Games and Math – they don’t go very well together. Maths signifies boredom and Games signify the destruction thereof. But if you carefully look at the most viral games of the smartphone industry, you’ll see a tacitly strong link between the game’s success and it’s mathematical structure. Don’t worry, I’ll explain what I mean in a moment.
When you play a game, you are rewarded for completing certain tasks. This reward comes in many different form – coins and gems being the most popular ones. Lets take the example of the viral strategy game called ‘Clash of Clans’.
There are 3 currencies in the game – coins, elixir and gems. And each of these currencies have specific functions :
Coins – buying and upgrading buildings
Elixir – Training armies
Gems – Speeding up progress of the game
(the functions have been simplified)
The mathematical relations between these 3 currencies determine how fast the game progresses. Also you get rewarded for winning battles – the rewards come in the form of coins, elixir and trophies. How much the player is rewarded is an important factor in determining how fun it is to play the game. If the rewards are too low, it would take forever to win a sizable amount of rewards, making the gameplay boring. In the case that the rewards are set too high, the game progresses rapidly and the fun ends much too soon.
Another facet of the game is that you get gems for achieving certain milestones in the gameplay – eg. 20 gems for winning 500 battles (just an example). If the reward for these achievements were set too high or low, or the achievements themselves were too difficult or too easy to accomplish, then the game would not be as succesful as it is now.
The success of a game, or any sport , depends on its numbers. So if anyone told you, being great at maths is not important for making games, they lied.