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

This pattern is a still a stub.




Using the pattern

Diegetic Aspects

Interface Aspects

Narration Aspects



Alarms, Maneuvering, Roleplaying, Left 4 Dead series, Space Alert, Time Limits, Randomness, Tension, Challenging Gameplay, Exaggerated Perception of Influence, Avatars, Units, Combos, Turn-Based Games, Characters, Experimenting, Enemies, Freedom of Choice, Late Arriving Players, Social Dilemmas, Quick Travel, Actions Have Diegetically Social Consequences, Enforced Agent Behavior, Factions, Extra-Game Consequences, Internal Rivalry, Loyalty, Power-Ups, Parallel Lives, Ephemeral Goals, Capture, Altruistic Actions, Ephemeral Events, No-Ops, Delayed Reciprocity, Arithmetic Progression, Collaborative Actions, Geometric Progression, Resource Caps, Anonymous Actions, Safe Havens, Helplessness, Quests, Loot, Destructible Objects, Traps, Balancing Effects, Thematic Consistency, Strategic Knowledge, Predictable Consequences, Movement, Movement Limitations, Abilities, Privileged Abilities, Decreased Abilities, Ability Losses, New Abilities, Lives, Player Killing, Death Consequences, Spawning, Area Control, Combat, Damage, Hands, Puzzle Solving, Critical Hits, Quick Time Events, Stealth, Evade, Turnovers, Spectators, Resources, Critical Misses, Critical Failures, Scores,

Can Instantiate


Can Modulate

Attention Demanding Gameplay, Rewards,

Can Be Instantiated By

Downtime, Eliminate, Game Termination Penalties, Life Penalties, Setback Penalties

Game Time Manipulation together with Single-Player Games

Can Be Modulated By

Individual Penalties, Mutual Goals, Shared Penalties, Shared Resources, Rewards,

Cutscenes in Single-Player Games

Possible Closure Effects


Potentially Conflicting With

Save-Load Cycles in Single-Player Games


An updated version of the pattern Penalties 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.