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Every week the EFG staff will be defining a gaming term that is either confusing or ill-defined. Please leave a comment with any terms you find confusing and we will try to include them in future editions!


The gaming definition this week is a series of terms that is applicable to video games: Respawn, Spawn Rate and Spawn Timer

Pokémon Center

Respawn refers to the act of reviving or returning to the area or field of play in a video game as a player, or the return of a threat or resource. The word Respawn was originally coined for multiplayer experiences, but now has generalized to all of gaming. (verb)

  • If all your Pokémon get knocked out, you respawn at a Pokémon Center.
  • In Legend of Zelda, if you leave a dungeon and reenter the monsters will Respawn.

Spawn Rate is the time it takes for a threat or resource to renew or return to the field of play. It may have a percentage /rate at which an object drops. Distribution of what might “spawn” treasure/creatures

  • The odds at which a Pokemon will “spawn” while you are in the grass.
Pokémon Spawn in the Grass

Spawn Timer counts drown is the time for the player to return to play.

  • How long you need to spend in the grass for a Pokémon to “spawn”

Example of Games:

  • Overwatch
  • World of Warcraft
  • Pokemon
  • Legend of Zelda

Respawn Elements in Game

  • Mineral Nodes (It is a point within the game for gathering resources that can be found within many games, such as WOW, Skyrim, Stardew Valley)
  • Monsters

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

You can also look at our other video game definitions from previous weeks here!

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Every week the EFG staff will be defining a gaming term that is either confusing or ill-defined. Please leave a comment with any terms you are confused by and we will try to include them in future editions!


The gaming definition this week is a term that is applicable to many video games, as well as Movies, TV shows, Plays, and Musicals: The Fourth Wall

The fourth wall is the barrier between the audience and the character (or actor). It is also the perspective from which we (as the audience) view the experience.

Storytelling in games has been getting more and more advanced as the games industry matures. One thing I’ve noticed is that a lot of the games I’ve been playing have been breaking the “fourth wall.” The important thing about the fourth wall is that the audience (and the narrator, or even classically the chorus) are meant to be outside the story informing the audience. In “serious drama.” they are invisible. 

“Breaking the fourth wall” traditionally has been considered an act of comedy, though in more contemporary settings it can be more serious. This is where the characters in the story address the audience directly; often ignoring the story that is happening on stage. This type of storytelling device is often shorthand for making a reference or showing the internal thoughts of a character without having to involve the story that is going on. 

Examples in TV and Stage

Remember all of those times in Saved by the Bell where Zack would call a time-out and talk to the camera? He was breaking the fourth wall.

A more recent example is the Musical Hamilton. At the end of the show, Eliza Hamilton is telling the end of her story and gasps after the song ends. The gasp is considered her breaking the 4th wall.

Video Game Examples:

  • Guacamelee
  • The Secret of Monkey Island
  • Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door

Additional Resources

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Every week the EFG staff will be defining a gaming term that is either confusing or ill-defined. Please leave a comment with any terms you
find confusing and we will try to include them in future editions!


The gaming definition this week is a term that is applicable to board games:

Legacy Games

Legacy games are board games played over multiple sessions, typically with the same group of players. Each play of the game can create permanent changes to the game affecting future plays. These changes occur in a variety of ways, such as opening envelopes to reveal stickers to add to the board, additional cards, and/or additional rules/powers.

Legacy games often include a story told over the course of the sessions. Most Legacy games can only be played through one time. Some games give players the opportunity to buy a refill pack to make the game replayable a second time.

There are also some games that once you finish the campaign, the game is playable using the rules the Legacy portion finished on for future regular games. One example of this is Machi Koro Legacy. It has ten different games over the course of the campaign with the eleventh and subsequent games repeatable as a “regular” game. However, most games are not playable again once the last session is complete.

History

Game designer Rob Daviau is credited with creating the Legacy Style game. The first game published with this mechanic was Risk Legacy in 2011. He also designed Machi Koro Legacy, and codesigned the Pandemic Legacy series with Matt Leacock.

