Sunday, 28 November 2021, 7:03 AM
Site: DIGMA-oppimisympäristö
Course: Open Resources for Game and Gamification Design (Open Material for Game and Gamification Design)
Glossary: Game and gamification design glossary


A game action arises from the rules of the game. Actions guide gamer’s behaviour and gives her/him a possibility to interact with the game and other players.


A game analysis is an important game development action that is used in order to understand games better, especially providing insight into the game-player relationship. Unlike the game review, the game analysis mainly consists of what is actually present in the game, not what you think should be.

Applied game

A synonym for serious game. Have a look at Serious game.


In game development artists are responsible for the artwork, often designing the landscape, the objects and the avatars of the game. The audio components are often designed by sound artists.


Game assets are tangible or perceivable elements of a game, including the appearance and behaviour. Examples of game assets are images, textures, 3D models, sounds and scripts.

Augmented reality

The integration of digital information with the user's environment in real time. Unlike virtual reality, which creates a totally artificial environment, augmented reality uses the existing environment and overlays new information on top of it.

Authoring system

An authoring system helps to develop a narrative structure of a game based on collection of game assets and a creative intent that manages the visual and temporal flow of a serious game.

Brief game design document

A short, simple and informative version of the game design document. The brief game design document (BGDD) is easy to approach and is used both to support the game development and inform third parties.



Characteristics of the game define what player can do during the game.

Characterizing goal

An additional goal of a serious game in addition to entertainment goal.

Concept demo

An interactive demonstration, a partly implemented game that is used in, for example, presentations and evaluations. The main goal of concept demo is to deliver the main ideas of the game concept. It is also a main tool when seeking funding for the game development.

Concept document

A high-level document with a purpose to deliver the main ideas of the game concept. It is also used when seeking funding for the game development.


Games are built around the conflicts. Depending on the game, solving of conflicts require different things like, for example, intelligence, precision, timing, speed or tactic eye.


The content of the game consists of assets, often designed by artists. Examples of content are avatars, houses, trees, other related objects, and sounds. At runtime, the content is brought to life by the game engine.


Game design is an iterative development activity consisting of, for example, creation of game characteristics, rules, challenges, game world, story and goals.

Design document

The game design document (GDD) is a highly descriptive living design document of the design for the game. Game design document is created and edited by the development team and it is primarily used in the game industry to organize efforts within a development team.


A game designer is responsible of the game design process and s/he has important role when communicating with stakeholders, especially in the case of serious games. Game designer has the key role when designing the substance of the game and, for example, game mechanics.

Educational game

A subgroup of serious games, mainly targeted to formal educational sector from elementary schools to higher education, vocatioanal training, and collaborative workplace training.


A game engine is a software framework designed for the creation and development of video games. Developers use them to create games for consoles, mobile devices, personal computers and web. Game engine brings game content to life.

Entertainment game

A game that is designed to give pleasure to the player while the player is actively involved in game activities.


A form of art in which participants, termed players, make decisions in order to manage resources through game tokens in the pursuit of a goal. Games always base on rules which is the main difference between the game and the play.

Game experience

A subjective user experience of the game. Synonym for Player Experience.

Game flow

An experience during gaming characterized by exclusive concentration on the game.

Game jam

A fast-paced group of activities in which small teams develop a game from concept to realization in a very short time such as 48 hours that is the most typical time frame for hackathons.

Game world

An artificial universe, an imaginary place in which the events of the game occur.


A specific way in which players interact with a game.


The concept of applying game mechanics and game design techniques to engage and motivate people to achieve their goals.

Gamified application

An application that has been developed from the point of view of gamification. Have a look at Gamification.

Gamified learning

Learning that is based on gamification. Have a look at Gamification.


Genre of the game describes how player acts in the game. Examples of game genres are action, adventure, role-playing, strategy, simulation, puzzle, sports and education.


Games usually have goals that are strongly dependent of the game. Different types of goals are, for example, to get points as much as possible or to go through the game as fast as possible.

Hardware platform

A set of compatible hardware on which software applications can be run.

Learning game

A subgroup of serious games, mainly used to address informal learning whereas educational games focus on formal learning in dedicated educational institutions. Have a look at Educational game.

Leisure game

A synomym for entertainment game. Have a look at Entertainment game.


A game level is a section or part of a game. Often games are broken up into levels and to complete a game level, a gamer usually needs to meet specific goals or perform a specific task to advance to the next level.


Game mechanics means the interaction with game and the gamer focusing on internal management of interactions.


A scale or full-size model of a design or device, used for teaching, demonstration, design evaluation, promotion, and other purposes.


Tailoring the game according to individual characteristics of the player.


In the case of computer systems, platform can mean different things like, for example, hardware platform or software platform. Have a look at Hardware platform and Software platform.


An intrinsically motivated human activity without explicit rules.


A set of properties describing the user experience of the specific game.

Player experience

A synonym for the game experience. Have a look at Game experience.

Playful application

An application that consists of play or fun.

Playful learning

Using play activities to immerse ourselves and learn.


A game producer is the person in charge of overseeing and funding development of a game.


Game production comprises content production and game programming.


A game programmer is a software engineer, programmer, or computer scientist who primarily develops codebases for games or related software. Often there are many types of game programmers. The lead programmer translates the design into a technical specification for the game and then delegates tasks to the programming team. General programmers work on a whole range of tasks, often working with code that other programmers have written.


A game prototype represents the game core game mechanics on an abstract level, and the rule system of the game without narrative, audio and visual overlays with digitized interfaces. Prototypes are used as a qualitative and iterative tool at different levels of development in various design fields.


An organisation or individual publising the product or service that have been developed either internally or together with developer.


Resources of the game help gamer as s/he strives towards the goal of the game.


Rules of the game define what gamer is allowed to do and what gamer is not allowed to do.



A game scene is a distinct state of the game that displays different information, and there is some way for the user to get from one scene to the next.

Serious game

A game designed for any purpose rather than entertainment. The line between serious game and entertainment game is thin because many entertainment games can be used for non-entertainment purposes which in a sense makes those suitable for serious gaming. Some entertainment games are published as serious editions like, for example, business edition, educational edition etc.


An environment that is close to real life and designed for skill transfer to the real world.

Software platform

A software environment that is used to write applications and run them.


A narration of events that are somehow connected. Stories can be presented in many ways like, for example, in the form of written words or a drama performed by actors.


The social and cultural activity of sharing stories, often with improvisation, theatrics, or embellishment. Creating stories with the help of storytelling is an important part of the game design.


A brief summary of the major points of a subject or written work or story.

Virtual reality

A computer-generated environment or reality that is designed to simulate a person’s physical presence in a specific environment that is designed to feel real.

Virtual world

A computer-generated environment that is designed and shared by individuals so that they can interact in a custom-built, simulated world.