Motivational Design

Lenses and Patterns for Motivational Game Design

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Companion refers to a Non-Playable Character that progresses through the game alongside the player character. The companion's role is to support the player character. This could be in the form of providing a dialogue with the player, offering the player advice or tips to progress, or by providing an ability that is helpful to the player.

Use to ...

A companion works to satisfy a player's relatedness need through acknowledging the player and supporting the player's competence and autonomy needs, as well as providing the player with opportunities to aid and support them.

Can be instantiated by

*Supportive NPC


Fable 2

In Fable 2 while the player character is a child, you come across a dog being picked on. After chasing the bullies away, the dog becomes your companion. Throughout the rest of the game, the dog travels with you and aids you. He can sniff out treasure, do various tricks, and help you fight enemies. By providing all of these various interactions, the dog becomes important to you, and you feel that you are important to him. A sense of connectedness forms between the two of you without any words being spoken.


Escort Quest


The lens is industry standard.



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patterns/companion.txt · Last modified: 2014/04/09 21:36 by bsnyder