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Secret <a novref=true text=@key href=pattern-resources.html>Resources</a>

Secret Resources

Secret Resources are resources that are unknown to at least some of the players.

There are two basic types of Secret Resources in games. The first type governs what kind of information about the resources is available to one of the players and the second type governs situations where different players have different information available about the resources.

Example: in many strategy games the resource locations, such as cities, mines and factories, are initially unknown to the player. The player is required to do exploration or scouting to get more information about the possible resources in the game. The player may also first have vague indications of the available resources.

Example: almost all card games have Secret Resources, the card hand, which is known to the player owning the cards but unknown to the other players. Poker is perhaps the most famous card game where the game play is based on the asymmetries of information available about the resources of the other player.

Using the pattern

Secret Resources is essentially the outcome of the use of Imperfect Information, Uncertainty of Information, or Asymmetric Information patterns on Resources. Imperfect Information used on Resources governs the information available to one of the players in such way, that some of the Resources available in the game are initially or currently unknown to the player. Uncertainty of Information means that the player may have unreliable information about the available Resources. For example, the exact position and strength of the players Units in strategy games may be unknown. Asymmetric Information states that players have different information available about the available Resources. A concrete example of this is Card Hand s, where the player owning a hand knows the cards, but they are unknown to the other players.


Dealing with secrets, the more general consequences of Imperfect Information and Asymmetric Information patterns also apply to Secret Resources. As Resources determine the actions and strategies available to the player, Secret Resources have a direct impact on the players' ability to plan ahead, thus giving rise to Limited Planning Ability. The wish to know what resources exist in games, and how they are distributed, give rise to Gain Information goals such as Reconnaissance or Exploration when Secret Resources are placed in a Game World (but Secret Resources can also be used to modulate already existing Reconnaissance goals). When one player has knowledge about Secret Resources, for example by controlling them, and the other players do not, this gives that player opportunities to have secret tactics.


Instantiates: Exploration, Gain Information, Limited Planning Ability

Modulates: Resources, Game World, Reconnaissance

Instantiated by: Card Hands, Imperfect Information, Asymmetric Information, Uncertainty of Information

Modulated by: Reconnaissance

Potentially conflicting with:

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(C) Æliens 04/09/2009

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