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



Entrenching Gameplay Construction/Scoring Phase Shift


Can Instantiate

Challenging Gameplay

Can Modulate

Gameplay Mastery

Can Be Instantiated By

Ability Losses, AI Players, Alien Space Bats, Asymmetric Abilities, Asymmetric Goals, Asymmetric Resource Distribution, Asymmetric Starting Conditions, Backtracking Levels, Back-to-Back Game Sessions, Competence Areas, Complex Gameplay, Converters, Cooldown, Dynamic Alliances, Environmental Effects, Ephemeral Goals, Evolving Rule Sets, Execution Phases, Flanking Routes, Freedom of Choice, Incompatible Goals, Internal Conflicts, Internal Rivalry, Minigames, New Abilities, Levels, Orthogonal Differentiation, Planning Phases, Polyathlons, Privileged Movement, Procedurally Generated Game Worlds, Producer-Consumer, Reconfigurable Game Worlds, Replayability, Selectable Sets of Goals, Sidegrades, Skills, Social Roles, Temporary Abilities, Tile-Laying, Transfer of Control, Units, Varying Rule Sets, Vehicles, Vision Modes, Vulnerabilities

Abstract Player Construct Development together with New Abilities or Privileged Abilities

Achilles' Heels together with Enemies

Boss Monsters together with Privileged Abilities

Character Development together with Improved Abilities or New Abilities

Functional Roles together with Multiplayer Games

Game Worlds together with Player Constructed Worlds

Geometric Progression together with Negative Feedback Loops

Open Destiny together with Limited Set of Actions

Persistent Game Worlds together with Construction or Creative Control

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

Strategic Planning together with Replayability

Weapons together with New Abilities

Can Be Modulated By

Diminishing Returns, Internal Rivalry, Supporting Goals, Testing Achievements

Possible Closure Effects


Potentially Conflicting With

Camping, No-Ops, Quick Games, Sensory-Motoric Engrossment, Symmetric Resource Distribution


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.