Gain Information

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The one-sentence "definition" that should be in italics.

This pattern is a still a stub.

The goal of performing actions in the game in order to be able to receive information or make deductions. The Gain Information goal is simply the task of gaining more knowledge about something in the game. This can be discovering where a certain game element is in the game space, knowing what values game elements have, what abilities other players have access to, or what goals exist. The completion of the goal can either be verified by a game state change that does not require the player to actually understand the information or by requiring the player to perform some activity or complete a goal that indicates that the information has been interpreted by the player. In the first case, this can be by the player gaining an object, e. g., picking up a book, or choosing an action that presents the information to the player, e. g., looking at a sign. In the second case, this can be by observing that the player has done an action that was unlikely to have been performed otherwise, e. g., selecting the right five-digit combination to a safe.


Example: Gain Information is the typical goal used in mystery games to drive the unfolding of the story, e. g., the Gabriel Knight series.

Example: Hide & Seek, the traditional children's game, is the archetypical example of direct use of this pattern. In the game, one of the players is the seeker whose task is to find out the other players who have had a certain amount of time to hide themselves.



Using the pattern

Diegetic Aspects

Interface Aspects

Narration Aspects



Stimulated Planning Experimenting Tactical Planning Enemies Predetermined Story Structures Detective Structures Factions Information Passing Internal Rivalry Memorizing Quests Clues Strategic Knowledge Invulnerabilities Achilles' Heels Vulnerabilities Helpers Hands Game World Exploration Red Herrings Traverse Fog of War Reconnaissance Rescue Player-Artifact Proximity Secret Goals Uncertainty of Information Secret Resources Committed Goals Dynamic Goal Characteristics Supporting Goals Symmetric Goals Unknown Goals Conceal System Exploration

Instantiates: Puzzle Solving

Instantiated by: Strategic Locations, Puzzle Solving, Gain Ownership

Can Instantiate


with ...

Can Modulate


Can Be Instantiated By

Asymmetric Information, Card Hands, Imperfect Information, Limited Foresight,

Can Be Modulated By

Indirect Information, Perfect Information

Possible Closure Effects


Potentially Conflicting With

Perfect Information


An updated version of the pattern Gain Information that was part of the original collection in the book Patterns in Game Design[1].


  1. Björk, S. & Holopainen, J. (2004) Patterns in Game Design. Charles River Media. ISBN1-58450-354-8.