End State Scoring

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The process of adding up all points to players in a phase after gameplay has finished.

Some games end by a player winning, a player losing, or a draw is reached. Other games have criteria for when game ends and the outcome of all players are first determined then. Such games typically use End State Scoring in that all points are officially and publicly counted after players' possibility to affect the game state has ended.


Amun-Re, Egizia, and Lords of Waterdeep are all Board Games where players have cards with conditional score bonus that are only give out after gameplay finishes. Agricola, Stone Age, and 7 Wonders is similar but here the cards or tiles that give points are publicly visible. In Dominion the acquisition of victory cards are open but players then need to memorize the distribution of these between the players when a game instance nears its end.

Using the pattern

The main requirement of End State Scoring is to postpone the handing out of at least some points to players Scores until gameplay ends. The main design decision regarding End State Scoring is if people should have Imperfect Information or Perfect Information regarding the game state and how players can get points based on the game state. The former promotes Exaggerated Perception of Influence and Tension while the latter promotes Analysis Paralysis. For this reason, Imperfect Information seems to be the much more common choice. This is typically at implemented through Secret Scoring Mechanisms.

A typical way of combining Imperfect Information and End State Scoring is to give players Asymmetric Goals related to how they score in a game. An example of this is which lord one plays in Lords of Waterdeep since different lords provide different bonus points depending what quests and buildings one has completed.

While End State Scoring is performed when gameplay ends, this might either be the more permanent end of Game Over or the sometimes temporary end of Death Consequences.


End State Scoring makes it important for gameplay to know their relative positions before the end state as well as what possible points all players can add to their Scores during the final scoring. When players cannot calculate the positions for all players before an End State Scoring, the use of this pattern can provide Exaggerated Perception of Influence, Tension, and Uncertainty of Outcome. If the scoring is at least partly based on Imperfect Information, players can be motivated to engage in Bluffing to make it more difficult for other players to be able and correctly deduce their position before the end state and how much points they can get in the end state. End State Scoring in general makes Beat the Leader more difficult but this becomes even more so when the scoring relies on hidden information (such as Secret Scoring Mechanisms); that it is more difficult to determine leaders in games with End State Scoring also make it less likely that player begin Surrendering.

Regardless of if players can accurately or not calculate positions, the presence of End State Scoring can create Analysis Paralysis since players may spend time trying to do so. The presence of Perfect Information more or less guarantees Analysis Paralysis unless it is very easy to determine player positions and possible points to be gotten during the End State Scoring.


Can Instantiate

Analysis Paralysis, Exaggerated Perception of Influence, Tension, Uncertainty of Outcome

with Imperfect Information


Can Modulate

Death Consequences, Game Over, Scores

Can Be Instantiated By


Can Be Modulated By

Asymmetric Goals, Imperfect Information, Perfect Information, Secret Scoring Mechanisms

Possible Closure Effects


Potentially Conflicting With

Beat the Leader, Surrendering


New pattern created in this wiki.




Anders Elfgren, Henrik Jonsson, Alexander Kjäll, Kristina Knaving, Johanna Koljonen, Janne Paavilainen, Henry Yang, Richard Wetzel