Increasing Rewards

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Reward structures that increase the size or quality of the specific rewards as gameplay progress.

Rewards tied are common in games as ways of acknowledging player successes, and many of these provide gameplay advantages. When these become larger in quantity or more powerful as gameplay progresses, these specific types of rewards can be classified as Increasing Rewards and can either be used to balance increased challenges or demands on resource consumption or be used to clearly indicate to players that they are in other parts of the overall gameplay arc of the games.


Many Tabletop and Computer-based Roleplaying Games, e.g. Dungeons & Dragons and the Diablo series, provide Increasing Rewards in the form of larger amounts of money and more powerful magic items the further along players get into the games with specific characters.

The abilities and units unlocked by new technologies in strategy games such as Civilization are Increasing Rewards since they do not only offer variety but functionally better gameplay abilities.

The reward for having military superiority over one's neighbor in 7 Wonders is increased for each age of the game. This provides a motivation for trying to win this competition in the last age even if one has lost all previous since the last one is worth more than the previous two together.

Using the pattern

Increasing Rewards is somewhat unsurprisingly a way to modify Rewards. The reason for using them is typically to balance challenges provided by Ever Increasing Difficulty or to avoid or lessen the probability that players will notice Predictable Winners.

Increasing Rewards are incompatible with Sidegrades since one assumes an improvement in quantity or quality while the other is defined by providing variation but not increase in power.

Narrative Aspects

Increasing Rewards may well be motivated by Narration Structures since many stories contain aspects of improvement in abilities of the main characters, and using the pattern is a way to let gameplay and narration move in tandem.


Increasing Rewards are a form of delocalized Progress Indicators since they provide players with a degree of awareness of how far into the gameplay of a game they have reached. They can be one factor which avoids the possibility of a Predictable Winner but only in the cases where it is already an uncertainty who will receive those Rewards.

When Ever Increasing Difficulty is balanced with Increasing Rewards, the net result can be Red Queen Dilemmas since efforts to become better in the game is countered by harder challenges.

Improved Abilities

New Abilities


Can Instantiate

Progress Indicators

with Ever Increasing Difficulty

Red Queen Dilemmas

Can Modulate

Ever Increasing Difficulty, Narration Structures, Rewards

Can Be Instantiated By


Can Be Modulated By


Possible Closure Effects


Potentially Conflicting With

Sidegrades, Predictable Winner


New pattern created in this wiki.