Luck and chances (and some naughty algorithms) in videogames


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The player is a fearless entity that sometimes is looking for an unpredictable experience, an impulse situation that forces us to play in a different way. Games are mostly designed with determined sequences of patterns and it’s feasible to memorize those mechanics and beat the game easily.

The luck and the algorithms behind this tool can help to build a random system in order to increase the alternatives rooted in a game. We will dissect some features included in some games that should be enhanced to create the real next-gen.

Role Playing Game

The foundations of the unexpected reactions in videogames were born with the RPG. In some games, the encounters are totally based on random algorithms, of course the game limits the time span of fights in order to balance the quality of the experience.

The character attributes on Fallout 1 & 2 determine how our player can face that apocalyptic environment. If your attributes are not high enough to convince someone through your Charisma, probably you are not going to be able to derivate the conversation on your own benefit. But you can try, it’s a system made over a chance scheme, so, it could work.

Chances on buggy products

The unexpected is always around, even in titles with solid mechanics. Resident Evil presents and unfair pattern that offer and unstable vitality to each zombie. Some could be wasted with 3 bullets, others could empty your magazine.

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Goldeneye for N64 integrates enemies trained by John Rambo; it’s the only reasonable explanation for their endurance against bullets. Or maybe they are wearing head-bulletproofs. Sometimes these soldiers can be alive after a rain of bullets.

Gambling inside games

Put a game of chance inside another game. This crazy idea has been introduced before. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas included a poker game. Red Dead Redemption was the king in this facet. Poker and liar’s dice could be enjoined in the Rockstar’s western. Paddy Power online games include a huge variety of games of chance and ordinary developments.

Procedural games

This is the new black. Games like Daylight or The Binding of Isaac randomly generated their maps. Each round is different to another one. The gameplay needs to be balanced in these kinds of proposals, but give to the player and incentive to play the same game again keeping just the essence.

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