Skip to Content

To much randomness?

7 replies [Last post]
Voron
Offline
Joined: 10/15/2013

Random turn order.
Random amount of turns.
Random amount of actions per turn.

When does "random" becomes to much?

questccg
questccg's picture
Online
Joined: 04/16/2011
Not too bad...

Voron wrote:
Random turn order.
Random amount of turns.
Random amount of actions per turn.

When does "random" becomes to much?

*Random turn order* could be confusing unless you have cards with numbers on them, like a BIG "1", "2", "3", etc. Put those cards in a pile and shuffle, each player draws a card and voila, *random turn order*.

*Random amount of turns* is more challenging, you cannot predict when the game is going to end. Same could be true with games that have a Victory Point target (say collect 100 VPs to win). Although it is predictable when someone will WIN, the number of turns is a *random amount of turns*. So something NOT random, turns out to actually be random (even if you have a VP target).

*Random amount of actions per turn* seems to be the one that might be UNFAIR. Players may complain if you use something like a DICE to determine how many action points a players gets. If a player has rolled a 1 the last 2 turns, he may not like your game very much because it doesn't allow him to *play*. So *Random amount of actions per turn* is probably less interesting than "fixed" amount of actions...

BUT based on DECISIONS, *random amount of actions per turn* may be interesting. This is like in my current game, where a player may choose a Role; the amount of actions he can do is determined by the Role... So some roles allow for more actions that are specific to a Role. In this scenario *random amount of actions per turn* seems to be ok, provided the player has some CHOICE in the matter...

As far as when does "random" become too much, well personally I would not implement *random turn order* UNLESS there was an ADVANTAGE to going First or Last. If either of these is true, *random turn order* is a good solution.

*Random amount of turns* which I think a more standard way of playing MOST games, if you roll a dice you have a *Random amount of turns* (Roll & Move game), if you use Victory Points (VPs) you also have a *Random amount of turns*. If you rely on other factors that are controlled by the amount of cards you also have a *Random amount of turns*... So I think this is pretty much the "standard" (that games have a *Random amount of turns*).

I like the use of dice in a game - sometimes it is a good mechanic to balance the game. In my current game, I am using dice to determine which player will be the *Attacker*. So even if a player INITIATES the battle, he is not always the aggressor! This is a good twist on the randomness of battles. It gives the defending player a chance rather than rely solely on strategy and card values... So use of dice is definitely another form of *randomness*.

Where I find randomness kinda sucks is - in combat. Like having to rely on DICE rolls to determine who is the winner of a battle. This form of randomness is sort of like *Roll & Move* games - passé. Using stats and dice in combination is a better use of randomness... "Risk" is a game that relies solely on dice rolls to determine the winner of a battle...

let-off studios
let-off studios's picture
Offline
Joined: 02/07/2011
Voron wrote:Random turn

Voron wrote:
Random turn order.
Random amount of turns.
Random amount of actions per turn.

When does "random" becomes to much?


I'd say it becomes too much when the player decides for themselves that there's no reason to make any intelligent decisions at all. It's when all meaningful choices become blind or pointless decisions.

Obviously this is a subjective definition, but it's also a subjective "tipping point." Some games that rely heavily on luck make it clear that there's very little choice involved in determining the outcome: roulette, for instance. However, in roulette a player may "hedge their bets" by making more meaningful choices on how the limited resource of their money is distributed. In other words, the game isn't about what number comes up...it's about how a player has decided to spend their money.

To sum this up (and to end up sounding highly theoretical): you can involve a lot of randomness in a game. In order to make it enjoyable, there should still be meaningful choices made by the player, and there should also be a hope of coming out successful to some degree.

larienna
larienna's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/28/2008
If it's a filler game that

If it's a filler game that last 15 min, too much randomness is much less an issue than in a 3 hour game.

Quote:
Random turn order

It does not have a huge impact on the game unless the order of play is extremely important.

Quote:
Random amount of turns.

At some point, it could be OK. For example in dungeon quest, the last 5 turns are determined randomly. So you have like 25 turns plus an extra 5 where you do no know when the game ends. That is a good proportion. If your game last between 2 and 12 turns, it is way too random. You'll end up with a too large time difference between games.

Quote:
Random amount of actions per turn.

I think this one is very bad, I don't really see the reason behind either. For game balance players should have in average the same amount of action. If a player has more actions on a turn, he should have less on the other so that at the end of the game, all players had the same amount of actions.

lewpuls
lewpuls's picture
Offline
Joined: 04/04/2009
Audience-based

The answer depends *entirely* on the audience. There is no such thing as too much or not enough randomness, except with respect to a particular audience. Chutes and Ladders, Candyland, and LCR are all entirely random, but suit their audiences (young children for the first two, slightly drunk adults (who don't normally play games) at a party for the last). No randomness at all suits chess and checkers fans, and many video game fans.

Voron
Offline
Joined: 10/15/2013
Some better examples

Thanks for the comments everybody! So if I'm right, randomness doesn't matter to much, as long as players have enough non-random choices and the random choices aren't to big?

In my current game, I work with "Random-End"-decks. That means that for example in a 20 card deck, there is a card hidden that says "end of the pile". And all cards after that one won't be used that turn/round/game. But as it's unfair to have a 1 to 20 chance I changed it to putting the "End of pile"card only in the second half of the pile. This means that in a 20 card deck there is a chance you play with 10-20 cards.

I use this system with almost everything:
-Resources that can run out unexpectedly. (But when a resource is used it is placed back on the resource pile. Ready to be used by other players or to be gathered again by yourself)

-A turn that ends faster or last longer each time. (Every round players flip a card from the turn-deck. Then every player does 2 actions. When every player had done this, they flip the next card (these cards might have special abilities themself) Until they flip the "End turn"-card. At that moment they reset the board and advance to the next turn/day)

-Sudden End (Before each turn they flip an event deck that might chance the board or the rules that turn. Until they flip the End-Game-card. Then the game ends and the player with the most VP wins)

At the moment it looks something like this:
10-20 resources each resource pile.
5-10 rounds each turn (10-20 actions per player)
10-15 turns each game

So what do you guys think? Is this a right amount of randomness, and does it look fun enough?

drunknmunky
drunknmunky's picture
Offline
Joined: 06/25/2010
This is pretty common as a

This is pretty common as a way to solve issues. Power grid does this to initiate phases, airlines does it for scoring rounds, etc.

Though I like it on the resources. Usually its set and having a game where suddenly one resource is significantly less than usual would be a cool twist. My only issue would be in not knowing before the game starts. If a strategy is to build houses for points with woods, breed sheep for meat, and make weapons with metals, and suddenly I can't do what I spent the first half of the game working towards id be annoyed. If at the beginning of the game, players saw that there was a lot of meat, a good amount of wood and little metal it would change that strategy and make certain things more valuable.

NakedPin
NakedPin's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/02/2013
Random Deck endings

Suburbia does this with its draw tiles. Shuffle it into the last chunk of times, which makes the end tile draw unpredictable.

One thing to mention about the mechanics you mentioned is that its applied to all players. Its not a randomness that suddenly gives a player an advantage, instead it changes the whole game scenario. The "Sudden End" mechanic might be something that the current winning player is looking for, while the trailing players are trying to avoid.

As for if it sounds fun? Its a mechanic that happens in the start of the game. Hopefully you are not making this as your main "fun" mechanic of your game. It is however an interesting mechanic to make the end of a deck unpredictable!

Syndicate content


forum | by Dr. Radut