topical media & game development

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Invisible Walls

Invisible Walls

Invisible Walls are impassible obstacles that limit the players' movement, but not vision, to areas that appear to be part of the game world.

Example: some of the early flight simulator games used Invisible Walls to limit the area the player can enter. When encountering an Invisible Wall the plane essentially remained in the same location, even though it still seemed to fly over the terrain.

Using the pattern

Invisible Walls can be used to create Inaccessible Areas. Although Invisible Walls may break Immersion they can be preferable to having Deadly Traps, such as bottomless chasms or a sea of lava, to limit the area within which the player can move.

Invisible Walls can be fitted within the Consistent Reality Logic of a game using scientific explanations (transparent plastic armor or force shields) or magic (hexes and pentagrams) depending, of course, on the nature of the game itself. Further, these explanations can be used within the game area to create puzzles requiring Memorizing.


Invisible Walls are typically used to limit the area within which the players can move, but still allowing the illusion of a larger world. However, when the players reach and notice the Invisible Wall they can easily loose their sense of Immersion as the wall typically breaks the Consistent Reality Logic of the game.


Instantiates: Memorizing, Inaccessible Areas


Instantiated by:

Modulated by:

Potentially conflicting with: Immersion, Consistent Reality Logic

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(C) Æliens 04/09/2009

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