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Session Name:

Cards, Dice, and RNGs: Using Randomness Intentionally


Randomness is a ubiquitous design tool, and one that can make and break gameplay in confounding ways. But even among the best designers, there is a tendency to apply it without proper care or to run up against the limits of a hazy memory of probability math. This presentation provides a formal toolkit and a practical framework for making day-to-day design decisions about how, when, and why to use which randomization mechanics, gleaned from the best and worst examples from digital and tabletop gaming. Designers are empowered to keep their designs on track, apply randomness with intention towards specific goals, empower their players to manage randomness, and notice, diagnose and fix problems when they arise.

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