Varied Gameplay

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Variation in gameplay for a game, either within a single play session or between different play sessions.

This pattern is a still a stub.




Using the pattern

Diegetic Aspects

Interface Aspects

Narration Aspects




Game Worlds together with Player Constructed Worlds

Persistent Game Worlds No-Ops

Weapons Abstract Player Construct Development Character Development Inaccessible Areas Boss Monsters Privileged Movement Flanking Routes Temporary Abilities Privileged Abilities Improved Abilities Ability Losses New Abilities Back-to-Back Game Sessions Sidegrades Camping Area Control Achilles' Heels Vulnerabilities Vision Modes Skills Competence Areas Orthogonal Differentiation Polyathlons Reconfigurable Game Worlds Tile-Laying Procedurally Generated Game Worlds Social Roles Resources Complex Gameplay

Modulates: Gameplay Mastery, Narration Structures

Instantiated by: Asymmetric Abilities, Converters, Budgeted Action Points, Transfer of Control, Selectable Sets of Goals, Dynamic Alliances, Incompatible Goals, Asymmetric Resource Distribution, Asymmetric Goals, Higher-Level Closures as Gameplay Progresses, Producer-Consumer

Modulated by: Red Herrings, Diminishing Returns, Non-Renewable Resources, Supporting Goals

Potentially conflicting with: Quick Games, Sensory-Motoric Engrossment, Symmetric Resource Distribution

Can Instantiate

Challenging Gameplay

with ...

Can Modulate


Can Be Instantiated By

AI Players, Alien Space Bats, Asymmetric Starting Conditions, Backtracking Levels, Cooldown, Environmental Effects, Ephemeral Goals, Evolving Rule Sets, Freedom of Choice, Internal Conflicts, Internal Rivalry, Minigames, Levels, Replayability, Units, Varying Rule Sets, Vehicles

Functional Roles together with Multiplayer Games

Geometric Progression together with Negative Feedback Loops

Open Destiny together with Limited Set of Actions

Randomness together with Enemies, Ephemeral Goals, Game Worlds, or Quests

Strategic Planning together with Replayability

Can Be Modulated By

Testing Achievements

Possible Closure Effects


Potentially Conflicting With



An updated version of the pattern Varied Gameplay 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.