Platform Masters Title
Platform Masters - Will you be the world's next platform master?




Last updated: Mar 21, 2011 (first version)
Level 5 update on Apr 1, 2011 (new section added; several new entries added; several existing entries expanded on)
Level 3 update on Apr 3, 2011 (4 new terms added)
Level 3 update on Apr 6, 2011 (5 new terms added, 2 others expanded on)
Level 4 update on Apr 18, 2011 (several new terms added)
Level 2 update on May 27, 2011 (2 new terms added)
Level 5 update on Jan 17, 2012 (a few new terms added, a few terms expanded on, image used instead of ASCII art, and proofreading)
Level 2 update on Jun 4, 2012 (added the Musan region and Sentus Caverns/Musan Mines to the list)



1 Introduction



There are several terms that I tend to use that are otherwise likely nonstandard. Some of these terms are real terms, just lesser known. To learn what these terms mean, simply find the entry in the list below, done the same way as a dictionary - they're sorted alphabetically. Immediately after the entry is a basic category the term falls under.

2 The categories



Here is a brief description on the categories:



3 The terms



A-C



Ability (also special ability) - Platform Masters basics. A special skill that can be obtained that often allow new areas to be explored more safely or find shortcuts that otherwise weren't possible. All special abilities have their own pros and cons and they all must be learned.

Acceleration - Platform Masters stats. The acceleration rate the character has when running on level ground. Acceleration is based on mph/s. This maxes out at 4,294,967,295 and is initially 12.

Air - Platform Masters stats. The maximum duration the character can remain submerged in a liquid (liquids include mud and lava) before drowning. Air is based on cycles. This maxes out at 4,294,967,295 and is initially 28,800.

Air Taxi - Platform Masters basics. A vehicle that uses trackless magnetic levitation through the use of altering and amplifying Earth's magnetic field. Air taxis resemble airplanes except they don't have wings or surfaces for generating lift. Thus, they resemble a bus. Air taxis come in a variety of sizes and speed capabilities from as few as 8 passengers to as many as 64 and from 64 mph up to 720 mph for speed (103 to 1158.7 km/h).

Alpha channel - Graphics. One of four standard channels in an image, used for controlling the opacity (transparency) of a pixel. It ranges from 0 (fully transparent) to 255 (fully opaque), though often expressed as a percentage.

Alpha (or alpha release) - Programming. The earliest release meant for testing a software program, usually with few testers. Alpha releases are usually much more likely to crash, but at least the game gets tested on other computers, for finding system requirements. Platform Masters will not have any alpha releases, as far as I'm aware.

Anti-aliasing - Graphics. The smoothing of the edges of the jagged edge pixelated images have, through the use of either color averaging and/or transparency.

Arcminute - Mathematics. A unit of angular measure equal to 1/60 of a degree. The Moon orbiting Earth has a diameter of about 30 arcminutes when viewed from Earth's surface.

Arcsecond - Mathematics. A unit of angular measure equal to 1/60 of an arcminute or 1/3600 of a degree.

Arctangent - Mathematics. A function used to determine the angle of a slope. It is frequently used in Platform Masters when it comes to sloped surfaces. For example, you'd use the arctangent of the length of line segment CA divided by the length of line segment AB to find angle X in this diagram:

A simple right triangle with marked angles and vertices.


ARGB - Graphics. A color space similar to RGB, except that an alpha channel is included.

Array - Programming. A group of variables under the same name. These, in C programming, have square brackets with a number, define, or variable inside immediately after the variable's name. For example, "unsigned char ImageData[65536]" is a group of 65,536 8-bit variables using the name "ImageData". Multiple square brackets can be appended at the end for multi-dimensional arrays (e.g. "unsigned char RandomData[32][16][4]").

Array index - Programming. A position of a single variable within an array. The array index in "Test = ImageData[2048];" is 2048.

Background - Video game basics. The collection of objects that appear to be behind the main action. No collision detection is performed with these objects - they are meant for decoration, giving meaning to the setting. In Platform Masters, the backgrounds are purely 2D, but the extreme use of parallax scrolling makes them seem far more 3D than 2D.

Barugan - Platform Masters basics. The tropical region located in the southernmost portion of the overworld. It is home to worlds 7 and 8. The Barugan Archipelago is the northernmost part of this region, of which is also where the Barugan Reef is located.

Barugan Archipelago - Platform Masters basics. The group of islands at the northern end of the tropical Barugan region. The islands separate the cooler water north of the islands from the warmer water south of the islands.

Barugan Reef - Platform Masters basics. A tropical reef found in the southeastern portion of the Barugan Archipelago.

Beta (or beta release) - Programming. A fully functional release of a software program, occurring before the main, official release to the public and after alpha releases. Beta releases tend to have more bugs than the official release. They are often used as a way for several users at once to test the program through otherwise normal use. Platform Masters will have at least 1 beta release (likely more, but only initially of the demo version) before it gets finished.

Bit - Computer basics. Bit stands for "binary digit", a single digit of either 0 or 1.

Bit depth - Computer basics. The degree of precision used with computer data. The more bits that are used, the better the quality, but the more disk space and memory will needed to store it.

Bitmap (BMP) - File format. A common file format used for graphics. These are primarily used for images that don't use transparency and compressed formats are not an option. In Platform Masters, they are also used whenever every pixel in an image is to have the same, fixed opacity, like fog.

Block (Bl) - Platform Masters basics. A unit of length measure equal to 32 CU (about 4.6933 feet or 1.4305 meters). This unit of measure is used with level design as all objects align to a grid based on the block.

Bop - Game play. To jump on top of something. This is a typical behavior seen in platformers, especially the 2D type. It is often a way to defeat enemies. In Platform Masters, a few enemies cannot be bopped.

Boss - Video game basics. An enemy in a video game that is usually more powerful than normal enemies. They tend to be present at the end of levels or worlds, sometimes certain story events. In Platform Masters, the eleventh level within a world (excluding 19 and 20) has a boss.

Bottomless pit - Video game basics. A "hole" at the bottom of the screen where no bottom is present. Falling into these causes a life to be lost, or, in some games, game over. Avoid falling into these. In Platform Masters, bottomless pits are found below the lowest point within a world. There are hints in the background scenery that tell the proximity to the lowest point and the camera stops scrolling lower as well. Falling into one causes one life to be lost.

Bug (aka glitch) - Programming. A programming mistake. Bugs range from the otherwise harmless typos and spelling errors to moderate cases of falling through the ground or keyboard input doesn't always work when it should. The most severe bugs are where the program itself crashes.

Bug class - Programming. A 0 to 8 scale that ranks the severity of a bug. Spelling errors and most typos rank as a 0 on this scale, occasionally 1. Falling through the ground ranks as a 4 (5 if common, 3 if very rare). Bugs that cause the program to crash start at 5 and top out at 7. The top of the scale, 8, are bugs that are so severe that it renders the computer or hardware unable to be used, such as the case I had with a graphing calculator around 1994 or so where I figured out how to go beyond the 400-character limit and the calculator froze around 680ish digits in.

Byte - Computer basics. A collection of 8 bits. This is also the standard used with handling computer data.

C - Programming. A programming language used for writing programs with. The syntax closely resembles javascript.

C++ - Programming. A programming language like C only with several enhancements, especially the object-oriented design.

Carnivalesta - Platform Masters basics. A great carnival and theme park held annually during the month of July found at the southern foothills of the Sentus Mountains in the Sentus Plains. The name comes from combining "carnival" and "fiesta".

Cast - Platform Masters basics. To send an energy beam toward an object, usually an enemy. This is an alternative method to bopping for defeating enemies.

Cast range - Platform Masters stat. The maximum range at which a cast will travel before it becomes too weak and disappears. Maxes out at 4,294,967,295 CU. The initial is 64 CU.

Cast rate - Platform Masters stat. The rate at which the character can cast energy beams. Maxes out at 960 casts per second. The initial is about 3 casts per second.

Channel. 1 - Graphics. One of the standard four groups of computer data that makes up an image. The standard 4 are "alpha", "red", "green", and "blue". A fifth set is sometimes used as well - "gray" or "value", used exclusively with grayscale images. 2 - Platform Masters basics. A layer of scenery within a group. Ground layers are often referred to as channels as several ground layers are often used to form the same object, such as a river or road.

Char - Programming. An 8-bit (1-byte) integer variable. These are mostly used for strings and image data. A signed char has a range from -128 to +127. An unsigned char has a range from 0 to 255.

Code (also "source code") - Programming. The textual form of a computer program. Writing code is known as coding. A compiler converts this to a machine-readable form so it can be executed.

