[MUD-Dev] [DGN] The psychology of random numbers

Daniel.Harman at barclayscapital.com Daniel.Harman at barclayscapital.com
Wed Jan 28 11:18:53 New Zealand Daylight Time 2004


From: Brian Hook [mailto:brianhook at pyrogon.com]

> So to fix that, you have to do a biased PRNG that takes into
> account the last success, assigns a sliding bias as that time
> grows.

> Which most definitely isn't random, but it FEELS more random.

That harks back to the thread on here a while back concerning
fudging the random numbers. Interesting to hear field experience
that suggest players actually like it.

I think Ben Hawes has a valid point in his post where he suggests
that people expect gaussian distributions, and not the typical flat
distributions that rnd() should produce. So in the case of your
puzzle game, perhaps intuitively they expected you to roll the
interval until the next bonus using a gaussian distribution mean 7
with SD of 2 or so. This of course forces you to store state
describing when the next event will occur, which most programmers
will naturally avoid prefering to be stateless checking against a
percentage periodically. With the stateful approach you won't get
much streakiness and will imho better fit player expectations. Of
course having a sliding bias does pretty much the same thing.

Dan
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