Do you know http://tvtropes.org ?

It's a kind of wiki/database with scenaristic tropes, patterns that you can find in tones of stories, in tv shows, games, books, etc.

Each trope/pattern have a (funny) name and there are references to where it appears, and the other way arround : each book/game/etc. have a list of tropes that it contains.

I'm looking for an equivalent but for game mechanics patterns, something like "Death is definitive", "Perfect physical control (no inertia)", "Excell table gameplay", etc.

I think it would be really useful. I can't find an equivalent for game mechanics (tvtrope is oriented to scenario, not game mechanics).

Do you know any?

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ possible duplicate of A list of game mechanics \$\endgroup\$
    – user744
    Mar 15, 2011 at 9:32
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ For those interested, a pretty good book is "Patterns in Game Design" by Staffan Björk and Jussi Holopainen. It is by no means complete but I've found it quite helpful. \$\endgroup\$
    – Anton
    Jul 5, 2013 at 18:51

4 Answers 4


I know you disregarded tvTropes in your question, but they have a page for video games with a section for common gameplay tropes.

Videogame Tropes

  • \$\begingroup\$ +1 I totally missed this one. It's not complete but it's a good start. \$\endgroup\$
    – Klaim
    Mar 16, 2011 at 0:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Klaim It's a wiki, You can always add what you think should be there. As far as what you described (considering that you referenced TVTropes in your question), it's probably as close as you will get. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 16, 2011 at 14:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Klaim Also, don't forget to check the categories on the right. There are even more in those. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 16, 2011 at 14:11

Ernest Adams' No Twinkie database. It's a collection of game design anti-patterns.


Noah Falstein's 400 project is pretty much the closest I can think of:

The 400 Project @ theinspriacy.com


Giant Bomb's list of video game consepts (wiki-system, so anyone can edit) has many game mechanics listed and even lists which games have the mechanic.

Some game mechanics have a long description page like moral decisions.


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