Codec (aka compression decompression) - Computer basics. A software extension used to compress files, especially video and audio. There are several codecs available with varying degrees of complexity, quality, and compression ratios. In general, the more complex the codec, the better the quality and compression ratios tend to be, but the slower the processing becomes. When videos of Platform Masters' development get posted on YouTube, the XviD video codec is used. Later videos use the H.264 codec due to better color reproduction and it being multithreaded.

Collision detection - Programming. A function that makes objects solid. This makes a game object, such as the character the player controls, to be able to run into walls, abruptly stopping, without going through (or even falling forever). This is one of the most difficult aspects to program.

Compiler - Programming. A computer software program that turns human-readable source code into machine-readable binary code for execution. Visual C++ 2008 Express contains a compiler.

Compression - Computer basics. The reducing of a file's size with or without modification. Compression is commonly used to transfer files over the Internet. Compression comes in two flavors - lossless (like PNG and ZIP) and lossy (like JPG and MP3). Lossy compression modifies the original file's data to help further reduce the file's size, often used when lossless compression has little effect.

Continue - Video game basics. The resuming of a game, usually after a "game over", with a loss of progress (such as score, items, etc.). Some games have a fixed number of continues available. Platform Masters has an infinite number of continues though, but using one causes the score to get reset to 0.

Coordinate unit (CU) - Platform Masters basics. A unit of length measure equal to 1.76 inches or 4.4704 cm. It originates from my animation creation back in 2001 where it's the distance traveled at 1 mph for one frame (1/10 second at the time, of which was a limitation in browsers at the time).

Cosine - Mathematics. A function used to determine the distance of a line segment relative to the hypotenuse. For example, you'd use the cosine of angle X to determine the length of line segment AB in this diagram:

A simple right triangle with marked angles and vertices.


Cycle (Cy) - Platform Masters basics. The finest unit of time, equal to 1/960 of a second (1 1/24 millisecond). Movement is processed on a per-cycle basis.

D-G



Debug - Programming. The process of examining a program to look for and fix programming mistakes.

Debug panel - Programming. A panel like most any other on-screen info (like health, score, and lives) used for debugging through the use of monitoring variables in real time to help isolate causes of bugs. A typical debug panel contains the exact position of the character being played and/or camera, the frame rate, and an assortment of test for watching variables in real time such as animation frames, timers to greater precision, other object positions, and many others. If used wisely, debug panels can quickly help isolate troublesome areas or pinpoint the causes of bugs that the debugger may not be as effective with. The debug panel is exclusive to the developer and not the public betas.

Declination - Other. An astronomical term similar to latitude and is based on Earth's equator. Declination is expressed in degrees, arcminutes, and arcseconds. Stars with a declination of exactly 90 and -90 don't appear to move in the sky at all whereas those with a declination of 0 move the most.

Design document - Programming. A blue print for a computer software program, often written in a text-editing program like Word. Platform Masters has a design document and it was the very first thing that was created before any of the artwork or programming were started.

Double - Programming. A 64-bit floating point variable. These are used when the 32-bit float doesn't have enough precision or range. It has 1 sign bit (for positive and negative), 11 bits for the exponent, and the other 52 bits as the mantiff. This means it has 15.65 significant figures for precision and has a range limit of 1.7976931348623159E308 (both positive and negative; note that this value is almost exactly the same as 2^1024).

Egan (plural: Egani) - Platform Masters basics. The monetary unit (like dollars or euros) used in Platform Masters. One US dollar is about 50 Egani.

Enemy - Video game basics. An often-moving game object that attempts to slow down and/or harm the character the player controls. Most of the time, enemies can be defeated, and, if that's not possible, avoidable. Some enemies remain in one spot but use projectiles or ambush techniques to gain the upper hand. Platform Masters has several varieties of enemies.

EULA (end user license agreement) - Computer basics. A legal agreement between the creator of a software program and the end user that intends on using the software. These provide a legal safeguard against infinite copying, revealing the source code, the use of trademarks, copyrights, and many other legal concerns.

Excel - Software program. A spreadsheet program, part of the Microsoft Office suite, used for an assortment of cases, from business budgeting and inventory to scientific analysis or complex calculations. For Platform Masters, Excel is used mainly with artwork, for things that are highly repetitive (such as scale ratios used with the clouds) or very complicated (like lighting). It is also used for some planning as part of my design document, especially when calculations are needed.

