topical media & game development

talk show tell print

pattern(s) / matrix / model(s) / resource(s)

<a novref=true text=@key href=pattern-herd.html>Herd</a>


Moving a game element to a location in the game without directly interacting with it.

Herd is the goal of making a game element be in a certain location in the game where the movement of the game element cannot be directly control, as for example game element are when being carried.

Example: Pool is an example of herding where players only have one point of control, the cue ball.

Example: Populous allows players to place markers in the game world which make all the people under the player's control move towards the marker.

Using the pattern

There are three primary design choices when creating a Herd goal: what to Herd, how the herding is done, and the choice of Goal Point, i. e. where to Herd the game element that is herded.

The game element to be herded may be able to move, but may be or not be able to do so without influences from the player. The influences for the herded game element to move based on player actions are typically motivated by the Consistent Reality Logic of the game, either as transferal of momentum from other game elements due to Contact, physical forces such as gravity or magnetism, or as emotional reactions such as anger, attraction or fright based for game elements with simulated personalities. Game elements that also move due to other influences or goals can be used to achieve the Right Level of Difficulty of the goal, and may be described as having Herd as a Preventing Goal to the game elements' Traverse goals.

The act of herding can be done in two ways, either by creating repulsion or attraction to the game element to be herded. The former case is typically by achieving Contact with the game element to give it momentum, as for example when hitting a ball in Pool with another ball or simulations of game elements with the same magnetic polarity. Example of attractions are resources that are essential for the survival for Units, such as food, or deep gravity wells such as black holes. When constructing a Herd goal, one has the option to use Privileged Movement to make an asymmetrical relationship between the game elements herding and being herded. This is typically used to let the herding game element have freer Movement that the herded game element to modulate the Right Level of Difficulty.

Herd can easily be made to promote Cooperation by making it a Symmetric Goal for several players, so that the players control different game elements that all try to make a game element move into a specific area.


Herd is the Traverse goal of Delivery with Indirect Control and is performed through a form of Collecting actions. Similar to Delivery, Herd can be used to steer players' Movement within the game space but can provide more fluid gameplay as the control of the game element changes easier between teams or within a team or group of Units.

Herd seldom makes use of Stealth because of the lack of control of the game element being herding.


Instantiates: Goal Points, Delivery, Indirect Control, Movement, Preventing Goals

Modulates: Traverse, Collecting

Instantiated by:

Modulated by: Privileged Movement, Contact

Potentially conflicting with: Stealth

[] readme course(s) preface I 1 2 II 3 4 III 5 6 7 IV 8 9 10 V 11 12 afterthought(s) appendix reference(s) example(s) resource(s) _

(C) Æliens 04/09/2009

You may not copy or print any of this material without explicit permission of the author or the publisher. In case of other copyright issues, contact the author.