topical media & game development

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<a novref=true text=@key href=pattern-tile-laying.html>Tile-Laying</a>


The placing of tiles as actions in the game.

Not all games use tiles as static parts of the game that define the game world from the beginning of the game. Instead, these games either use the tiles either to randomize the layout of the game world or make the construction of the game world into a player-driven activity.

Example: Rogue and Angband, early computer roleplaying games that used ASCII-based graphics, randomized the layout of levels for each game session. This process of constructing the levels can be seen as a form of tile laying that takes places before game play begins on that level.

Example: a player's turn in Carcassonne consists of drawing and laying a tile in connection to those already in play and then optionally placing a token.

Example: the board game The Settlers of Catan starts with a randomize play area consisting of hexagonal tiles every game session to ensure that game play varies.

Using the pattern

Tile-Laying may be used either before game play begins as part of the setup phase of the game or as actions players perform. The design of the Tiles used in both cases is similar to the design of Cards, and in the later case may make use of Drawing Stacks and variants of Card Hands.

The Randomness of Game Worlds constructed through Tile-Laying allows the information about Tiles to Imperfect Information if the tiles are covered or placed upside down. By using a form of Fog of War this makes Exploration goals possible.


Tile-Laying is a concrete way to allow Reconfigurable Game Worlds. By introducing Randomness of how the Game World is constructed, and possibly Imperfect Information about the layout of the Game World, it can promote Varied Gameplay. When players control the placement of the Tiles this makes them active game elements that are Focus Loci for players and creates Player Constructed Worlds. This allows them to perform Construction actions and have Exploration goals which may be the cause of Tension when the attributes on the Tiles are important for the players.


Instantiates: Reconfigurable Game World, Exploration, Card Hands, Player Constructed Worlds, Randomness, Varied Gameplay, Construction

Modulates: Tiles, Fog of War, Game World, Imperfect Information

Instantiated by: Drawing Stacks

Modulated by:

Potentially conflicting with:

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(C) Æliens 04/09/2009

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