Exponent - Mathematics. A power, used to indicate the multiplying of the base this many times in a row. 2^5 means 2*2*2*2*2 or 32. The 5 is the exponent and the 2 is the base. Fractional and negative exponents are more advanced.

Fallout - Platform Masters basics. To fall into a bottomless pit, out of the level. Falling out cannot happen when far outside a level's bounds (care to go for 1 billion CU out?). Upon falling out, control temporarily stops and you'll eventually lose a life after a brief pause and a fade. Thus, avoid it as best you can.

Fallout point - Platform Masters basics. The point at which falling out is declared. This is the bottom of the screen when downward scrolling stops though technically it's nothing more than a predefined Y position.

Flag - Programming. A variable of any type, usually integer types, with only two values used: 0 or 1.

Float - Programming. A 32-bit floating point variable. These are used when low precision is needed. It has 1 sign bit (for positive and negative), 8 bits for the exponent, and the other 23 bits for the mantiff. This means it has 6.92 significant figures for precision and has a range limit of 3.40282367E38 (both positive and negative; note that this value is the almost exactly the same as 2^128).

Floating point - Programming. A type of variable that has a shifting decimal place. The placement of the decimal is determined by the exponent. Floating point values consist of 3 parts: sign, exponent, and mantiff. The sign is always 1 bit and indicates whether a number is positive or negative. The exponent controls the "size" of the number, following after the E. The mantiff is the part to the left of the E and basically controls the "offset" from the exponent.

Foreground - Video game basics. The part of the scene in which the action takes place. Collision detection is performed with these objects as they are intended to be interacted with.

Formula - Mathematics. A set of constants and variables combined with operators (+, -, *, /, and functions) that creates a certain pattern or outcome with numbers. "Pixels*Scaling=CU" is a formula that Platform Masters actively uses.

Frame - Video game basics. A single image within a series of images. Frames combine to form an apparent moving picture by displaying several at once, typically 30 or greater. The more frames that get displayed per second, to a certain point, the smoother and more life-like the motion becomes. In Platform Masters, a frame is 1/60 of a second by default. Drawing occurs only once per frame.

Frame rate - Video game basics. The number of frames that get drawn every second, often expressed as frames per second. The higher the frame rate, to a certain point (around 120 fps), the smoother the video becomes. Above 120 fps is otherwise imperceptible to the human eye. Platform Masters runs 60 fps by default which provides a very smooth motion. It can be set to run at 20 fps at the lowest end to up to 120 fps at the higher end.

Function - Programming. A set of instructions within a computer program that accomplishes something. Whether it's drawing, moving objects, processing a string, or doing complex calculations, functions can do pretty much anything.

Game over - Video game basics. The condition in which the game has terminated, often from losing all lives, dying, or failing to meet a goal. In Platform Masters, game over occurs when all lives are lost; the score drops to 0 when this happens but you can continue the game from where you left off.

Gigabyte (GB) - Computer basics. One billion (1,000,000,000) bytes. Sometimes, it's 1,073,741,824 bytes (the latter is mainly used with file sizes; 2^30).

GIMP (aka GNU Image Manipulation Program) - Software program. An open source image creation program like Photoshop or Paintshop, used to create computer graphics with. GIMP is used for all of my artwork, though sometimes used together with other programs like Calculator and Excel to maximize the accuracy and/or accelerate the process.

Glitch (aka bug) - Programming. See "Bug".

Goal platform - Platform Masters basics. A black-and-white platform with "GOAL!" written on it in large capital letters in a spectrum. Land on this platform before time runs out to clear levels (except boss levels).

Ground decal - Platform Masters basics. A system that creates a 3D effect through utilizing often hundreds of layers of images to create a scene with 2D drawing that provides a very convincing 3D effect. Platform Masters actively uses ground decals and Jeremy's House (world 1) is where they are at their best. The clouds also use ground decals, though in a slightly different way.

H-L



Hazard - Video game basics. An often-stationary, dangerous object that causes harm to or drastically slows the character the player controls. Spikes, cacti, water (sometimes), lava, acid, trap doors, etc. are all considered as hazards.

Height - Platfrom Masters stats. The height above sea level or the ground (depends on configuration settings). This is based on the camera's position. Memorize the height of the lowest allowed point and stay above it. Maxes out at 99,999,999.99 feet (11 significant figures). The initial value depends on the level.

