Gameful Beginners Guide – Vocabulary

Game Design Terms and Concepts:

Core game mechanic – Main mechanic that your game revolves around.

Creative Asset – Any sort of asset which is used to create a game. This can be sprites, sounds, textures, models, etc.

Demo – Smaller version of a game. Sometimes also used with the same meaning as prototype.

Game – Interactive and fun activity.

Game design – Is deciding how a game should be.

Game design document – Document which serves as a guide or manual for developers. This document contains the information needed to create the game.

Game development – Process of creating a game.

Game mechanic – Rule that encourages a certain behavior.

Game Resistance – Aspect of the game that makes it challenging (e.g. the bad guys) that can gradually get harder as the player gains more skills.

Iteration – Single cycle within the process of iterative design.

Iterative Design – Cyclic development process where developers plan, implement, test and evaluate. Before the process there’s initial planning and at the end of the process there’s the deployment.

Level/scene – Location in the game.

Narrative – This is the story behind your game. Not all games do have narrative. Even with narrative not being an essential part of games, many game designers choose to include stories in their games in order to make them more interesting.

Resources – This is what the player can use in the game. Gold is an example of resource used in many games. Some other resources are: time, lives and units.

Skill – It’s whatever the game teaches the player.

Sprite – 2D image of an object.

Playtest – Game design jargon for the process of evaluating the quality of a game. In playtesting, developers fix problems such as bugs and design flaws.

Prototype – A simple version of what the game designer intends for the game to be. This is especially useful to foresee any design flaws.

Objective – All games have goal(s) that the player needs to accomplish.

Target Audience – Type of person that the game is tailored to. Much information is taken into consideration to determine the target audience. Some of the most common attributes are age and sex.

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