From gdp3
Revision as of 07:22, 26 August 2021 by Staffan Björk (Talk | contribs) (Relations)

Jump to: navigation, search

Committing resources in a competition against others to determine who can make a specific purchase or trade.

This pattern is a still a stub.

Players invest resources, usually some kind of a currency, for an uncertain outcome in order to get a reward of some kind. A Bidding instance is a process consisting of several parts: the bidding where players invest resources with the hope to achieve a certain game state, the determination of the outcome of these investments, and the distribution of possible rewards.


Example: In Poker, players bid on the value of their card hands. The bidding instance consists of rounds where the players can raise their bids one after another. The player who does not wish to call the last bid matches his bid to the same amount as the last bid, or if he does not wish to raise the bid, he has to fold. The player who folds is out of the Bidding instance and he has to leave his bid in the pot. The Bidding instance ends when there is only one player left or all the remaining players call the last bid. The player with the best hand, or the only remaining player, in the Bidding instance wins the whole bid as the reward.

Example: Kicking out a player from an open game instance of Return to Castle Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory requires that a certain amount of players have voted for kicking the player out.



Using the pattern

Can Be Modulated By

Asymmetric Information, Bluffing, Direct Information, Negotiation, Symmetric Information, Turn Taking

Alternatives: Drafting, Token Placement

Diegetic Aspects

Interface Aspects

Narration Aspects


Bidding is a form of Betting, although the Uncertainty of Outcome it provides typically mainly comes from the uncertainty of how much players will bid. It is a Competition among players, most typically a Resource Competition, where winning bids provide Rewards that typically are Resources but can relate to other things, e.g. Area Control. This means that Bidding can support Transfer of Control through a form of Capture or can play the role of being Converters. Bridge shows how Bidding can modulate games regarding Trick Taking and Trumps (rather than being a form of Transfer of Control), and here the Bidding can be seen as a way to determine which player may enforce a Player-Defined Goals on the game. Since Bidding is won by eliminating all other players for wishing to bid or being able to bid, the goal of Bidding can be seen has have an Eliminate goal besides the typical Gain Ownership one. The also allows Bidding to support the Social Role of being a Dominators

Being an elective action, Bidding provides players with a Freedom of Choice as long as they have enough Resources to be able to raise the bid. That the cost varies means that players can have to deal with Trade-Offs in that the Resources used for bids may not be able to be used for other things and this can cause Internal Conflicts. Handling these aspects typically requires players to engage in Tactical Planning.

Given that Bidding requires several potential bidders, it is a way to provide a shared activity with Multiplayer Games. These activities are Collaborative Actions even if they are not cooperative. When players are bidding not because they actually want to win the bid but rather force others to pay more, the Bidding activity for those specific people become a form of Push Your Luck activity relying on Social Skills.


Can Instantiate

Area Control, Betting, Capture, Competition, Converters, Collaborative Actions, Freedom of Choice, Internal Conflicts, Player-Defined Goals, Push Your Luck, Resource Competition, Rewards, Social Skills, Social Roles, Tactical Planning, Trade-Offs, Transfer of Control, Uncertainty of Outcome

Can Modulate

Eliminate, Gain Ownership, Multiplayer Games, Resources, Trick Taking, Trumps

Can Be Instantiated By


Can Be Modulated By

Asymmetric Information, Bluffing, Direct Information, Negotiation, Symmetric Information, Turn Taking

Possible Closure Effects


Potentially Conflicting With



An updated version of the pattern Bidding that was part of the original collection in the book Patterns in Game Design[1].


  1. Björk, S. & Holopainen, J. (2004) Patterns in Game Design. Charles River Media. ISBN1-58450-354-8.