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Subject: Diceless Chunky Fighters? rss

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Nick Hayes
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BGG user Eric Walkingshaw recently left a comment about Chunky Fighters that really struck me. He liked the game but did not like the fact that you only regularly roll a couple of dice during the game. He put forth a really unique idea, one that I'd like to seriously explore. Here's the important part of his comment:
walkie wrote:
...The chunky fighters could easily be replaced by a little flip-book cut into three sections, and honestly, this would probably be more functional...

Not only is this a really good point but it's an awesome idea and very easy to implement. On one hand, it totally goes against the entire concept of the game, which is characters made out of blocks, but I think there is a lot of merit to the idea as an alternative PnP offering. But it's not without its problems. So I'd like to begin a discussion on the problems and possible solutions to this idea.

Please feel free to add your own.
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Nick Hayes
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Problem: How to determine starting Hit Points
During setup players roll their fighters to determine each one’s beginning Hit Points. Each fighter has a unique Hit Point range. Some have lower HP, some higher. Some usually begin the game with high HP and some with low HP. All of this is based on the HP distribution unique to each body part die. If the characters were made from a three part flipbook, there would be no way to randomly determine starting HP.
Possible Solution:
Include one standard six-sided die with the game. Each fighter has a setup chart on which you roll to determine starting HP. Roll for each body part and the result of the die roll refers to a specific HP level (the weapon die would remain a die and be rolled separately).

Problem: Construction issues
Ideally, these flipbook fighters would be built with spiral binding, but that is really just replacing one construction difficulty (all the dice) with another. If the idea is to make a product that is easier to PnP, how best could we solve this problem?
Possible Solutions:
Use small cards for each body part HP level. I don’t like this idea because the cards would be too fiddly.
Use a printable booklet. This could be something that is easily stapled or folded, similar to the pocketmod booklets.
Use square tiles. They could be stacked in numerical order and would be generally easy to use. They could be randomized like for determining starting HP.
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Rebekah B
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That's a good idea for those who don't want to make the dice/blocks. I really like the 3-D, tactile nature of the original, but I can see where the construction might be a hindrance to some people.

For construction, one possibility would be to make 3 individual flip books per fighter (head, body, and legs) using small loose-leaf rings. It's not as elegant a solution as spiral-bound, but it would be very easy to construct.

Similar to the setup chart idea, each page in the book could have one or more numbers, 1-6, so when you roll the die, you just turn to the page that has the matching number.

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Kevin Gordon
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The idea of flipbook fighters is of zero interest to me. Your dice fighters are perfect for the game!
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S G
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kevster wrote:
The idea of flipbook fighters is of zero interest to me. Your dice fighters are perfect for the game!


And it's totally interesting to me....don't want to spend the time on making the dice so I'd like to see the flipbook concept developed....
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Hernan Ruiz Camauer
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Another way to play without making (or ordering) the custom dice is using virtual tabletop software. Ordering the dice can get pretty expensive. Around $88 for all four sets, according to this post (and I believe that is without shipping).
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Eric Walkingshaw
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This is awesome, Nick. I gotta be careful what I put in my game comments for PnP games. This is the second time I've been called out by the designer on it.

I get a little carried away with exclamation points when I think I'm writing mostly to myself, so I should stress that Chunky Fighters is one of the cutest games I've ever seen--I love the special abilities and I love the concept of the fighters being made up of dice that represent different body parts.

My only complaint is that with all of those awesome, cute, unique dice, I want to roll more than three of them throughout the game. While I think the flipbook could work, an ultimately better solution would be to make it so I can roll all those dice! (I really love rolling dice.)

So I think the design question should rather be: how can we make the fighter (HP) dice in Chunky Fighters more than just HP markers?

I see two possible (very high level) ways to attack this:

(1) You could introduce new fighters that have special abilities that involve rolling (their own, or others) fighter dice. (I haven't gone through all of the fighters and don't remember all of the abilities off the top of my head, so maybe there already are some that do this?) While you wouldn't be rolling the HP dice in every game, it would at least make the dice-based fighter/HP system absolutely critical for some characters and in some games.

(2) You could design a completely new game around the Chunky Fighters dice that involves lots of rolling of the fighter dice! This is obviously pretty extreme, but I think it could also be a huge selling (making?) point for the game--two games for the price and effort of one! In one, Chunky Fighters, the dice are clever and unique HP markers. In the other, the dice are more integral to the game play. I really, really think that the Chunky Fighter dice are both cool and generic enough to support a whole new game.

Of course, the burden is not necessarily on you to design this game! Anybody could do it!

Just to maybe get somebody started, one idea I had is that you roll several fighter dice together and then pick a head, body, and feet to assemble a hodgepodge fighter to make your attack or to defend with. Maybe each person rolls their own pool of dice, or maybe you roll them all together and take turns drafting your fighters.

