CGD Podcast Episode 23 – “On Games At the Games”, A Conversation with Frank Lantz

Frank_Lantz_at_work_in_area_code_offices This week I had a great conversation with NYU Game Center director Frank Lantz about randomness and general game design philosophy. We meant to get to three other topics - execution, reading and improvisation, but not all-that-surprisingly, we never got there in the 70+ minutes of this episode. Mentioned in this episode:

Frank's "Against Design" article

David Deutsch's The Beginning of Infinity

Nassim Taleb's The Black Swan

Nick Bostrom's Superintelligence

  Let me know what you thought of the conversation in the comments below (if you're lucky, Frank may even be hovering nearby to respond!) If you enjoyed the show, please consider supporting the show by becoming a patron at Patreon.com!

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Randomness and Game Design

For thousands of years, we've relied on randomness of various kinds to help our interactive systems work. While there will always be a place for randomness of all sorts in some kinds of interactive systems, I believe the current assumptions with regard to randomness in strategy games are largely wrong. The major point I'd like to make is that noise injected between a player's choice and the result (here referred to as output randomness) does not belong in a strategy game. dice

What is "randomness"?

For the purposes of this article, randomness refers to "information that enters the game state which is not supposed to ever be predictable." The process by which random information is generated is designed to be something that humans can never figure out. Classic examples of random systems are rolling dice, shuffling cards, or random number generators. (more…)

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