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Session Name:

Beyond Spreadsheets: Building a Metagame Simulator for Balance and Prototyping


Modern metagames have become increasingly sprawling and complex, and yet the tools for balancing them have not kept up. David Morris discusses a new approach to metagame balance that makes this task tractable not by abstracting away the complexity of the system but by embracing every detail of it, which is to say, by simulating it. Sharing his experience of creating so-called "metagame simulators" on multiple projects, he discusses their impact on the development cycle as well as specific examples that demonstrate the simulator's strengths as a tool for giving designers intuitive access to the non-linear, cacophonous system that is their metagame. He also discusses how the simulator creates the possibility of "pre-analytics", which is the analysis of metagame simulator data that takes place before the actual metagame is even built.

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  • GDC 2019
  • David Morris
  • Spryfox
  • free content
  • Design
  • Design