PlayStation 4 FAQ
Parasite Eve: The 3rd Birthday
Dissidia 012: Final Fantasy
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AI (Artificial Intelligence)
A set of code or algorithms designed to simulate the actions of an intelligent
being - such as a human or animal (Tamagochi)
Technique used to hide or conceal jagged lines in games. For example, picture
a diagonal suspension cable on a bridge in a videogame. If the game is running
in low resolution, the cable will look jaggy, blocky, and unnatural. In order
to fix this problem, the game must be run under a higher resolution (which
will make the jaggies less noticeable), or they (the programmers) blur the
edges. Think of it as smearing vaseline on a camera's lens.
1. Game developers use this term to describe the first playable version of
their game. Alpha versions of a game often crash and contain a lot of bugs.
The framerate is usually really poor.
2. The transparency of pixels in bitmap images. This would include smoke,
glass, water, and other transparent objects. The alpha value in the object
determines how transparent it is.
Console game that is a perfect port of the arcade version.
Term used to describe how many bits can be transmitted at once. Think of
it as a highway. During peak hours (rush hour), the highway is jam packed
with cars (cars = packets) in "stop and go traffic." This would be a low
bandwidth situation since very little cars are flowing through the highway.
When things are less congested, packets can be transmitted more quickly between
two servers or networks.
Tiny RAM chip used to back up or save data for cartridge games. Very important
indeed for the NES, SNES, and Genesis generation.
Termed used by game developers to describe the stage of which their game
is currently in. When a game is in the beta stage, the game engine is complete
and is very unlikely to under go major changes. The programmers usually fix
the remaining bugs, tweak the framerate, add or change some of the sound
FX, etc. Companies usually send beta copies of their games to game magazines
and websites, so that they can create previews for the game.
An acronym for "bits per second".
Term used to describe a error or flaw in a set of code. If not properly
corrected, a bug can lead to a game to crash. It is a programmers' responsibility
to find and fix all major bugs in a game before it ships to retail stores.
Game Testers also aid in the search for software bugs.
Technique used to make textures to appear bumpy, sharp, or jagged.
Pronounced "Cash". Special RAM chip that is very important in aiding the
CPU when running a program. Important data, or frequently accessed data
is stored in the cache to prevent the CPU from always going to the main
RAM for the necessary data.
Compact disc that can store 650 MB of data.
When a polygon or a group of polygons touch another polygon, then it is
said to clip each other. For example, if you stand too close to
a wall in Tomb Raider, Lara's arms seem to disappear into a wall that
is supposed to be solid.
The speed in which a CPU operates. Measured in Megahertz (MHz) or GigaHertz
(GHz). The PlayStation 2 runs at about 300 MHz if you round upward.
1. A set of instructions found in software that tells the computer how to
run a given program.
2. Something that a crappy gamer uses to cheat in a game.
Combination of button presses used to create a chain of attacks in a fighting
game. Combos generally cause more damage than normal attacks.
CPU (Central Processing Unit)
The "brain" of all computers and console systems. The CPU is like a manager
or boss. He tells what the other components of the system should be doing
at a given moment.
Good old fansioned FMV or CG movies played in-between gameplay sequences to further move the storyline along.
Document that tells the programmers, artists, and sound engineers what
they need to do. The game director makes sure that everyone is following
the proper guidelines on what they should be doing and he makes sure everyone
is getting it done correctly. In short, it's basically just a script for
the game, complete with concept art and text.
The designer is one of the most difficult jobs in the game industry. They
must have good communication skills and must monitor the programmers, artists,
sound engineers to make sure that they are on task. The game director must
come up with the basic elements of the game - such as the storyline, character
development etc. He is allowed to ask for advice from the programmers and
the artists, but he must be able to come up with most of the ideas himself.
Game designers/directors usually start out as game testers, and they gradually
work their way up in a company before they can actually start creating a
Game company that creates the actual game. Often confused with the game publisher.
Company that ships the software packages to retail stores. Sony Computer Entertainment distributes the software that Polyphony Digital develops.
Draw in occurs when a polygon, or a group of polygons all of a sudden appear when a character approaches it in a game. PS One games had lots of draw in due to the lack of RAM and CPU power.
Stands for Digital Video Disc. DVD's hold 10 times of what a CD can hold. It also provides better disc reading as well.
