The Truth About 20-Sided Dice:
There are a limited number of “twenties” in any given d20. That is, no matter how many times you roll a d20, you cannot roll another twenty once the supply has run out. These twenties can only be replenished by rolling a corresponding one with the same die. Thus every gamer is duty-bound to protect their supply of good rolls. If a friend rolls a twenty using your die, not only have they stolen your good roll, but they have doomed you to the extra one required to replenish the twenty.
Some players get excited when they roll several twenties in a row, concluding the dice are “hot”. Don’t make this blunder! This is like driving your car for 400 miles without gassing up, and then concluding that your car is a perpetual motion machine. After a few good rolls, pass the die off to an unwitting companion and let them charge it up for you.
Statisticians have known about this behavior for years. They call it “the probability seesaw”. Unlike the bell-shaped curve, in the seesaw system the odds of rolling high or low is directly proportional to what has been rolled in the past. They usually pretend this isn’t true. If a statistician hands you a die insisting that “any given roll has the same odds of rolling a one or a twenty”, it means he’s handing you a depleted die in the hopes of taking advantage of you. Don’t fall for it!
Now the secret is yours. Please put this knowledge to good use*.
*By “good use” I mean, “take advantage of other players”.
Shamus Plays WOW
Ever wondered what's in all those quest boxes you've never bothered to read? Get ready: They're more insane than you might expect.
Programming Language for Games
Game developer Jon Blow is making a programming language just for games. Why is he doing this, and what will it mean for game development?
id Software Coding Style
When the source code for Doom 3 was released, we got a look at some of the style conventions used by the developers. Here I analyze this style and explain what it all means.
There are two major schools of thought about how you should write software. Here's what they are and why people argue about it.
Batman v. Superman Wasn't All Bad
It's not a good movie, but it was made with good intentions and if you look closely you can find a few interesting ideas.