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Fundamentals of Game Design, Third Edition by Ernest Adams

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Chapter 15. Game Balancing

To be enjoyable, a game must be balanced well—it must be neither too easy nor too hard, and it must feel fair, both to players competing against each other and to the individual player on his own. In this chapter, you’ll learn what qualities a well-balanced game has, and how to balance your own. We’ll begin by examining dominant strategies and how to avoid them. We’ll look at ways to set up and balance both transitive and intransitive relationships among player choices and how to make them simultaneously interesting and well balanced. We’ll also look at ways to incorporate chance into games in such a way that the game still rewards the better player.

The bulk of the chapter examines two major issues of balance: fairness ...

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