Hit points (HP) - Platform Masters stats. The character's health. In Platform Masters, when this drops to 0, a life is lost. This maxes out at 999,999,999 and is initally 20.

HSV - Graphics. A color space that uses hue, saturation, and value to determine a color. HSV is primarily used in artwork to find a color.

Hue - Graphics. The color, such as red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet. It is expressed in degrees where red is 0, green is 120, and blue is 240.

Input frame - Platform Masters basics. A fine unit of time equal to 1/240 second (4 1/6 millisecond), the frequency at which input is checked.

Int - Programming. A 32-bit (4-byte) integer variable. These are commonly used for general variables, unless fractions or large numbers are needed. A signed int has a range from -2,147,483,648 to +2,147,483,647. An unsigned int has a range from 0 to +4,294,967,295.

Int64 (technically "__int64") - Programming. A 64-bit (8-byte) integer variable. These are rarely used, but when they are, they are mainly used when the the 32-bit integer doesn't have enough of a range (such as the score in Platform Masters). A signed __int64 has a range from -9,223,372,036,854,775,808 to +9,223,372,036,854,775,807. An unsigned __int64 has a range from 0 to 18,446,744,073,709,551,615.

Infinte loop - Programming. A loop that never ends, often due to forgetting to update conditions. Infinite loops are bugs that are almost always class 7, sometimes 6 (6 only if rare). On single-core computers, they bring the system to a crawl, making everything seem unresponsive. In the worst case, the reset button on the case is the only way to get back. Dual-core, quad-core, six-core, etc. systems don't have this problem, though it does put one core out of order (more cores if the infinite loop carries across multiple threads). If something like this happens, please report it as these are urgent to fix. An infinite loop can be created with a loop like this: "for (LoopCount = 0; LoopCount == 13; LoopCount+=2)" (as from a typo where 12 would've been used instead of 13).

Integer - Programming. A type of variable that doesn't use fractions. These are the most commonly used types of variables because they can use exact values. They, however, lack range.

Jeremy Kaplan - Platform Masters basics. The main character the player controls. Jeremy Kaplan is a young adult standing about 69 inches tall.

Jeremy's House - Platform Masters basics. Jeremy's home in the western outskirts of Ronnis. The neighborhood is densely populated.

Jump - Platform Masters stats. The initial speed at which the character can jump. This is indicated in mph. Doubling this means 4 times the jumping height. This maxes out at 4,294,967,295 and is initially 20.

Keveran - Platform Masters basics. The southwestern subtropical part of the western mainland. It is home to worlds 4 to 6. The name derives from one of my favorite names, Kevin - a town called Kevinsville is the capital city of the area.

Keveran Desert - Platform Masters basics. A vast desert located in a valley between mountains in the northeastern part of the Keveran region.

Keveran Forest - Platform Masters basics. A vast subtropical forest prone to storms and fog located in the highlands in the southeastern part of the Keveran region.

Kiloblock (Kbl) - Platform Masters basics. A unit of length measure equal to 1024 blocks or 32,768 (about 4805.9733 feet or 1464.8607 meters). This large unit of measure is used with scenery repeat widths and the spacing between platform levels.

Kilobyte (KB) - Computer basics. A thousand (1000) bytes. Sometimes, it's 1024 bytes (the latter is mainly used with file sizes; 2^10).

Lake Keveran - Platform Masters basics. A popular water-filled basin in the eastern part of the Keveran region.

Layer (definition 1) - Graphics. An image within an image, used to make creating images easier. They are often in a stack, drawn bottom to top.

Layer (definition 2) - Platform Masters basics. An individual element of background scenery. The more layers that are present, the better the 3D effects become.

Level - Video game basics. A collection of objects in the foreground that the player interacts with. In Platform Masters, each world has 16 playable levels, totalling 320 in all.

Linear - Mathematics. A scale where the number is evenly spaced. A scale marking 0, 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, and so on is a linear scale.

Lives - Video game basics. Chances to complete a level. Running out of lives almost always causes a game over to occur. In Platform Masters, game over occurs if this drops to 0; grabbing extra lives and scoring big will help prevent this. Maxes out at 4,294,967,295. The initial is 3, a standard in video games.

Logarithm - Mathematics. A function to determine an exponent when the base (usually 10) and result are known (e.g. finding x in "343 = 10^x" means doing "log(343)").

