Resource Generators

Resource Generators are specific places or game elements producing resources, in effect tying the production of resources in the game to a particular place in the game world.

Games that have resources appear during gameplay usually have specific areas where these resources appear or specific game elements that produce the resources. Both the areas and the producing game elements are Resource Generators.

Example: The place where the bonus items appear in Pac-Man.

Example: WarCraft, as well asmany other real-time strategy games, have specific locations, such as cities, which generate resources for the player controlling the location.

Using the pattern

The Resource Generator is an instantiating pattern of the Producer pattern and as such the concerns which have to be taken into account when instantiating a Producer are valid also for the Resource Generator. Many variables need to be decided on when creating a Resource Generator: What resources are produced? If several are produced, what is the distribution and is it under the player's control? When are the resources produced, and are there any indications when this will occur and can the player modify the production? Are the produced resources Pick-Ups? Is the Resource Generator a physical object, and is it moveable or destroyable? If it is not a physical object, is it an Outstanding Feature in the environment so that it can be observed? Is the resource a Limited Resource, i. e. is a limited amount produced during the game or are the resources available at the start of the game the only resources in the game? Does the generator need other Resources to produce? Is the generator a Charger that produces Resources that are not represented in the game world and only produces them when a player is activating the generator?

Resource Generators do not have to generate passive game elements. Many games make use of Spawn Points to create Units, which can be seen as Resources to the players. Another example is generators that generate Enemies. The players can often destroy these generators in order to prevent them from swarming the game area continuously with Enemies.

A Converter is an example of Resource Generators that need other resources to produce their resource and which can be used to set up complex chains of refinement. A Mule is a special form of Converter set up by the player by dedicating a character to perform monotonous actions.


Resource Generators are ways to provide Renewable Resources in Game Worlds. Resource Generators can become Strategic Locations in Levels depending on the importance of the resource being generated. They are typically the objectives for Gain Ownership, Exploration, or Eliminate goals. Resource Generators are variants of Controllers when they are physical game elements. If they are not physical game elements, or Outstanding Features in the game environment, knowledge of their location can become more valuable Strategic Knowledge than other Strategic Locations, and the production generated from them create Surprises to the players.

The production from a Resource Generator typically spawns Ephemeral Goals as soon as they appear or make a goal have a Dynamic Goal Characteristics. Trading is a natural option for actions in games where different players are access to different Resource Generators.


Instantiates: Exploration, Strategic Locations, Ephemeral Goals, Renewable Resources, Trading

Modulates: Gain Ownership, Levels, Resources, Game World, Controllers

Instantiated by: Dynamic Goal Characteristics, Spawn Points, Chargers

Modulated by: Mule, Eliminate, Limited Resources, Outstanding Features

Potentially conflicting with: