Investments

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

This pattern is a still a stub.

Committing Resources for a certain amount of time to something in order to reap the rewards later. Games where players have to use Resources without immediate results give players the opportunity to make Investments. This requires players to make difficult decisions based upon uncertain futures, and some games, especially strategy games, contain many different layers of Investments to create complex gameplay experiences. Games from other genres often also contain Investments, but these Investments are usually not as directly perceivable.

Examples

Example: Tetris has an incentive mechanism for taking risks in form of Investments in order to reap greater rewards as the simultaneous removal of several rows brings in more points than removing them one by one. Players, in effect, make Investments by creating situations where, for example, the four block stick would fit and remove four rows at the same time.

Example: the research ladders in the Civilization series bind valuable Resources for a long time without direct rewards. The progress in research, however, will give a significant advantage in military power later in the game. A lower layer of Investments is the building of the combat and settlement units. They take time and Resources to build and they are not necessarily useful right away.

Example: Developing the character's skills and attributes in roleplaying games is a direct form of Investments. Raising the skills and attributes is costly and there are no direct rewards or benefits from the game system point of view for doing so. These skills and attributes, however, are often useful in the long run.

Anti-Examples

optional

Using the pattern

Diegetic Aspects

Interface Aspects

Narration Aspects

Consequences

Relations

Drop-In/Drop-Out Extended Actions Game Element Insertion Tension Stimulated Planning Freedom of Choice Heterogeneous Game Element Ownership Companions Extra-Game Consequences Player-Planned Development Self-Facilitated Games Capture Persistent Game Worlds Encouraged Return Visits Delayed Reciprocity Arithmetic Progression Geometric Progression Construction Resource Caps Delayed Effects Crafting Abstract Player Construct Development Territories Character Development Predictable Consequences Budgeted Action Points Improved Abilities Gain Competence New Abilities Always Vulnerable Skills Drafting Hands Puzzle Solving Steadily Decreasing Resources Las Vegas Scores Speedending Gameplay Engines Deck Building Bag Building Team Development Rewards Positive Feedback Loops Committed Goals Extra-Game Actions Card Building

Instantiates: Rewards,

Modulates: Resources

Instantiated by: Privileged Abilities, Characters, Gameplay Mastery,

Can Instantiate

Resource Management, Social Organizations, Social Statuses,

with ...

Can Modulate

-

Can Be Instantiated By

Betting, Consumers, Creative Control,

Can Be Modulated By

Diminishing Returns, Ownership, Paper-Rock-Scissors, Producer-Consumer, Risk/Reward,

Possible Closure Effects

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Potentially Conflicting With

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History

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

References

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

Acknowledgements

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