Logarithmic - Mathematics. A scale where the exponent is evenly spaced rather than the number itself. A scale marking 1, 10, 100, 1000, and so on is a logarithmic scale.

M-R



Malloc - Programming. A function that dynamically allocates memory for a program. Platform Masters does not use malloc because I could not get it to work.

Megablock (Mbl) - Platform Masters basics. A unit of length measure equal to 1024 kiloblocks, 1,048,576 blocks, or 33,554,432 CU (about 932.0676 miles or 1500.0173 kilometers). This very large unit of measure is used with the spacing between worlds, and scenery layers with very high repeat widths.

Megabyte (MB) - Computer basics. A million (1,000,000) bytes. Sometimes, it's 1,048,576 bytes (the latter is mainly used with file sizes; 2^20).

Mount Sentusia - Platform Masters basics. A large volcano with an active lava lake located in the eastern part of the Sentus Mountains.

Musan - Platform Masters basics. The easternmost coastal region on eastern edge of the Sentus Mountains. It is home to worlds 14 and 20.

Musan Mines - Platform Masters basics. See "Sentus Caverns".

Musan Swamp - Platform Masters basics. A large swamp in the southern part of the Musan region, home to the game's ultimate challenge.

Musan Tundra - Platform Masters basics. The northern tundra, just south of the Nodera region in the northernmost part of the Musan region.

Nodera - Platform Masters basics. The cold, tundra region to the north and east of the Sentus Mountains. It is home to worlds 14 to 16.

Nodera Highlands - Platform Masters basics. The northernmost part of the Sentus Mountains in the frozen arctic region located in the northernmost part of the overworld.

Nodera Ice Shelf - Platform Masters basics. An ice shelf along the coast of the overworld's northernmost lands, found in the northeasternmost part of the overworld.

Numerical input - Platform Masters basics. A type of input that involves manipulating individual digits to set a value. This is indicated by a calculator icon in the game's menus and is often used to set a custom value to a fine degree of precision.

OGG - File format. An audio file format that doesn't have patent restrictions and supposedly has better quality at lower bit rates than MP3.

On-screen information - Video game basics. Information displayed on screen that aids the player, such as timers, health, lives, score, speed, and various other things. Platform Masters has up to 9 pieces of data visible simultaneously, though can be reduced to as few as 2.

Open source - Computer basics. A computer software program that has its source code available to anyone for editing. Such programs have almost no restrictions on how they get editted and used. Platform Masters is not an open source program and will very unlikely ever be. Celestia and The GIMP are examples of open source programs.

Overworld - Video game basics. A significantly scaled down version of the game's world. Platform Masters uses an overworld for navigation, configuration adjusting, and a few others.

Parallax scrolling - Video game basics. The movement of layers within a scene at different speeds to simulate 3D. Platform Masters takes parallax scrolling to an extreme using thousands of layers (over 3000 for the clouds) instead of only 5 or so.

Parameter - Programming. A variable that a function uses upon the function being called. Parameters can be any variable or pointer (strings and structures are passed as pointers). For example "void SimpleLoop(int Repeats)" has "Repeats" as the parameter, as a signed integer; calling it is done via "SimpleLoop(5);" for 5 repeats.

Pixel - Graphics. An individual picture element. A group of pixels forming a 2D array creates an image. Most LCD monitors typically have around 96 pixels per inch (about 38 per centimeter) when at their designed resolution.

Platform - Video game basics. A piece of solid land, often suspended in mid-air. The platformer genre tends to use a lot of these. Platform Masters revolves heavily around platforms and there are 11 total types.

Platform Masters - Platform Masters basics. A 2D platformer with 20 worlds and over 300 levels that involve getting from the start platform to the goal platform before time runs out. It takes parallax scrolling to an extreme never seen before.

Pointer - Programming. An integer variable that contains the position of another variable or pointer in memory. This is 0 when it points to nothing (as from it not being set or a bug that's preventing a function that returns a pointer from working (due to invalid parameters or the like)).

Portal - Platform Masters basics. A teleporter, a machine that teleports an object from one location to another, usually between space bases, at the speed of light.

Power - Platform Masters stats. The character's strength, affecting both casting and bops. Power indicates how much HP an enemy will lose when hit. This maxes out at 4,294,967,295 and is initially 3.

