Self-Service Kiosks

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Location in game worlds where players can on their own do transactions or receive services.

In games where players control characters inhabiting game worlds, they may have need of various services such as trading, healing, or training. Self-Service Kiosks are places where players can go to get these services and can handle the interaction as if using a vending machine.


Many Computer-based Roleplaying Games, e.g. the Witcher series, World of Warcraft, and the Dragon Age series, have vendors selling the various items players need and sell the superfluous ones. These vendors are shown as non-player characters but cannot be killed or otherwise interacted with except to trade and talk. In contrast, most places where one can buy and sell things in the Fallout series are run by non-player characters that can be killed, but the Vendortron robot outside of Freeside in Fallout: New Vegas qualifies as a Self-Service Kiosk since it is built into a kiosk and cannot be attacked.

Self-Service Kiosks are also found in more action-oriented computer games. There are various non-player characters in Torchlight, including in the dungeons, that function as Self-Service Kiosks since they cannot be hurt or killed. The earlier Diablo series also contain such non-player characters and does Borderlands. The Grand Theft Auto series have several establishments that function as Self-Service Kiosks, some which have to be entered by foot (e.g. cloth and weapon stores) and some which have to be entered while driving a vehicle (e.g. body shops).

Using the pattern

Self-Service Kiosks provide specified services at specified locations in Game Worlds or Levels, so designing these consist of choosing what services should be available and where they should be available.

The most common types of services provided by Self-Service Kiosks are Trading (by having Transferable Items associated with them), receiving Quests, and hearing Gossip. Other examples include training Skills.

For services that may have Limited Resources, e.g. Trading and Quests, an option is to periodically refill the kiosks by making them into Resource Generators.

Diegetic Aspects

Some Self-Service Kiosks are represented as Non-Player Characters, showing that not all NPCs are Characters.

Narrative Aspects

Since they can provide Quests, Self-Service Kiosks can help move Narration Structures forward.


Self-Service Kiosks provide Strategic Locations in Game Worlds or Levels by the Location-Fixed Abilities they provide. When Game Items or Quests offered at them replenish, they are also Resource Generators.

Self-Service Kiosks are Installations since they provide actions to players (to access the services), and due to this they are in a way Tools also.


Can Instantiate

Gossip, Installations, Location-Fixed Abilities, Non-Player Characters, Quests, Resource Generators, Strategic Locations, Trading, Tools

with ...

Can Modulate

Game Worlds Levels Skills

Can Be Instantiated By


Can Be Modulated By

Transferable Items

Possible Closure Effects


Potentially Conflicting With



New pattern created in this wiki.