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On Luck and Randomness In Games 156

Gamasutra has an article analyzing random events in games, and how they can add or subtract to a player's experience. It looks at the different ways luck plays a part in games; from landing a critical strike instead of a miss to the scatter of a shotgun blast to waiting for that blasted straight piece in Tetris. "Game developers are sometimes faced with similarly challenging decisions when contemplating whether to include some kind of deliberate randomness. For example, in the video game Unreal Tournament, when a player shoots at a target with the 'enforcer' weapon, the projectile does not necessarily hit the point that is aimed at; a random deviation is added that scatters shots. This introduces a degree of realism from an observer's perspective and no doubt gives beginners a fair chance against more experienced players, but it can also potentially frustrate skilled players."

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