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I Won't Just Wait Around

Started by droqen, December 08, 2021, 03:20:09 PM

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Name: I Won't Just Wait Around

Confidence: 3

Author: droqen
Design problem: It's hard to make a player partake in low-stakes activities in a game where most actions are high-stakes
Description: To get an optimization-minded player to relax and smell the roses, the designer may want to make the optimal way to play involve some downtime.

Games that use this pattern and how:

everquest. Combat in this game involves the expenditure of health and mana, resources which take time to replenish. While waiting for these resources to return, players have downtime in which many activities are still available, just not combat. In particular, the way to optimize recovery rate is the sit action, which disables certain actions and places a priority on the UI, especially socializing and inventory/character management.

starseed pilgrim. When a player runs out of seeds, and to a lesser extent when they plant certain slow-growing seeds, they must wait for their existing 'plants' to grow before continuing to act. The real-time pressure is continuous, but this affords the player significant time to take in the ambience and/or think about their situation, without feeling as though they are playing non-optimally.


This pattern was created using an exercise from Pattern Language for Game Design but before I read The Timeless Way of Building. I'm not sure I'll continue to use this format. I need to experiment and see what aspects of it work for me - maybe I will not find any better way, but I feel like this construction is too rigid, too industry, and not "Timeless" enough, not "alive" enough.