Emil Nielsen
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Hello, we're making a worker placement game using dice. We have a mechanic in the game we would like to get some input/opinions on.

A key component of the game is the action spaces are on cards randomly drawn from a deck. After placing dice (players have 2-3 per round) for actions there is a "capture" phase, in which all players who placed dice on a spot are going to see who takes control of the card (think set collection). In terms of vp gained through control, they on avg. would account for about 20-30% of your raw victory points.

To determine control, the original model was the N of the placed dice + a different die roll + possible other modifiers. This approach would make high rolls "doubly" good, typically get a good action and a better chance of control.
However, in order to streamline the process a bit we tinkered with the idea of simply grabbing all dice from a spot, rolling and checking who rolled the highest sum (negating the need for an extra die and removing the advantage of a high N die). This approach has some drawbacks, since it would reduce the control aspect to a very random roll.

So to summarize, currently we are looking at

- Model A) Sum of Placed N + a roll N + modifiers
- Model B) Roll placed dice -> get sum N + modifiers

So a different solution for the problem in model A with high placed dice values would be to "reverse" the resolution, i.e. the lowest sum wins, this is interesting because it would make initial action rolls two dimensional (high roll good for actions, low roll good for control). However we felt that this solution is a bit counter intuitive, as most people would expect the higher number to win.

For model B, in order to solve the random nature, perhaps the "power" of a player, in terms of control, could be a stat somewhere, or make the modifiers function more like a stat.

The main idea is not to add too many mechanisms to this aspect as we are aiming for a slightly faster paced game around 45 minutes.

Apologies for the slightly rambling post, its probably more of a "public" brainstorm than a specific question . We would just like to hear your thoughts. Currently the main question is if would be okay that in model B control is a pretty random, since it is a somewhat short game.

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Oblivion Doll
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Emkani wrote:
Currently the main question is if would be okay that in model B control is a pretty random, since it is a somewhat short game.


The shorter a game is, the less painful it is to be at the whims of the dice. That said, when the mechanic is a constant and important part of the game, you need ways to mitigate the randomness. Applying modifiers can work, but it's not the only option. You can have abilities that allow a player to roll multiple dice and pick one, reroll, force the opponent to reroll, etc.

I'd be inclined to say playtest it with just the modifiers and see how chaotic it feels. If it seems like everything hinges on that one die roll, add other mitigation tools to soften the impact.

That double-ended idea might work really well with a "roll 2 and pick 1" type of system though - you could actively aim for a higher or lower roll to either get the control or the action. Maybe make the LOW result the action, and the high result better for control, though?
 
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Peter Bos
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Ontario
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Emkani wrote:
So a different solution for the problem in model A with high placed dice values would be to "reverse" the resolution, i.e. the lowest sum wins, this is interesting because it would make initial action rolls two dimensional (high roll good for actions, low roll good for control). However we felt that this solution is a bit counter intuitive, as most people would expect the higher number to win.


Could the "placement" phase be played in ascending order, so a 1 would get to go before a 6? This way, intuitively, lower numbers would be "faster"?

Then on the "control" side, higher is intuitively stronger?
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Emil Nielsen
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obliviondoll wrote:
You can have abilities that allow a player to roll multiple dice and pick one, reroll, force the opponent to reroll, etc.

I'd be inclined to say playtest it with just the modifiers and see how chaotic it feels. If it seems like everything hinges on that one die roll, add other mitigation tools to soften the impact.


Yeah this is probably where we are at in general. Actually we are video game developers and are making it digitally, and the time since the paper prototype we set out with to a playable digital prototype has been long, a lot of small stuff has changed etc, since we had the "final" paper playtest.

obliviondoll wrote:

That double-ended idea might work really well with a "roll 2 and pick 1" type of system though - you could actively aim for a higher or lower roll to either get the control or the action.


Actually one of the playable characters has this as an ability It might be cool to use in general but the space is limited and you would need some way of tracking how many dice actually have been/can be used.

obliviondoll wrote:
Maybe make the LOW result the action, and the high result better for control, though?


ptbbos wrote:
Could the "placement" phase be played in ascending order, so a 1 would get to go before a 6? This way, intuitively, lower numbers would be "faster"?

Then on the "control" side, higher is intuitively stronger?


Yeah possibly, most of the actions were intended to use the "N" as a power, e.g. "Gain N Gold", which would be broken by that model. But currently we are working with a lot of tables to resolve the action (our die is 1-4 actually), which would fit this fine. I mean its also possible to use N balanced around this, so that it becomes "Gain 5 minus N Gold", but this is also somewhat un-intuitive.
 
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Sturv Tafvherd
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My opinion: reduce the randomness, and you'll get a faster/streamlined game. You still need some randomness because, in my experience, a completely non-random game just leads to analysis paralysis.

So here's the question: how important are those "cubes" that you put on the cards? I ask because it seems that rolling dice to determine control after placing those cubes feels like the outcome is very random ... the dice roll becomes more important than the "cube" placement. That can lead to some very frustrated players.




Emkani wrote:
Hello, we're making a worker placement game using dice. We have a mechanic in the game we would like to get some input/opinions on.

A key component of the game is the action spaces are on cards randomly drawn from a deck. After placing dice (players have 2-3 per round) for actions there is a "capture" phase, in which all players who placed dice on a spot are going to see who takes control of the card (think set collection). In terms of vp gained through control, they on avg. would account for about 20-30% of your raw victory points.

To determine control, the original model was the N of the placed dice + a different die roll + possible other modifiers. This approach would make high rolls "doubly" good, typically get a good action and a better chance of control.
However, in order to streamline the process a bit we tinkered with the idea of simply grabbing all dice from a spot, rolling and checking who rolled the highest sum (negating the need for an extra die and removing the advantage of a high N die). This approach has some drawbacks, since it would reduce the control aspect to a very random roll.

So to summarize, currently we are looking at

- Model A) Sum of Placed N + a roll N + modifiers
- Model B) Roll placed dice -> get sum N + modifiers

So a different solution for the problem in model A with high placed dice values would be to "reverse" the resolution, i.e. the lowest sum wins, this is interesting because it would make initial action rolls two dimensional (high roll good for actions, low roll good for control). However we felt that this solution is a bit counter intuitive, as most people would expect the higher number to win.

For model B, in order to solve the random nature, perhaps the "power" of a player, in terms of control, could be a stat somewhere, or make the modifiers function more like a stat.

The main idea is not to add too many mechanisms to this aspect as we are aiming for a slightly faster paced game around 45 minutes.

Apologies for the slightly rambling post, its probably more of a "public" brainstorm than a specific question . We would just like to hear your thoughts. Currently the main question is if would be okay that in model B control is a pretty random, since it is a somewhat short game.

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Emil Nielsen
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Stormtower wrote:
My opinion: reduce the randomness, and you'll get a faster/streamlined game. You still need some randomness because, in my experience, a completely non-random game just leads to analysis paralysis.


We agree and find that the dice did exactly that, helped with making the decision making fresh and interesting each round.

Stormtower wrote:

So here's the question: how important are those "cubes" that you put on the cards? I ask because it seems that rolling dice to determine control after placing those cubes feels like the outcome is very random ... the dice roll becomes more important than the "cube" placement. That can lead to some very frustrated players.


The "cubes" (dice) are the main bread and butter of the game as they provide you with the actions, simply taking control of a location does not "further" your progress other than at the end for final scoring.

I think we are going to go with the org. model A, in which the placed dice are knowingly used to calculate who wins and then a blind bid using a "weapon" resource (we both love the mental game in blind bids).

In making this thread we actually realized a simple method for the two dimensional property, given a normal die. You can flip dice to get a perfectly good inverse value (the sum of both sides are equal for all sides). Hence we are now gonna try this model rather than rebalancing all actions etc to a "low N = good actions" model. For our game we will get a model were 1 flips to 4, 2 to 3, 3 to 2 and 4 to 1. Its ever so slightly tedious but we think its ok, since the amount of dice are so low.
 
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Will Rice
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Hi

In case any of this is useful, I had some thoughts about dice and area control recently

1. You could place dice and their value is the side showing, but there are actions available to try and increase the values - by choosing a die to reroll and it is changed "upward only". I.e. If it's a 4 you can use a reroll action to roll it and try to get a 5 or 6, but if the roll is lower it goes back to a 4 and you just wasted your action, but you don't get killed by the randomness

2. You can buy new types of dice/workers that have different values. E.g. You can spend resources/actions to trade a standard die for a die with values 4 5 and 6 only. Then your rerolls are more effective

3. You can "spin down" your dice values to earn money/resources to spend on other things. E.g. If you have a 4 showing but only need a 2 for the majority then you can turn the dice to a 2 then spend the two points towards something

Anyway, this is probably not applicable to your game, but it sounded similar so thought I'd share these ideas - feel free to use them or ignore them!

Thanks
Will
 
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