From gdp3
Jump to: navigation, search

A series of designed gameplay experiences for a game that are intended to be played in sequence.

Some games divide the gameplay time of a game into distinct parts, sometimes for narration purposes, sometimes for gameplay reasons, and sometimes both. Campaigns are gameplay structures built by combining several such parts together that could be experienced individually, and by doing so can offer additional narration or more clearly support some form of progression.

Wikipedia has a page for Campaigns[1].


While Campaigns are its origins in Wargames, they are more often used in Tabletop Roleplaying Games. Examples of Campaigns include "Queen of the Spiders"[2] for Dungeons & Dragons, "Shadows of Yog-Sothoth"[3] for Call of Cthulhu, and "The Enemy Within campaign"[4] for Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay.

Advance Wars series, Memoir '44, and Left 4 Dead series are examples of non-roleplaying games that have Campaigns.

Using the pattern

Campaigns are typically a series of Adventures or Levels (for Tabletop Roleplaying Games) and Computer Games respectively) that are linked together by a common theme, an overarching Quest, or a developing narration. The difference between using Adventures or Levels to create Campaigns depend on the game types, but typically relates to the degree the game state is maintained or reset when changing Adventures or Levels. For games using Adventures, with their origins in Tabletop Roleplaying Games, the Character Development is typically maintained and possibly also how social relations have developed. For games using Levels, the Abilities, Powers, etc. unlocked are typically maintained as well as which Weapons and how much Ammunition players have, but not much else.

Campaigns typically make use of Summary Updates for prologues and epilogues but also to provide continuity between Adventures and Levels through explaining changes in setting and events that have occurred between them. Without these, the individual parts can easily be seen as separate entities not related to each other, although the use of Finale Levels provides an additional way of emphasizing the narration structure. This can make Campaigns a Subjective Pattern, especially for those built upon Levels. One example of this can be the Levels in the Doom series of games, which can be viewed as Campaigns but given the lack of substantial narration between them would be a weak example at best (it is telling that the official name for the collection of Levels in these games are episodes).

In games with Game Masters, Campaigns can easily be modified by these. This is most often done to react to unexpected actions by players but may also be to fit the Campaigns in the narration that has been created earlier during gameplay.

For games with Achievements, it is quite common to include specific Achievements related to completing Campaigns.

Narration Aspects

Containing structures of narration in games, Campaigns are Narration Patterns.


Campaigns are basically Predetermined Story Structures. While they rarely are designed to have Non-Consistent Narration, this can occur in games where several players can interact with each other after having played through the same Campaigns independently of each other.


Can Instantiate

Predetermined Story Structures

Can Modulate


Can Be Instantiated By

Adventures, Levels, Quests

Can Be Modulated By

Achievements, Finale Levels, Game Masters, Non-Consistent Narration, Summary Updates

Possible Closure Effects


Potentially Conflicting With



New pattern created in this wiki.


  1. Wikipedia entry for Campaigns.
  2. Entry for "Queen of the Spiders" on Wikipedia.
  3. Entry for "Call of Cthulhu" on Wikipedia which has some information related to the "Shadows of Yog-Sothoth" campaign.
  4. Entry for "The Enemy Within campaign" on Wikipedia.