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Sky boxes and such

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Ok I'm not a programmer or anything, and I don't know about the technical details of 3d engines... but I was just wondering..

What the hell are skyboxes?

And another word that keeps on popping up is 'akimbo' and I've never heard of that word before until you guys started using it.

So yeah that's all I want to know...

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To be honest, I don't know what the hell a skybox is either. I always thought it was the enclosed balcony at a football game.

Anyway, I think a parallaxed and scrolling multilayered sky (like Unreal) is a skybox and a simple picture sky isn't a skybox (like Q3A/Half-Life).

As for akimbo, that's when you have a gun in both hands like John Woo. I always prefer large two handed guns myself but hey, you can't have everything.

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Skyboxes are imaginary cubes of infinite size. The player´s always stuck in the center of this cubes. Each cube is created by joining 6 square pictures of the same size (each one of them serves as a face).
It´s fairly easy to build skyboxes, you just need to build on a 3D design application the scenery, create a camera with FOV 90°, and take the 6 resulting screenshots made by facing front, left, right, back, top & bottom.

Q3A and UT skyes are a little more complex, the one i mentioned are the original skyboxes, like the ones of Q2 and HL. Q3A uses shaders to build skyes, so you can make any bizarre thing you want. UT ones are a combination of alpha blended textures (the mountains), and a multi-layered scrolling sky.

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