Games where players are shown game worlds as entities within these game worlds would perceived them.
Games that present game worlds to players can do this in various ways. When the presentation is done by tying it to what a diegetic character would perceive, this is called First-Person Views. Even if the name suggests vision-based information, other senses such as hearing and touch are also implied to be presented as if a diegetic character experienced them if they are available at all.
- 1 Examples
- 2 Using the pattern
- 3 Consequences
- 4 Relations
- 5 History
- 6 References
As the name of the genre indicates, First-Person Shooters such as Counter-Strike and the Crysis, Doom, Half-Life, Left 4 Dead series, Portal series, Quake, and Unreal Tournament all make use of First-Person Views. Later installments of the Elder Scrolls series and the Fallout series have adopted the point of view as well, as have the sandbox game Minecraft.
Using the pattern
and the primary design choices for game designers involve choosing how players can control what they are viewing and if the presentation players are given uses human-like vision capabilities or augmented capabilities, such as infrared, radar, or night vision.
Since First-Person Views do not provide Game State Overviews in the way Third-Person Views or God Views do, they are sometimes augmented with different forms of indicators, primarily Status Indicators, to compensate. Another way to provide more information for players is to have wider field of view than humans have by using fisheye views, up to the point of giving 360 degree view. In any case, First-Person Views provide Fog of War.
First-Person Views can also be used to provide Public Information which is focused upon a specific part of the Game World and can also by used to give Spectators a sense of Spatial Immersion.
Not too surprising, First-Person Views are not directly compatible with God Views and Third-Person Views, with an exception for Third-Person Views when mirrors, cameras, or other devices (e.g. the portals in the Portal series) allow Avatars to see themselves. Given that players may have personal preferences on what kind of view they may want to have or that some views are advantageous in some gameplay situations, it is quite common to provide players with a Freedom of Choice between First-Person Views and Third-Person Views (reasons why one may not want to let players have this freedom can be that it may ruin Surprises.
Can Be Instantiated By
Can Be Modulated By
The choice of Focus Loci can affect with types of views of Game Worlds are possible, so the design of First-Person Views should be done in relation to the design of a game's Focus Loci. For example, First-Person Views are not readily compatible with God Fingers.
Games that wish to have Detective Structures can be aided by the use of First-Person Views since this makes the issue of what information players have access to the same as the issue of what the players' Avatars can perceive.
First-Person Views provide players with presentations of Game Worlds from the view point of their Avatars, meaning that they can only perceive that which they have Line of Sight to. The lack of being able to detect things behind Obstacles, etc., make First-Person Shooters be able to spring Surprises on players as well as maintain Detective Structures.
Since First-Person Views provide players with feedback similar to that receive when performing Movement in the real world, these views can support Spatial Engrossment in games, especially those that require Aim & Shoot or Maneuvering. When the option of switching between First-Person Views and Third-Person Views are given to players, this provides them with the Freedom of Choice of use the viewpoint they prefer or is most effective at any given point in the gameplay.
with Third-Person Views
Can Be Instantiated By
Can Be Modulated By
Possible Closure Effects
Potentially Conflicting With
An updated version of the pattern First-Person Views that was part of the original collection in the book Patterns in Game Design.
- Björk, S. & Holopainen, J. (2004) Patterns in Game Design. Charles River Media. ISBN1-58450-354-8.