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Subject: Essen Spiel 2012 - The Year of the Dice? rss

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Sander Vernyns
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Watching the Spiel Preview list grow each day I was surprised to see so many games including dice/dice rolling/dice mechanism in the new releases.

For the moment there are already more than 30 games on the list who clearly have dice as an important part of the game (and at least one game with 50 dice cool )

Is this a trend or am I biased by that one particular game and the fact that I have now more than 50.000 dice in my livingroom to be packed in ziplock bags ninja

Do people see other trends in the new releases, favorite mechanisms, themes, ... ?
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Original Dibbler
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Maybe you are biased because the game with the 50 dice is yours?
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David Ausloos
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I think as with any industry things come in waves.
Dice have been somewhat "out of fashion" for a couple of years as they were perceived by the eurogame crowd as (tongue in cheek mode on) "evil" (tongue in cheek mode off).

A string of games, starting with the likes of Yspahan, have changed the general opinion on the fact dice are only for luck-dependant games.
Nowdays dice seem to be back in vogue.

Personally, I'm a big dice fan.
For me they are still one of the greatest tool to bring tension in a game.
If used smartly they can also create a sense of uncertainty, without players feeling at mercy of the dice.
As a designer I think the trick is to find a way to introduce dice in elements in the design were uncertainty is welcome: were it is a benefit that players are not looking for predictable outcomes.
Bad dice games do the opposite: they use dice for the general outcome of things, and thus lowering the control players have of what is the result of their choices in the game.

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Mark Gerrits
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I think the big shift has been to use dice not just to determine outcomes (more of an Ameritrash view) but to start using them as randomized resources/actions (more of a Euro view). I'm thinking of games like Yspahan, Macao, Troyes, Burgen von Burgund, Seasons, etc etc etc
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