Extra-Game Broadcasting

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The broadcasting of game events in other media than that in which the gameplay occurs in.

Some games are designed to let people that are not playing know how gameplay progress. This can be achieved by connecting them to other communication channels so they can rely events that occur as a form of Extra-Game Broadcasting.


Games residing on social media platforms, e.g. FarmVille and Mafia Wars, make use of the various messaging functionality available to make it possible to share what is happening in the game. This may be simply to divulge the progress but can also be to request help or brag. The SMS-based game Day of the Figurines lets visitors to a museum gain an overview of the game state by having a physical installation on which the location of players' characters is shown through figurines.

Extra-Game Broadcasting occurs in conjunction with many game instances but are actually not part of the game designs. The most common case is for Sports such as Soccer and Ice Hockey, which are often broad-casted both nationally and internationally. This has also happened to some computer-based games, e.g. the Starcraft series in South Korea.

Alternate Reality Games can be said to have Extra-Game Broadcasting since the make use of other media to convey gameplay, and do so without being open about it. Examples of games where this occurs is Conspiracy for Good, Momentum, The Beast, and The Lost Experience.

Using the pattern

Designing Extra-Game Broadcasting consists of deciding which game events to broad-cast, when to do so, and what media to use. What type of event is suitable depends on the game and intended audience but any actions related to Performance Uncertainty and the giving out of Rewards or Achievements are often suitable since these can function as a piece of positive or interesting news. However, since too many messages or the wrong type of messages can be perceived as annoying it is common to make players responsible for that games are actually broadcast - this can be to let them call for Non-Player Help, send out Invites, or let them engage in Bragging. While these all relate to passed or ongoing events Extra-Game Broadcasting can also be used to advertise upcoming events, this can be especially appropriate for Events Timed to the Real World since then things observed in the real world can reminded of the game event.

All Extra-Game Broadcasting are presentations of Game Instance Stories, but supporting the recording of Replays can be used to make it easier to make these into persistent presentations.

A special case of Extra-Game Broadcasting is Rabbit Hole Invitations, which are invitations to play games using Alternate Reality Gameplay. Fake Game Cancellations, also used in these types of games, can be created through Extra-Game Broadcasting. Both of these do not directly relate to gameplay but more to the setup phases of game instances. Another special type of Extra-Game Broadcasting is Feelies, which can provide static and tangible descriptions of events that took place in the game world before gameplay begins.


Extra-Game Broadcasting makes it easy to have Spectators in a game since it provides a form of Public Player Statistics. For games with Drop-In/Drop-Out gameplay they can also support Encouraged Return Visits by reminding players of tasks they need doing, events that have just unfolded, or upcoming Ephemeral Events. They can also create a need for it by reminding players of a game's existence through broad-casting other players' events. Since Extra-Game Broadcasting allows players and other people to know about ones' performance in the game, they can be the basis for Game-Based Social Statuses.

Extra-Game Broadcasting that can be activated by players can be used to increase the Value of Effort for activities that they may wish to tell (or brag) about, e.g. Construction or Speedruns.


Can Instantiate

Bragging, Encouraged Return Visits, Fake Game Cancellations, Game-Based Social Statuses, Game Instance Stories, Invites, Non-Player Help, Public Player Statistics, Spectators

with Construction or Speedruns

Value of Effort

Can Modulate

Achievements, Construction, Encouraged Return Visits, Ephemeral Events, Events Timed to the Real World, Performance Uncertainty, Rewards

Can Be Instantiated By

Feelies, Rabbit Hole Invitations

Can Be Modulated By


Possible Closure Effects


Potentially Conflicting With



New pattern created in this wiki.