Game State Overviews
Information provided to players that extends beyond the observational abilities provided by simply observing game elements.
This pattern is a still a stub.
- 1 Examples
- 2 Using the pattern
- 3 Consequences
- 4 Relations
- 5 History
- 6 References
- 7 Acknowledgements
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
Game State Overviews are used in games to provide players with information about the game state, e.g. Scores.
Area Control, Attention Swapping, Camping, Collaborative Actions, Extra-Game Actions, Fog of War, Game World Exploration, Game World Navigation, Identification, Memorizing, Movement, Multiplayer Games, Near Miss Indicators, Negotiation, Levels, Perceivable Margins, Perfect Information, Player Defined Goals, Preventing Goals, Public Information, Puzzle Solving, Races, Reconnaissance, Sniper Locations, Split-Screen Views, Tactical Planning, Traverse, Units
The basic elements for providing Game State Overviews are various Game State Indicators, e.g. Bookkeeping Tokens (with Public Information), Geospatial Game Widgets, Goal Indicators, HUD Interfaces, and Score Tracks (but publicly observable Scores can work equally well). Auxiliary Game Screens, Mini-maps, and Picture-in-Picture Views are more complex solutions which in themselves provide Game State Overviews (Cutscenes and Narration Structures can also do this but often doesn't present game state information beyond acknowledging that a certain game state has been met since they have been initiated). Cameras, God Views, and Third-Person Views let players have a form of Game State Overview in that they are given some agency over what view they should have of the game state (this solution assumes that there is Game Worlds that a player's point of observation can be manipulated within). Privileged Movement which allows flying work similarly. Dedicated Game Facilitators (especially Game Masters) can of course create Game State Overviews since they can completely control players access to what parts of the game state they perceive.
Alarms can modify Game State Overviews by showing that certain closures are near occurring while [Outcome Indicators]] can provide detailed information about closures that have occurred. Game Pauses and Turn Taking let players that have possibility of observing Game State Overviews without stress and can thereby make better use of the information they provide.
Potentially Conflicting With
Game State Overviews is an Interface Pattern.
Game State Overviews typically work as Progress Indicators. Since they can provide players with information about their own situation and that of other players, it can help provide Strategic Knowledge and create Stimulated Planning and Cognitive Engrossment. This can in Turn-Based Multiplayer Games cause Analysis Paralysis but can also in Multiplayer Games have Balancing Effects if either Player Decided Results or Player-Decided Distributions exist. However since it can provide information about other aspects of the game state than what a player is currently engage with it can also cause Disruption of Focused Attention.
Providing players with information about their own and other players' positions can cause them to perceive the gameplay as Races, and make players try Speedending the games if it is to their advantage. When the Game State Overviews are available to others than the players, it supports games to have Spectators.
with Multiplayer Games and either Player Decided Results or Player-Decided Distributions
with Multiplayer Games and Turn-Based Games
Area Control, Attention Swapping, Camping, Collaborative Actions, Extra-Game Actions, Fog of War, Game World Exploration, Game World Navigation, HUD Interfaces, Identification, Memorizing, Movement, Multiplayer Games, Near Miss Indicators, Negotiation, Levels, Perceivable Margins, Perfect Information, Player Defined Goals, Preventing Goals, Public Information, Puzzle Solving, Races, Reconnaissance, Sniper Locations, Split-Screen Views, Tactical Planning, Traverse, Units
Can Be Instantiated By
Auxiliary Game Screens, Cameras, Cutscenes, Dedicated Game Facilitators, Game State Indicators, Goal Indicators, God Views, Mini-maps, Narration Structures, Picture-in-Picture Views, Privileged Movement, Score Tracks, Scores, Third-Person Views
Can Be Modulated By
Possible Closure Effects
Potentially Conflicting With
An updated version of the pattern Game State Overview 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.