E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo)
An annual computer entertainment and videogame trade show full of busty booth babes, insanely load music, and plenty of games to play until your thumbs bleed. Good fun but hard work for game journalists.
A hidden feature, picture, or sound clip found in nearly all pieces of software. Easter eggs can be a hidden mini game, a funny picture of the development crew, or simply a programmer's name. Easter eggs are also found in DVD movies, so look out for them in the menus.
ECTS (European Computer Trade Show)
London's version of E3 held every March and September.
Name of the PlayStation 2's 128-bit CPU. It is called the emotion engine, because it is said to give game characters and AI more realistic movements and "emotions".
A segment of code that performs a specific task. A game engine can be used to form the building blocks of another game. The programmers just have to create different textures and goodies to make the game seem different.
A rendering technique used to create realistic-looking reflections on various surfaces. Gran Turismo 3 would be an excellent example of Environment Mapping. Nearly everything around the car can be seen in the car's paint job. Drive underneath a sign and you'll see the sign in the car's rear windows.
EPROM (Erasable Programmable ROM)
A ROM chip that can have its contents overwritten with a special hardware accessory.
Fill rate is the rate at which pixels are drawn into the screen memory. Fillrate is a common measure used to illustrate the capabilities of today's 3D graphics processors. It depends on the width of the memory bus, the speed of the memory transactions, and the 3D processor's ability to saturate the memory interface with transactions. Fill rate is usually measured in millions of pixels/second (Mpixels/sec).
A first party is a company that created the actual software or hardware.
A perspective in which you see what the character in the game sees. Creates the illusion of actually being that character.
Rendering a polygon with a uniform color across its face. In other words the polygon is all one color, instead of being different shades of one color to make it look more realistic.
Flickering occurs when the resolution in a game isn't high enough, so objects in the background tend to "flicker" in and out of view. On the SNES, flickering occurred when too many sprites were on the screen at once.
FMV (Full-Motion Video)
Scenes in a game that aren't generated in real-time.
The illusion of having objects in the background move toward the player in order to make it seem like you're moving forward. An example would be the bonus levels in Sonic 2.
1. First Person Shooter
2. Frames Per Second
An area of RAM used to store the pixel data for a single screen image, or frame.
The number of complete screens or frames drawn per second (FPS). 15-20 fps is considered choppy, 30 fps is considered decent, and 60+ fps is considered to be extremely smooth.
One who hates a specific game system with a passion and purposely bashes it in chatrooms, message boards, etc. These people fuel the "console war" and would rather defend their favorite system than talk to girls.
A game category that can be generally described as having similar styles of gameplay and goals, like fighting, driving, shooting, action, puzzle, etc. (Pronounced "Jon-ra")
Synonym for bug. Often used when polygons pop out of nowhere or clip each other for no apparent reason.
Game in which you act like a God. Good examples would be Sim City 4 and Black and White.
The final beta version of a game is stored on a "gold Disc". This disc is very important because the final version of a game is stored here so that copies can be made to be sold in stores.
Method used to shade polygons in a more realistic manner.
GPU (Graphics Processing Unit)
A special processor dedicated to calculating the graphics in a game. A GPU allows for better looking console games and takes the load off of the CPU during gameplay. Think of it as a video card in a PC, but for consoles.
HDD (Hard Disk Drive)
A HDD is generally used as a storage device for games, MP3's, porn, and other crap.
Fairly new TV that provides users with high resolution beat downs. In other words, it is capable of resolutions more than double of today's standard TV's. Very expensive at a couple thousand dollars a pop.
An image or game that has a high resolution.
HUD (Heads Up Display)
Used primarily in flight sims and first person shooters. It generally provides information such as your health, the amount of weapon ammo available, etc.
Generally, the intro is a fully animated sequence that appears when a game is first loaded and explains the back story of the game and may introduce the main character and enemies.
A stair-stepping effect that occurs when the resolution in a game is too
low to produce a more smooth diagonal line or curve.
One thousand bytes. A measure of memory storage capacity. Abbreviated, "Kb". Can also refer more precisely to 1024 bytes, depending on the usage.
Refers to the time lag between when a command is given by a remote device (such as a home computer) and when it is executed (by an online service, for instance). Needless to say, low latency is better than high latency.
Any game based on a story or character from another medium, such as a movie, comic book or TV show. Licensed games usually turn out to be crap.
A game that must be completed in a certain order. It doesn't give the player much freedom to do what they want to.
