Resource Locations

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Places in game world that contain resources.

Resource Locations are simply places in game worlds where resource that are useful to players can be found.


The levels in Pac-Man have specific Resource Locations for the "power pellets". Certain spaces in the Civilization series have valuable resources in them. For the Europa Universalis series, all provinces have resources but different ones.

The levels in the Doom, Half-Life, Tomb Raider, and Quake series all have places where players can find ammunition, first aid kits, and other items that help players in gameplay challenges.

Using the pattern

Resource Locations are used in games to provide Resource Sources in Game Worlds. Which Resources to place and where to place them are the main design choices in focus when using Resource Locations.

Some games only put Resource Locations in certain areas of the Game Worlds such as particular Tiles while others, mainly those using Territories, have each discernible gameplay space have its own Resource. Placing Resource Locations in Inaccessible Areas can let players see these before they can access them and thereby help them set up goals; this assumes that players will later be able to get access to the areas. Being able to have Area Control over Resource Locations limit who can make use of the Resources they contain and intensify Gain Ownership goals.

The exact type of Resources placed naturally depends on what Resources are used in a game, but several patterns relate to how they can be placed in Game Worlds. Game Items (including the more specific choices of Tools and Vehicles) and Pick-Ups are basic Resource Locations. Chargers provide a more abstract case since they affect Resources of the game elements that come into proximity of them. Stationary Resource Generators that can be harvested, i.e. provide some Controller functionality, are also Resource Locations. Bases and Installations often contain, produce, or manage Resources and thereby are Resource Locations as well.

Narration Aspects

Besides the intentionality and Environmental Storytelling shown by Resource Locations in the form of Bases or Installations, Traces of the Resources (or its collecting) found nearby Resource Locations can also provide Environmental Storytelling.

Diegetic Aspects

While how to represent the Resources found in Resource Locations depend on their diegetic nature, the importance of Resource Locations can be stressed through using Diegetically Outstanding Features.


Resource Locations are Resource Sources and quite often Strategic Locations. If where they exist are already known or public information, the knowledge (or suspicion) of their existence gives rise to Game World Exploration. Being able to access them provides a form of Gain Ownership goal, especially if this is contests by other players. Making most efficient use of them can signify that gameplay is in Exploitation phases.


Can Instantiate

Exploitation, Gain Ownership, Game World Exploration, Resource Sources, Strategic Locations

Can Modulate

Game Worlds, Inaccessible Areas, Resources, Territories, Tiles

Can Be Instantiated By

Bases, Chargers, Game Items, Installations, Pick-Ups, Tools, Vehicles

Controllers together with Resource Generators

Can Be Modulated By

Area Control, Diegetically Outstanding Features, Environmental Storytelling, Traces

Possible Closure Effects


Potentially Conflicting With



An updated version of the pattern Resource Locations 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.