Basketball

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The following diagrams model the game of Basketball between two teams of 5. The model works on the idea that every teammember generates opportunities to score over time. The actual points they score is determined by their skill, here represented with a probability. Note that team B has more 'skill' than team A.

Positive Feedback Basketball

Basketball is a straightforward game. But I choose to model it because it was one of Marc LeBlanc original examples when he introduced feedback loops to game design at his 1999 GDC presentation. So here is positive feedback basketball (can you predict the graph it will produce?)

Negative Feedback Basketball

And then there is negative feedback basketball. Again, try to predict the graph...


Did you get it right? I didn't. I expected the lines to converge. But they never do. When you think about it, it makes sense. Its not the score's that are balanced, but the difference in skills and is measured by a difference in points, so there has to be a difference in points for the feedback to work and thus team A will never, ever win.

Positive Feedback Basketball (equal strength)

Finally, here is another interesting example: Positive feedback basketball between two teams of equal strength: