Except in board games.
Well…too much math is a problem. I actually really enjoy a good math-y game but as a designer I have to be aware of how much is too much. I don’t know if this is a product of societies’ running joke that math is supposed to be hard or people not wanted to run too many numbers through their head when they are in a state of play. As frustrating as the running joke is, I understand when people don’t want to remember and run more than a few numbers through their head.
So as designers, what are we to do about the math in our games?
My short answer is, I think we should keep our intended audience in mind and if possible, remove as much of the math as possible. I say that because when I work on games, I want to appeal to as wide a market as possible. If you really want to go for the math fans out there, make your game math-y.
Honestly, I think this a massive topic that needs to be addressed over the course of several posts. What I want you to take away from this is that math is a major driver of games. We need to make sure we are using it in the right way and not abusing the quantity of math we want our players to use. If you can find a way to reduce the math to zero, awesome. That does not mean the math doesn’t exist, it means the math has been hidden. Super easy in digital games, a major challenge in board games. We need to be aware of the math we did not intend to create but exists.
We will explore all of this over the course of time and see where we go. What math related design challenges have you come across in your games and how did you fix them? Leave us a comment and we can discuss.
If you have any comments or questions, leave a comment here or email Chris at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have made it this far, would you like to go a little farther? We have a regular Google hangout with other designers. We talk about the games we are working on and share helpful tips and ideas on how to make designing our game easier. We meetup every other Saturday. Either comment here or tweet me or email me and I will add you to the list and send you a link to the Google hangout.