Victory condition


A rule (preferably precise and conclusive) that decides who wins the game.


This term applies to competitive or cooperative games (in which case possible answers would be "everyone" or "no-one"). If win conditions are introduced it's assumed that players will be engaged in trying to win (an abstract incentive that is quite often difficult to achieve in the context of music).

The assumtion that players aim for victory might be a crucial design factor that initiates key dynamics of the game. If winning gains importance, victory condition should be precise - doubts and arguments about the key element of the game are unacceptable. In modern board game design it's also customary to not allow ties as they are usually dissapointing for players. Certainly music games can be much softer in that regard as players on average care less.

Types of victory condition

Victory condition might be paired with End condition (check-mate is a classical example). Gaming-wise this way the winner's satisfaction is increased although the effect might often be comparatively more dissapointing for the loser. For music games this approach forces musically focused participants to pay attention to the result and might actually encourage them to play "worse" in order to extend the game.

End Condition — A rule by which the game ends.

Victory condition might be based on points — numbers compared at the end of the game (for example in Go you count captured pieces and territory, although games quite often end also by resignation). Hidden score keeps players engaged to the end of the game because they don't know if the victory condition is already met or not.

Victory conditions are preferable to loss conditions, as generally stressing a "you lost" message might be upsetting even to players that don't care about the score from the get-go.

Mark for clarification

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