Pikifen/Glossary

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A glossary of terms used in Pikifen, both for casual play, and for creating content. This glossary will not include terms popular in the Pikmin franchise, since you can find more about those on Pikipedia, and will also not focus on terms used in the engine's code, even though most of them match what you'd read outside of the code.


Navigation: # A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

#[edit]

A[edit]

Action
Something that an object can do in its script. This includes walking to a certain point, losing health, changing its animation, etc.
Further reading: Object script.
Animation
A series of frames that change the way an object looks. When put together nicely, these make it look like the object is walking, growling, chomping, etc. Animations are independent of what the object is actually doing. For instance, it can be walking, but it could be frozen in appearance, which would make it appear to slide. That said, accurate animations are necessary for gameplay reasons, like hitboxes.
Further reading: Creating animations.
Assert, Assertion
When something is wrong with the engine, and it is detected by an assertion, the program usually shuts down in a controlled manner. It helps that the developer can know what assert was triggered exactly, to make finding the problem easier.

B[edit]

Blackout
A weather effect that makes everything dark (to different degrees) except for the leaders and a few specific objects, which cast light.
Further reading: Creating weather.
Body part
Objects can have a series of body parts, which move around when it is animating. When a Pikmin latches on to a leg, for instance, it will follow the leg around as the body part moves. In an animation, body parts are directed by hitboxes.
Further reading: Creating animations.
Bitmap
An image. It contains a series of pixels, like most computer images.
Further reading: Wikipedia's definition of bitmap.

C[edit]

Canvas
The area on an editor where the user can see a preview of what they are working on, as well as drag components, draw elements, etc. This is the part of the editor that is not the panel, toolbar, status bar, etc.
Category
See object category.
Child
An object that is part of a more complex object.
Further reading: Parent/Child objects.
Comparand
In the object script, when you are comparing something to something else, it is called a comparand. If you want to check if the number of Pikmin latched on is greater than 10, "number of Pikmin latched on" is the comparand.
Further reading: Object script.
Coordinates
Numbers representing where in the world the object is. X refers to where it is horizontally on west/east – a smaller X means more to the west, and a larger one more to the east. Y is north/south, with a lower Y corresponding to higher north. Z is the vertical coordinate, with a higher Z being higher up in the air.
Creator tool
Any tool that exists to help creators create content. There are tools that speed up the gameplay, tools that show hitbox locations, etc.
Further reading: Creator toolkit.

D[edit]

E[edit]

Edge
In an area's layout, edges are the lines that delimit a sector. An edge can have sectors on either side, and if they are different heights, that creates a wall.
Further reading: Creating areas.
Enemy
Enemy is a general term for the creatures that attack or are attacked by Pikmin. Although it makes little sense, one could create a fire geyser "enemy", and it would be technically valid.
Error
If something goes wrong when loading or during gameplay, the engine will write an error on the error log file. Not all errors are critical, but ideally, they should all be resolved.
Event
When something happens to an object, like when it gets hurt, or it reaches its destination, an event is thrown. In the script, you can specify what actions to perform whenever a certain event is triggered. Different states can have different event handling.
Further reading: Object script.

F[edit]

Fade
In an area's layout, a "fade" sector refers to a sector whose only purpose is to fade the textures of the sectors around it, transitioning smoothly from one neighbor to the other.
Further reading: Creating areas.
Frame
A represents a specific point during an animation. In this point, a certain sprite is shown, and different frames can have different durations.
Further reading: Creating animations.
Frame signal
When something needs to happen during a specific frame of animation, a frame signal event can be thrown, and handled in the script.
Further reading: Creating animations, Object script.

G[edit]

Glow
A way to brighten up an object. Due to Allegro limitations, it's not a real glow in the current versions of the engine because: 1. the brightness is limited to the bitmap's original pixels – darker bitmaps have a harder time becoming brighter; 2. the glow doesn't bleed and fade out, but is limited to the exact shape of the original bitmap.

