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Dice Rolling and Randomness

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IngredientX
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Joined: 07/26/2008
Re: I'm in favor of limited use of dice.

One more nice thing about dice... their tactile feel means they're a great stand-in for any supposed "physical" action that is supposed to have happened in a game. Resource rolls in Settlers of Catan and climate rolls in Evo are fine and dandy, but in any game where you have to "attack" something, dice are a hoot. It gives you the feeling that you're doing something. And in a game like Titan, where the strongest characters roll a ridiculous amount of dice, the feeling of power must be great. Good thing to know, if you're working on a game and you need it to feel more "physical."

daem0n_faust
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Dice Rolling and Randomness

Nice, it's like taking two sides in the ball game. One's saying Titan's dice rolling is fun and all, and then the other guy sez, Titan blows. So, whose opinion matters? Both! The violence is tremendous and the dice issue became so expanded right before my very eyes.

Okay, so what is the cost of having a dice-dependent combat? First, I think, is that it bogs the game because rolls just take too long than simple arithmetic (toughness - power) method. By analyzing your replies up there, I think the better way to do this is to not make it dice dependent, although dice rolling could be incorporated often. Having it time and again is partly frustrating, partly fun. It's always those two sides, eh. Frustrating, because if it's your opponent, you can smell that he may be able to get REALLY LUCKY this time (especially if you are winning and that dice roll can trash all your efforts). Fun, because despite being a luck-based game, you have the game in your hands -- sort of. And you can bounce back, like you said.

So if, say I have a character with a COMBAT DAMAGE of 3 (that will be subtracted from the opponent's life if successful), and the opponent has a SPEED/AGILITY/or DODGE value of 5 (a value that you will have to roll for), will the game be A.)Ugly, B.)Exciting, C.)Slow but tolerable, or D.)Strategic?

Anonymous
Dice are tools I employ.

Dice are just another tool in game design, it can be used to make or break a game. The problem is people commonly use it in the most cookie cutter fashion, instead of trying to innovate new way to generate random effects. How many RPGs are diceless? Few if any, and none I know of, save James Kyle's system of freeform. Yet I love dice, and I've used them in both games I've made. Some people instantly equate dice with chaos, and that simply isn't true, it's a novice narrow-minded point of view. In a single word: Modifiers. You can make the roll as random as you want using numbers added to dice rolls. My army is huge so I roll a d6 + 20. Your army is small you roll a D6 + 10. The roll suddenly means nothing since the lowest roll I can make is 21 and the highest roll you can make is 16. Random luck, don't think so. The best use of dice in game design is highly subjective to the audience you are intending to reach with your game.

Shamless Plug. My new game "Space Ace" (under the game journal) uses tons of dice. Each die represents a different action (move, fire, repair, etc) and players choose from thier individual pool of 12 dice which 4 dice they want to roll. There's literally hundreds of combinations possible, and it's tons of fun to try and guess what actions the other players will take. If you have lots of dice, you owe it to yourself to try this mechanic on for size, part random, yet quite strategic. It's what Star Fleet Battles meets Wizwar.

Anonymous
Dice Rolling and Randomness

I personally love this topic of dice as random vs. dice as probabiltiy.

I love it because there are people who hate dice because they feel if there are dice involved then the game must be entirely luck based, which isn't the case. It's often misunderstood.

Risk is not luck based. You have better probabiltiy when attacking with a much greater force than the defender. Choosing your battles is the strategy, and the results is a probablistic result. If you're constantly attacking with inferior numbers then you're probably not going to win.

Settlers of Catan is also probablistic as has been stated many times. But I disagree with the comment on the game going to whoever the first 10 die rolls favor.

The way Settlers is set up is that nobody will have all the resources they need to win on their own. (usually). There is such a strong need for trading and negotiation that most games (that I've played) have come down to everyone rallying to prevent the leader from winning, only to then be rallied against if when one of them become the leader. There are only temporary alliances in Settlers, and that dynamic makes die rolls an ambient (although still important) aspect.

I'm a big fan of dice though. In a probablistic way that is. If you roll a dice and there is a bar you're trying to roll under, that is my prefered mechanic for probabiltiy. On a six sided dice, rolling a 4 or better is equivalent to 50%. You can raise or lower that probability from there, either by raising or lowering the bar, or by applying a modifier to the roll. It's what I find to be one of the most flexible uses of probabilty involving dice.

Sorry, if I'm being redundant. I only had time to skim this thread before replying.

daem0n_faust
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Dice Rolling and Randomness

Ah... the beauty of opinions. But, hey. I beg to differ with that Risk thing. One thread around here says something about having the "Rambo" effect in the game, because you can decimate a great army with a two or three unit army. It just happens when luck holds fast. It happens... ignoring the probability math, because as we all know there are no formulas to determine which side of the dice will fall face up next time. We only know a d6 will show 1, 2, 3,4,5, or 6, no more, no less. Otherwise, dice rolling will be very tactical. And unless you can actually manipulate the dice with your skill, which to my opinion is subliminal cheating or cheating that isn't, then it remains a random thing.

Having a dice to modify values may be the oldest form of luck-devoid rolling. It CAN, and it WILL allow the losing player to kick back in the game when he's really really lucky, though. It's still the least form of luck with dice.

:twisted:

How many ccgs do you know that has a government/civ empowerment or publicity as a theme? I am trying to make one now.

Anonymous
Dice Rolling and Randomness

There was a CCG based on SimCity, I think I still have a couple of promotional cards from it somewhere...

daem0n_faust
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Dice Rolling and Randomness

I've heard of it, but I wasn't playing card games when it was popular. I don't see anymore of those in my country (if it ever reached our shores). I like the PC games though.

SVan
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Joined: 10/02/2008
Dice Rolling and Randomness

Unless you want to be bored to death i wouldnt recommend Simcity the card game.

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