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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, Combos, Turn-Based Games, 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 Limitations, Abilities, Privileged Abilities, Decreased Abilities, Ability Losses, New Abilities, Lives, Player Killing, Death Consequences, Spawning, Area Control, Combat, Damage, Hands,

Can Instantiate


with Movement and either Avatars, Characters, or Units


Can Modulate

Attention Demanding Gameplay, Quick Time Events, Scores, Resources, Rewards

Can Be Instantiated By

Critical Failures, Critical Hits, Critical Misses, Downtime, Eliminate, Game Termination Penalties, Life Penalties, Setback Penalties, Turnovers

Game Time Manipulation together with Single-Player Games

Can Be Modulated By

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

Characters together with Emotional Engrossment

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.