Definitions, Batch 4

While writing this video game development diary, I realized that definitions are an essential building block to help keep my thinking on track. Below is my fourth batch of definitions (which are also available here). I was inspired by the examples at and Frictional Games. These four definitions are known collectively as Play Fundamentals. They represent the ‘middle’, engineering layer of space-time video game play.

1) Perspective
One of the two space-based Fundamentals. The video game’s visual narrator that directs the Player’s visual attention and can be a locked screen, trailing camera (side-view, top-down, isometric-view), a floating camera, or first person view.

2) Endings
One of the two time-based Fundamentals. This is the end state of the video game and it entails any of the following:
> Countdown/Time – need to reach in-game goal under a certain time
> Lives – lose all of your remaining in-game lives
> First Set Score – first player to score required points
> Boredom/Finished – since introducing of save-game feature, any game is at risk of becoming boring to the Player. Alternatively, some games are completed once and are considered finished.
> Celestial Discharge – the death of the Player, Hardware, or Software

3) Navigation
The second of the space-based Fundamentals. This is the in-game play space navigated by the Player through in-game Tools. The in-game space can be a 2D grid, a 3D level, or an abstract field. In-game Tools would be avatars, menus, icons/buttons, displays, maps, levels, UI, and HUDs

4) Timing
The second of the time-based Fundamentals. This is the pace by which the video game is being played and can be Turn-based, Real-time, or a Phased meshing of the two.