Videogame designer here.
Triple-A – A big-budget game. Strangely enough, there aren’t any double-A, single-A, B, or C games. Non-triple-A games are called casual, budget, or indie.
First Party – A game funded by the manufacturer of a gaming system.
Third Party – A game funded by anyone else.
IP – Intellectual property. Licensed titles are made using someone else’s IP. If a title is a big hit, it may become IP in its own right, allowing you to make money by licensing it to other people.
**Mechanic **-- An element of gameplay. It’s more than a rule – it’s the way a collection of rules work together to create a particular effect.
Cadence – The demands that the game puts on the player from moment-to-moment. It’s a like an interactive form of pacing.
Progression – How the game changes over time. How does the character get stronger, how do the challenges get tougher, what new skills does the player have to learn? That’s progression.
Asset – Content that’s not software. Art, music, animation, sound, dialog, text – they’re all assets.
Rigging – Attaching animation controls to an art asset.
Art Pipeline – The step-by-step process by which art assets are produced assembly-line fashion. On triple-A game half a dozen artists might touch an asset before it’s ready to put in the game.
**Gray box **-- An early version of the game with simple geometric shapes in place of the real art assets. It’s used to test gameplay while the real art is working its way through the pipeline.
**HUD **-- Head’s up display. Elements of the user interface that are visible while you’re playing the game.
Loc DB – Localization database. The master file that holds all the assets that need to be translated to sell the game in a foreign territory.
Format – The manufacturing process.
“It was a budget third-party title using licensed IP, so of course their targeting mechanic was shit. And their pipeline was completely broken – half their assets were still gray box a month before format. It’s amazing they shipped at all.”