topical media & game development

talk show tell print

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

<a novref=true text=@key href=pattern-maneuvering.html>Maneuvering</a>


Controlling the movement of game elements in real-time games.

Games in which players control vehicles or characters that move in real time often have Obstacles or Enemies that have to be avoided. Doing this in real time requires Maneuvering of the game elements under the players' control.

Example: Much of the skill in playing first-person shooters consists in being able to maneuver one's Avatar so one avoids enemy gunfire and has good opportunities to attack enemies.

Example: The racing game F-Zero GX requires player to maneuver to avoid obstacles and other vehicles while traveling at high speeds on a 3D racing track.

Using the pattern

Maneuvering can be necessary either due to the Movement of a game element controlled by a player or by the movement of other game elements. In the first case, Obstacles and Deadly Traps in the environment may cause emergent Evade goals, or Chargers and Pick-Ups may require Collecting actions, both of which can be completed by Maneuvering. Movement of other game elements can be Enemies, or shots from them, that aim directly for the players' game elements or can be Ultra-Powerful Events, e. g., raising bridges or rock falls, that have to be avoided. Maneuvering due to the Movement of other game elements does not only have to aid in Evading them but can also include Aim & Shoot actions with the intention of fulfilling Capture or Eliminate goals.

Maneuvering requires that players at least have a weak Spatial Immersion in the game and thereby requires either a First-Person View or a Third-Person View. Setting the Right Level of Difficulty for Maneuvering actions can be done either by controlling the speed game elements move in or controlling the Right Level of Complexity by the number of game elements that have to be taken into consideration at any given point. The first raises the requirements on skills in Dexterity-Based Actions while the second requires Attention Swapping.


The need for Maneuvering comes either from a lack of Game State Overview that causes the current situation to be suboptimal or because the Game World is sufficiently complex to make corrections necessary regardless of chosen path. Both these causes may be due to the Movement of other game elements, which can either be intentional movement by Enemies or instantiations of The Show Must Go On.

Maneuvering, like other forms of Movement in Real-Time Games, can give Spatial Immersion and cannot be done in Turn-Based Games.


Instantiates: Attention Swapping, Spatial Immersion, Movement, Dexterity-Based Actions

Modulates: Capture, Race

Instantiated by: Real-Time Games, Collecting, Aim & Shoot, The Show Must Go On

Modulated by: Deadly Traps, Pick-Ups, Chargers, First-Person Views, Third-Person Views, Enemies, Obstacles, Right Level of Difficulty, Ultra-Powerful Events

Potentially conflicting with: Turn-Based Games

[] 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.