From gdp3
Jump to: navigation, search

Controlling the movement of game elements in real-time games.

Moving game elements in games are common, but doing so in real-time games require different skills than in turn-based ones. This type of movement, Maneuvering, requires players to pay constant attention to what happens in the game and react to these with the appropriate timing.


Racing Games such as the Need for Speed series and the Gran Turismo series requires players to maneuver cars as quickly as possible around courses. The racing games in the F-Zero and Wipeout series also requires player to maneuver vehicles to avoid obstacles and other vehicles but does this at even high speeds and on tracks making full use of three dimensions.

Much of the skill in playing First-Person Shooters such as the Battlefield series, the Halo series, and the Left 4 Dead series consists in being able to maneuver Avatars, and vehicles they have entered, so one has good opportunities to attack enemies while still avoiding their attacks.

In the Assassin's Creed series, the Super Mario series, and the Tomb Raider series players need to navigate the game environment by timing running, jumping, and other movement actions to a high degree.

Using the pattern

Maneuvering is basically Movement in Real-Time Games, and can be necessary either due to wanting to reach certain locations (e.g. winning Races) or due to wishing to avoid other game elements that move. The specifics of Game Worlds generally affect this but some patterns are more likely to have strong effects on Maneuvering, with The Show Must Go On being the most important since it means that players may not be able to ignore performing the Maneuvering. Of the two cases, Evade can be used in the first case to make players with to avoid Penalties due to from collisions while Chargers and Pick-Ups can be used to create Collecting goals. In the second case, Movement of Enemies, or shots from them, can make Maneuvering more important due to the presence of Evade goals; the same applies to Ultra-Powerful Events, e.g., raising bridges or rock falls, that can be perceived and avoided. The importance of Maneuvering can also be affected due to goals to Capture or Herd something, or when the Maneuvering is part of attempting actions concerning Aim & Shoot. Vehicles offer ways to change the way Maneuvering is done temporary or over time as gameplay progresses and this can be emphasized by the presence of dedicated Vehicle Sections.

Maneuvering requires that players have some level of Spatial Engrossment in the game and this typically requires either First-Person Views or Third-Person Views. Challenging Gameplay can quite easily be achieved for Maneuvering through the specifics of these views, the speed of game elements (see F-Zero GX and the Wipeout series for examples of this), and the number the number of Obstacles, and other game elements (including other players) that players need to take into consideration. The first raises the requirements on skills in Dexterity-Based Actions while the second requires Attention Swapping.


Maneuvering is a Dexterity-Based Action that often requires Timing, especially when players are given Capture, Evade, or Herd goals. This makes for Attention Demanding Gameplay which can give Spatial Engrossment since players must think of the positions of their Focus Loci in relation to Game Worlds. Like other forms of Movement, it is quite likely to provide players with a Freedom of Choice.

The Maneuvering of Enemies are likely to make Aim & Shoot actions more difficult.


Can Instantiate

Attention Demanding Gameplay, Dexterity-Based Actions, Freedom of Choice, Races, Spatial Engrossment, Timing

with Chargers or Pick-Ups


Can Modulate

Aim & Shoot

Can Be Instantiated By

Movement together with Real-Time Games

Can Be Modulated By

Aim & Shoot, Capture, Challenging Gameplay, Chargers, Damage, Enemies, Environmental Effects, Evade, First-Person Views, Game Worlds, Herd, Obstacles, Pick-Ups, The Show Must Go On, Third-Person Views, Traps, Turn-Based Games, Ultra-Powerful Events, Vehicle Sections, Vehicles

Possible Closure Effects


Potentially Conflicting With



A rewrite of the pattern Maneuvering 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.