Organic grinding- the experience (EXP) the game developers force you to accrue because of thoughtful game design.
Artificial grinding- the experience accrued for no other reason than to lighten the burden on the player or subvert the difficulty spikes.
Motif- A fundamental mechanic of a core environment in an RPG, such as a dungeon, or the overworld. Motifs encompass reoccurring mechanics.
Gimmick- An area-specific mechanic of a core environment. Usually a puzzle or gameplay element exclusive to an area.
Aesthetic- The artistic design of a core environment. This artistic element can contribute to gimmick mechanics.
"Traditional" Overworld Design- A reference to the top-down, "miniature" aesthetic present in classic role-playing games, this design often features terrain obstacles, random encounters, and minimal interactive elements outside of town and dungeon portals.
"Unconventional" Overworld Design- With the expansion of the genre, many new titles attempt Overworld design that increases or simplifies exploration to further enhance the experience. While there are a number of different styles, we have simplified this definition to any Overworld not top-down based.
Travel Cycle- The cyclical and predictable stages of travel found in "traditional" Overworlds, in which terrain obstacles and distance gradually become a non-issue thanks to new traversal elements.