Gameplay Mastery

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The one-sentence "definition" that should be in italics.

This pattern is a still a stub.


Left 4 Dead series


Chess Go

Poker Texas Hold'em

Street Fighter series

League of Legends Defense of the Ancients



Using the pattern

Diegetic Aspects

Interface Aspects

Narration Aspects



Single-Player Games Grind Achievements Goal Achievements Ephemeral Goals Speedruns Handicap Systems Persistent Game Worlds Grinding Collaborative Actions Purchasable Game Advantages Construction Memorizing Public Player Statistics Anonymous Actions Vehicles Obstacles Balancing Effects Repeat Combos Clickability Strategic Knowledge Predictable Consequences Gain Competence Sidegrades Handles Vision Modes Puzzle Solving Auto-Aim Dexterity-Based Actions Meta Games PvP Social Rewards Social Skills Social Roles Actor Detachment Player Physical Prowess Real World Knowledge Advantages Seamful Gameplay Spectators Predictable Winner Storytelling Enactment Excluding Goals Player Unpredictability Performance Uncertainty Uncertainty of Outcome Flip-Flop Events Speedending Construction/Scoring Phase Shift Player Augmentations Player Agency Deck Building Pre-Customized Decks Middlegame Team Development Teams Illusionary Rewards Rewards Value of Effort Trade-Offs Varied Gameplay

Instantiates: Emotional Engrossment, Empowerment, Investments

Instantiated by: Competence Areas, Perceivable Margins, Trans-Game Information, Resource Management, Rhythm-Based Actions, Overcome, Experimenting, Limited Resources, Negotiation, Predefined Goals, Timing, Risk/Reward, Smooth Learning Curves, Paper-Rock-Scissors, Betting

Modulated by: , Penalties, Asymmetric Abilities, Tournaments, Red Queen Dilemmas, Player Balance, Engrossment, Levels, Symmetry

Can Instantiate

Replayability, Role Fulfillment

Can Modulate

Player/Character Skill Composites

Can Be Instantiated By

Achievements, Challenging Gameplay, Complex Gameplay, Difficulty Levels, Extended Actions, [[FUBAR Enjoyment], ] Further Player Improvement Potential, Multiplayer Games, Stimulated Planning, Tactical Planning

Combos together with Challenging Gameplay or Complex Gameplay

AI Players together with Difficulty Levels

Can Be Modulated By

Handicap Achievements, High Score Lists, Multiplayer Games

Possible Closure Effects


Potentially Conflicting With

Challenging Gameplay, Difficulty Levels, Exaggerated Perception of Influence, Freedom of Choice, Luck, Player/Character Skill Composites, Randomness

Emotional Engrossment in games with Algorithmic Agents

Player/Character Skill Composites together with Character Development or Player Balance

Player Balance in Multiplayer Games


An updated version of the pattern Gameplay Mastery 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.