11. Randomness

[I]f cause and effect aren’t possible, better that there at least be some reward for all the suffering.

—JEFFREY KLUGER

Novice designers’ games have a common theme—a heavy focus on randomness. Randomness itself is neither good nor bad. Randomness for the game designer is like salt for a chef. Sometimes you want to prepare something a bit salty. Sometimes adding salt only hurts the dish.

Completely Random Games

The “saltiest” games are those that are determined entirely without any intervention from the player. For these games, a combination of die rolls, card draws, or other random processes determine the games’ events and winners. LCR is a game that is completely determined by dice rolls. You cannot be “good” at LCR because no ...

Get Players Making Decisions: Game Design Essentials and the Art of Understanding Your Players now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.