Gameplay where players gain benefit by remembering facts about the game or game state.
This pattern is a still a stub.
Knowing what can happen in games is an advantage to players, and when players are shown information temporarily, they have an advantage of Memorizing that information.
- 1 Examples
- 2 Using the pattern
- 3 Consequences
- 4 Relations
- 5 History
- 6 References
- 7 Acknowledgements
Many card games, e.g. Contract Bridge, Poker, and Blackjack, give players benefits for Memorizing played cards,as this allows them to predict what cards they will be dealt or what possible card hands other players can have. Although not forbidden by the rules of the games, casinos have rules that forbid card counting and ban players who are identified Memorizing the cards.
The games in the Simon toy by Mattel show patterns to players by playing sounds and showing lights. The players' goals are to repeat the patterns, which makes Memorizing the primary game skill.
Using the pattern
The use of Memorizing is not totally dependent on either Imperfect Information or Perfect Information but rather on if players' gameplay is affected by a lack of knowledge, which can be how to use information presence in the game. The lack of knowledge can be either regarding the game state or regarding the rules of the game and can create additional challenges to the rewards from Gain Information goals, if access to the gained information is not provided continuously by the game.
Memorizing can either be applicable for all game sessions of a game or be specific for individual game sessions. The first type is the learning of Strategic Knowledge, such as the distributions of effects determined by Randomness, and is present in all games, but may be explicitly encouraged by game design where players receive Extra-Game Information. Explicitly supporting Memorizing in individual game instance requires some variation in the initial game state (e.g. through Randomness) and then having some way of giving players access to information that they have to remember since it will no always be available. One way of doing this is through having Imperfect Information that becomes Perfect Information for a while, i.e. by using Time Limits and then reverts to Imperfect Information as presented by the game system - the game of Memory is an archetypical example of this. Another way is through the use of Drawing Stacks, e.g. Blackjack, since here remembering which Cards have been drawn helps one figure out which Cards are most likely appear next.
Whether they change between game sessions, the locations of Traps, Invisible Walls, and Strategic Locations are typical aspects of games worth Memorizing, and may be made into explicit goals of Exploration. If a game does not provide Progress Indicators for when Delayed Effects will take place or when a Development Time is nearing completion, Memorizing these facts may be necessary to be able to game well. Changing game states or Game Worlds so new memorization is required for each game session can be achieved through Reconfigurable Game Worlds as long as players do not have complete overview of the whole gameplay area, e.g. through use of Fog of War.
Memorization of the rules is not usually a designed feature of games but nevertheless affects gameplay. Smooth execution of Self-Facilitated Games requires that players spend time Memorizing the rules, but may be eased by providing Book-Keeping Tokens and handouts. Players are motivated to do this since failure to remember rules give them a Limited Set of Actions and Limited Foresight compared to other players, and failure to follow rules may cause rule arguments, which can usually not be corrected if the game state has change too much. The presence of Game Masters makes Memorizing all parts of the rules optional players but may still be interesting for reasons of Empowerment and Game Mastery. The Dedicated Game Facilitators that computer can be for games allow players to start playing the games without any knowledge of rules and make the learning of them a combination of Exploration and Memorizing.
When done during gameplay, Memorizing can give players Cognitive Engrossment in games and when possible to do generally is one skill that can determine if players have Game Mastery or not. Since having memorized rules and facts can affect the efficiency of players gameplay, doing this correctly can also affect what level of Empowerment they have. When this information can be used to directly solve specific goals, for example those related to Puzzle Solving, the possibility of Memorizing in a game lessens its Replayability.
As part of striving toward Memorizing players may have Gain Information goals if not all information that is to be memorized are known.
with Drawing Stacks
with Perfect Information
with Drawing Stacks
with Perfect Information
Can Be Instantiated By
Can Be Modulated By
Possible Closure Effects
Potentially Conflicting With
An updated version of the pattern Memorizing that was part of the original collection in the book Patterns in Game Design.
- The Wikipedia entry for the toy Simon.
- Björk, S. & Holopainen, J. (2004) Patterns in Game Design. Charles River Media. ISBN1-58450-354-8.