<a novref=true text=@key href=pattern-collecting.html>Collecting</a>


The action of collecting game elements from the game world.

Collecting is one of the most common activities in games. The collecting may be concrete by moving game elements around the game world and picking up game elements found or may be abstract by receiving game elements directly through actions or completing goals.

Example: The game play is Super Mario 64 and Super Mario Sunshine is based around the collections of stars which unlock new levels and drive the story forward.

Example: The main actions performed in Pac-Man is moving and collecting pills.

Using the pattern

Collecting concrete game elements requires the presence of Pick-Ups and the placement of them together with the Collection goals which motivate the activities that are closely intertwined with the design of Collecting actions. Common reasons to perform Collecting activities include gaining Score, finding Tools or Power-Ups that give Privileged Abilities, or gathering Pick-Ups that give Resources which can then be regarded as Renewable Resources from the players' perspectives.

The Collecting of abstract game elements is typically part of a Hierarchy of Goals with a Collection goal as the main goal and the subgoals providing the game elements to be collected as Rewards. Score and experience points to measure Character Development are examples of abstract Collecting.

Collecting of specific types of Resources or Pick-Ups can be further encouraged by adjusting how the collected game elements can be used. For example, Geometric Rewards for Investments encourage specializing of what is collecting as well as encouraging hoarding.


The act of Collecting is the Transfer of Control of a game element to a player. Collecting can be used to instantiate Collection goals of concrete game elements in the Game World. When doing so, they make Movement or Maneuvering necessary (unless the game elements can be collected through Herd goals) and may create Player Defined Goals of Exploration if the locations of the game elements are not known. Collecting can also be done of game elements not found in the Game World. In these cases, the actions are typically part trying to complete Hierarchies of Goals.

Collecting is usually part of Constructive Play although the reason for doing the collecting or the reasons why the collection can be done do not need to be so.


Instantiates: Hierarchy of Goals, Movement, Collection, Player Defined Goals, Maneuvering

Modulates: Character Development

Instantiated by: Pick-Ups, Transfer of Control, Rewards, Power-Ups, Score, Tools, Resources

Modulated by: Herd, Geometric Rewards for Investments

Potentially conflicting with: