Fed Ex Mission Pattern

Possibly the lowest common denominator of game mission design, the Fed Ex mission is

- player picks up a package at point A

- delivers it to point B

By itself, it is about as engaging as having a courier job. I think we can assume that courier jobs are not, in fact, engaging, and that's why they have to pay people to do it. (The logic there is specious but it was fun to say. Let's put it a different way; there is no subtlety in a FedEx? mission. The player does not have to strategize.) But Fed Ex missions can be made to work in a couple ways:

1) if navigating the game world is engaging by itself (Grand Theft Auto) - the fed ex mission becomes simply a way to give structure to that fun

2) if the holistic economy of doing the missions works (Animal Crossing) - although the individual unit of the game is not enjoyable by itself, the macro game makes it enjoyable

Examples: Grand Theft Auto, Animal Crossing

I feel that this is actually the DoorKeyLevelPattern. You get a key (the package) to pass through the door (the delivery point.)

What is interesting about this is that it is a game plot pattern, I feel. Or perhaps we should call it a "sub story pattern." -- LionKimbro