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"What is the goal of RNG?"

Discussion in 'Game Design' started by AndrewGrayGames, Nov 18, 2015.

  1. AndrewGrayGames

    AndrewGrayGames

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    Useful! From EC:

     
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  2. RockoDyne

    RockoDyne

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    Meh... okay, some of it is just because they keep talking about hearthstone, and part of it is probably because it's way too short for the topic being covered. I get to the end of these RNG videos and wonder if I actually took something away from it.
     
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  3. Ryiah

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    I feel like I took nothing from this video which seems fairly normal for me with this series. Either their explanations simply don't click for me or they're covering far too much at far too rapid a pace. This is why I generally don't like video tutorials.

    What is the goal of randomness? Simply to add variation to the game as yet another mechanic you need to learn to work with or around in order to be successful. It may even allow you to beat an opponent who is far better skilled than you.
     
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  4. GarBenjamin

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    Yeah I don't get into all of these videos and so forth trying to focus on every detail of game design. It just seems rather pointless to me. Randomization is just something you use when you need to use it. Plain and simple. It isn't locked into any one use case. If you have a game with a character firing a gun you can jazz it up a bit by applying some slight randomness to the velocities of the bullets. Makes it look more interesting. If you have sound FX, and this could be anything from the footsteps of a character to most any sound it can get annoying hearing the exact same sound over and over again so you just apply a tiny range of randomization to the pitch and this can make a big difference for the better. Of course, obvious stuff like randomizing the time an enemy reacts to an event, the path it takes or better still providing multiple options for it choose in the current scenario and introducing a small random chance for it to choose one of the alternatives. It is all just basic common sense and people trying so hard to put this stuff "into a bottle" is just annoying really.

    As you said the goal is just to add variation to some element of the game. Basically to keep it from becoming overly repetitive, overly predictable or quite simply stale.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2015
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  5. Master-Frog

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    :/
     
  6. hippocoder

    hippocoder

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    Yeah I'm with Gar. If I'm going to listen to someone, it will be someone I admire based on their existing body of work in game development. TOP men. And women. And all the bits in between I can't be bothered to be PC about. Love you guys too, there's just too many.
     
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  7. Tomnnn

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    Yea, deciding to call that a "spectrum" was a bad idea, because spectrums have an infinite series between any 2 points on it that you could pick. In the quest for finding an identity without enumerating the types, they're only going to get more lost. If not 1 or 0, maybe 1.5. Maybe 1.51 or 1.52. Maybe 1.511 or 1.5112. The variables in place show it to be an uphill battle even if they are widely accepted :D The point - how can you be politically correct on something that is not a finite series? If everyone wants to be addressed uniquely, there are an infinite number of addresses to be made and we'll still be offending some people :confused:

    as for the topic...

    RNG by itself is no fun. Let's look at diablo 3 as an example. Kill a boss, get nothing. Kill some underling, get several legendary quality items. Some players go minutes between finding new legendary items. Some players, years later, have yet to see certain items! RNG by itself for the whole mechanic just sucks the fun and purpose out of everything.

    There should always be bounds in place to make things reasonable.

    EXAMPLE

    50% chance for something to happen suggests that over a long enough period of time, things happen 1 out of 2 times. But in a game you might not want that to happen so frequently. You know that in true randomness, something with a 99% chance to happen could not happen hundreds of times in a row. I think that blizzard did this to diablo. The attempt to appear to be truly random has added extra random on the random so your 50% chances for things to happen can fail indefinitely.
     
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  8. Master-Frog

    Master-Frog

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    Don't forget about numbers greater than infinity!
     
  9. Master-Frog

    Master-Frog

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    Randomness is used for time reasons, like when you know you want 1/10 enemies to drop a certain item, because each enemy takes 6 seconds to find and kill and you want to make a quest to find 3 items take 3 minutes.

    It is used when you are simulating something too complex and you just need a quick abstraction. Like above, why do only 1/10 enemies have the item? You could invent an entire trade economy to figure out enemy inventories... or you could just say, eh, 1/10 enemies have these.

    But the best part is sometimes random numbers surprise you. Nothing wierder than something that happens 1/50 times happening 3 times in a row.

    Random is your friend. Learn to use it well.
     
  10. RockoDyne

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    That's just to fuel the skinner box and keep people coked up. For the most part it's not even an aspect of gameplay.

    Actually, so far no one has mentioned a real reason for random elements in gameplay, and it's not not that complicated. Does the player have a plan? *rolls dice* Not anymore. There you go. It's taking deterministic play, and forcing adaption to be a part of it.
     
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  11. Master-Frog

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    Unless your plan takes into account reasonable expectations of and the constraints of the random values. Remember... it's not truly random.
     
  12. Kiwasi

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    It probably is time for them to move on from hearthstone. They've been on the game for a while. Still, it's a nice change from dark souls. And it is one of the few games around with all of the numbers exposed so obviously.

