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Game Dev Glossary

As with any industry there is a specialized vocabulary with game development. This section will go over some of the most common terms used within games and Mona development.

Axis / Axes

An axis is one direction in 3D space, commonly referred to as the X, Y, and Z axis.


There are two main uses of the word baking.
One use is with 'projecting' high polygon information (eg. sculpted detail or photogrammetry) onto a low polygon asset (eg. a game ready asset) which allows you to have high quality assets work in real time. This baked information is created in different textures, or maps, that you can use in your materials.
Another is baking lighting information into textures rather using real time lighting. This is used in Lightmapping.


Decimation is a technique for reducing the polygon count of high polygon assets to game ready assets. It is much faster to do than retopology, but is not as optimised.


An edge is the line between two triangles/tris.

Edge Loop

An edge loop is a line of edges within a 3D Asset. Good Edge loops allow for easier, and faster editing of an asset, and are very important for animation.


Extrude is similar to a Sweep in that your a extending a 2D shape along a path. There are slight differences in the two depending on the tool you use to create them, but the basic idea is the same.


Lightmapping is the process of baking much of the light information (light color, shadows, ambient light, bounced light etc.) into a texture. This approach to lighting is significantly faster than realtime lighting.


Map is also used for a texture type. So your color texture is a color map, normal texture is a normal map, emissive texture is an emissive map. These can generally be used interchangebly.


A material as a game asset that allows you to combine a lot of visual parameters to add different aspects to your 3D model such as color, metallic, smoothness, normal (bump), and emissive (light).


An Ngon is a polygon that is made up of 3 or more triangles. A pentagon shaped polygon would be considered an Ngon for example.


A polygon is a four sided shape that makes up 3D assets.

Realtime / Runtime

Realtime and runtime refers to the fact that whatever the game/application is doing, it is doing so right now. There is no pre-processing the information. This is usually more expensive on the CPU and graphics card. Realtime lighting is a prime example of something that is very expensive to process, and there are a number of ways to improve this.


Decimation is a technique for reducing the polygon count of high polygon assets to game ready assets. It is much faster to do than retopology, but is not as optimised.

Retopology / Retopologizing

This is one technique of creating/improving a low polygon asset to better suit being used in a game environment. It takes longer than other methods but can produce excellent results.


A texture is basically an image (.png is best for Unity) that has information you can apply to a material. Some are based on color (Diffuse or Albedo), and some are based on numbers between 0-1 such as 0/black for non-smooth, and 1/white for smooth. And some are quite complex such as normal maps (complex bump maps).

Triangle / Tri

A polygon is made up of two triangles, commonly called Tris.

Unwrapping UVs

As X,Y, and Z are already taken in 3D space in 3D creation tools such as blender, Maya etc. The X and Y axes in a 2D texture use U and V instead to refer to the width and height of the texture.
Unwrapping UVs is how you tell the texture to be applied to the 3D asset by flattening, or unwrapping, the 3D polygons onto the 2D texture.

Vertex / Vertices

A vertex is the point at the corner of a polygon. Assets are made of vertices that are connected by edges and polygons.


WebGL is what Mona uses to get your 3D Space working in a web browser. Everything that you create in Unity needs to be WebGL compatible.