Many linear gameplay stories use a technique called item-gating to keep the player on track. The player has to find an item to proceed. This technique can be frustrating to the player. Sometimes the player has to backtrack, searching the rooms where they have already been, just to look for the treasure chest they missed or a door panel that was not placed well in the level. For Example, In Pokémon, the master ball was presented in the middle of the game. Many players didn’t know what it was meant for in the beginning and used the ball on a Legendary bird instead of Mewtwo, ruining the conclusion of the game. It breaks the player experience when the player has to take time out of their experience to look for one object.

Examples Edit

The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind Edit

Although I'm personally an advocate of resting responsibility on the player, Morrowind has potentially game-breaking flaws when it comes to quest items. Whereas Oblivion and Skyrim have designed quest items to not penalize the player's carrying capacity and created the inability to discard them from inventory, Morrowind gave no such warnings and a player could do what they'd like with quest items just like any other item. This means they could drop them, and potentially lose them if they didn't remember where they placed them. Additionally, many containers in Morrowind would sometimes reset over a period of time, meaning if the player placed a quest item in a chest in a dungeon, that item could be erased from the game.  

Nancy Drew Game Series


The Nancy Drew game series is comprised of puzzle-based detective games. The player frequently needs to find specific objects to solve puzzles and problems in order to progress. Many times, these objects do not intuitively go with the problem that the player needs to solve. This can leave the player attempting to apply all of the objects in their inventory to an area that they know needs something, they just don’t know what. The player can get stuck in this process, which leads to frustration, as they have no idea how to proceed.