Inside the Best Randomization Systems in Gaming

One of the most debated aspects of popular video games is randomness. On the one hand, random outcomes add an element of chance to video games. It breaks up the action and adds a dose of reality into a repeating scheme. For example, not knowing which move a character will pull in a game like Super Smash Bros. Melee adds to the excitement.

On the other hand, randomization can be highly discouraging in games that require high levels of accuracy, hand-eye coordination, and expert handling of the controller. This is especially true for FPS titles like Call of Duty and XCOM. Still, overall, randomness is an exceedingly important aspect of gaming—and it has its origin in the table games of yore.

For example, modern roulette relies on the same random number generators that many video games use, not only in its traditional landbased version, but also online on specialized platforms like PokerStars Casino. These digital RNGs create new combinations of numbers through a variety of methods, from algorithms to hardware devices. And roulette’s most popular strategies are all about how to strategize regarding probabilities and outcomes.

In this sense, many experienced players rely on a system like the Martingale or its popular counterpart, the Reverse Martingale system, or even the latest development in roulette strategy, the Grand Martingale Strategy. The original prescribes doubling a bet each time a player loses, while the reverse system asks players to increase their bet only after winning. The Grand Martingale mirrors the original—just on a larger scale.

So, which popular titles get randomization right in the scheme of a video game? Let’s take a look at three titles that incorporate randomness successfully.

So what popular titles achieve randomness in the scheme of a video game? Let's take a look at three titles that successfully incorporate randomness.

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Inside the best randomization systems in games - randomization

Rust, Map Randomization

Oftentimes, randomization is applied to video game mechanics. This means that attempted moves won’t pan out uniformly. However, not all RNGs are used in this way. The creators of Rust, an open-world MMO survival game, use a ‘procedural map’ to infuse randomness into their Rust Experimental game mode.

This means that each time a player spawns, the map regenerates in a totally new setup. All of the landmarks remain the same, just shuffled into a fresh position. Developers have struck a winning combination by giving players recognizable landmarks that make gameplay easier—just in a totally new arrangement that adds a dose of freshness.

Within the best randomization systems in games - rust maps. jpg

Dungeons of Dredmor, Random Skill Assignment

Dungeons of Dredmor is a roguelike video game which requires players to navigate a 2D space (a dungeon, in this case). Players face surprising challenges as they navigate a monster-infested dungeon, relying on a specific set of character skills and random objects to reach their goal.

The game’s indie developers decided to create more challenges by embedding a Random Skill Assignment option. This means that players start the game without choosing which skills and objects their character has. For long-time fans of Dungeons of Dredmor, this simple randomization extends the game’s fun by hours and challenges them to find new solutions at each level.

Inside the best randomization systems in games - dungeons of dremondor

Skyrim, Alternate Starting Location Randomizer Mod

As mentioned above, not all gamers are RNG enthusiasts. But, as demonstrated by the randomization features in Rust and Dungeons of Dredmor, some players actively seek out randomization to improve their gaming experience. In fact, some gamers purposefully alter their PC titles with ‘randomizer mods’.

A randomizer mod is a type of software that can be uploaded into a game in order to randomize certain outcomes. This includes elements like items, character skillsets, and even NPC enemies. Each mod is slightly different in how it changes a game.

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The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, for example, includes multiple randomizer mods. The RPG is one of the most popular action games on the market, requiring players to painstakingly develop their character over a massive open-world scheme. One of the game’s most popular randomizer mods lets gamers start from an alternative location with a random class starting kit. Best of all, this mod can even be uploaded into the game’s VR version, a technology that is increasingly relevant even for anime games.

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