Examples

  • Pandemic Legacy (Seasons 1,2, 0)
  • Zombie Kidz
  • Gloomhaven: Jaws of the Lion

So, what do you think? Do you like the idea of a game that can only be played through once, or would you rather have the option to replay it multiple times? Let us know in the comments below and we’ll keep this discussion going.

You can also look at our other video game definitions from previous weeks here!

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

Make sure to keep your eyes on Engaged Family Gaming for all of the latest news and reviews you need to Get

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Every week the EFG staff will be defining a gaming term that is either confusing or ill-defined. Please leave a comment with any terms you find confusing and we will try to include them in future editions!


The video game definition this week is a term that is applicable to many well-known MMO games: Instance

Instances are a separate part of a multiplayer game for a player or small party. It is meant to create a private/small group experience. Instances often include quests or storylines, although the most common are dungeon instances. These are done with a small party (3-5 players) or a raid (as many as 40 players or more).

Thousands of instances can be ongoing simultaneously within a game, but they are unique to the party. Lord of the Rings Online instances, for example, have instances that become available at level 20, and these are primarily dungeons.

Examples of an instance is going to range widely depending on the content. Storyline progression can be instance related. Dungeon instances will likely pertain to the success or failure of the mission and the loot hoped for or received at the end. Instances are a separate part of a multiplayer game for a player or small party, and often include quests or storylines. Although the most common are dungeon instances. These are done with a small party (3-5 players) or a raid (as many as 40 players or more).

History

Term originated in World Of Warcraft, but other games not incorporate them as well. Initially the first instance of Instance combat in dungeons. It has evolved into multiple formats where you can repeat or have a single instance. In some games the first time you come to a certain encounter there is an instance which are meant to be experienced privately to convey the story.

Examples

  • World of Warcraft
  • Lord of the Rings Online

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Every week the EFG staff will be defining a gaming term that is either confusing or ill-defined. Please leave a comment with any terms you find confusing and we will try to include them in future editions!

The gaming definition this week is a series of terms that is applicable to video games: Raid

Pokémon Go

A Raid is a high-level challenge requiring cooperative play amongst several players, usually 10 or more. Often end-game content involves a combination of mechanics, puzzles, and/or a super boss or multiple bosses. Rewards for raids are typically higher than smaller instances such as dungeons. Some raids may also include PVP (player vs player) content.

Raids such as in Final Fantasy or World of Warcraft can be played with a premade group of players or a PUG (pick-up group). Each game has a method for group search.  Raids in MMORPG (many multiplayer online role-playing games) may require multiple tanks (character who draws the damage and can take the damage to protect other characters), healers and dps (damage dealers) in order to complete the challenge.

A quest line may be attached to raids as well, which may involve a specific action to be completed inside the raid not necessary to defeat the raid itself. World of Warcraft for example has an item drop when you defeat one of several bosses.

Examples of Games with Raids

  • World of Warcraft
  • Final Fantasy
  • Dungeons and Dragons Online (requiring 12 players)
  • Pokémon GO.

Raids are the pinnacle of cooperative play. They offer a high-level challenge that to be tackled by 10 or more players. They often include end-game content with a combination of mechanics, puzzles, and/or super bosses or multiple bosses. The rewards for completing a raid are typically higher than smaller instances such as dungeons, making them an attractive option for many players.

Let us know in the comments what your experience was like!


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Every week the EFG staff will be defining a gaming term that is either confusing or ill-defined. Please leave a comment with any terms you find confusing and we will try to include them in future editions!


The gaming definition this week is a term that is applicable to many well-known games: Dungeon

Quest Kids has you flip cards to reveal the spaces in the dungeon

A Dungeon is a set location compromising of combat and/or puzzle elements, often with higher rewards or loot than normal gameplay. Dungeons can be a spot for characters to repeatedly have monsters spawn (enter the game), so they can gain XP (Experience Points), or it can be a single continuous narrative and combat experience. Often combat and narrative escalate in complexity and difficulty as you progress through. In some cases they culminate with a boss fight.

