Game Designer’s Notes #4: Types of victories

Courtesy of Amos Kwok

The aim of any game is to win. The question is, of course, how do you do that? Well, that depends on the game, right? Every game has different victory conditions: different conditions you need to fulfill in order to win the game.

That sounds like too many, right? However, I found three general types that I will discuss today.

Points. This is the kind of victory that occurs in less vicious games. Basically, the person with the most points wins. This is reflected in Ticket to Ride, where players attempt to gain the most points by traveling around to the most cities.

Goals. This victory condition occurs in almost every genre. Whoever accomplishes a set goal first wins. This is the case of Machi Koro, where players aim to finish constructing all of their town’s public structures before anyone else does.

Survivors. This is a favourite of war games. Whoever is the last alive wins. The most obvious example is Exploding Kittens. In that game, players win by not being blown up by kittens chewing explosives.

Those are the three basic types I found. However, some games do use more than one type. Like King of Tokyo. It has a goal based system that uses points but also elimination. You see, in King of Tokyo, players win by getting 20 victory points. (That’s technically a goal but it does run off points.) However, you can also win by killing everyone else. Fun.

In short, games aren’t trapped to having only one victory condition. While there are three general victory types, they can be mixed and matched.

On a similar note, there are also different paths to the same victory. But that’s for another time.

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