FUNDAMENTALS OF GAME DESIGN, SECOND EDITION

Victory and Loss Conditions

The victory and loss conditions for a match are the same as in the real sport. However, many games that simulate team or league sports offer players a variety of ways of playing the game, usually referred to simply as modes. (Note that these are not the same as competition modes or gameplay modes.)

■ Season mode. The player selects a single team (or athlete, for individual sports such as skiing) from all those available and plays a series of matches throughout a season, trying to make it into the championships. The schedule of play for the sea­son and the rules for moving into and up the championship bracket are adopted from the real sport. Some season modes allow a player to play not just one team's matches but every single match played throughout an entire season.

■ Exhibition mode. In this mode, the players play one single match, but it has no long-term consequences, just like exhibition matches (also called friendlies in the UK) played by real teams. Whoever wins the match wins the game.

■ Sudden death. As a variant of exhibition mode, players play a match only until the first score is made. Whoever makes the first score wins the game. This is handy for very quick games, although it means that luck plays a much greater role in determining the outcome.

■ Round robin. Players in a group each take a team and play each other's team a fixed number of times, sometimes just once. Whoever has won the most matches at the end is the winner.

■ Tournament mode. In a single-elimination tournament, any player who loses any match is dropped, and the winner goes on to play the winner of another match. This requires that the number of players be a power of two. You may orga­nize tournaments in other ways as well.

■ Franchise mode, also called dynasty mode. The player controls a team over the course of several seasons, trying to build its strength through the years. This mode often appears in games that include mechanisms for hiring athletes and trading them among teams. For games such as tennis, in which most athletes play alone, the equivalent mode is called career mode—that is, the player controls the athlete over the course of several years of his or her career.

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