An objective or intention that exists in perpetuity. Permanent goals, also known as perpetual goals, are on-going tasks that have no end, despite player actions or events. Permanent goals are typically over-arching goals that last the entirety of a game session.

Due to their nature; predefined goals, player-defined goals, prevention goals, continuous goals, and conflict-based intervenable goals can be used as forms of permanent goals.

Unlike ephemeral goals, permanent goals are typically defined early in a game and remain active until the end. It’s not uncommon for permanent goals to play a critical role within the game’s mechanics. As an example, in Super Mario 64, the permanent goal of collecting stars remains throughout the entire game.

Age of Empires II

In the real-time strategy game Age of Empires II, a multi-player game mode exists called “Defend the Wonder” which requires players to protect a giant monument from their opponent’s attacks for the entire game.


Because permanent goals never go away, using too many could cause an unwieldy build-up of objectives for the player to focus on. Additionally, if a permanent goal is not perceived as enjoyable by the player, with no option to remove or opt-out of it, the player may grow dismayed with being forced to contend with it.

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