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Dice Duelz - slow but progressing

Dice Duelz - Legends Logo

We had the chance to do a first play test of the game (Dice Duelz - Legends) and I would like to proudly pronounce that is was a epic fail!

Well, nothing to be afraid of - Im used to the fact that games require several iterations before they really become playable. I would like to continue this backlog in order to track the projects process.

Together with Michael - an old friend of mine - we played five games with a simplified version of the rules. As the Monsters and their special skills are not ready yet, we decided to test only the core of the game without any fancy ability extra rules.

Out of the five games, the first two where cancelled after the third/second round already due to several major design errors. We altered the rules and modified the game on the fly and continue to play another three. Those went much better and I think we now have a functional rules core - but more iteration is required I guess.

Here is what happened and what we changed - be prepared for a haircut:

1. HEALTH TRACKING

BEFORE: The dice a monster is made of where also used to track it's health. This has proven to be a major error. We discussed alternatives here on BGDF, but in the end it just does not work as expected. When a monster loses health, you lose one of your dice and therefore are left with lesser dice to roll. the downward spiral is so strong that you cannot even fight it with "healing" abilities that let you recover dice again.

AFTER: Each monster now has one extra die that is used to represent it's health. Right now its just a regular d6, but I have lots of ideas for extra uses as well.

2. INITATIVE

BEFORE: each player rolled all of it's monsters dice and "energy" symbols where counted to see who is going first. this clearly favors the monster with more "energy" symbols on it's dice and is imbalanced.

AFTER: you now simply roll your health die to decide who is going first. don't forget to set your health die to your starting health after rolling. this also means that the health die now has 2 uses.

3. REMOVING ZONES

BEFORE: there are 4+3 extra zones where dice can be located to keep track of their states. some people here on BGDF already suggested to reduce the zones. the zones by themselves are not such a big problem, but during the game it was clear that they are simply not required at all. in addition, playing on a smaller surface is difficult if so many zones are required.

AFTER: we removed the zones altogether! the die symbols do the trick - thats all. the rest is just obsolete overcomplexity. but, a bit of freedom is required - so we kept 2 states a die can be in: A) either ON your monster card or B) off (next to) your monster card. thats it.

4. RE-ROLLS

BEFORE: you roll all your dice at the start of your turn and sort out the results. this is highly randomized and more often than not, a player is left with a bad roll.

AFTER: there is now the option to re-roll some or all of your dice. we took the chance to introduce a new mechanic to the game.

5. NEW: BRAVE BURST

we quickly realized that a dice game is always "bound to the die" and therefore very randomized. dice games often feel automatized and tend to play themselves. so, we introduced a new mechanic to the game - in order to provide the players with more options.

throughout the game turn, there are several situations where players are totally depending on the roll of their dice.

to counter this, players now have the option to make use of a re-roll or otherwise modify their rolls. This can always be done in two different ways:

A) by spending energy points or by rolling a specific result. This option is always available but it is un-relieable as it depends on luck itself.

B) BRAVE BURST - this is a guaranteed re-roll / modifier a player can apply to his or her roll. But, in order to brave burst - you must sacrifice one of your health points.

clean and simple, pay with risk or pay with health.

Thats all for today, thanks for reading

Back to the drawing board!

-Tobias (Fhiz)

Comments

Don't give up.

Don't give up. Your game idea has premise. It just needs to be balanced.

How about this.

6 6d rolled all at once. Put the dice in a line. Add the top numbers for attack. Pick up entire dice line in one hand only. Count the bottom of line dice. The top numbers of your dice line is your attack. The bottom numbers added will be your defense.

A black color 6d is for boost. Just count the dots to add to the boost card.

A blue color 6d is for ability cards. Just count the dots to add to the ability card.

Your monster cards could have a random point system to fight your opponent or a fixed point system.

Happy hunting,
Stormy.

Happy Hunting

No matter how much we conceptualize, it never seems to play as well in reality haha. I think being able to acknowledge the failures and not pretending they aren't there is a great step forward. I think it's great you have art and a logo to rally behind to keep you motivated towards your final goal. I'm sorry the healing mechanism didn't work >_<. Now that you seem to have a core rules set, things should go smoother from here. Good luck!

Playtesting is King

Yup, that's pretty normal for a first playtest. That's why I told you to get the game on the table as soon as possible - often, it'll crash and burn, but you'll see pieces of the game that worked, which you keep while adapting the rest of the game to make that shell work. My own game, which I first playtested on Saturday, had the same difficulty - the core mechanics of the game worked just fine, but there was a significant piece that just didn't work, so we changed it on the next playthrough and it worked beautifully!

Toy with ways to control the randomness - a deck of cards with dice symbols on them that you can purchase for energy and then swap out for your dice later on? Spend an energy to rotate a dice one face? Spend an energy to reroll your dice?

Regardless of what you do, it might be a good idea for you to apply test-driven design, meaning you don't try to add more until you test what you have. Test your system with as few variables as possible (such as individual monsters and such) until you "find the fun" in that system. Once you find the fun, then add on the extra layers of complexity one at a time until you have something that's more fun that your basic ruleset. If it ever becomes less fun as a result, you're going the wrong direction and the idea, no matter how awesome, may not be right for the game you're designing.

This is an idea for an

This is an idea for an all-dice battling game. Dice types:

  • Monsters (19mm) - All different color and ink combinations
  • Attack dice (16mm) - Black
  • Equipment Dice (16mm) - White
  • Potion (one-use) (14mm) dice - Red

    Each player picks 1 monster before the match starts and sets it health to "6". Every monster has a special ability that always triggers during combat when its at low health (I'll show an example below).

    Players also get 3 Attack dice and then hand pick 2 Equipment and 2 Potions.

    This means that every round, players are rolling 5 dice and can augment those rolls with upto 2 extra potions (rolled at ANY time during combat).


    All Attack dice are numbered 0,1,2,2,3,4. These are combat values.

    A few examples of equipment:

  • Sword 0,1,1S,2,2S,3S - The S is a Sword symbol shown beside the combat value and allows you to reroll 1 of your Attack dice.
  • Shield 0,1,1,1S,2,2S - The S is a Shield symbol shown beside the combat value and forces your opponent to reroll their highest attack die. Shield abilities occur LAST after all other reroll abilities have been resolved.
  • Axe 0A,0,1,2,3,4 - A is an Axe symbol shown beside the combat value and allows you to roll an extra attack die this combat.
  • Whip 0W,1W,1,1,2,2W - W is a Whip symbol shown beside the combat value and allows you to remove your opponent's lowest attack die roll from combat.

    A few example of Potions:

  • Strength Potion 1,1,2,2,3,3 - Add this combat value to your combat total.
  • Health Potion 0,1,1,1,2,2 - Restore this much health.

    A few example of Monsters:

  • Golem (Shield) - At 1 HP, it has a shield symbol so your opponent will always need to reroll their highest attack die result once per combat.
  • Wizard (Random Potion) - At 1 HP, it can select a random potion and roll it every combat.
  • Skeleton (Sword) - At 1 & 2 HP, it may reroll one of their attack dice each combat.


    Basically, players roll their 3 attack dice and 2 equipment dice and then resolve any rolled symbols. The player with the highest combat total deals 1 damage to their enemy. If its a tie, both players deal 1 damage to each other.

    Set potions aside once they have been used.

  • hey guys, won't give up on

    hey guys,
    won't give up on this one - thanks for the heads up!

    @stormy: thanks a lot for the kind words and ideas
    @jonathan: thanks again, its not your fault with the healing. I doubt that any game works out in practice the way it was imagined in theory.

    @ruy343: so I kinda did what you said. and the work that went into the layout is not wasted, thats just what i can do best.

    regarding the test-driven design: I stopped working on the special abilities and concentrate on the core rules now, while gathering a bit of random ideas (also greatly inspired by the feedback here)

    would like to get the core playable and then continue by adding stuff.

    @JewellGames: Nice! Guess we have a lot of games to discuss and develop.

    My point is that I have a clear vision in mind how I want the game to look and play. The look is not much of a problem to me, but the game itself requires lots of tests and modifications.

    An advice to all designers out there: you really have to rip your games heart out and start all over again. continue tearing the game to pieces and don't be afraid to remove all mechanics that do not work out. this process of cleaning and reducing a game to its bare minimum is - as brutal as it sounds - the best way to make your design prosper.

    That isn't a game I'm working

    That isn't a game I'm working on, it was just an idea for you to draw inspiration from.

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    blog | by Dr. Radut