Gameplay Design Patterns FDG 2022 Workshop

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FDG 2022 Workshop: Gameplay Design Patterns Approaches


Gameplay design patterns were introduced as a game design approach in the early 2000s[1][2][3] with a central publication being 'Patterns in Game Design' by Björk and Holopainen[4]. Since then the approach has gained some momentum in both academia and industry with considerable variation in the details and aims[5][6][7]. The workshop organisers are planning to release an open access anthology collecting chapters on various patterns approaches to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the publication of 'Patterns in Game Design'. As part of preparing the anthology, Holopainen and Björk are running a series of workshops for developing the contents for the anthology and the second takes place the September 5th 2022 during the FDG 2022 conference in Athens, Greece. The first workshop is planned to take place the July 6th 2022 at the DiGRA 2022 conference in Kraków, Poland.

The workshop has two main goals: First, to collect and discuss gameplay design patterns as a phenomenon, including identifying new takes on gameplay design patterns, collecting known uses of gameplay design patterns, and providing feedback on the planning of the new gameplay design patterns book. Second, the workshop aims at bringing together game design researchers interested in pattern approaches to facilitate future collaborations, including future workshops.


Participants are welcome regardless of interest or not in submitting a proposal for chapter in the planned new book on gameplay design patterns. Interested participants should provide a letter of interest explaining their interests and expectations regarding the workshop (max 500 words, excluding bibliography) to Jussi Holopainen ( before the deadline of June 17th 2022. This will provide the basis for selecting attendees moderated by a goal to ensure a diversity among the participants. The organisers are solely responsible for the final selection of attendees. Notifications regarding participation will be sent out July 1st 2022. The selected letters of interest will be distributed to the participants one week prior to the workshop together with other relevant articles and texts.

Expected Outcomes

Documentation of known published literature related to gameplay design patterns, list of ideas for potential chapters in the new gameplay design patterns book. The documentation will be available at the workshop website after the conference.


The workshop will span one day and mainly consist of group discussions regarding various aspects of design patterns in general and gameplay design patterns in particular. Common discussion and presentations will be held at the beginning and end of the day. The workshop will facilitate both online and onsite participation.

Planned Activities

  • Presentation by the organizers about the workshop and planned new book of gameplay design patterns.
  • Presentation by the organizers about results from the first workshop.
  • Presentation of suggestions for focus to group discussions, with possibility for the participants to add new ideas for focus
  • Division of participants into groups based upon preferences of focus
  • Discussions in subgroups
  • Presentation of discussions, observations, and results from the subgroups
  • Finishing comments by Jussi Holopainen & Staffan Björk regarding the presentations and planned work on the new book regarding gameplay design patterns.

Anticipated # of participants


Organizers’ Background

Jussi Holopainen holds a PhD in Digital Game Development from Blekinge Institute of Technology in Sweden. He has been researching game design and gameplay experiences since 1998, having authored or co-authored scores of academic publications and patents. His PhD thesis, Foundations of Gameplay, focused on understanding how to construct conceptual frameworks to aid game design. One of these frameworks is the influential gameplay design patterns approach, which he developed together with Staffan Björk. He also edited the book 'Game Design Research: An Overview' with Petri Lankoski. Jussi is one of the founding members and continues to be a member of the Digital Games Research Association (DiGRA) executive board. Before joining School of Creative Media, City University of Hong Kong in 2021 as associate professor he was a senior lecturer of Games Computing at University of Lincoln, UK, in the School of Computer Science. Before Lincoln he worked at Centre for Game Design Research, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology as an associate researcher. He has also served in senior research management positions at the Nokia Research Center (NRC) and has been involved in coordinating several industry and academia collaboration projects.

Staffan Björk is a full professor at the department of Computer Science and Engineering at Chalmers University of Technology and Gothenburg University. He has a PhD in Informatics from Gothenburg University and conducts research within the areas of gameplay design, pervasive games, and interaction design. Exploring novel gameplay possibilities through information technology has been a primary strand in his research, and a common theme in his research has been a focus upon developing a design language for gameplay design. A primary result of this work is the gameplay design patterns concept and the book 'Patterns in Game Design' co-written with Jussi Holopainen and published by Charles River Media. Together with Petri Lankoski he was editor for the book 'Game Research Methods: An Overview'. He has been active in promoting game research as a research discipline, being one of the founders of the Digital Games Research Association.


  1. Kreimeier, B., 2002. The case for game design patterns. Retrieved 8 November 2021 from
  2. Holopainen, J. & Björk, S., 2003. Game design patterns. Lecture Notes for GDC 2003.
  3. Björk, S., Lundgren, S., & Holopainen, J., 2003. Game Design Patterns. Ed. Copier, M. & Raessens, J. In Proceedings of Digital Games Research Conference.
  4. Björk, S. & Holopainen, J., 2004. Patterns in Game Design. Charles River Media.
  5. Barney, C., 2020. Pattern language for game design. CRC Press.
  6. Björk, S. & Holopainen, J., 2006. Games and design patterns. Ed. Salen, K. & Zimmerman, E. In The Game Design Reader, MIT Press, pp.410-437.
  7. FDG Workshop on Design Patterns for Games series.