Looking for some term guidance or a glossary of game dev concepts



  • I’m a seasoned web developer that has dabbled in making games and am looking to do a lot more game development. Nothing too fancy, mostly puzzle games and some very basic 2D top-down Gauntlet-style shooting games.

    I’m comfortable with all the coding, geometry, and overall game design layout but I’m starting to get deeper into adding polish to a game I’m working on and I realize that I don’t know the terms for some of the things I want to do… so naming methods/events for these is awkward, and I can’t Google the terms I want to get assistance on. I’m hoping someone here can point to a decent glossary, or provide a few key terms for me to latch on to for searches.

    For example:
    1.) What is the term/concept called when a players’ score or coin count is updated and the text part pulses and scales up/flashes temporarily with some sort of “cha-ching” sound before shrinking back to its normal size?
    2.) Is there a common term for a “post level completion” 3/4 overlay type screen showing statistics for that level/run? (e.g. you scored 375,245 points, got 2 stars, 3x bonus points, found 4 secrets…)
    3.) At the end of a level, on the kind of screen listed above, the “coins” and points earned are often “turbo” flooded into the display adding a bit of excitement, but also not too much time so the player can go to the next stage… what is this kind of turbo score update called?
    4.) Finally when in a fighting / battle game of some kind… say like 1942… often when you kill an enemy they explode/fade out but “from the ashes” of the enemy a number of points awarded “floats up and vanishes”… e.g. “+500”, or “1up” when you collect a special item. Is there a term for these “score toast” messages?

    Thanks in advance. For what its worth I’m making HTML5 games, and the current one is using Phaser JS.


  • Tiger Hat

    Hmm I’m not sure there actually is such a glossary. I’ll give a crack at your questions however.

    1. I think I’d just call it an animation, though it seems like some form of juicyness

    2. I think it’s just a level end score screen, it might also be just a game state.

    3. Not sure, maybe again just an animation, or perhaps some particles.

    4. I think just floating text, tho I like “score toast” :)



  • Thanks… I would have thought there were some more established terms but I feel a bit better now knowing that I’m not naive to some existing standards. The juicy conference talk video was helpful too, I like the juicy term, it does help describe some of the hard-to-describe aspects.

    and I guess I’ll stick with “score toast” for #4… at least I’ll know what it is ;-)


  • LDG

    Welcome to the forum @scunliffe! You’re definitely in familiar company here if you’re making HTML5 games :)

    1. @Warspawn is right that’s probably referred to as juice or often polish is used too, but they’re both generic and not necessarily geared towards UI or numbers.

    2. We call those results scenes.

    3. I’d call that a counter. So adding those up it’d be something like, “This week I’ll be polishing the counters on the results scene.”

    4. We usually call that an event number but that’s largely because it’s the name of an EventNumber class in our code. At first it was just damage numbers (e.g. when you hit a monster, a “-1” would appear), but later that system got overloaded with pickup notifications ("+10 charges") and game messages (“Can’t use item”). But when we use that term we know what the other person is talking about so it works for us.

    Fun questions! We often talk about communication and language on our podcast. Is Lostcast how you found our little community or was it something else?


  • Tiger Hat

    @richtaur said in Looking for some term guidance or a glossary of game dev concepts:

    1. We call those results scenes.

    More Generically, it’s a Modal Dialogue

    @scunliffe said in Looking for some term guidance or a glossary of game dev concepts:

    3.) At the end of a level, on the kind of screen listed above, the “coins” and points earned are often “turbo” flooded into the display adding a bit of excitement, but also not too much time so the player can go to the next stage… what is this kind of turbo score update called?

    There is not a term for the event, but the technique is related to Juice, and called “Easing”. Rather than have the counter click over at a specified rate, you start it slow, and as it progresses speed it up. Most easing libraries take 3 values, a start, end and time. You may say your player should wait no more than 1.5 seconds for their score to roll in, and ease it in so the first few frames, it counts 1-10 points, but by the end it’s counting 10,000. This accompanied by visual, and audio effects can make the counter much more dynamic.

    4.) Finally when in a fighting / battle game of some kind… say like 1942… often when you kill an enemy they explode/fade out but “from the ashes” of the enemy a number of points awarded “floats up and vanishes”… e.g. “+500”, or “1up” when you collect a special item. Is there a term for these “score toast” messages?

    Thanks in advance. For what its worth I’m making HTML5 games, and the current one is using Phaser JS.

    http://gaming.stackexchange.com/questions/262563/is-there-a-common-name-for-pop-up-damage-numbers-such-as-in-rpgs


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