While this is obviously only about 1% of the way toward an actual game, I think it shows that the Chunky Fighter dice really have some potential in them, beyond their original intent. They're just so cool!

And now I think you've convinced me (or I've convinced myself) to make my own set anyway, despite my original misgivings.
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Nick Hayes
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Yes, I believe the fighters need to be dice since that was the original concept for the game and it is still its primary identity. I see this diceless fighter version as a potential introduction to the game. I think a cool way to present it would be to have each page look like the actual dice. I imagine that would lead people towards ultimately desiring real dice versions of their favorite fighters.

Developing a totally new game based on the CF dice is a neat idea. It's not something I have time to do now, but it would be interesting to explore what kinds of games could come from those dice.
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Mark Cookman
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I love the 3D nature of the fighters, so the book idea doesn't appeal to me that much, however working with R077/J taught me that the CF cubes can be "fiddlesome" to game with. One friend of mine suggested making all the dice out of paper with a hole in their centers. After that you would run a toothpick up through the center of a card stock stand-up stand. To play the game you would roll your character like normal and then "impale" the dice, one at a time in order, on the stand with the proper side facing out. That was before the origami dice, so at the time I was like, "Oh sure, just make all the dice out of paper. That's realistic. NOT."

Now, who knows? Maybe it would work.

Mark
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Brad Talton
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walkie wrote:
So I think the design question should rather be: how can we make the fighter (HP) dice in Chunky Fighters more than just HP markers?


I could see putting a "POW!" side on each damage dice to replace a 1. When this is rolled, the player can't block and doesn't take damage. Instead, he has to re-roll his entire fighter.
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Eli Alampay
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How about doing something similar to what I did with Lord of the Rings Express?


 
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Cornixt
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Someone did this: http://boardgamegeek.com/filepage/66578/chunky-fighters-shee...

Seems to me that it wouldn't be too hard to just print out the page for the stickers (the page that has every body part and weapon laid out in a 6x4 grid for each fighter) and put small tokens on the appropriate hitpoint level for each body part. You'd have to roll a D6 to find the starting level for each part, not too hard.

In fact, you could simply scale each of those into a regular card size (it is practically the right size and shape already) and produce a single deck, turning it into a card game with a few tokens and dice.

Hmmm, sounds like a prototype is in order...
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Prototype done:
http://boardgamegeek.com/image/1545937/chunky-fighters

I even made cards for the hit/strike dice so I could use dice with pips/numbers, just count through the squares from left to right and see what the result is. After just one go, I instinctively knew which number lines up with which result, even for the D8. A lot less work than cutting stickers and putting them on dice, but lacking in the charm. I can upload the file I made if Nick is okay with that.

Still going to make a proper dice set this weekend.
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Nick Hayes
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cornixt wrote:
I can upload the file I made if Nick is okay with that.

I'm okay with it.
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Thanks, the file is here: http://boardgamegeek.com/image/1546993/chunky-fighters

Printed out to fill the page, the cards are 3.5 x 2.5" so the squares are the same size as the dice (they aren't perfectly square either, I stretched them slight to fill the card). My printer didn't print the cutting guides on the far edges though. I might make some for the subsequent releases, not too difficult to do - matching the boarder frame color to the original ability card probably takes the longest!

N.B. Bought the dice last night, just need the sticky paper to make my first proper set.
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Greg Austin
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heruca wrote:
Another way to play without making (or ordering) the custom dice is using virtual tabletop software. Ordering the dice can get pretty expensive. Around $88 for all four sets, according to this post (and I believe that is without shipping).


I made the four basic CF sets for about 19.00 (including shipping). The printer paper was probably another 10 dollars, though I didn't use all of the sheets. Printer ink is expensive, but there's no way really to tell how much of that I used.
But the main set being sold there has a box and comes stickered already and uses the 19mm indented dice, so there's some extra plastic and work going into it.
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Hann_Boe
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cornixt wrote:
Thanks, the file is here: http://boardgamegeek.com/image/1546993/chunky-fighters

Printed out to fill the page, the cards are 3.5 x 2.5" so the squares are the same size as the dice (they aren't perfectly square either, I stretched them slight to fill the card). My printer didn't print the cutting guides on the far edges though. I might make some for the subsequent releases, not too difficult to do - matching the boarder frame color to the original ability card probably takes the longest!

N.B. Bought the dice last night, just need the sticky paper to make my first proper set.


the sheets look good! thanks for putting sometime into this idea.
are you thinking that each fighter can be cut out? ex the amazon would be its own "card"?

also are you planning to do up the remaining sets? I noticed you have post the pictures for 1-4 so far.

-hann
 
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The idea was to have each as a card to go alongside the ability card. The files I made have cutlines for that purpose. Since I made the dice I haven't bothered do any more, but they are pretty useful for checking the lowest/highest possible values for each fighter's body parts.
 
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