Dice Math and Games

or How I learned that Math can be used for fun stuff.

Who am I?
Dr. Adam ‘Doc’ Brackin (adambrackin.com) Research Assistant Professor at UT:Dallas Author of various things Editor for I-D.net Transmedia Author (ARGs, Timewasters, Games, RPGs)

What is a “GAME?”

Some Vocabulary…

What is a GAME?

DEFINED RULES
DEFINED SPACE GIVEN SET OF COMPONENTS SET OF VICTORY CONDITIONS

What is a VIDEO Game?

“A (computer) video game is an electronic game that involves interaction with a user interface to generate visual feedback on a video device.”

(Source: Wikipedia)

What is Gameplay?

“…the component of (computer) games that is found in no other art form: interactivity! ___________”

Rouse p.xx

What is Game Design?
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form of the gameplay!” “…what determines the _______ (or) Coming up with an “idea” for a game and fleshing it out on paper or some other similar method – usually referred to as the game design document.

Rouse p.xxi

What is Game Design?
(or the one I like…)

The act of deciding what a game should be.

Schell p.xxiv

Game Development:
The process of “making a game” (often from a game design document) so that it is in a playable format.

Games can be used to…

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Simulate Things (Whole worlds!) Tell Stories Teach Complicated Things Encourage Creativity Foster Cooperation Have Fun! (Duh!) (…and a bunch of other stuff!)

Math is extremely important!

What would games be without dice? Why do we use them?

Source: Gary Gygax “AD&D” ©1979

Understanding probability is the key to balancing a game well.

There is a BIG difference between linear probability and a bell curve!

So let’s play a story game using math and probability.

Doc BRACKIN‟S „SIMPLE RPG SYSTEM‟ -- DEMO
(The product of literally MINUTES of design and testing.)
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YOU HAVE 10 CHARACTER POINTS MUST HAVE AT LEAST 1 PT IN EACH SPEND THEM IN MIND/BODY/SPIRIT ADD UP EACH COMBINATION AND PUT THEM IN THE MIDDLE SLOTS (Psyche/Willpower/Stamina) WAIT FOR FURTHER INSTRUCTIONS (I WILL TELL YOU YOUR “CLASS”)

You are at work in a secret government building known as “Area 43”

Spend one BONUS point into the highest middle slot – tied? Choose! CLASS is determined by the highest stat:
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Mind/Body = WILLPOWER – You are a Scientist (with a portable “Mind” Computer) Body/Spirit = STAMINA – You are a Soldier (with a “Body” Gun) Spirit/Mind = PSYCHE – You are an Alien (prisoner with “Spirit” mental powers)

THE GAMEPLAY RULE written three ways:  “Every (CLASS) with at least a (ROLL) in (TRAIT) succeeds in (ACTION)  If C = True, and R > T, then A = Success!  If your class agrees to do something, roll under the related trait to succeed.

**What dice combination should we use?**

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