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Random Is the Enemy: Collating Collectible Card/Board Games

Eric Engelhard  (Lead Designer, WizKids Games)

Date: Thursday, August 6

Time: 5:00pm - 5:30pm

Pass Type: Conference Pass - Get your pass now!

Topic: Design

Format: Session

Vault Recording: Video

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.