H[edit]

Hazard
Like in the canon games, a hazard refers to the concept of danger, not to a physical object. Electricity (danger of being shocked), fire (danger of burning up), etc. are all hazards, but electrical wires, fire geysers, and so on are just obstacles whose attacks involve hazards.
Further reading: Creating hazards.
Health
Every object in the engine has an amount of health, whether that is used for anything or not. Objects can be attacked in a few ways, and doing so depletes health. When the health reaches zero, the object is considered dead, and its behavior when that happens depends on the type of object.
Hitbox
A hitbox is a part of a sprite that represents where a body part is at that moment. It also contains information about how that body part relates to combat at that moment – the body part could be vulnerable to enemy attacks, it could be causing damage of its own, etc.
Further reading: Creating animations.
Home
The spot an object spawns on. The territory radius is determined around this spot. This is also where a treasure returns to when it falls into a pit, for instance.
HUD
Refers to the on-screen elements visible to the player to help them understand what is going on during gameplay. The Pikmin counter, health meters, sun meter, etc. are all HUD elements.
Further reading: Misc. configurations.

I[edit]

Itch
When an object has been taking damage for a while, an "itch" event will be triggered. This periodic event allows an enemy to shake Pikmin off when it is under attack. In order for the enemy to not shake several times in a row, an "itch" event will only be triggered if enough time has passed since the last one, and if enough damage has been done since the last one.

J[edit]

K[edit]

Knockback
Leaders and Pikmin, when hurt, can get blown backwards and land on the floor lying down. When this happens, it is said that they have suffered knockback.

L[edit]

Latch
A latched Pikmin is any Pikmin that is grabbing on to an enemy (or gate, etc.) for the purpose of attacking it.
Link
See object link or path stop link.
Liquid
Water, mud, lava, etc. are all liquids. If a sector has an associated liquid, it will change the sector's appearance to have a water surface texture, among other things. If a liquid has an associated hazard, objects vulnerable to that hazard can get affected when they walk on the sector.
Further reading: Creating hazards.

M[edit]

Message
One of the object actions involves sending a message to other objects. This message is in plain text, and could be whatever you want. The receivers can either be objects that have an object link, or all nearby objects, up to a specified distance.
Further reading: Object script.
Mob
Alternative name for object.

N[edit]

O[edit]

Object
Any individual Pikmin, leader, obstacle, enemy, ship, etc. is an object. Each object is of an object type, and multiple objects of the same type can exist in the same area at once.
Object link
A way for an object to send messages or refer to another object.
Further reading: Object links.
Object type
An object type contains data about what an object of its type should look and behave like. Red Pikmin look different from Blue Pikmin, so these two are different object types.
Further reading: Creating object types.
Object category
A category contains a list of object types. Examples include Pikmin, leaders, treasures, and so on. Types in the same category look and behave similarly. For instance, all objects of a Pikmin type need to show the Pikmin itself and its top, they all need to follow leaders who whistle them, etc.
Obstacle
An "obstacle" in the engine is any object in the "obstacle" team. This is solely used to decide what objects can attack it.
Opponent
In the engine, "opponent" refers to any object that the current object can attack. For instance, Pikmin and enemies are opponents of each other, but gates and enemies are not opponents. This also affects teams, so Pikmin on the same team are not opponents, but two Pikmin from different teams are opponents.

P[edit]

Parent
An object that is composed of simpler objects.
Further reading: Parent/Child objects.
Particle
A particle is a small, simple thing that shows up on the game world, disappears with time, and follows a very simple behavior. They are used for graphical effects and ambiance. For instance, because each particle is its own thing, you can have a Purple Pikmin's landing cause several smoke particles to appear, each moving away from the Pikmin, to simulate dust picking up after a thud.
Further reading: Creating particle generators.
Particle generator
Responsible for spawning particles over time.
Further reading: Creating particle generators.
Path stop
When an object is following a path, it goes from one stop to another, to another, until its destination. It goes from stop A to stop B in a straight line. It can only cross stops that are linked with path stop links.
Further reading: Creating areas.
Path stop link
Path stop links refer to the connection between two path stops. This means an object can go from stop A to stop B when following a path. Path stop links can either be one-way or bidirectional.
Further reading: Creating areas.
Projectile
A property that objects can have that affects what objects they can or cannot damage. For instance, a "projectile" object can damage gates that are damageable by projectiles.

Q[edit]

R[edit]

Ramp
Although sectors in the engine have a fixed height, and hence, cannot ramp smoothly from one height to another, the engine doesn't have real ramps. However, a convincing alternative is to just use stairs. Any wall that is 50 units or less in height can make an object walk up or down the sectors smoothly as they move forward and back.
Further reading: Creating areas.
Rotation
One of the primary transformations. When a shape, image, etc. is spun clockwise or counter-clockwise, that is called a rotation.

