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Feature: The Words Only Game Developers Use

Gamasutra's latest feature is a collection of game developer jargon -- a dictionary of terms like Donut Diplomacy -- a management tactic applied to game developers
Gamasutra's latest feature is a collection of game developer jargon, a dictionary of terms that includes Donut Diplomacy -- a management tactic applied to game developers where cheap incentives are provided in the hopes of boosting output. The dictionary, compiled by Arkane Studios gameplay programmer Kain Shin, grew out of a discussion he had with a colleague about a term he'd never heard before. "He mentioned the concept of 'managing upwards' with regards to the phenomenon where a manager spends more time managing people outside the studio than inside," Shin writes. "It was shortly after that conversation that I posted a status update on my Facebook account: 'Learned a new phrase today: Managing Upwards.' This led to a discussion amongst many other game developer colleagues about cool phrases that they were eager to share." "Cool phrases" like: Dice Humped: Consistently getting a poor result from a random number generator. Originally was used when playing tabletop games, but was expanded to be used as a warning thought experiment for any truly random number in a system. "What happens if the player gets dice humped?" It's a test if the designer actually wants things random or just distributed. Pirate Ship: Tends to describe a smaller studio in which things get accomplished with success despite a lack of formal process definitions. Buzzword Compliance Pass: Adding a bunch of bullet-points to a presentation that have nothing whatsoever to do with the game but will certainly be brought up at the meeting by an exec, e.g., "I don't see anything on this update about leveraging social networking or microtransactions. How do you plan to ensure that your game has a high retention index?" The full feature -- which includes dozens of terms -- is live now on Gamasutra. Feel free to add your own terms in the comments.

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