Evaluation of Ending

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Most games, once they have ended, perform some sort of evaluation of said ending. Usually, the reasons for it ending are implicit in the evaluation. For example, a game that ends because the player lost all of the lives available is implicitly deemed a failure or loss. On the other hand, a game that ends because the player reached all the goals is implicitly a success.

Usually, the end of a game is determined to be either a win/success or a loss/failure. Winning is equated to fulfilling all the goals of the game or reaching the end. Losing, is the opposite of wining.

However, some games, in particular multiplayer games, allow for different evaluations such as draw/tie which is neither a win nor a loss or a ranked list. A ranked list, usually seen in sports and racing games, is a list of all the participants and how well they did with regards to each other. This is not the same as a win/loss since, depending on the game, coming in 2nd place may still be enough to continue playing (or not). This can be especially confusing in games that are basically a series of smaller/shorter games. For example, individual basketball games that are part of a championship. Losing a particular game may not imply the loss of the championship (the overall goal).

The evaluation of endings often helps bring emotional closure to game play investments. This is particularly true for role-playing games, where players begin to personally identify with their characters.


Strong Examples

Ancient Domains of Mystery

In ADOM (Ancient Domains of Mystery), characters require significant time to develop, and upon their death, players can review their character's a summary of their character's life achievements, including their score, the number of places they have visited, the monsters they have murdered, their alignment, etc. They are then listed on a high scores list. Players can then review the last messages, retelling the last events before their character died. A brief obituary of their character is posted next their score. Players can then walk through their character's inventory. They can view the hidden status of their character's special items, whether they are cursed or not, and the magical properties of unknown potions, rings, and wands. Finally, players are offered a memorial file for their character. All of these steps help the player come to terms with their character's death. It helps the players remember the lives of their characters.

Weak Examples


In StarCraft for the PC, there are two outcomes per mission: Victory or Defeat. These have obvious values. However, players are also ranked according to score. A player's score is calculated on diverse factors such as units, structures, and resources. If you are playing a multiplayer game, your objective might be to achieve a high score. So in the instance that your team is defeated, you may still have a positive outcome if you achieve this alternative objective. However, this is a weak example because singleplayer strictly defines the objectives (you cannot continue otherwise).

Guitar Hero

When you complete a song you are given a score based on how many notes you hit, the type of notes hit, and the multiplier in effect when hitting these notes. Your performance is given a rating of 3, 4, or 5 stars depending on your score on the song but as long as you pass it the score you receive means nothing for the progression of the game. You do get paid more for a better rating which you can use to purchase bonus features but these features don't change the game other than some bonus songs.

Bust a Move 4

There is a score given at the end but it does not effect the end result really and there is no effect on the game other then bragging rights for the player. There is really little effect performance has on the end of the game, it mostly is just a final solution to having played through.

Need For Speed: Carbon

NFS:Carbon usually rates player's performance as losing/bronze/silver/gold. The rating is based on different factors, depending on the game mode. It might be speed, amount of skidding, average distance from the competitor, etc. Attaining a better rating will increase the monetary reward that a player receives and may unlock additional cars or accessories.