If there are two concepts that are opposed to one another in game design they would have to be skill and RNG (or Random Number Generator). They each have their own foundation in action and RPG design respectively, and many games that try to combine the two face an uphill battle. Understanding what both elements mean for progression is essential for any game designer who wants to skillfully roll the dice.
Thanks to sales and developer press keys, I’ve played a lot of rogue-like and rogue-light designed titles this year. And outside of a few standouts (Dead Cells, Slay the Spire), I keep finding myself returning to the Binding of Isaac. BOI is not the most complicated rogue-like on the market, but what it does well is that secret sauce that I feel a lot of rogue-like designers are not figuring out.
Persistent systems have become an effective way of smoothing out the difficulty curves of rogue-likes, and provide replayability and progression to many video games. Despite their popularity, there are ways to cause the player to lose interest in replaying a game.