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Progression Gameplay

Definition - What does Progression Gameplay mean?

Progression gameplay is a game design term that refers to video game mechanics in which the designer sets a course of action that a player must complete to move forward in the game. Progression gameplay depends heavily on checkpoints that a character must reach to advance to the next level. These checkpoints vary according to the game genre. Some general checkpoints include:

  • Defeating the level boss in action, adventure and role-playing games (RPGs)
  • Finishing in the top three on a particular track in racing games
  • Completing a series of puzzles in a puzzle game
  • Destroying the enemies' home base in real-time strategy games

Techopedia explains Progression Gameplay

The majority of games are built according to a progression gameplay model. Progression gameplay is popular with designers because it allows them to craft a solid storyline around the action of the game. The goal of every game is to be both immersive and fun to play. Supporters of progression gameplay point out that, because the designers know the course a game will take, they can build a much deeper and more complex story around that course.

On the opposite side, proponents of emergent gameplay want games where the random actions of the players affect both the story and the world they take place in, leading to limitless possibilities rather than a limited number of outcomes that are mapped out by designers. There is, of course, a lot of middle ground between the two approaches. Many games have elements of both progression and emergent gameplay.

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