<a novref=true text=@key href=pattern-eliminate.html>Eliminate</a>


Eliminate is the goal to remove a game element from its location in the game space.

Games may offer the removal of game elements for several reasons: the game elements may hinder actions, may pose a threat to the player goals, or their removal may simply be a goal in itself that is rewarded. The removal of game elements is not necessarily permanent; the board game Ludo lets players reinsert taken pieces, and many multiplayer first-person shooters let people spawn again after being killed, both as ways to allow the same number of Avatars or game elements in the game for as long as the game continues.

Example: In Backgammon, a single opponent's piece is removed from play when taken, but the piece can be brought back to the game later.

Example: Counter-Strike differs from many first-person shooters in that players who are killed are eliminated for the remainder of the match.

Example: The single-player puzzle game Peg Solitaire consists of eliminating all game elements from the game board save one.

Using the pattern

The main consideration when employing Eliminate is choosing what game element can be eliminated. The goal object is usually, but not necessarily, a game element that is controlled by another player or the game system, making Eliminate become a subpattern of Overcome. Common Eliminate goals are to destroy Resource Generators or to defeat Boss Monsters in order to advance to the next Level. The goal to Eliminate can easily be made into a Hierarchy of Goals by using Damage so that several successful actions must be performed before the goal is completed.

Eliminate typically uses another pattern to describe the exact method of elimination. Combat, through melee or Aim & Shoot actions, is the most common means to achieving Eliminate goals. Luring opponents into Deadly Traps is another possibility but typically requires more indirect actions. Backgammon uses a Contact pattern to define how to do the actual elimination, but there are many other possibilities. However, elimination can occur through the non-action of the players controlling the game element, e. g., folding in Poker or other games containing Bidding. Tournaments also typically contain the Eliminate pattern as players strive to eliminate each other through Player Elimination.

The game elements removed by the fulfillment of the goal do not have to be removed permanently. However, even if elimination only is temporary, it usually involves some sort of Penalty for the player who controlled the eliminated game element. This typically takes the form of the game element being transferred back to a Spawn Point or having the game element out of play for a certain amount of time, possibly leading to Limited Set of Actions or forcing players to perform No-Ops. The effect of Eliminate can of course be expanded to remove players from game sessions as well through Player Elimination.

Strategy games that have cities or other types of Resource Generators use Eliminate in order to get rid of the produced Units. The gameplay in those games is usually about maintaining a steady growth of available Units to overwhelm the opponent.


Eliminate requires the disappearance of some game element from gameplay, and the player fulfilling such a goal is therefore a form of Consumer. If the game elements to be eliminated are controlled by another player, this player can be considered an Enemy and usually has the Preventing Goals of Survive or Evade. Eliminate easily creates Tension and may cause Conflict between players, especially if the Eliminate concerns game elements that are the effect of other players' Construction actions.

Eliminate can also be used to speed up and simplify gameplay in the end phase of a game by successively removing game elements during the early gameplay so that only a few remain at the end of the game. As the pieces that remain have increased values in this context, this use of Eliminate supports Higher-Level Closures as Gameplay Progresses.

Eliminate does not necessarily have to be destructive towards players; the Collection of Resources and Pick-Ups in Real-Time Games that destroy and change game values are examples of how the Eliminate goal is a part of the Converter effect of completing Gain Ownership goal.


Instantiates: Aim & Shoot, Conflict, Combat, Penalties, Last Man Standing, Enemies, Preventing Goals, Higher-Level Closures as Gameplay Progresses, Boss Monsters, Player Elimination

Modulates: Resource Generators, Units, Capture

Instantiated by: Consumers

Modulated by: Damage, Deadly Traps, Bidding, Consumers, Contact, Survive, Evade

Potentially conflicting with: