GDC is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

View, browse and sort the ever-growing list of sessions by pass type, topic, and format. With this Session Scheduler, you can build your schedule in advance and access it during the show via export or with the GDC Mobile App, once live. Sessions do fill up so please arrive early to sessions that you would like to attend. Adding a session to your schedule does not guarantee you a seat.

Board Game Design Summit: Random Is the Enemy: Collating Collectible Card/Board Games

Eric Engelhard (Lead Designer , WizKids Games)

Pass Type: All Access Pass, Core+Summits Pass, Summits Pass - Get your pass now!

Topic: Board Game Design

Format: Session

Vault Recording: TBD

If your collectible board, card or video game is using only RNG-based methods to collate boosters or key game elements, you may be missing a trick. Pseudo-random packouts allow you to take control of the user experience while maintaining unpredictability. With 11 years' experience creating 100+ custom collations for physical games, HeroClix lead designer Eric Engelhard dives deep into an analysis of game collation, sharing key best practices.

This presentation discusses how to find the best rarities, items per rarity, set sizes, costs-to-collect, and other metrics that define his games' most successful collations. In the talk, Eric also demonstrates the basics of tuning collations to optimize the booster-opening experience. Collation is too often an afterthought of a game's design, but well-designed and managed collations can turn potential disappointed consumers into dedicated collectors and players.


Attendees will gain a basic understanding of how packout collation works for physical games, and the advantages it can offer over RNG-based methods. Attendees can use the strategies discussed to evaluate and improve collation in their own games.

Intended Audience

This presentation is intended for anyone interested in the collation of random elements in games, especially games that are collectible in some way. No prerequisite knowledge is necessary.