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Session Name:

Math for Game Programmers: Balancing TCGs With Algebra, Not Magic


The foundation of any digital or physical card game necessarily lies in its balance, such that most cards are useful without any being dominant. While balance can be left to (error-prone) designer intuition or suggested post-release by analytics the ability to balance cards algebraically can dramatically reduce guesswork and playtest times for new cards and sets. Attendees will learn techniques for deriving cost/benefit curves for existing games, thereby objectively identifying unbalanced gameplay elements and aiding in the design of new ones. These methods easily extend to other genres in which costs are balanced against utility.

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  • GDC 2016
  • Ian Schreiber
  • Rochester Institute of Technology
  • free content
  • Programming
  • Programming