    I do enjoy the extra credits guys. But you've got to remember they are entertainers as much as serious game designers.

    On range itself I always find the civ series interesting. Early play tests indicated that true random combat didn't satisfy players. If a combat has 50% odds that means that there is a 25% chance of losing twice in a row. And a 12.5% chance of loosing three times in succession. That hardly seemed fair to players. So the game doesn't use true random rolls at all. The rolls are weighted according to the historical rolls.
     
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  13. Tomnnn

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    I just had a great idea! But the joy in watching everyone fight over it is worth more to me than money, so I'll post it publicly in the forums :D

    A die or dice that have a little gyroscope and wireless transmitter and knows which direction was up, and it transmits the number it is to whatever application is listening. You can use it for anything, just write the application(s) to listen for that emit event. Maybe have it transmit to several applications at once. Maybe use it to build a digital board game with fair rolls not predetermined by [digital] rng.

    I like the idea.
     
  14. Kiwasi

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    @Tomnnn: You should check out Golem Arcana. I believe it uses a similar concept.
     
  15. Tomnnn

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    Well I was more focused on dice that could broadcast their dice rolls over bluetooth / wifi than having a digitally enhanced board game - though that sounds nice too.

    I wonder what it would cost to build a die with little tech in it to detect which direction is up, or the opposite of which direction is receiving the least amount of light.
     
  16. Ryiah

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    Last edited: Nov 21, 2015
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  17. Master-Frog

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    @Tomnnn - Remember how I am always carrying on about how anything you can think of already exists?
     
  18. AndrewGrayGames

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    So why don't Replicators exist? :(
     
  19. Aiursrage2k

    Aiursrage2k

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    If your playing a board game like risk and its all about dice rolling, theres nothing better if you are beating the pants off the attacker (lets say you had like 20 men and you won with 3 defenders). If you are playing binding of issac, sometimes you are going to get some runs that are so overpowered or underpowered and thats part of the charm, if things are always "balanced" or too similar then the game will quickly become boring. Its probably games like Binding of issac people playing the game over 1000s of times and some games are like 1 and done.

    I havent played hearthstone before, but I bet people arent playing just 1 time but hundredsif you are going to want keep people interested your going to want something that will shake up the gameplay (so you dont little delta changes but big ones).
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2015
  20. Master-Frog

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    It's not future o' clock yet.
     
  21. Tomnnn

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    No, my memory is pretty bad :D

    Yea, that's about what I was imagining. Do they have an interface for other things? My googling only finds tablets n stuff.
     
  22. Ryiah

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    @Tomnnn: I'm thinking they're still a prototype at this point. Or possibly the concept didn't take off.
     
  23. Tomnnn

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    That article is from 2013 though :eek: If it's not commercial, it's dead.
     
  24. CarterG81

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    I find it kindof humorous (ironic? i dont understand that term! ergh!) that so many here are pointing out how, just like is often the case, EC isn't...uh... this mind-blowing video series? that it's not the best?, but on places like r/gamedev, anytime anyone asks for advice on game design all that they get is a hundred posts linking to EC. Other answers / alternative links are so barren in the comments that you can only end thinking, "...Is that it? EC is all we've got? Damn...seriously?"

    Not because EC is bad, but because it seems very...how you say....basic? Lacking in depth? Too fast? Idk.

    Not sure if it's funny. I meant humorous kindof in the way where I am disappointed and want to shove a brick into my brain rather than read a hundred posts linking EC over and over and over again. A brick into brain. Dark comedy? o_O Sorry, I am at a loss for words in this entire post. Hope I conveyed my idea at least somewhat... legibly?

    WORDS ARE HARD!


    UNACCEPTABLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
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  25. Ryiah

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    Yes, they were taking quite the gamble that it would catch on. It apparently didn't roll onto the market like they hoped. :p
     
  26. hippocoder

    hippocoder

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    hahah! the worst are the best. Business is dicey.
     
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  27. Tomnnn

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    I wonder how many people will catch both puns.
     
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  28. LMan

    LMan

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    Hey I love EC- and truth be told, I'm fascinated by this concept of curves and visualizing balance, pacing, ect in a way that you can get a read on how those things work across your entire game. That's something that it hadn't occurred to me to try. One mind rarely surprises itself, naturally. It's nice to get some different angles and perspectives.

    Looking at what they try to aim for in their videos, I'd say they hit their niche just about right- hobbyists and people exploring an interest in game design and development. They go a long way to be as accessible as possible- Dan's voice is pitched up and the visuals are cartoony and lighthearted. Episodes are short in an effort to be digestible, but they touch on some very deep concepts that seem to be meant to introduce a new way of thinking about games to people who previously have only been consumers of the media. I don't think that means EC is useless to more experienced developers, but I do think its plenty reason for a lot of people on the edge of their target to feel disappointed with a significant amount of their work.
     