Dungeon Academy create the
dungeons with dice

Dungeons can be found across many types of games from card games, board games, table top role play games, LARPs, and video games of all types. Dungeons are also a common part of most MMORPG (many multiplayer online role-playing games). In Minecraft Dungeons they take the dungeon crawler gameplay and adds a boxy twist with their graphics style.

In board and card games there are many formats a dungeon can take. Often you are revealing sections of the Dungeon as you progress. There you may find loot, a monster or loot after encountering the monster.

Dungeons have been a staple in games for years, and with good reason. They offer an immersive experience that often follows a consistent format.

Examples of Board Games/Table top Role Play

  • Munchkin
  • Dungeon Drop
  • Dungeon Academy
  • Dungeons and Dragons
  • Quest Kids

Examples of Video Games

  • Minecraft Dungeon
  • World Of Warcraft
  • Diablo
  • Terraria
  • Legend of Zelda

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

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Every week the EFG staff will be defining a gaming term that is either confusing or ill-defined. Please leave a comment with any terms you find confusing and we will try to include them in future editions!


NPCs

The gaming definition this week is a term that is applicable to many well-known games: LARP

LARP is an acronym for Live Action Role-Playing. It Incorporates physical action, improv, cosplay, and roleplay into a single event. Players inhabit a fantasy world at a set location in real-time, and can be based in a wide variety of genres.

LARPing involves social interaction with players and NPCs (non-playing characters). LARP events will require specific costumes and props to further the set environment. More experienced players will likely be better outfitted for LARPing events having collected gear over a longer period of time. New players can purchase supplies at various stores and online sites. LARP organizations such as Alliance have forums to guide new players. Preparation: character creation, backstory, props, costuming, etc. assist players with fuller immersion into the event.

A PC attacking an NPC

References can be similar to tabletop role-playing questions, general gameplay, character class and race choices. Parents may need to assist with forum surfing, costuming. As with sports or a new instrument, it is advisable to invest minimally at first to ensure your player is interested enough for larger financial investments.

LARP Found in Shows and Movies

There have been TV shows and Movies, not all that are family friendly, that have depicted LARPs. Our experience is that some aspects that are portrayed are quite accurate and some are not, as one would expect in a fictional story.

Examples

  • Supernatural
  • Hawkeye
  • Role Models

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

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Every week the EFG staff will be defining a gaming term that is either confusing or ill-defined. Please leave a comment with any terms you are confused by and we will try to include them in future editions!


The gaming definition this week is a term that is applicable to many video games: PvE/PvP

PvE/PvP: Shorthand for Player Versus Environment and Player Versus Player. The phrases describe the type of interaction players will experience in the game and where they receive feedback and interaction from. Many games have both PvE and PvP components to their experience, each gaining benefits to the other.

PvE

Player Versus Environment (PvE) interactions are situations in which one or more players collaborate to interact/overcome a computer-controlled threat or problem.

Wii U Splatoon screenshot
Tower Control – one of the game modes in the ranked battles!

PvP

Player versus Player (PvP) puts players in competition with each other, often providing a direct threat or problem to each other. PvP often provides a short play experience for players, but since they involve other people they cannot be paused or stopped early without disrupting the experience for other players.

Entire PvE narratives have been designed as tutorials to bring players into the PvP experiences (eg. th story mode for many first-person shooters ).

Examples:

  • Splatoon is PvP: Players are shooting other players with paint and trying to send them back to start point for your team.
  • Super Mario Odyssey is PvE: Your challenges in the game come from the environment not other players.
  • World of Warcraft contains both PvE and PvP: most of the content in the game is PvE, but players can opt into a PvP experience or enter specific PvP battlegrounds.

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

You can also look at our other video game definitions from previous weeks here!

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

Make sure to keep your eyes on Engaged Family Gaming for all of the latest news and reviews you need to Get

Your Family Game On!

The EFG Essentials

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