Program - Computer basics. A set of instructions for a computer to follow. A video game, like Platform Masters, is a program. You're using a program to view this content, a Web browser.

Programming - Programming. The writing of instructions for the computer, often in a programming language like C, javascript, or HTML.

Public beta - Programming. A beta release of a software program for the general public. This is usually released after internal beta testing is nearing the finish line. Platform Masters will have a public beta as soon as the beta phase begins since I'm the sole developer.

Quadrillion - Mathematics. A million billions or a 1 followed by 15 zeros: 1,000,000,000,000,000. With enough time and dedication, you could accumulate a quadrillion points in reasonable enough time (1 month at the fastest possible scoring though it'll likely take a year).

Quintillion - Mathematics. A billion billions or a 1 followed by 18 zeros: 1,000,000,000,000,000,000. It is highly unlikely that anyone will ever reach the 9 2/9 quintillion maximum score (if you start now, you'll have to play nonstop (no eating, sleeping, bathroom breaks, nothing but play) using the fastest scoring method possible until about A.D. 2500).

Right ascension - Other. An astronomical term similar to longitude on Earth. Right ascension is often referred to in hours, minutes, and seconds. The two stars on the far edge of the Big Dipper's "bowl" almost parallels the 11h line.

RGB (red, green, blue) - Graphics. A color space primarily used by computer monitors and televisions. It is associated with the primary colors of light: red, green, and blue.

Ronnis - Platform Masters basics. A massive seaport city, home to about 50 million residents. It is located in the northern part of the Ronnisa region.

Ronnisa - Platform Masters basics. The temperate northern part of the western mainland. It is home to the game's first 3 worlds.

Ronnisa Plains - Platform Masters basics. The hilly plains in the southeasten part of the Ronnisa region.

S-Z



Sample rate - Computer basics. The number of samples of audio data that is to be played each second. The standard sample rate used with CDs is 44,100 Hz. This and actual pitch are not the same thing, but sample rate puts a limit on the pitch of exactly half.

Saturation - Graphics. Color intensity. The lower the saturation, the more gray the color is. It is often expressed as a percentage and is determined by "(HighValue-LowValue)/HighValue". HighValue is the highest number in an RGB triplet. LowValue is the lowest value in that same RGB triplet.

Scaling - Platform Masters basics. The relative size and distance of an object. At a scaling of 1, each pixel is exactly 1 CU. Double the scaling and the object is twice as big, twice as far, but appears the same size. Scaling is basically used as the Z position of an object. Each scaling unit represents exactly 3/2048 scaling unit100 feet (30.48 meters or 681.818 CU).

Scaling unit - Platform Masters basics. A unit of distance measure equal to exactly 682 2/3 CU (about 100.124 feet, 30.518 meters). At that distance and at the 1024x768 resolution Platform Masters uses, this creates a very wide field of view of slightly more than 106.26.

Score - Video game basics. The number of points the player has accumulated. Scores have numerous usages. In Platform Masters, every 20 million earns the player an extra life, but it also has an insanely high limit that takes about 500 years of nonstop 24/7 play to reach. Maxes out at a rather insane 9,223,372,036,854,775,807. This is initially 0.

Sentus Caverns - Platform Masters basics. A network of manmade tunnels through the use of mining the diamonds and bits of gold. Since the mine dominates the Musan region, it's often called the Musan Mines.

Sentus Mountains - Platform Masters basics. A rugged mountain chain located in the western portion of Sentusia Island.

Sentusia - Platform Masters basics. The southern subtropical portion of the Sentus Archipelago in the south central part of the overworld. It also includes the massive Sentus Mountains. This massive region is home to worlds 9 to 13.

Sentusia Island - Platform Masters basics: The large island dominating the eastern half of the overworld. Carnivalesta takes place here.

Signed - Programming. An integer variable that can be both positive and negative.

Sine - Mathematics. A function used to determine the distance of a line segment relative to the hypotenuse. For example, you'd use the sine of angle Y to determine the length of line segment AB in this diagram:

A simple right triangle with marked angles and vertices.


Slider - Computer basics. A type of input that involves a slit with a bar or knob to adjust a value with.

Space base - Platform Masters basics. An enclosed dome-shaped building in space accessible by either space elevator or portal. Worlds 17 and 18 take place in a space base.

