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Gaming Almanac

A


Anti-Aliasing

Anti-Aliasing - Used to minimize the distortion from a high resolution image to a lower one.
Found as AA, 2xAA, 4xAA, 8xAA, 8xQA - Each of them represent a level of Anti-Aliasing.
In computer games, Anti-Aliasing is a very demanding option for your graphics card.
Use caution as it can stress out your graphics processing unit, lowering gaming performance.

Graphical Requirements: ratingratingratingratingrating


Anisotropic filtering

Anisotropic filtering adds a better quality to the gaming experience by filtering 2 images with oblique paths.

Graphical Requirements: ratingratingratingrating


Ambient occlusion

It is the way lighting radiates on different surfaces just like in real life.
The main purpose is radiation on non reflecting surfaces.
Somewhat demanding.

Graphical Requirements: ratingrating


Anaglyph 3D

The stereoscopic effect given to some pictures or videos, is reknown as Anaglyph 3D effect.
It is recommended not to see this effect with bare eyes, as it may affect some eye damage.
There are some kind of special glasses which come bundled with TVs, in order to see the resulting image.
The resulting image, is a 3D image that looks like it is getting off the screen.
The technology is still under development.

Graphical Requirements: rating


AMD

Advanced Micro Devices, also called AMD is one of the leading graphic cards producers of the world.
It is also a manufacturer or central processing units, CPU, but with very cheap prices compared to Intel.
AMD is the only company which offers 8 physical cores for the desktop.
There are also some APUs under development which offer CPU and GPU under the same core.

Graphical Requirements: No graphics processing needed


Allegro

Allegro is a library used mostly in game programming.
It is the same library used in the book section of Another Games website.

Graphical Requirements: No graphics processing needed


Anti-Virus

The software used to protect against highly suspicious software, damaging viruses etc is the Anti-Virus.
Even though it is a software usually used for protection, it does not mean that you are fully protected.

Graphical Requirements: No graphics processing needed


B


Bump mapping

In order to simulate bumps onto a 3D object, designers use a technique known as bump mapping.
The effect is not demanding at all, but it still varies from one object to another.

Graphical Requirements: rating


Bounding box

Bounding box is the enclosure of an image, canvas, layer, picture etc.
It is mostly associated with digital image processing, but may be subject of other areas.
It is widely used in game programming for enclosing the movement of the player.

Graphical Requirements: No graphics processing needed


Bloom

Bloom refers to the effect used to reproduce artifacts like real world.
It is also well-known for lightning effects.
It is widely used in 3D rendering to have a preview result of final model.
Sometimes it can damage the quality of the image or video gameplay.
Also known as a shader effect.

Graphical Requirements: ratingrating


C


Continue

In video gaming world, the word continue means to go on and play again.
Depending on the game, continue might mean to start from a specified point, or from the beginning of the level.

Graphical Requirements: No graphics processing needed


Checkpoint

The ability a player has to start the game from a specified place, is known as a checkpoint.
Platform games are well-known for this feature, but other games use it too.
It also means when you loose the game and restart from this point.

Graphical Requirements: No graphics processing needed


Collision detection

I usually use this term even in real life, because it is well-known as an effect.
When two or more objects collide with each other, it is known as a collision detection.
It is usually used in game programming where the programmer finds out when two objects collide.
Throwing an animation after making the collision detection, makes the game very realistic.

Graphical Requirements: No graphics processing needed


CPU

Central processing unit, is the most important part of any computer to date which makes all calculations.
The possibilities the CPU has given to science on the latest years, is really outstanding.
The CPU calculates trillions of operations per second, which is simply impossible for the human brain to calculate.
After the GPU, the CPU is very important to make your games playable.

Graphical Requirements: No graphics processing needed


C language

The father of all C based languages, C is maybe the most important language ever in computer history.
The C language is known as a general purpose programming language.
Dennis Ritchie and Ken Thompson are the creators of the programming language.

Graphical Requirements: No graphics processing needed


C++ language

C++ is the most notorious programming language in the world.
It is so common nowadays that nearly all engineering schools study it as a subject.
C++ was a derivative of the C language, but created on the basis of object oriented programming.
Bjarne Stroustrup is the creator of C++ programming language.
C++ is also the mainstream of computer games.

