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Glossary (A—C)



The system that allows objects to affect other objects in the world. Objects create stimuli to initiate a source, and register receptrons to react to the stimuli.

Air Brush

A terrain brush that fills a volume with air.

Alert Level


A priority class for AI based on their perception of danger. There are four alertness levels: none at all, mildly curious, serious concern, and highly agitated.

Ambient Sound

A sound that plays independent of any specific event. Ambient sounds are most often a continuous or repeating noise associated with some feature of the environment. Ambient sounds are played at a specific location. Sounds that do not originate from any specific location are called “environmental”. The number of ambient sounds that can be played simultaneously depends on the number of available sound channels.


An abstract object. Most generally, an archetype can be any object with a negative object ID. Abstract objects are categorized as meta-properties, stimuli, rooms, flow groups, or textures. Which leaves the term “archetype” to refer to everything else. These are usually the objects that are created as object brushes in the editor, but also include the objects used to represent sound and motion schemas.

Area Brush

A rectangular brush that defines a set of other (non-area) brushes. An area brush can be used to create a multi-brush, or to filter the brushes that are displayed. When active, area brushes affect portalization and path-finding. Area brushes ignore the grid settings and other area brushes.


How the game tracks the player’s location for the in-game map. Each room object is assigned a number that corresponds to an overlay of the user-defined map.


The object that represents the player. The symbolic name of the concrete avatar is Player.

❓ Network games always name the local avatar Player, I think. So what are the remote players called? How does the game deal with different objects having the same SymName?



A backface is a polygon which faces away from the camera.


Associate an input event with an action. The action commands are processed by the input manager. The more general game and editor commands cannot be bound to.


A room that cannot be accessed via the main part of the level. These are often used to store things that will be teleported into the level at a later date. For example, the extra guards you see on the streets of Assassins if the alarm is activated.

Blockable Brush

A terrain brush that forces cell-splits along its faces without changing the underlying media.


FIXME Something to do with network.




  1. Send a message that is received on all network hosts. Messages are usually only processed on the same host that generated them, to save network bandwidth. When it is necessary for all the proxies of an object to be synchronized, a message is broadcast.
  2. A method of the link script service that sends a message to all the destinations of a link flavor.


The basic building-block in the editor. Brushes are created by selecting Create in the GFH and dragging-out a square in one of the view windows. What is actually created depends on the type of the brush. Brushes can combine together as multi-brushes and treated as a single brush. All brushes except object brushes become redundant when all the game databases have been built. The brush list can then be stripped from the file to slightly reduce its size, or to prevent further changes. A file that has been stripped will only display object brushes in the editor.


  1. Binary space partition. An efficient method of organizing the data that defines a three-dimensional world. The world-rep database uses a BSP tree to efficiently locate cells. Object models and meshes are also BSP trees.
  2. A command-line program that converts E files to the BIN format of object models.



A game that spans multiple missions. Each mission in a campaign is a separate database that must be loaded individually. Only the information necessary for continuity is preserved by the campaign. In System Shock 2, which has non-linear campaigns, the modified mission databases themselves must be saved. Thief only requires that a few quest variables be saved.


A convex three-dimensional region. The world-rep can only contain convex cells. Each cell is filled with either air or water. Solid space is the part of the world that is not defined by cells.

FIXME Explain polygons, convexity, and lighting.

Concrete Object

A specific instance of an Archetype. For example, when a patrol route is created, several TrolPts are created in the world. Each TrolPt is a concrete object, or a specific instance of the archetype “TrolPt”. Concrete objects are always assigned a positive ID number. They are also given a name based on their archetype, for example “A TrolPt”, “A Marker” and so on.
These names can be changed by editing the properties of the object, and each name must be unique. Attempting to input a name that is already taken will result in the object being forcibly renamed to “Object #XXX” where XXX is the ID number of the object.


A list of pseudo-scripts for one of more AI that is run when triggered. A conversation can be interrupted, and it will resume with the last incomplete pseudo-script in the list.

❓ What priority are conversations run at?


Two or more polygons that have the same normal vector, within a reasonable tolerance.


  1. A file format for mission databases that stores information for both abstract and concrete objects.
  2. A female camel.


A six-sided polyhedron where each face is orthogonal to every adjacent face. Contrary to the traditional definition, the edges of the cube need not be equal.


An extrusion of a polygon along an orthogonal vector.

glossary/ac.txt · Last modified: 2007/11/29 15:24 (external edit)