The time it takes for information to transfer from a storage device, like a CD-ROM or cartridge to RAM.
An image or game that has a low resolution.
1024 K (kilobytes. 1K=1024 bytes). A measure of memory storage capacity. Abbreviated, it's "MB."
The European and Japanese name for Sega Genesis.
A card that contains RAM used to save games.
A megahertz is one million cycles per second and is used as a measure of computer chip speed, with higher numbers being better.
"Millions of Instructions Per Second". A measure of the computing power of a processor.
A game that gives the player more freedom, than a linear game. In other words, you don't have to do any tasks in a specific order to beat the game.
Stands for "National Television Standards Committee". Capable of 525 horizontal lines of resolution. 30 fps.
Operating System (OS)
The program that runs a computer or console. (Windows 2000, Linux, etc)
Stands for "Phase Alternating Line." Television display standard in Europe. Has a resolution of 625 lines and a frequency of 25 fps.
Someone who illegally copies games and sells them without permission.
Short for Picture Element. It is the smallest discrete unit of a computer or TV tube that can be assigned a specific color, the "dots" that make up TV and computer screen pictures.
A three or more sided 2D shape from which 3D environments are created, and which can then be represented on a 2D screen.
A 3D scene which is rendered on a computer and then saved and stored, usually as a bitmap. Resident Evil 2 is filled with prerendered backgrounds.
The producer coordinates the activities of the designer, programmers and artists on a game.
The Programmer is responsible for writing the code for a game.
A person who is considered a geek. All gamers are geeks.
A company that actually physically produces discs, boxes, and manuals, and handles getting software boxes into stores as well as marketing and advertising.
RAM (Random Access Memory)
Data is streamed from the CD or DVD into the RAM so the console can use it to display objects in the game. It is called RAM, because it is always being "accessed" by the console to store important data for the game. Without RAM, today's games would be extremely slow.
An event in a game that occurs right when it is happening. Nearly everything in all games occurs in real time, except for the CG or FMV sequences. Many people debate whether Metal Gear Solid 2's cut scenes occur in real time or not. Since the graphics need to be calculated by the PS2's CPU, the cut scenes are indeed real-time. If it were FMV, than all the PS2 would have to do is stream the movie from the disc, rather create it from scratch.
Red Book CDs are standard audio CDs. If a game has Red Book audio, than you can listen to the game's music in a regular CD player, rather than in a console. This is useful if you want to listen to game music without booting up the game.
A measure of the density of pixels on a screen, measured by two numbers, which represent the number of pixels available across and down the screen (e.g. 640x480).
ROM (Read Only Memory)
This is memory data that can be read by the CPU, but cannot be rewritten over, unlike RAM.
A video cable standard that is less subject to interference than standard video RCA cables. Provides very clean picture in games and DVD movies.
The date in which a piece of software or hardware product leaves manufacturing and is shipped to retail outlets. People often forget that the ship date is when the game is being shipped, not when it will be in stores. It can't be in stores when it is being shipped!
Music you hear when playing a game.
Plot in which the game is based on.
The Japanese name for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (Super NES or Super Family Computer).
A relatively insane person that must play a beta version of a game nonstop to find bugs and other flaws in a game. They must also make sure that the game is not too hard or too easy. A game tester is not as fun as one might think. Sure, you get paid, but you must also play the games that you hate, no matter what. Imagine playing the worst game you've ever played for at least a week straight.
Even if it's a game that you like, you must die at every corner of the gameand must get all of the secret items and goodies to make sure the game willrun properly when released. However, many game designers start out as gametesters and work there way out to the top. Being a game tester also lands you free games.
A "map" of textures used to wrap around polygons.
The process of placing a bitmap image, or texture, on a surface during rendering.
Tokyo Game Show
A bi-annual event held by Japan's Computer Entertainment Software Association(CESA). It is smaller than E3, but unlike E3 it is open to the public.
VRAM (Video RAM)
This is memory in a computer or console that contains the image shown on the screen. It can be read from (painted on the screen) and written to at the same time and it is far faster than using standard RAM.
In an adventure game or RPG, the writer handles dialogue and often descriptions and backstories, but not puzzle design or plot. Also see, Game Journalist.
Yellow Book CDs are CD-ROMs
PlayStation 4 FAQ
Parasite Eve: The 3rd Birthday
Dissidia 012: Final Fantasy
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