Online gaming has become a huge, multi-billion dollar business in the past few years. It’s not surprising when everyone these days has phones in their pockets and computers in their bags. You should know all the terms and jargon if you want to join this nascent industry, either as an employee or a business owner.
You will find in this guide some of the essential game server terms. Write them down on your worksheet, and your chance of succeeding in this industry will improve!
1. Community Servers
In certain online games (called “multiplayer games”), players have the option to create community servers. Community servers are public gaming spaces. Anyone can join them and interact with other players online on the server.
They are quick and easy to join. These servers also give people the opportunity to meet random players. Since everyone already shares the same hobby and taste in video games, friendships can form quickly!
If that sounds appealing to you, the good news is that there are a lot of games that offer the ability to create and join community servers. Valheim—a survival, sandbox game—is an example.
2. Private Servers
Private servers are the exact opposite of community servers. You usually need to have a password or a specific link to join a private server. These servers can be created if people want to play alone or with friends they already know.
To play a multiplayer video game, you must have an Internet connection. The more powerful your connection is, the better you will be able to play. The “speed” of your Internet is measured using “latency”.
Latency is how long it takes for data in your computer to move to the game server. Lower latency means the transfer rate is very fast, equalling a good gaming experience. On the other hand, if you have high latency, you will experience many issues like lagging and glitches.
Ping is also a way for people to measure the performance of their Internet. It is how fast the game’s servers respond to your computer’s inputs.
For example, you want your character to move forward in the game. To do that, you need to press the forward button. When you press it, your computer will send a command (“Moves the character forward”) to the game’s server. The server will read and process this information. Then, it sends the result back to your computer.
The time it takes for this entire chain of events to occur is called a “ping”.
In the best-case scenario, the instant you press the button, you will see your character move forward immediately. There is a delay between the moment you press the button and the moment the character moves forward. However, you can’t see it because the delay is extremely short, measuring milliseconds.
But if your Internet is unstable, the server can take longer to process your command (high ping.) So, when you push the forward button, your character may take seconds to move on the screen.
A low latency, low ping Internet connection is a must for any gamer.
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Lag is what happens when your Internet connection is too slow, and the game server can’t keep up. For example, the character can take a second or two to move when you press the forward button instead of moving immediately.
Lagging is annoying since it decreases the player’s reaction time. But if the lag is bad enough, it can make the game unplayable!
A gamer has a lot of choices when it comes to hardware. They can play with their phone, laptop, or gaming console (PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch). However, these systems are made very differently from one another. As a result, most games don’t allow people with different systems to play together. If you have a laptop, you usually won’t be able to play with people who own a console, and so on.
But certain games do, and they’re called crossplay-compatible games!
Simply put, crossplay is a feature that allows people to play together no matter what system they own!
7. AAA (Triple-A)
AAA (or Triple-A) is a term used to refer to big-budget video games made by famous studios and companies, such as Electronic Arts (EA) and Bethesda. Besides having a big budget, AAA games usually have a lot of marketing. So, whenever one is announced, you will see a lot of excitement on video game forums.
8. Massively Multiplayer Online Game (MMOG)
MMOG is a type of game that allows a lot of people to play together on the same server (hence the “Massive” part.) These games can facilitate up to hundreds of thousands of people at once. Examples include EVE Online and World of Warcraft.
9. Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (MMORPG)
An MMORPG merges a massively multiplayer online game (MMOG) and a role-playing game (RPG). In such a game, the player will usually be able to create their characters and immerse themselves in the game’s world and story. Then, they will be able to interact with other people in the same world (and server!)
MMORPG is extremely popular and became a billion-dollar industry in the late 2010s. It’s still one of the biggest video game genres out there today.
Servers are another name for computers built to “host” games. Everyone who plays the game has to connect to it for the game to work.
For example, if you play Valheim with your friends. Then, everyone has to connect to the same server hosting Valheim. Without it, you won’t be able to take part in the same game.
Servers aren’t always hosted by the game developers or companies, though. Many games—such as Minecraft—allow you to use your computer as a server. Data from the game is stored on your computer. Anyone who wants to join your world and play with you must connect to your machine!
The video game industry has been around for a long time, but there’s still a lot of space left for you and your business to fit in. But before you do that, you need to master these key terms first.
If you have difficulties learning them, one of the more entertaining ways to memorize these words and concepts is through word-based games.
Crosswords, for example. Place these words into blank squares and leave hints or definitions at the bottom. Fill them out over time and you’ll get the hang of everything in no time. You can use crossword design apps to do this!
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