Graphical Requirements: No graphics processing needed


D


Dynamic lighting

The process of rendering the light as in real life, is known as dynamic lighting.
It varies from different games, but it is also used in software applications.
There are applications that try to simulate light just like in real life.
Depending on which application or game you are using, it may use a moderate graphics power.

Graphical Requirements: ratingrating


DDR

Double data rate is the memory used by modern computers.
Even it was first developed slower than Rambus Ram, the DDR memory was introduced as way cheaper.
There are 3 types of memory for desktops, DDR, DDR2, DDR3, each of which double amount of memory and speed.
Even though the DDR4 is ready, we will have to wait until it makes it to the desktop.
All modern computers use DDR3, with at least 1066 mhz.

Graphical Requirements: No graphics processing needed


DirectX

One of the main 3D game programming libraries to date is DirectX.
DirectX is not a single library, but it has many other features, which are separated into other libraries.
Even though it is widely used, the games will only run on Windows Operating System.
This is one of the main reasons why Windows is so popular.
Even the operating system itself is developed under the usage of this well-known library.

Graphical Requirements: No graphics processing needed


E


Emulation

Emulation is the process of translating from the console to your PC.
Unfortunately, all the process is made using the processor speed and not your graphics.
There are emulators which enable you to play PlayStation games.
Since PS3 needs a lot of processing, there is no real emulator for it.
Usually your computer must be 10 times faster than the console in order to translate fast enough.
A common mistake is to misunderstand the word simulate with emulate.

Graphical Requirements: No graphics processing needed


F


FOV field of view

FOV field of view is the degree angle that the player can see. It is usually used on first person shooting games. Changing this option, will not affect your graphics processing unit, neither it will slow down the game.

Graphical Requirements: rating


G


Gravity

The ability for the player to jump and fall back on the game field, is known as gravity.
It originates from physics and is fundamental to nearly most games.
Based on which planet you are, it changes just like in real life.
It does not require any graphics processing.

Graphical Requirements: No graphics processing needed


GPU

The GPU, also known as Graphics processing unit, is the most important hardware your computer needs to run games.
Before the GPU was put to use, all the graphical elements and primitives where output by the CPU.
Due to the high processings, it was really needed a new way of graphical output.
So was born the GPU, which is essentially used for graphics.
The GPU main parameters are the core clock, memory clock and the total amount of GDDR memory.

Graphical Requirements: No graphics processing needed


H


High Definition

When the resolution is higher or equal than 1280x720, it is known as High Definition.
When your monitor achieves the exact resolution of 1920x1080, we call it Full High Definition.
It is not only the monitor, but other areas are subject of this usage.
High Definition is also known for short as HD, mainly into monitors and TVs.
The term is also used for marketing, since it could happen that the resolution stated does not give any better quality.

Graphical Requirements: rating


High dynamic range

HDR rendering in computer graphics is known as the simulation of lightning done by dynamic range.
This enables a better quality scene and also faster computation.
High dynamic range is known as HDR or sometimes HDRR.
Even though the contrast might be quite high, human eye can perceive 1.000.000:1 contrast.
HDR is only the compensation of colors and not light itself.

Graphical Requirements: rating


I


Input

Every game has its own movements, attacks or any other action.
The ability the player has to manipulate the game character, is made with the input.
Input is to send data to the computer to manipulate it so that the game actions are visible.
Keyboard and mouse are common ways to send this data to the computer.

Graphical Requirements: No graphics processing needed


Intel

Intel is the company notorious for its processors.
It produces the fastest processors for desktop users.
One of the most notorious CPUs of the world, Pentium 4, was originally created by Intel.

Graphical Requirements: No graphics processing needed


Integer

Integer is known as a whole number in computer science.
It is the most basic unit in almost every single programming language.
An integer usually uses 4 bytes, but it matters what programming language and how many bits your OS is.

Graphical Requirements: No graphics processing needed


J


Joystick

Joystick is an input device and is a common way of playing games on console ports.
It can be attached to a computer USB port, or any other, as long as it is usable.
Many games are more enjoyable when played through a joystick rather than on a keyboard.
The first Joystick was invented on 1908 and its main purpose was to move an aircraft.

