From gdp3
Jump to: navigation, search

Distinct objects in game worlds that help navigation within them.

Navigating in game worlds, or simply knowing where one is, can be difficult in some game worlds. Landmarks are ways of helping in this by providing distinguishing game elements that allow players to identify where they are by how they are positioned in relation to these.


The Grand Theft Auto series and Mirror's Edge uses temporary glowing pillars of light to guide players in races.

The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion contains the White Gold Tower in a central part of the game world and this tall building can be used by players in many parts of the wilderness to realize where they are. Other games that make use of tall buildings as Landmarks include the Assassin's Creed series and the Grand Theft Auto series.

Using the pattern

Landmarks are not a specific type of game elements in themselves but rather game elements that distinguish themselves in such ways to help players locate themselves and possible future locations. Any element in a Game World can work as long as they are Diegetically Outstanding Features in some fashion, and this may be the main raison d'être for some Props. Simply by their size, Big Dumb Objects (e.g. the various tall buildings in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion and the Grand Theft Auto series) and Installations (unless there are too many of the latter and they are not distinguishable from each other) will likely be Landmarks. Geospatial Game Widgets, while not being elements of Game Worlds are still elements in Game Worlds and may therefore also serve as Landmarks.

While Landmarks can help in any Game World Navigation they can specifically be placed to show the route of Races; if used, Check Points are natural candidates for being Landmarks in this case. They can also be used to create Clues or Traces that players can follow. Their overall usefulness is very much dependent on how often players can have a Line of Sight to them (which is why Big Dumb Objects make good Landmarks). They can also be used simply to makes Transport Routes more important and give some indication of how far one has traveled in them.

Diegetic Aspects

Landmarks are Diegetically Outstanding Features, and the more they stand out the more distinguishable they are. For this reason, if it is important enough, breaking Diegetic Consistency can be used to makes elements work better as Landmarks. This makes Geospatial Game Widgets effective as Landmarks.

Narrative Aspects

While not able to play parts of Environmental Storytelling that provide much information, Landmarks can still provide important parts in these.


Landmarks help players with Game World Navigation in Game Boards, Game Worlds, and Levels. By making players less likely to get lost, their presence can also encourage Game World Exploration. How they should look can depend on what is required to maintain a Thematic Consistency, but they may be necessary to create this consistency.

In Multiplayer Games with Cooperation, Landmarks can support Coordination.


Can Instantiate

Clues, Thematic Consistency, Traces

with Cooperation


Can Modulate

Environmental Storytelling, Game Boards, Game World Exploration, Game World Navigation, Game Worlds, Levels, Races, Transport Routes

Can Be Instantiated By

Big Dumb Objects, Check Points, Diegetically Outstanding Features, Geospatial Game Widgets, Installations, Props

Can Be Modulated By

Line of Sight, Thematic Consistency

Possible Closure Effects


Potentially Conflicting With



New pattern created in this wiki.