S[edit]

Scale
One of the primary transformations. When a shape, image, etc. is shrunk or grown to different sizes, that is called a scale. The width and height can be scaled independently. A negative scale flips it around in that same axis.
Script
An object's script controls what the object should do when certain scenarios occur. Every object is in a state at any given time, and depending on the events it receives while in a specific state, it can do a different set of actions.
Further reading: Object script.
Sector
An area's layout is made of up of sectors. Each sector is a polygon (which is composed of edges and vertexes), which represent a floor an object can walk on. Neighboring sectors of different heights make a wall.
Further reading: Creating areas.
Spawn
As a verb, it means "to make appear". When an object is created and placed into the game world, it is said that it has "spawned". As a noun, it refers to any object created by the current object.
Spike
Spike damage is a special type of damage that only happens in retaliation. When an object is hurt, if it has spike damage configured, it will automatically hurt its attacker as well. Another type of spike damage happens when a Pikmin is swallowed; this allows White Pikmin to cause some damage to their predators.
Further reading: Misc. configurations.
Sprite
When creating animations, a sprite is a bitmap that represents how the animation looks at a specific point in time. Sprites are used in frames, and one sprite can be used in more than one frame. For instance, an image of an enemy with its leg up could represent part of its walking animation, growling animation, dying animation, etc.
Further reading: Creating animations.
Spritesheet
Name given to bitmaps that hold several sprites inside. Due to the way modern GPUs work, it's faster to store several sprites into one image, rather than creating several images for each.
State
Every object with a script is in a specific state at any given time. When an event is received, the state the object is on will influence the response. For instance, when a Pikmin is near a Red Bulborb, if the Bulborb is in the "sleeping" state, it should wake up, but if it is in the "chasing" state, it should lunge in for a bite.
Further reading: Object script.
Stairs
See ramp.
Status
An object can be under the influence of any number of statuses. These affect the object's stats. For instance, if a Pikmin is under the "burning" status effect, it loses health at a steady pace. If it is under the "spicy" status effect, it gains a boost in speed until the status wears off.
Further reading: Creating status effects.
Stop
See path stop.

T[edit]

Team
An object is a part of a specific team at any moment. Teams partially controls what objects can attack what. Some objects always belong to specific teams, like enemies and gates, but Pikmin can belong to player 1's team, player 2's, etc. Pikmin on the same team will not attack each other, but Pikmin on different teams will.
Territory
An imaginary circle around an object's home. If the object goes past this circle, the "far from home" event is triggered, which is normally used to make enemies turn around and go back to a more comfortable place instead of wandering off too far.
Texture
Textures are just bitmaps, although the term is more commonly used when the image portrays terrain, and is meant to tile over and over, like dirt, grass, stone, etc.
Top
Refers to a Pikmin's leaf, bud, or flower.
Transformation
Certain shapes, images, or other such things in the engine can be transformed using primary geometric transformations. This is what allows you to resize, flip, rotate, or shift an enemy's image, for instance. The following primary transformations exist: translation, scale, and rotation.
Translation
One of the primary transformations. When a shape, image, etc. is moved exactly as it is from one point to another, that is called a translation.
Treasure
Treasure is a general term for the objects that can be carried by Pikmin to a ship, to exchange for some sort of value.
Tree shadow
A tree shadow refers to a texture overlaid on the area that represents the shadow of a tree and its leaves. Despite the name, it can be a shadow of anything, or even any texture at all.
Further reading: Creating areas.
Triangle
Internally, a sector is made up of triangles, since those are needed for rendering and physics. They are generated automatically, and are not controllable by the user. But the disposition of the triangles can help explain the twisted look of some fade sectors, as well as other minor quirks.
Further reading: Creating areas.
Type
See [[#O|object type].

U[edit]

Unit
Likely refers to world unit.

V[edit]

Vertex
A sector is made up of edges, and each edge is determined by a starting point and an end point. These points are called vertexes. A vertex can serve as an endpoint for one or several edges.
Further reading: Creating areas.

W[edit]

Weather
The current weather controls more than just the rain: it controls the lighting of the area, from the sunlight throughout the day, to the strength of the shadows, to how foggy it is.
Further reading: Creating weather.
World unit
One unit in the game's space. When the camera is at 1:1 zoom (which is not the default value!), 1 pixel on your screen represents 1 world unit. For reference, Pikmin have a diameter of 10 units.

X[edit]

X
See coordinates.

Y[edit]

Y
See coordinates.

Z[edit]

Z
See coordinates.