the image is compressed using LZW compression.
God Mode State of a game, usually triggered by a keystroke sequence, where the player can not die, and may have other powers such as infinite amunition or the ability to walk through walls. Also known as cheat mode.
Graphics Library Collection of functions that control the video ouput. Fastgraph is a graphics library.
Graphics Mode A PC mode where the screen is addressed in pixels.
Hidden Page A page-shaped area of offscreen video memory.
Hot Spot An active area of the screen, particularly one which causes some action when a mouse cursor moves over it or clicks on it.
Keyboard Handler Functions or routines for programming and working with a keyboard. A low-level keyboard handler monitors keyboard activity so that special keys and key combinations can be detected.
Lamer A person who is not simply ignorant, but makes no effort to correct his lack of knowledge.
LCR Low Cost Retail software. Games sold in retail channels at a low price.
Level One continuous section of an arcade game or other type of game. The goal of a game is to beat all the levels.
Level Editor A utility used for creating, viewing, and modifying levels.
Life More accurately referred to as a death, the unit for counting how many tries a player has before a game is finished.
Mode X A 256-color planar or tweaked VGA graphics mode popularized by Michael Abrash.
NDA Non-disclosure agreement. A legal document signed by two parties agreeing they will not disclose technical or financial secrets. An NDA is not a substitute for trust.
Offscreen video memory Available memory on the video card that is not currently visible on the monitor screen. It is used for storage, animation, scrolling, and special effects. See Hidden Page.
One-Up An extra life, or the object that gives you an extra life.
Page An area of video memory or system RAM which holds enough data to fill the screen(or more) in the current graphics mode.
Page Flipping An animation technique that consists of writing to offscreen video memory, and then panning or flipping to that area. Also known as page swapping.
Palette In a 256-color VGA video mode, the colors which are available.
Palette Entry One of the colors in the VGA palette, usually defined by its entry number (0-255) and the values of its red, green and blue components.
Panning Changing the screen origin to a different point in video memory.
Parallaxing An animation technique where where the background is drawn in levels, and distant levels move at a slower speed than near levels, giving the illusion of depth.
PCX A popular image file format designed by Zsoft.
Pixel The smallest addressable unit on a computer screen.
Platform Game Side scrolling arcade game.
Producer Someone who coordinates and supervises a game's development.
Publisher Anybody who markets games.
Registration Incentive A method of obtaining shareware registrations by offering something of value for money, such as more levels.
RLE An image stored using run-length encoding.
Rendered artwork Artwork created in a rendering program. The features generally include a 3D appearance caused by wire-framed objects, with textured coverings, and light sources.
Resizing Changing the coordinate limits of video memory.
Resolution The number of pixels or character cells available on the screen.
Retrace A total screen update, usually happening at the rate of about 60 frames per second.
Royalties A method whereby a developer is paid for their work as a percentage of either net or gross receipts.
Score The cumulative number of points earned.
Scoreboard A graphical representation of the score, along with other items such as one-ups, energy and ammunition.
Screen origin The pixel coordinates of the upper left corner of the screen.
Scrolling Moving the screen smoothly an any direction.
Segue (pronounced "seg-way") A transitional device that helps one sequence flow smoothly into another. In a game, a segue usually occurs between levels and involves storyline development, often in the form of cinematics.
Shareware A method of marketing software where a program is distributed freely, and users may try it before paying for it.
Shelfware Software sold through regular retail channels, especially when marketed by an established commercial publishing house such as Electronic Arts.
Special Effect Any unusual or special visual image or sound or music.
Sprite A bitmap of an arbitrary shape that can be moved across complex backgrounds without flicker or damage to the background image.
Sprite List Several related sprites, usually kept in a single file or buffer.
Sprite Editor A program for creating, viewing, and modifying sprites.
Storyline The setting for the game, including such things as an introduction to the characters, their location, and the reason they do what they do.
Text Mode A PC video mode where the screen is addressed in rows and columns of character cels. The default video mode of a PC when running DOS.
Tile An image, usually 16x16 or 32x32, which blitted in sequence with other tiles to create levels.
Tile Attribute A bit value used to specify the characteristics of a tile, such as solid on top.
Tile Library A collection of unique tiles used to build levels.
Tile Editor A utility program used to create, view, and modify tiles.
Tile Ripper A utility used to reduce one or several screens of artwork to unique tiles.
Timer A method of measuring the speed of the execution of instructions so that animation can be controlled.
Title Screen The opening screen of a computer game, which includes the title and other information.
Transition The sequence between levels, often consisting of storyline development, special effects, or cinematics.
Transparent Pixels in a rectangular blit which are not displayed, so that the background shows through.
Trilogy A method of marketing games, where a third of the game, known as an episode, is distributed as shareware and the other two episodes are registered or purchased directly from the manufacturer.
TSR Terminate and Stay Resident; a program that stays in memory after it returns control to the operating system.
VGA Video Graphics Array, any of a collection of video modes; also the hardware that supports them.
Visual Page The page that is currently visible on screen.
Warp Moving to an area in a game level requiring a complete screen redraw, for example going through a door or advancing to a new level.


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