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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, 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,

Can Instantiate

Destructible Objects, Ephemeral Events, Safe Havens, Spectators

with Anonymous Actions and Unmediated Social Interaction


with Ephemeral Goals

Committed Goals

with Factions


with Movement and either Avatars, Characters, or Units


Can Modulate

Attention Demanding Gameplay, Ephemeral Goals, Player Killing, Quick Time Events, Scores, Resources, Rewards

Can Be Instantiated By

Ability Losses, Area Control, Critical Failures, Critical Hits, Critical Misses, Damage, Death Consequences, Decreased Abilities, Downtime, Eliminate, Factions, Game Termination Penalties, Helplessness, Movement Limitations, New Abilities, No-Ops, Life Penalties, Resource Caps, Setback Penalties, Traps, Turnovers

Committed Goals together with Quests

Game Time Manipulation together with Single-Player Games

Can Be Modulated By

Arithmetic Progression, Extra-Game Consequences, Geometric Progression, Individual Penalties, Mutual Goals, Parallel Lives, Predictable Consequences, Privileged Abilities, Shared Penalties, Shared Resources, Rewards

Characters together with Emotional Engrossment

Cutscenes in Single-Player Games

Possible Closure Effects


Potentially Conflicting With

Thematic Consistency

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.