Construction/Scoring Phase Shift

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A shift in one or all players focus from improving their abilities to act within the game to gather points.

Some game allow players to not only perform actions that directly increase their chances of winning a game but also actions that make it easier or more efficient for them to do so later. A Construction/Scoring Phase Shift occurs when one player — which is typically then followed by the other players — moves from the latter types of actions to the former.


In Dominion, a sign of a Construction/Scoring Phase Shift is that players begin investing in "province" score cards rather than other cards. In Race for the Galaxy, consistent use by a player of the "Consume: 2x VPs" action can be a sign of a shift in building an efficient deck to focusing on gathering points. Another sign in this game can be players that build in both the "develop" and "settle" phases when possible to gain the points on the placed cards.

Using the pattern

Construction/Scoring Phase Shift typically occur in games with Scores where players can create Gameplay Engines, but can occur in other gamers with make use of the pattern Winner determined after Gameplay Ends. The two phases typically match Expansion and Exploitation so the behavior of this pattern affects both those two.

The possibility of Speedending heavily affects Construction/Scoring Phase Shift, both in that beginning Speedending can constitute the phase shift between Construction of Gameplay Engines and gathering Scores and that players can use Speedending to shorten the scoring phase.


Construction/Scoring Phase Shift affect how Gameplay Engines and Positive Feedback Loops work in games by creating transitions points from when building Gameplay Engines are beneficial to when maximizing Scores are important. Since this in practice is one type of Endgame, the pattern also modulates when a Middlegame end and an Endgame begins. That games have a Construction/Scoring Phase Shift guarantees a minimal level of Varied Gameplay in that there are at least two distinct phases in them, not necessarily in what actions are possible to perform but what goals players have (Dominion being an example of this).

Noticing when Construction/Scoring Phase Shift happen, or causing them to happen when it's beneficial for oneself, is one way to have Gameplay Mastery.


Risk/Reward, conflict Winning by Ending Gameplay

Can Instantiate

Gameplay Mastery, Varied Gameplay

Can Modulate

Endgame, Expansion, Exploitation, Gameplay Engines, Middlegame, Positive Feedback Loops

Can Be Instantiated By

Winner determined after Gameplay Ends

Gameplay Engines together with Scores

Can Be Modulated By


Possible Closure Effects


Potentially Conflicting With



New pattern created in this wiki.