Hovering Closures

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Events that are about to occur and can clearly be observed by players.

This pattern is a still a stub.



Using the pattern

There are many specific ways of creating Hovering Closures. Alignment, Betting, Configuration, Cooldown, Rhythm-Based Actions, and Quests all by their nature set up for a clear potential closure. More generally Delayed Effects, Delayed Reciprocity, Extended Actions, and Predictable Consequences set up situations when players are aware of a future closure that can occur. Continuous Goals, FUBAR Enjoyment, and Uncommitted Alliances do likewise but here the closures are generally negative ones. Complex Gameplay typically can be guaranteed to create many Hovering Closures at any given point in time. While Delayed Effects, Delayed Reciprocity, and Uncommitted Alliances can set up closures that take quite some time before the occur, Levels and Narration Structures can do so even more strongly.

Symmetry, The Show Must Go On, Ultra-Powerful Events

Combos or Development Time together with Progress Indicators

Hovering Closures that are clearly quantified by the game system itself can be given Time Limits to increase Tension.

Can Modulate

Quick Games

Interface Aspects

Progress Indicators can be provided to any type of goals in a game to create or make more explicit a Hovering Closure.

Narration Aspects

As started above, Narration Structures can be used to set up Hovering Closures related to the narration.


Hovering Closures can create Anticipation and Tension in games. This in turn can create Emotional Engrossment.


Can Instantiate

Anticipation, Emotional Engrossment, Tension

Can Modulate

Quick Games

Can Be Instantiated By

Alignment, Betting, Complex Gameplay, Configuration, Continuous Goals, Cooldown, Delayed Effects, Delayed Reciprocity, Extended Actions, FUBAR Enjoyment, Narration Structures, Levels, Predictable Consequences, Progress Indicators, Quests, Rhythm-Based Actions, Symmetry, The Show Must Go On, Uncommitted Alliances, Ultra-Powerful Events

Combos or Development Time together with Progress Indicators

Can Be Modulated By

Time Limits

Possible Closure Effects


Potentially Conflicting With



An updated version of the pattern Closure Points 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.