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The gauntlet is a relatively long, straightforward (though not necessarily straight) linear path with some significant destination, like an item or an Arena. The hall is often fully populated with enemies with no breaks and little cover. Enemies may emerge from spawn points as the player progresses through the gauntlet. Enemies may be organized in waves.

The gauntlet is a player test, forcing a balance between moving forward and combat. It acts as a difficulty barrier, making whatever is on the other side have more value to the player, even if it's a boss battle.

Variables and Affordances

  • Length: The longer the path is, the more challenging the gauntlet is.
  • Cover (None ↔ Some): No cover means the player has to make the full gauntlet in one large push, while some cover affords breaks for healing.
  • Amount of enemies (Finite or Infinite): An infinite amount of enemies means the player has to make a push at some point, while finite enemies means the player can wait the encounter out through frequent retreats or use of cover.


  • Mass Effect 2 (Dossier: Archangel quest): The player has to push past waves of enemies to lockdown the doors that are letting them in. The enemies during this section are infinite.

In Worked Examples

Quest Level Relationship

Gauntlets are often level structures used to provide challenge as the player is fulfilling some quest objective.

  • Follow. Gauntlets allow for extremely challenging, tug of war style follow quests, where a powerful NPC must be escorted against a seemingly endless tide of enemies (e.g. Liberty Prime in the final missions of Fallout 3).
patterns/gauntlet.txt · Last modified: 2011/06/17 12:45 by Gillian Smith Valid CSS Driven by DokuWiki do yourself a favour and use a real browser - get firefox!! Recent changes RSS feed Valid XHTML 1.0