Records of game state values or events that can be accessed during or after gameplay.
The gameplay contained in games are not enjoyable unless players care about what happens when one games. This interest easily transfers into players wanting to be able to have accounts of the gameplay after or between game sessions. Games can support this through having various Gameplay Statistics recorded and stored.
Tabletop roleplaying games such as Dungeons & Dragons and Call of Cthulhu, which typically have campaigns that span several play sessions, store information about the players' characters on paper sheets. These form a type of Gameplay Statistics, since changes over time can leave physical marks from in-game events such as raises to skills, attributes, and levels or from extra-game events such as when coffee was spilled.
The high score lists recorded in pinball games, e.g. Star Trek: The Next Generation, and arcade games, e.g. Pac-Man and Space Invaders, are all examples of how Gameplay Statistics can be recorded and presented to people during and between games.
Assassin's Creed II of the Assassin's Creed series keeps track of how much money the player has both stolen and spent on certain expenses to be able to award various achievements. From Battlefield 2, gameplay on official servers of the Battlefield series has kept track of player statistics, including ranks. These statistics are used to allow players to compare themselves to others and to determine when they receive ribbons, badges, and medals. Advancements in ranks allow players to unlock weapons that can replace the original outfits of the various playable classes.
Using the pattern
An obvious choice that needs to be done when using Gameplay Statistics is what information or events to record. Players' Scores to provide High Score Lists is a well-known example present already in the first arcade version of Pac-Man and Space Invaders. Speed Runs is another, which is the keeping track of how long time it takes to complete levels or races in a game, and can be found in the Need for Speed series and well as in Portal. While this information regards the final outcome of some piece of gameplay, significant developments such as Character Development and Character Defining Actions can motivate updates in Gameplay Statistics during gameplay. Having become popular when the advent of online connectivity, Achievements can be used to translate almost any type of statistic or event into something recorded outside the game instance and available regardless of game sessions. Replays go a step further, letting players themselves choose what gameplay is worth saving for posterity and thereby giving them Creative Control.
In many cases the information in Gameplay Statistics are that contained in Characters. However, a special case concerns the use of Character Sheets. When these are available outside gameplay itself, as is the case for the physical paper sheets of tabletop Roleplaying games such as Call of Cthulhu, they automatically provide Gameplay Statistics. Also, since players typical help update their own Character Sheets they do in this case have to deal with Excise to provide Gameplay Statistics.
For having players and Spectators trust the correctness of Gameplay Statistics it is typically required that there is a trusted third party handling the information contained in the statistics, especially when the information from several game instances are aggregated. This makes Gameplay Statistics need Dedicated Game Facilitators if they are supposed to be reliable.
To not disturb gameplay, Gameplay Statistics are typically only available through Optional Interfaces except for when noteworthy updates are made, for example beating High Score Lists or when Character Development has occurred. In addition, they may of course be available in systems outside the actual game such as Game Lobbies.
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