Quick Travel

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Ways for players to move between different places in a game world without visiting the intermittent places.

Many games make players move through their game worlds. While this makes it easy to structure the gameplay in relation to challenges and surprises, moving back and forth can become tedious. Quick Travel solves this by providing various ways of letting players instantaneously move from one part of the game world to another.


Game masters of tabletop roleplaying games such as Paranoia and Hârnmaster often invoke Quick Travel to skip having to play through uninteresting section with the players. Players may also be able to do this as various forms of teleportation actions. The computer-based game Torchlight provides Portal scrolls that allow players to open short cuts to the safety of the town where loot can be sold and new supplies can be bought. All games in the Elder Scrolls series but Morrowind have Quick Travel options to already visited areas through the map of the game world (Morrowind has it through hired transport and magical devices).

Pac-Man allows players to move from the right side of the game area to the left side and vice versa through entering a connecting tunnels. Super Mario Bros. contains hidden warp pipes that players can use to skip ahead to levels several steps ahead. In contrast, the Nether world in Minecraft provides a form of Quick Travel in that each step taken there represents several in the main game world and players can take shortcuts by entering and exiting it.

Using the pattern

Quick Travel is used in games to avoid the need of Transport Routes. Quick Travel can be realized as actions, events, or modifications of the nature of the Game Worlds themselves. As actions, Quick Travel can be put in the hands of players and thereby give them a Freedom of Choice. As events, they can be Rewards or Setback Penalties to reflect player performances as for example finishing Levels in Super Mario Bros. Warp Zones and Quick Returns are two ways of modifying Game Worlds so they support Quick Travel. Warp Zones, found in e.g. Pac-Man, break Euclidean geometry by inserting short cuts that affect normal means of Movement and (possibly Line of Sight). Quick Returns are a special case of Quick Travel to avoid the Grinding of having to travel linearly through already explored areas of Game Worlds by opening up another, shorter, route of normal travel. In general, Quick Travel can reduce the Excise of Movement over large spaces in games.

Games divided into Levels which are not immediately adjacent to each other automatically make use of Quick Travel, possibly through Warp Zones, and can those that use Quests. These may be Ultra-Powerful Events, i.e. players have no possibility to not travel, and this design choice can also be modulated to be a One-Way Travel if one wishes to guarantee that players cannot return.

Quick Travel can be the basis for Privileged Movement and Abilities as the Movement it provides is typically more powerful than other varieties of Movement.

Diegetic Aspects

Cutscenes are often used, even if they only present static images (as for example Oblivion does), to provide a rationale for the travelling that can be used to maintain Thematic Consistency.

Interface Aspects

Secondary Interface Screens of Game World maps can be used as a way of masking the transition between the different places linked by Quick Travel. This is done for most games in the Elder Scrolls series as well as for Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas. Switches or Controllers can be used to make Quick Travel explicit actions that have to be initiated (and thereby less likely to accidentally be started through for example moving to close to Warp Zones).

Narration Aspects

Besides being able to be events in Predetermined Story Structures, Quick Travel is often used when changing Scenes.


Quick Travel changes Game Worlds by letting players have Movement in them without visiting a continuously series of places between them. For games where such travel is possible, Quick Travel offers a Freedom of Choice to avoid what easily can be a form of Grinding. Since Movement is tied to game elements, Quick Travel is typically an Ability even if the action does not always have a diegetic explanation.

When used as a Reward or a Setback Penalty, Quick Travel is a Ultra-Powerful Event and quite often modulated by One-Way Travel to also become an Irreversible Event.

Quick Travel can give an Illusion of Open Space when Quick Travel is enabled through Secondary Interface Screens depicting whole Game Worlds but not all locations can be traveled to.


Can Instantiate

Abilities, Freedom of Choice, Setback Penalties, Predetermined Story Structures, Privileged Abilities, Privileged Movement, Rewards, Ultra-Powerful Events

with Secondary Interface Screens

Illusion of Open Space

Can Modulate

Game Worlds, Movement, Scenes

Can Be Instantiated By

Levels, Quick Returns, Warp Zones

Can Be Modulated By

Controllers, Cutscenes, One-Way Travel, Quests, Secondary Interface Screens, Switches, Ultra-Powerful Events

Possible Closure Effects


Potentially Conflicting With

Excise, Grinding, Transport Routes


New pattern created in this wiki.