Graphical Requirements: No graphics processing needed


K


Keyboard

One of the most successful input devices of all times on computer games, is the keyboard.
Since you can type in whatever word you want, the keyboard made a great way to interact with your computer.
Nowadays the common keyboard is known as QWERTY because of its first characters.
Even though it might feel like very modern, keyboards are the exact ideas of typewriters.
First keyboard was invented on 1930.

Graphical Requirements: No graphics processing needed


L


Low poly

Low poly is a technique used by 3D model software to make the character sculpting faster.
Once it is all created, you can add more advanced polygons to the mesh.
Nowadays, the technique is important since there are advanced characters modeling with millions of polygons.

Graphical Requirements: ratingrating


M


Motion blur

Motion blur is a technique used in gaming for fast movements purposes.
When the player tried to move the screen fast, or a fast car is moving towards you, it leaves traces.
Some people have problems with fast movements and other things, which will make them feel very bad.
It is advised to disable this feature if the user or gamer is not feeling well.
In some games it might consume a lot of graphics power.

Graphical Requirements: ratingratingratingrating


Microsoft

One of the most successful companies in computer history, is actually Microsoft.
Microsoft products are Windows, Xbox, XNA, Visual Studio, Microsoft Office Package and much more.
With the launch of Windows 8, Microsoft did not have the same impact that it did years ago.

Graphical Requirements: No graphics processing needed


Malware

Malware is a kind of virus used to take information from the source.
It is often missunderstood as a virus, making users to buy anti-virus software.
Malware can be very dangerous since the user doesn't know if is being attacked.
Google Chrome prevents opening of known sites containing malware.

Graphical Requirements: No graphics processing needed


Moore's law

In computer history, the engineer behind Intel known as Moore, created a universal law of computing.
Every two years the number of transistors used in hardware doubles.
When Moore created his law, he predicted it until 1965, but this still goes the same path.
By the end of 2013, is predicted that transistors will double every three years.

Graphical Requirements: No graphics processing needed


N


Native resolution

The monitor you are using has its own native resolution.
When it is not in native resolution, the images and videos will look very bad.
Every single monitor uses a native resolution, but they might be different from each other.
A HD monitor, will have its native resolution with height to 720pixels.
A Full HD will have its native resolution with height set to 1080pixels.

Graphical Requirements: rating


Nvidia

One of the most successful graphics companies, which is still to date, is Nvidia.
The graphic cards produced by this company offer very good performance and are necessary for demanding games.

Graphical Requirements: No graphics processing needed


Nanometres

The size of the transistors used to create a specific hardware is known as nanometre.
The more the technology advances, the lower the nanometres get.
In American English its written as nanometers.
It can also be written as nm for short.

Graphical Requirements: No graphics processing needed


O


Occlusion culling

The technique used in 3D graphics to hide surfaces which are not visible depending on the viewing angle.
There are other known names for this technique, but this is the scientific naming.

Graphical Requirements: rating


Operating system

The environment with graphical tools, where the user operates and manipulates numbers, text is known as OS.
OS is short for operating system.
There are different operating systems and each one of them has its strong weak points.
The most used OS of all times is Windows with around 80% of current shares.

Graphical Requirements: ratingrating


P


Particle

In computer graphics, a particle is known as a single point into the virtual 3D space.
It is mostly related to physics, where it acts like a single point in real life.
There are methods used to determine how many raining particles or radiation are going to be shown.
Depending on the game and application, simulating real life particles it is extremely demanding.

Graphical Requirements: ratingratingratingratingrating


Pixel

The smallest graphical unit known is the Pixel.
Even though there are sub-Pixels, they are not considered as graphical units.
The screen is filled with hundreds and thousands of them and it depends on resolution.
Every single object you see on your monitor, is shown to the screen by the Pixels.
There is a problem with pixels, because they cannot show the exact real life interpretation.
This can be avoided using very high resolution photos and videos.
The pixels are also known as the smallest particle in a virtual world.
The Pixel can be shown on the screen even by a cpu.

Graphical Requirements: rating


Pathfinding

When the artificial intelligence is put to use, it tried to find the shortest way possible to the destination.
Pathfinding is widely used in game programming for the AI.
From my experience, it does not always find the shortest way possible.

