In Statistically Speaking, It’s Probably a Good Game Tyler Sigman gives a primer on probability from a game design perspective. He covers some basic mathematical facts of probability, but also talks about common misunderstandings.
Mike says: Randomized elements are so common in games that this article is more than worth a read, even if you think you know all it might have to say. I learned a bit more by digging through wikipedia after being inspired by some of this piece, particularly the fleeting mention of Binomial Distributions.
Richard says: The “quiz time” questions are thought provoking and even got me to laugh a bit. And no, the math isn’t the funny part. The last two paragraphs on page 1 describes the role and challenge of a game designer well.
“It’s pretty common to hear designers debating or waxing poetic on the finer points of linear or non-linear storytelling, human psychology, control ergonomics, or the integration of non-interactive sequences; less often do you catch them mulling over the bare bones details of the hard sciences like calculus, physics, or statistics. ” ~ Tyler Sigman
I don’t know how common it is for designers to talk about “control ergonomics,” but I like the point Tyler makes. The math part of game design is one of the hardest aspects to discuss among players and designers.