A thought on randomness in games and maps


#1

So I’ve seen in several threads discussion of randomness in games: Random maps being one of the big “pie in the sky” sort of ideas.

Obvious random map generation is really tough to balance and even make playable in a lot of ways but I wonder if there’s a similar but elegant solution.

Using the maps we already have, but totally randomizing the races that appear in each settlement, the starting races, and the zombie races.

Yes, it would result in less than ideal situations where Dwarves are appearing swamps, trolls in the desert and so on… but overall, I think it would create some really interesting dynamics and games.

I think it would also force people to really look at a map and plan their deck accordingly, and each play through might require a slightly different deck to function optimally.

Goblin woods is my go to example on this. How many ways are there to beat the map? Can you imagine how different the game would play if there was diversity in which races were available and in what quantities? Even facing off against a hodgepodge of zombies, with a chance of seeing other bosses besides MoC and JK would add an element of uncertainty not currently present.

Anyway, just a thought.


#2

A lot of the “weirdness” can be avoided by using randomness with a pretty concrete ruleset. I don’t think “pure-random” ever needs to be a thing in video games. Carefully constructed “pseudo-random” has all the benefits and more, but is a hell of a lot more work to get right - though it might not be worth the cost. That said, minor layers like only Orcs, Trolls, and Gobbos in swamps for example could be an easy rule to still allow randomness and variety, and be fast to implement.

I agree on the high level value of randomness on the maps and it adding more replay-ability to Goblin Woods. There is a lot of value in having a map you can go to, strategize, play out, fail, and learn from. Repeat until you win, much like a puzzle game. As the difficulty increases and folks learn mechanics the value of more replayable variable maps increases. It’s something I’d very much like to see too. (Maybe even with fog of war!)


#3

Yeah, I mentioned in the other thread, I think this could be a cool, fun, alternative way to play.

I think the core game play will always be working out how to play a specific map optimally, but I think there could be some kind of fun mode where you could have a large randomised map.


#4

It’s tricky cause you’ve kinda dipped your toe in the water already of randomized content with random starting hand/card draw. While the game is certainly much more on the puzzle/optimize a particular layout or level at present there is enough of that being captured to still be a variable experience. I haven’t come this close to the razor’s edge on most levels I’m sure there will be some levels that’ll be solved with a certain starting hand but unbeatable with another.