Spikes - Video game basics. A hazard in the form of very sharp objects often in pits or sometimes lining walls and ceilings. Some games have these cause instant death, other games have these take a lot of health a way, and other games have these have little effect. In Platform Masters, spikes are first seen in world 5 and take a considerable amount of HP away, though they won't cause instant death.

Stage - Video game basics. Another name for "level".

Start platform - Platform Masters basics. A black-and-white platform with "START" written on it in large capital letters in a spectrum. This platform sets the location in which the player starts a level, or returns to after losing a life.

String - Programming. An array of variables (usually the 8-bit char) used as text. You're reading a string right now! Strings are terminated when a value of 0 is encountered.

Struct (structure) - Programming. A group of closely-related variables with different names. Structs can also contain pointers and other structs. Accessing the variables in a struct requires the use of a dot, like "StructName.MyVariable = 38;" or "StructName.NestedStruct.AnotherVariable = 5;" to access variables within a struct within the main struct.

System requirements - Computer basics. The supposed minimum hardware specifications (RAM, CPU, Video, etc.) needed in order to run a software program reasonably well. The more complex the program is, the more powerful the hardware that is needed in order for reasonably smooth operation. Having hardware more powerful than stated is always recommended. Platform Masters' system requirements are covered here.

Tangent - Mathematics. A function used to determine the ratio of the lengths of the two legs of a right triangle. For example, you'd use the tangent of angle X to determine the ratio of line segment CA over AB in this diagram:

A simple right triangle with marked angles and vertices.


Targa (TGA) - File format. A file format commonly used with games. This format supports the alpha channel and is generally left uncompressed. Platform Masters uses these any time transparency is needed.

Test - Programming. To use a software program to find bugs, often done by taking things to its limits. Without testing, Platform Masters has less than a 1% chance of even running at all, let alone even be playable.

Textual input - Platform Masters basics. A type of input that involves navigating a grid of characters to create a string, primarily used to name save files.

Three-dimensional (3D) - Video game basics. The use of 3 axes (X, Y, and Z) to create a scene. A fully 3D game has movement in all 3 dimensions and uses vertices, triangles, and textures to render the scene.

Time over - Video game basics. The status of a game in which the game clock runs out. This usually causes the loss of a life, but sometimes causes game over. In Platform Masters, running out of time causes one life to be lost and the character gets returned to the start platform.

Top speed - Platform Masters stats. The maximum speed the character can reach unaided in CU/fr. Running downhill, falling, and certain special abilities can exceed this limit. This maxes out at 4,294,967,295 and is initially 24.

Trillion - Mathematics. A million millions or a 1 followed by 12 zeros: 1,000,000,000,000. I find that some don't know what a trillion is so I've added this.

Two-dimensional (2D) - Video game basics. The use of only 2 axes (X and Y (side) or X and Z (top-down)) to create a scene. A 2D game has otherwise no hint of a third dimension, typical of old fourth generation and earlier games. Platform Masters is purely two-dimensional at its core.

Two-and-a-half-dimensional (2.5D) - Video game basics. 1. The use of 2 axes (X and Y or X and Z) to create a scene with special enhancements to sort of mimic 3D, such as the use of parallax scrolling. This is what Platform Masters uses, only taken to an extreme. 2. The use of 3 axes (X, Y, and Z) to create a scene, but has the game play restricted to a 2D field.

Unsigned - Programming. An integer variable that can only have positive values and zero.

Value - Graphics. A color's brightness. The lower this is, the darker the color. The higher this is, the brighter the color. It is often expressed as a percentage and is determined by "HighValue/255". HighValue is the highest number in an RGB triplet.

Video game - Video game basics. A collection of artwork, music, sound effects, and programming that creates a game players can interact with, often through the use of television or computer screens. Platform Masters is a video game.

Virtual Dub (technically VirtualDub) - Software program. A useful open source video-editing program by Avery Lee available here used for basic video editing and video recording. Platform Masters uses this program to record the entire development history of Platform Masters with.

Word - Software program. A word processing program, part of the Microsoft Office suite, used for writing letters and books and a few others, especially when calculations are not needed. Unlike a plain text editor (like Notepad), text can be formatted (font size, color, face, bold, italic, etc.). Platform Masters only uses Word for the design document.

World - Video game basics. A setting or themed environment within a video game. Themes vary greatly from forests and deserts to the ocean and mountains. Platform Masters has 20 worlds, with worlds 19 and 20 being special.



Footnotes:
None.