Graphical Requirements: No graphics processing needed


Q


Quad

A polygon with four vertex, is known as a quad in 3D modelling.
The more complex a 3D character is, the more quads it is built up with.
Usually the unit is known to be a polygon too, because it can be split up into two other polygons.
A single quad, can be represented even by a cpu.

Graphical Requirements: rating


R


Resolution

The resolution, is a property of your monitor and may vary.
It is known as the multiplication of the two dimensions, length and height.
The amount of pixels you get in these two dimensions, is the resolution.
Resolution is cpu demanding if low and gpu demanding if higher than 1024x768.
As a formula of resolution, always remember Length x Height.
The more vram your graphics card has, the better it will display at higher resolutions.
It is also used in different ares other than the monitor.

Graphical Requirements: ratingrating


Ram

The ram is known as Random access memory.
It was really needed for the first CPUs, since it was impossible to handle a lot of data.
As the amount of work from the computers grew, the same was for the amount and speed of memory.
Not only CPUs use nowadays ram, but also the GPU.
The ram used by CPU is known as DDR, meanwhile the GPU uses GDDR.
Modern computers might have 16GB or more amount of memory of DDR3, meanwhile GPUs use GDDR5.

Graphical Requirements: No graphics processing needed


S


Screen space ambient occlusion

The technique used to simulate ambient occlusion in real life is known as Screen space ambient occlusion or SSAO.
It was first used on Crysis for the first time, as its inventor, Vladimir Kajalin, worked there.
It is now used for quite a number of games and it helps facilitate the process of occlusion.

Graphical Requirements: ratingrating


Shadow mapping

Shadow mapping is the process of adding shadow to 3D objects.
It is mainly used for curved objects, since the calculation is more difficult.
Shadow mapping is also known as projective shadowing.

Graphical Requirements: ratingratingrating


T


Texture mapping

The method used to generate a color or image onto a 3D model, is known as texture mapping.
Its gpu processing varies greatly from its resolution.
The texture makes the 3D objects more life like and they are used in every game out there.

Graphical Requirements: ratingratingrating


Texture

A texture is the colors and material added to a 3D model.
It is often known as texture mapping, but the latter is the process of adding the texture.
A texture is of utmost importance to a video game.
Its processing totally depends on the size.

Graphical Requirements: rating


Transistor

The smallest unit used in the processing of high-end hardware, is known as transistor.
The more transistors a certain hardware has, the more powerful in terms of computation it gets.
Based on the technology used, there are more or less transistors for the same area.
40 years ago you could buy 1 transistor for 1$.
Nowadays you can buy 1 billion transistors for 1$.

Graphical Requirements: No graphics processing needed


U


Units

The word used to describe measurement about graphic cards, processors and others, is known as unit.
Units are also used in physics for the amount measured.

Graphical Requirements: No graphics processing needed


V


Vertex

A vertex is known as the staring point and the ending point of an edge, triangle, polygon or quad.
It is not a single particle, but rather used to signify and start and finish of graphical elements.
It is widely used on almost every single software for 3D modelling or sculpting.

Graphical Requirements: rating


Vector graphics

In some cases, game developers use vector graphics instead of images.
The vector graphics are the usage of the primitives, such as square, triangle etc.
It is not common today, but this method is basically used by web game developers.

Graphical Requirements: rating


W


Wide-screen

Modern monitors are usually associated with a wide-screen element.
It determines that the monitor itself, is wider than usual monitors which try to be square in size.
It is also used to simplify the workings and maintain a lower cost.
Nearly all HD and Full HD monitors are wide-screen.

Graphical Requirements: No graphics processing needed


X


XNA

XNA is the Microsoft set of tools to create graphics applications and games only for Windows OS.
Its main programming language is C# and is used to simplify the game development.
It is based on the Microsoft .NET framework.
XNA does not have any meaning.

Graphical Requirements: No graphics processing needed


Y


Y

The height used in games, or for your monitor, is reknown to be the Y axis.
The Y is the height of the screen and it is known to be used on every single, game or graphics modelling software.

Graphical Requirements: No graphics processing needed


Z


Z-buffering

The depth of the images used in a software or game is known as Z-buffering.
Z-buffering is also known as depth buffering, but with Z is the scientific term.
There are other methods which enable only parts of the images to show up, not the entire layer.

Graphical Requirements: rating