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Games - Terms

API
Application programming interface
An API is a series of functions that programs can use to make the operating system do their dirty work. Using Windows APIs, for example, a program can open windows, files, and message boxes--as well as perform more complicated tasks--by passing a single instruction. Windows has several classes of APIs that deal with telephony, messaging, and other issues.

AVI
Audio-video interleave

Bandwidth
In a general sense, bandwidth describes information-carrying capacity. It's used to describe the capacity of telephone or network wiring, as well as the amount of data that can travel across system buses, radio frequency signals, and monitors.

CODEC
Compression/decompression algorithm
Multimedia files are often very large. Unless you reduce their size, sound and video files clog up hard disks and suck up your computer's bandwidth. The techniques used to reduce file sizes are called codecs. Codecs convert the analog sound or video information at the file creation end and decode the digital data at the playback end. (If you download a file that you can't play, it's probably because your playback software doesn't support the codec.)

Direct Play
Microsoft's networking venture into the gaming world. DirectPlay will offer multiple client- and server-side software tools for game developers, Internet service providers, and proprietary gaming services. DirectPlay has three major software components: DirectPlay, Server, and Service Provider.

Latency
Latency determines the speed of the connection. It is also refers to the time it takes for a data packet to move across a network connection.

MUD
Multiplayer user domain. Text based strategy gameplay.

 

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Tuesday, July 03, 2001

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Multicasting
When you send out data (like television or radio programming) to anyone who cares to tune in, it's broadcasting. When you send out data (such as your voice on a Web phone) to a few receivers you've identified and selected, it's called multicasting.

NetSprocket
Apple's networking venture into the gaming world. NetSprocket will feature both client and server capabilities for LAN, serial, modem, and Internet gaming. Similar to the way a player hosts or joins a game over a LAN, NetSprocket will give Mac games the ability to host or join other multiplayer games over the Internet via TCP/IP and other protocols. In addition, NetSprockets will let remote players join a LAN game over an AppleTalk network.

OEM
Original Equipment Manufacturer.
Originally OEM was an adjective used to describe a company that produced hardware to be marketed under another company's brand. Mitsumi, for example, produced CD-ROM drives that dozens of companies would label as their own. It's often now used as a verb, as in this sentence: "This CD-ROM drive is OEM'd by Mitsumi."

Packet
Information is sent across the INternet is discrete quantities, called packets. Each packet has header and footer data taht identifies transmission type (e.g. ethernet/LocalTalk/ATM/ISDN), protocol (e.g., TCP/IP, HTTP. AppleTalk, IPX), and quantity of data.

Packet Loss
Sometimes networks "lose" packets due to noisy transmission lines, or hardware problems. Packet loss can greatly increase latency.

RPG
Role playing games.

 

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