Category:Patterns

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This is one of the main categories on the wiki, which lists all gameplay design patterns. If the collection doesn't seem to be exhaustive, it's because not all patterns from the initial collection have yet been put on the wiki. In addition, some previous existing patterns may have had their names changed, see Renamed Patterns. Since the collection is being incrementally updated and expanded, at any point many of the patterns are likely to be stubs. See the Pattern Suggestion List for all the old patterns and suggestions for ones that should be created. (For those wondering: the order patterns are updated/written depend mostly on personal interests and outside input - so it is very possible to influence which patterns are updated next).

For links to how to work with developing the wiki, see the main page.

The original pattern collection from Patterns in Game Design is available for File:Collection.zip.

Sub-categories of Patterns

Several different types of pattern categories have been identified. The original pattern collection book[1] grouped patterns in chapters based on similarities of topic, e.g. Rule Patterns, Action Patterns, Event Patterns, Resource Patterns, Information Patterns, Goal Patterns, Difficulty-Related Patterns, and Player Patterns. Winning Patterns are related to Goal Patterns but focus on the combinations of how games can be won and ended. Other examples of categories include Meta Patterns which describe how gameplay can be created on top of games, and patterns related to Randomness.

Several additional categories has been identified after the publication of the original pattern collection and being completely located in a wiki allows individual patterns to belong to several categories, i.e. the categories can be overlapping and category membership of patterns are a form of tagging. New categories include Speculative Patterns which have been identified through triangulation or inversion rather than from specific game examples and Symmetry Patterns which contain patterns relating to particular forms of symmetry (or lack thereof) with Symmetry and Asymmetric Gameplay as prime examples. Further, Subjective Patterns are those that rely heavily on players' subjective impressions, and Negative Patterns - which typically are seen as unwanted in games - are a subcategory of these. Atomic Patterns are those that have no other patterns which can instantiate them. Potential Top Patterns are those that so far have not been identified as instantiating other patterns (but this category is currently empty!).

Patterns can also be mapped onto the MDA Framework, meaning that a pattern can either be Mechanic, Dynamic, or Aesthetic. Game Element Patterns can be considered a subcategory of Mechanic Patterns, as can Level Design Patterns and Achievement Patterns (the former could also be labeled Game World Patterns). Even more specific, Card Patterns and Dice Patterns look at patterns related specifically to the game elements Cards and Dice respectively.

While focused upon how player perceive the gameplay, Aesthetic Patterns often can indicate overarching design goals of a game. Similarly, Consistency Patterns often express design intent in that providing a certain type of consistency is a subjective choice made by designers (or is given to them as a requirement).

Similar claims can be made regarding Gameplay Arc Patterns and Balancing Patterns. Gameplay Arc Patterns are those that deal with the overall structure of gameplay during a game instance and in this sense has connections to Aesthetic patterns. Balancing Patterns can also be seen as connected to Aesthetic patterns in that they relate to the aesthetic that games should be balanced. Set-up and Set-down Patterns looks at designed activities which can be interpreted as taking place before or after they actual game state changes occur (which may not completely concide with when gameplay occurs). Gameplay Adaptability Patterns focus on how games can be designed to easier fit players, either inherently or through players being able to modify them.

While Engrossment is a (planned) pattern in its own right, there are several more specific engrossment patterns so one can consider Engrossment Patterns to be a category as well.

Some patterns are closely related to other design disciplines, including Diegetic Patterns, Interface Patterns, and Narration Patterns. Others are closely related to technologies, e.g. Agent Patterns and Dialogue Patterns, and all those that need specific media or platforms are Platform Patterns. Pervasive Patterns are a sub category of Interface Patterns but include patterns that often make use of technologies.

See Patterns created on the Wiki for the new patterns.

As any work in progress, the status of patterns can suitable patterns may not be completely determined. See Marked for possible deletion for those patterns that have been identified as problematic for some reason, and Deleted Patterns are those removed.

Some game research areas have been explored through patterns and the patterns identified there can be seen as yet other categories of patterns. Specifically, research has been done on Characters and Dialogues.

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

Pages in category "Patterns"

The following 200 pages are in this category, out of 616 total.

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