<a novref=true text=@key href=pattern-stealth.html>Stealth</a>


Stealth is the goal to move through a certain area and perform an action without being detected.

Sometimes favorable conditions in a game can be achieved by not having one's actions noticed by other players. When this is the case, players have Stealth goals that force them to plan actions that minimize the risks of being noticed while still completing the required actions.

Example: Thief: The Dark Project and the other games in the series exemplify a game using Stealth. The player is a master thief, Garrett, who lives in a medieval fantasy world and performs his duties by relieving the rich nobles of their riches. The main goal is to collect the valuable items, while the secondary goal is to avoid being detected by the Guards while moving around the Level s.

Example: Many children's' games are based on one person trying to find the other players while at the same time trying to Guard an area that is a safe zone for the other players. If the other players, by a combination of stealth and running, make it to the safe zone they are home free and do not have to be the player guarding the safe zone in the next game.

Using the pattern

Stealth is a compound goal pattern using Conceal together with Evade with a secondary goal involving Movement or other actions from the player, normally Rescue, Traverse, Delivery, Camping, or Gain Ownership (including gaining Area Control simply by being undetected in a particular place). Designing the Stealth goal consists not only of choosing between the different design options of these patterns, but also determining what player actions can reveal the players and what the Tradeoffs are between the various Risk/Reward relations for each action in a given context.

Longer Stealth goals can be divided into parts that require short Stealth goals to be fulfilled in order to avoid Guards and Alarms, short bursts of action to Overcome enemy Units without them activating Alarms, and Tension -filled moments when the best option for the player is to perform No-Ops. The complexity of Stealth goals can be increased by letting Guards have Reconnaissance goals so that players have to take their Movement into consideration.


Stealth is the goal of trying to Conceal one's location while having to move. Stealth goals may require players to pace themselves as quick Movement may have too high risks, and sometimes any action or Movement may cause the goal to fail. Stealth can thus create Tension as players may have no Freedom of Choice except to perform No-Op actions to continue to Conceal themselves hoping not to be detected by opponents (which actually represents a form of Area Control). The slow tempo and possible pauses in completing Stealth goalsgive players a chance to make use of Strategic Knowledge, for example the locations of Alarms, making the game with the pattern have Stimulated Planning.

Most cases of Stealth rely on opponents having Guard or Reconnaissance as Preventing Goals, making Stealth and these goals Excluding Goals. Giving players Stealth goals combined with Herd goals increases the chances of failure and may limit the Right Level of Difficulty of the goals.


Instantiates: Evade, Stimulated Planning, Tension, Movement, Area Control

Modulates: Delivery, Rescue

Instantiated by: Reconnaissance

Modulated by: Safe Havens, No-Ops, Guard, Alarms, Risk/Reward, Tradeoffs, Traverse, Gain Ownership, Camping

Potentially conflicting with: Herd