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Other players acknowledged as being allowed to affect ones gameplay.

Online games that are not directly played as multiplayer games can allow a limited form of interaction by letting players have restricted access to what actions that can do to each other, most often provide help through small pieces of aid. To let players control which other players can do this, one design solution is to let them acknowledge each other as Neighbors.


Using Neighbors is a common feature in many of the most popular games based on Facebook. Mafia Wars, FarmVille, CityVille, and Empires & Allies make use of Neighbors as a gameplay mechanic and so does Ravenwood Fair and Zombie Lane.

Using the pattern

Neighbors is a way of letting players have access to actions in the Private Game Spaces of other players in Massively Single-Player Online Games through making Visits, so deciding on these actions is a primary concern for inserting the pattern in a game design. In many cases these actions are Altruistic Actions such as Free Gift Inventories (to maintain Casual Gameplay) but Empires & Allies shows how limited forms of Combat and Trading can also be supported. Having a certain number of Neighbors can also be made into the requirement for Unlocking the game elements that can be purchased or created through Crafting. Construction can also be modulated by Neighbors by requiring that some of the actions need to be done by those Neighbors.

Tutorial Neighbors is a form of Non-Player Characters that function as Neighbors. In this case they allow players to make Visits and perform Altruistic Actions even if the Tutorial Neighbors may not do so in return.

The effects Neighbors provide can made into Purchasable Game Advantages to avoid making players without them, or without active Neighbors, have to experience Helplessness.

Interface Aspects

Inviting and accepting Neighbor requests are typically handled through HUD Interfaces or Secondary Interface Screens.


Neighbors is a form of Friend Lists and provides a small level of Social Interaction in games in that it implies that players will have an Uncommitted Alliance. Neighbors can also be Resources to players, since they may be needed for Unlocking various game elements and they can provide Privileged Abilities needed to complete goals concerning Construction.

Neighbors can form a Ranking System for games with Character Levels by simply showing one's Neighbors and oneself in a list order from left to right depending on their Character Level. This can in turn support Game-Based Social Statuses.


Can Instantiate

Friend Lists, Helplessness, Privileged Abilities, Ranking Systems, Resources, Social Interaction, Uncommitted Alliances, Unlocking

with Ranking Systems

Game-Based Social Statuses

Can Modulate

Altruistic Actions, Character Levels, Combat, Construction, Crafting, Free Gift Inventories, Massively Single-Player Online Games, Private Game Spaces, Trading, Visits

Can Be Instantiated By

Tutorial Neighbors

Can Be Modulated By

HUD Interfaces, Purchasable Game Advantages, Secondary Interface Screens

Possible Closure Effects


Potentially Conflicting With



New pattern created in this wiki.