Quick Games

Quick Games

Quick Games have a single concrete goal and few basic actions.

The time it takes for the players to finish game instances of Quick Games is almost always very short, sometimes counted in seconds, even though the whole life time of the game instance might be long as is the case with play-by-mail Rock-Paper-Scissors.

Example: most gambling games have game instances, which are short, often consisting of just one action with an uncertain outcome. In Roulette the players can only place their bets on different combinations of numbers and colors and then wait for the outcome. Gambling, however, typically relies on the players participation in several of these short game instances in succession.

Example: WarioWare, Inc. has over 200 different Quick Games organized in themed groups. Almost all the games use just one basic action and one simple goal. The time it takes to complete one game is usually less than five seconds. One of the main charms of WarioWare, Inc. is that the games of a single theme group are presented to the player in random sequence; the main challenge is often to decipher the basic actions and goals of the games within the five seconds -- and to win!

Using the pattern

Gambling, games with Betting, and other games with Extra-Game Consequences are designed in such way that the players complete in a single game instance with a single outcome and rapid changes of Tension. It is easy to base the uncertainty of the outcome on Randomness, and many games also use Illusion of Influence on the Randomness to increase the players' commitment to the game. Often the modulation of Tension is achieved by using Hovering Closures for the Delayed Effect of the one basic action. For example, slot machines do not display the outcome right away, but reveal the slots one by one after the player has started the slots.

Quick Games have only one basic goal, which the player can reach by performing just few basic actions and using a Hierarchy of Goals is only possible at the Meta Game level. Often the outcome of a game instance is determined by single action: the player throws the dice, presses the button to stop the wheel at the correct place, or places bets on the Roulette table. Quick Games also often have Time Limits to the game instances that are indicated by Progress Indicators.


Quick Games are often structured in Tournaments or in other forms of Meta Games, unless a Quick Game is used to determine a single Extra-Game Consequence, for example, using Rock-Paper-Scissors to determine who is going to pay for dinner. These Tournaments can be just a sequence of Single-Player games that are also Quick Games and where the final outcome of the Meta Game is determined by the outcomes of the game instances of the game. More complex Tournaments can consist of different, and even Multi-Player, Quick Games as is the case with, for example, WarioWare, Inc., in effect making the Meta Game level a Polyathlon. Single-Player variants of Quick Games can be organized into Tournaments to make them Multiplayer Games by allowing the players, for example, to do Turn Taking for playing the game instances.

Quick Games are usually so simple that in order to provide Varied Gameplay the games often use Randomness or tie the outcome to Extra-Game Consequences. Paradoxically some Quick Games support Experimenting as the players first have to figure out what the goals and the actions of the game are and then try out how to reach the goals. This is especially the case when the game has Delayed Effects with Progress Indicators and complex determination of the outcome.



Modulates: Meta Games, Tournaments, Experimenting, Betting, Polyathlons, Turn Taking, Extra-Game Consequences, Tension

Instantiated by:

Modulated by: Time Limits, Randomness, Hovering Closures, Delayed Effects, Progress Indicators

Potentially conflicting with: Hierarchy of Goals, Varied Gameplay