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Need help with some ideas for a real time Cooperative dice game

4 replies [Last post]
Joined: 10/31/2015

I've been sitting on this idea for a while and am starting to try and make it something tangible. I'm trying to make a cooperative real time dice game where the players are sieging a city, the city's forces are made up of playing cards. Each suit representing a different type of unit and the number on the card representing it's power. I have a few ideas that I like so far but I haven't been able to figure out the best resolution mechanic. Essentially a 9 playing card will need more to defeat it opposed to a 2 playing card. I've tried toying around with using Farkle rules but for a real time game they are too mathy to do very fast. The other trouble I'm having is that I want troop loss to be a factor as well and I haven't been able to figure that out in conjunction with the main mechanic. I want there to be a push your luck element to players losing troops if they try and take on a high powered card by themselves or if they stretch themselves too thin. I want to promote team play and helping eachother out and "ganging up" on the higher power cards. I want the cards to be able to damage the player attacking it somehow, resulting in troop loss. I feel as though that would make it less of a "just roll until you win" game and more of a hedging your bets on if you can finish this fight or if you need help from a friend because you're losing troops. Also I forgot to mention that I want this to be Timed. Similar to Escape the temple dice game,I want the players to have a certain amount of time to siege the city before enemy reinforcements and wipe them out, this would cause the game to have a frantic nature to gameplay which is what I'm shooting for.

Anybody have any ideas that come to mind on what mechanic could work best and how troop loss could also be implemented?

questccg's picture
Joined: 04/16/2011
Some issues IMHO!

Firstly you are saying you WANT "deeper" strategy and team cooperation to overcome the opposing defenses. And then you say you want it to be TIMED.

Is it just me or do you not understand that those two objectives are on the opposite side of strategy???

Firstly the MORE "strategy", the more outcomes and the greater the time required to figure out the optimal move. (More TIME) Then you said you wanted team cooperation which requires discussion among the players. (more TIME). So these objectives take TIME. You say you might want a Push-Your-Luck kind of mechanic as well... Which again needs a player to think and see what the possibilities are. (More TIME)

Then on the opposite side of mechanics, you want frantic stress and chaos where everything is regulated by a Sand Time (or some other timing device).

IMHO it won't work. Players who want DEEP strategy will say the game is worthless because they can't think under the pressure of the timer. And usually FRANTIC games are SIMPLER in nature and don't require COOPERATIVE game play. Like for example "Scrambo" by @Chris Mancini. That's a timed game with very frantic pace. There is NO STRATEGY. It's coming up with answers to a category in which you match the first letter (d20).

If you want to implement some kind of COMPATIBLE "timing", I would suggest looking at something with a certain amount of "Actions" or "Points" given a Resource Pool. Could even be a SHARED Resource Pool among all the players for any given Round. Why? Because this suggest cooperation and thinking about "How much Resources do I use on my turn" and leaving some for the other players to use on their own turn also.

This would encourage Table Talk and would IMHO be very compatible with your initial goals (cooperative play).

Not sure about the Push-Your-Luck mechanic... Can't for the life of me think HOW to include such a mechanic in this design. You're on the own for that part. But I've given you alternate ways to have some sort of TIMED (restricted Actions) play with some deeper strategy with cooperative play.

I'll think about it some more ... And see how PYL could be present.

questccg's picture
Joined: 04/16/2011
Shared Resource Pool

This reminds me of "Resident Evil" on the Playstation. The first version of the game had you play ONE (1) Character and search the area for ammo and items... But then once you complete the first HALF of the game, you are now the SECOND (2nd) Character and you basically search the near identical area... but now with all the ammo and items gone...

So part of the strategy was LEAVING items (ammo, weapons, items) for the 2nd player so that BOTH player could finish each half of the game.

I never made it past the 2nd HALF because I took all the ammo, medkits and weapons during my first HALF. I didn't feel like REPLAYING the first half again ... correctly (as anticipated by the developers).

Anyways the bottom line, a Share Resource Pool is another way to RESTRICT the amount of actions in a ROUND. Think about it ... and see if you like the idea or not.


let-off studios
let-off studios's picture
Joined: 02/07/2011
Limited Throws

I agree with questccg on this one regarding real-time + tactics vs. strategy.

Instead of a real-time restriction, maybe there's some way you can have a "timer deck" where each time a certain suit, or a face card, etc. is flipped then the doomsday track advances one or more marks. The player would need to push their luck in determining how long they want to stick around versus be confronted by a large, unbeatable enemy (and therefore stumbling into a very high likelihood they lose everything) if they outlast their welcome.

A couple themes that come to mind that might help me illustrate my point:

  • Vikings raiding a Monastery/Convent before Norman troops arrive
  • A Ninja assassinating nobles under cover of darkness
  • Alternatively, a martial artist challenging the students of a rival school until their sensei returns from her/his pilgrimage
  • A helicopter pilot rescuing stranded farmers from a volcano's lava flow

The general idea is that it may be possible for players to make it all the way through the deck of challenges/opponents, but some take longer than others because of challenge level. Additionally, both the luck of the dice throw and the order of revealed cards drop a monkey-wrench into an otherwise deterministic outcome.

It may just seem like a "high score attack" game to me because I like playing those kinds of video games... Hope this is useful.

Joined: 06/09/2017
to make the game less mathy,

to make the game less mathy, and quicker to play, you could have custom dice and cards. if you had colour dice (meaning colours instead of pips, but you could make them other icons) and each card had a number of colours say, 3 red or 1 red 1 blue,(balance these with your dice obviously). to defeat a card match its colours. this should make it fairly easy to do at speed, but committing dice to a card removes them from the pool so having too many half beaten enemy will be bad.
you then add more decisions by making some enemy harder to kill but with rewards. ie 5 "hp" but you get a new die for killing vs 1 "hp" but no reward or "if this enemy is in play, re roll all blue" vs "50 vp when killed"

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