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  29. hippocoder

    hippocoder

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    It would be a horrific experience if game developers made love like they analyse game design. If you read into this, what I'm really saying is, it's possible to be so analytic about a subject, that it becomes generic and un-fun. After all do we not find beauty in imperfection?
     
  30. Tomnnn

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    I agree. I'm a monogamous man myself, so I personally think it would be quite horrific if love making was a collaborative effort with a whole team.
     
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  31. AndrewGrayGames

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    Note to self - don't let @Ryiah get rolling! Her puns could poker someone's eye out...

    This is why I use EC videos as conversation-starters, and don't take them as gospel. They have useful ideas in them - the mathematical effect of randomness is a good thing to consider, in this video's case - but the scope of an EC video usually just isn't big enough to be a strong source of instruction to noobs like me.

    Further, sometimes their ideas clash with the reality of stuff they talk about. In the 'scope' video, they pretty much dismiss JRPGs as an inherently un-fun genre centered around menu-based combat, when A) the actual primary mechanic is incrementing a sequence counter, but that's because B) as their earlier examination of JRPGs revealed, the JRPG is pretty much RPG mechanics bolted onto visual novels in the first place. A JRPG is a storybook with some interactivity included. Also, C) people do find JRPGs fun - just ask H.C. Bailly some time - and the number of people who do are large enough that you can't simply dismiss it as, "oh those trollops have no taste!"

    Lastly...unfortunately, EC is among the best we have in game design resources, though the Game Design Zen podcasts from @Gigiwoo are pretty useful in their own right.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2015
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  32. Azmar

    Azmar

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    I guess not many people here with Computer Science degree's or Software Engineering degree's. Besides that video, the "Goal of RNG" is dependant on the probability distribution you want to use. Everyone blindly uses uniformly distributed given from random.range, without actually know what it really is or does. Yet there are insane amount of probability distributions you could use to determine the outcome of RNG. So for example if you have a "weighted" roll of a die or maybe a rigged spinning wheel, what type of distributions would you use?
     
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  33. Kiwasi

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    That's an interesting question. Game designs I have seen typically stick to one of three distributions.
    • Uniform. As in rolling one die or choosing from a random set
    • Normal. As in rolling several dice, or adding several random number together
    • Historical weighted. As in drawing from a deck of cards
    There are several games out there they play with the range of distribution. Diablo II often involved choices between builds with high distribution, (and much higher max damage), or the more reliable, but less potentially powerful choices. The same theme is seen throughout many games.

    Pandemic (board game) had an interesting card drawing mechanic. At regular intervals the discard pile would be shuffled and placed on top of the draw pile. Meaning over the course of the game some cards had a high chance of being drawn multiple times and others not at all.

    I'm wondering if the subtlety of any more complex distribution systems might be lost on players. Plus there is that most distribution models, when combined, take on a normal distribution.
     
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  34. Azmar

    Azmar

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    Interesting, now I am very curious on what type of distribution is used for stochastic systems. Like say I have a 75% chance to do something (land a debuff on enemy), and 25% deterministic. I would assume most people just just uniform as they don't know any better, but what do the AAA companies do? Also if I had several AI options to choose from, but I prefer some scenarios more.
     
  35. Tomnnn

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    Blizzard will try to give you "true random" so your 75% chance is more like something between 1% and 100% in terms of your success rate. Some players will get 1 in 1000 for a 75% chance, some people will get 900 in 1000 for a 75% chance. Because in true random that chance isn't out of a sample, it's just your odds per roll.
     
  36. Dreamaster

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    For things like "epic loot drops" I've found that (true random) to be a horrible mechanic (especially when the odds go out to 1:1000 or higher). Psuedo-Random is the way to go... something like if you want 1 in 100 "odds" then make sure by the time you reach 100th kill you GET a drop... so it becomes less a question of "if" and more of a question of "when", and likewise, go ahead and cap it to 3 drops per 100 kills.

    It guarantees "hard work gets rewarded".
     
  37. Tomnnn

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    I think they added in a cumulative'combat-time-safety-net so you can't be engaged in combat for more than 2 or 3 hours without getting an item. But even that isn't enough since 80% of the items do nothing and have worst stats than ordinary rare/magic items :p
     
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  38. Aiursrage2k

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    What game has the extra credit guy ever made
     
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  39. Azmar

    Azmar

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    Shots taken!
     
  40. GarBenjamin

    GarBenjamin

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    He's too busy studying games and teaching others what makes a game good and bad to be making games himself. Only so much time you know!
     
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  41. RockoDyne

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    James, the main one doing the writing, works as a consultant I believe. The big one that's always cited is Modern Warfare/ CoD4.
    Dan, the voice, does animation. Where exactly? I don't know. Probably the Seattle area.
     
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