Few weeks ago Michał Oracz wrote article about randomness in games and explained why he tend to put randomness into every of his designs. If by any chance you haven’t read his article yet, here is a link. I must agree with Michał and I must confess that I also – on purpose! – put randomness into my designs. Today I’d like to add small appendix to Michał’s article and explain what exactly randomness in games means to me. And why I try to add it to every game I design.
I have this gamers group here in Gliwice. I don’t play with them, but I know they are active and once a while I ask them to help me. Some of them helped me with Pret-a-Porter, some other helped me with Robinson. I totally disagree with their approach to our hobby, I regularly provoke them and try to irritate them and poke and… Yeah, we banter a lot. Really. A lot.
They are those hardcore gamers who play only Trajan, Agricola, Brass, Le Havre, Caylus… They play every Friday. They call it League. They have ranking, prizes and all that stuff. And they hate randomness. They try all those heaviest possible euro games and after one play they decide if the game was good enough to be part of the League and may be played as a part of ‘playing for ranking’. If there is any luck in the game, the game is lost.
Yeah, that kind of gamers. You know them. Or perhaps you are one of them. These heavy euros maniacs are everywhere. And so many of them is afraid of luck element. They are afraid of unknown. They are afraid of uncountable. They are afraid that things will suddenly turn in unexpected direction and all their calculations are worth nothing.
I make fun of them every time I meet them. I make fun of their fears. I say that they are poor players.
Random element in the games bring unexpected to the table. And along with unexpected, it brings challenge. It throws troubles right into your face and say: ‘Deal with it.’ It makes you improvise. It makes you adjust your plans and strategy It makes you think with tension, it puts ‘Fuck!’ word into your mouth and makes you crawl to get out of unexpected troubles. It gives emotions. It makes you prove your worth.
Randomness lets you prove you are best. No matter what.
Randomness throw some horrible shit in your way. Now you try to win. Do your best.
And if you win… Yeah, that’s the feeling.