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Games Industry Terminology

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by ElevenGame, Feb 14, 2023.

  1. ElevenGame

    ElevenGame

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    Hello Everybody,
    I recently thought about some of the words that are used within the games industry to describe certain parts of what a game is and what we do. From my personal understanding of the english language, I think some things are mislabeled, especially when it comes to Animation/AI.
    Starting with what's called "Animations" these days: To me the meaning ot the term "animate" comes from the latin anima, which meant soul/mind, basically the signifier for something to be alive, similar like the adjective "animated" is used to describe something as lively.. Coming from that definition I thought that a better term for what is called "Animation" would be "Motion". That seems to be a more precise and descripive name to me.
    Then instead of the term "Game AI" one could use "Animation", because it is these things like game world awareness, navigation, behaviour trees or the selective playback of certain motions, that actually makes NPCs animated, feeling alive, right?
    The good thing with this naming convention would be that the term "AI" could then be used just like in the software industry in general, meaning mostly machine learning, maybe advanced simulations..
    I don't know if anybody cares for such a philosophic or liguistic discussion, these are the terms that I personally use and I just wondered: Do you agree, do you disagree? Are there other things in tech, where you feel the words used do not line up with what is described? Apart from marketing, of course, that's a different story! ;-)
     
  2. Murgilod

    Murgilod

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    What? No. Stop.

    Have you ever seen an animated film? That is the definition of animation we are using here.
     
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  3. koirat

    koirat

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    I was going not to event comment this post.
     
  4. ElevenGame

    ElevenGame

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    Yes, I know. You can also call that a motion picture, though that sounds ancient. ;-) From a games perspective a pretty static and linear medium, I am just hopeful we'll see more progress in how dynamic and interactive video games can actually be, so no one confuses them with movies anymore.
     
  5. Murgilod

    Murgilod

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    Nobody confuses them with movies. Animation in games refers to things like character animation. Artificial Intelligence in games refers to giving a perceived intelligence, an artificial one, to behaviours in those games. What you are proposing is actually more confusing.
     
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  6. zombiegorilla

    zombiegorilla

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    A dictionary is record not a set of rules. Animation is perfectly understood, and AI is contextual. in game development it can mean simple range detection/reaction all the way up to complex ML. You just avoid using it without context.
    Every industry/vocation/hobby has its own terminology. You learn it to communicate with others doing the same.
     
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  7. algio_

    algio_

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    Even if in my mother language "Animation" reminds me of something alive, I think it's better than "Motion" because animation is related to things (especially characters or animals) that not only move but move as something that's alive, not something we can see in robotic animated cheap models :)
    Infact if we talk about a ragdoll we could say it hasn't an animation attached but it clearly moves, aka it's in motion. To the contrary if we talk about a moving thing like a falling box we don't want to misunderstand that kind of kinematic/dynamic movement with an animation. Unless we have a magic animated box that is kind of alive. There could be edgy cases, but who cares?
    Not me :p
     
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  8. kdgalla

    kdgalla

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    English words that are based on latin or greek (or whatever) don't mean the same thing as the words that they are based on.
     
  9. DragonCoder

    DragonCoder

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    You are not wrong... Interesting to know that "anima" means something else than motion.
    However this is not the first and not the last word that simply developed a different meaning. "Animation" is well defined enough in the game industry. It means motion than is preprogrammed for the most part. You will not use it to dynamic motion like characters moving across the screen. Fear that would then be confused with the word "motion" you propose.
     
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  10. neginfinity

    neginfinity

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    It kinda doesn't matter what is meaning for you, because there's already an established terminology in place, it has been around for a century, predates video games, and that's what everybody is going to be using. Redefining it to match your definition will be impossible at this point.

    It is less precise because "Motion" is physics. "An object will continue moving at constant speed unless a force is applied". Doesn't evoke the same meaning as animation at all.

    Nope. You can have an NPC without awareness and movement and it will be believable.

    Machine learning is not an AI. It is a subset of AI. Simulation is unrelated to AI.

    Disagree, as changing terminology without reason achieves nothing useful.
     
  11. Ryiah

    Ryiah

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    standards.png
     
  12. neginfinity

    neginfinity

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    It is because the meaning is along the lines of "breathing life/soul into something to make it move". And the terminology comes from film.


    In fantasy works necromancy is often called animation. For the same reason.
     
  13. BIGTIMEMASTER

    BIGTIMEMASTER

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    soon enough chatgpt will be able to understand my grunts so that multi-syllable words will no longer be needed, and i wont have to consider if my questions really make sense.

    "combuter, math what make duh ding go rown the udda ding. big fast"

    its gonna be great. then i can get back to being a stupid idiot and still make my games. in the meantime, i try not to focus on details that don't matter so that I don't cause extra problems for myself. already too much work to do to make games.
     
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  14. zombiegorilla

    zombiegorilla

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    Koltar, when he drowned in the swamp.