Game State Overviews

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Information provided to players that extends beyond the observational abilities provided by simply observing game elements.

This pattern is a still a stub.


Example: Most racing games, e. g., Mario Kart Double Dash!! and the Monkey Race party games in the Super Monkey Ball series, provide a small overhead map that shows the location of other players on the track.



Using the pattern

Diegetic Aspects

Interface Aspects

Game State Overviews is an Interface Pattern.

Narration Aspects



cbmb Alarms Turn Taking


ci Stimulated Planning

with Game Worlds


with Multiplayer Games and Turn-Based Games

Analysis Paralysis

--- Game World Navigation Near Miss Indicators Races Split-Screen Views Traverse

Races Auxiliary Game Screens Picture-in-Picture Views Speedending Outcome Indicators Progress Indicators

Instantiates: Cognitive Engrossment, Disruption of Focused Attention

Modulates: Attention Swapping, Perceivable Margins, Reconnaissance, Puzzle Solving, Negotiation, Player Defined Goals, Preventing Goals, Public Information, Identification, Narrative Structures

Instantiated by: Disruption of Focused Attention, Score

Modulated by: Spectators, Status Indicators, Fog of War, Perfect Information, Area Control, Extra-Game Actions

Potentially conflicting with: Attention Swapping, Surprises, Limited Foresight, Leaps of Faith, Reconnaissance

Can Instantiate

Strategic Knowledge

with Multiplayer Games and either Player Decided Results or Player-Decided Distributions

Balancing Effects

Can Modulate

Camping, Collaborative Actions, Game World Exploration, Memorizing, Movement, Multiplayer Games, Levels, Sniper Locations, Tactical Planning, Units

Can Be Instantiated By

Cameras, Cutscenes, Dedicated Game Facilitators, Game State Indicators, Goal Indicators, God Views, Mini-maps, Privileged Movement, Score Tracks, Third-Person Views

Bookkeeping Tokens together with Public Information

Game Worlds with God Views or Third-Person Views

Can Be Modulated By


Possible Closure Effects


Potentially Conflicting With

Game World Navigation, Memorizing


An updated version of the pattern Game State Overview 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.