Motivational Design

Lenses and Patterns for Motivational Game Design

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Quick Time Events

Quick Time Events (QTEs) are moments in games where the player is given a short time to input certain commands in order to succeed.

Use to ...

QTEs can be used to create a sense of urgency in a game, by giving the player a small window to press a button, it leads to a heightened state of arousal. They can also be used to allow the player to accomplish more complicated tasks in a simple way. For example, imagine a game where the player is being chased by a monster. Instead of making the player control the character, have to navigate around, and also be on the look out for items they can use to help them, a series of QTEs can be used. The character could be running away automatically, and the player would just have to press a button when an item/obstacle appears.

Can be instantiated by


Heavy Rain

Heavy Rain features a lot of quick time events, what makes it different from other games though is that the game never stops if the player fails to do the appropriate action in time. Instead, the game's story continues, leading to a multitude of story lines and endings, where even the main characters can die.


The lens is industry standard.



List of scholarly and professional sources and references that serve as background or support to this pattern. Please reference using the APA citation style.


patterns/quick_time_events.txt · Last modified: 2014/05/19 18:50 by bsnyder