Difference between revisions of "Investments"

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(Can Instantiate)
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==== with [[Territories]] ====
==== with [[Territories]] ====
[[Gain Ownership]]
[[Gain Ownership]]
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=== Can Modulate ===
=== Can Modulate ===

Revision as of 08:31, 27 August 2021

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

This pattern is a still a stub.

Committing Resources for a certain amount of time to something in order to reap the rewards later. Games where players have to use Resources without immediate results give players the opportunity to make Investments. This requires players to make difficult decisions based upon uncertain futures, and some games, especially strategy games, contain many different layers of Investments to create complex gameplay experiences. Games from other genres often also contain Investments, but these Investments are usually not as directly perceivable.


Example: Tetris has an incentive mechanism for taking risks in form of Investments in order to reap greater rewards as the simultaneous removal of several rows brings in more points than removing them one by one. Players, in effect, make Investments by creating situations where, for example, the four block stick would fit and remove four rows at the same time.

Example: the research ladders in the Civilization series bind valuable Resources for a long time without direct rewards. The progress in research, however, will give a significant advantage in military power later in the game. A lower layer of Investments is the building of the combat and settlement units. They take time and Resources to build and they are not necessarily useful right away.

Example: Developing the character's skills and attributes in roleplaying games is a direct form of Investments. Raising the skills and attributes is costly and there are no direct rewards or benefits from the game system point of view for doing so. These skills and attributes, however, are often useful in the long run.

Las Vegas


experience points in d&d

Using the pattern

Diegetic Aspects

Interface Aspects

Narration Aspects



Can Instantiate

Committed Goals, Delayed Effects, Drafting, Encouraged Return Visits, Extended Actions, Freedom of Choice, Gain Competence, Improved Abilities, Resource Management, Rewards, Social Organizations, Social Statuses, Stimulated Planning, Tension

with Capture

Puzzle Solving, Tactical Planning

with Geometric Progression

Stimulated Planning

with Geometric Progression and Positive Feedback Loops


with Territories

Gain Ownership

Can Modulate

Capture, Hands, Resources

Can Be Instantiated By

Bag Building, Betting, Card Building, Character Development, Companions, Construction, Consumers, Crafting, Creative Control, Deck Building, Delayed Reciprocity, Extra-Game Actions, Game Element Insertion, Gameplay Engines, Heterogeneous Game Element Ownership, Scores, Self-Facilitated Games, Steadily Decreasing Resources, Team Development

Abstract Player Constructs together with Abstract Player Construct Development and Freedom of Choice

Persistent Game Worlds and Player-Planned Development or Character Development

Can Be Modulated By

Arithmetic Progression, Always Vulnerable, Budgeted Action Points, Diminishing Returns, Extra-Game Consequences, Geometric Progression, Resource Caps, New Abilities, Ownership, Predictable Consequences, Paper-Rock-Scissors, Producer-Consumer, Risk/Reward,

Possible Closure Effects


Potentially Conflicting With



An updated version of the pattern Investments 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.