In games that require players to act on their own for a prolonged period of time, what can be done to keep player interaction and participation up.
For example; in Zombie Dice players take turns to roll up to 13 dice and add up their score. In a 4 player game, and assuming it might take 2 minutes per player with some thought towards risk/reward in continuing to roll, players may wait around 6 minutes between any actual playing.
Sure it's interesting to see what score you have to beat or rib your opponent for bad rolls and lament when they roll well, but these days people are likely to break out the smart phone to do something else rather than stay focused on actions they can't influence.
What sort of mechanics could be introduced in order to keep all players engaged in the game?
Players have actions, either set actions or random cards, which they can play to interrupt or alter another players' turn.
Pros: Players have actions that can occur at any time and need to pay attention to see when to act
Cons: Even in luck based dice games if another player screws over your lucky rolls it might become less fun
Players can gang up on winner, makes being the leader less appealing
More parts and rules for what is essentially a luck-based rather than strategic game
Options: Fixed actions and number of actions can occur to limit greater variance
Limited effects from actions
Counter-actions that allow the player to negate actions against them
Less obvious how this would work in these kind of dice games, but a part of a players' turn that requires all players to perform an action. Negotiation or trading doesn't seem possible to shoehorn in unless it was dice drafting. Any other suggestions on mechanics that might work?
In games with multiple rounds letting players have enough scope to let someone else win when they can't and earn rewards for future rounds may introduce a negotiation factor.
No real way this could work in these kind of dice games as it's just random on your turn. Could be useful for dice drafting games.
Any suggestions on how to keep a strategy element in a game of chance?
Instead of rolling all the dice players get 1 roll and then pass. Would require a very specific rule set or perhaps a lot more dice to play a game. Concerns about overall game time with added passing and actual limitations on strategy/risk when doing this.
Playing co-op with another player would keep interest high for at least twice as long. Again would require a specific game or game type to work with.
Have a reason to be invested in the outcome of another players' turn. Something like 'joker' rounds where you earn based on how well they do.
Anybody able to come up with any other ideas or mechanics that could make dice rolling more interactive?
**updates and edits
- Last edited Thu Jan 31, 2013 1:16 pm (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Thu Jan 31, 2013 11:14 am
Take a look at Würfel Bohnanza. Mr. Rosenberg has introduced a neat new idea for dice games that's worth looking at, though I think it still has a glitch. In this game you roll and lock dice trying to make combinations, and at the end of your turn you can score as many of your next-up combinations as you can from the locked dice, but your opponents can score their next combos off you *unlocked* dice during your turn. Obviously they tend to score more during the first rolls of your turn when you're rolling seven or six dice and less or none during your last couple rolls when you're only rolling three or two dice, but this still keeps the non-phasing players staring at the dice and their combos, because they could get a "free" score any time. Very, very neat.
The one glitch is that after I roll I may want to grab the useless dice and roll them again, only to hear others cry "wait, wait!" as they check for their next required combos. This is not a huge problem, but some groups may have to establish some etiquette for this. Maybe it's not a problem after everyone has played two or three times.
WB has some other neat features - their are two types of dice with different distributions of beans, the combo cards, etc. It's certainly worth looking at if you're interested in dice games. There are English rules available on BGG.
Brian P Lewis
In the game I have designed Legion Of Primus: Roll Into Action a push your luck dice game of battling Super Heroes and Super Villians, where each player rolls dice to activate their powers, they can keep rolling until they decide to stop or they roll to many Overlaod symbols, whereupon their turn ends.
But each player has at least one defensive power that they can assign energy to in their own turn, but actually activates in an opponents turn.
So each player must watch the dice, actions and movement of each opponent as they can interupt the oponenet with their defensive power/s.
Also some powers can be deflected from the original target to a different target and more.
I will be announcing the game officialy and showing artwork after this weekend (which is when I get the finished artwork for the first batch of charcters and box art.)
I just ordered Zombie Dice, and ave been playing the IPad version with my family all weekend. I was thinking the same thing, that the level of interactivity when not rolling is minimal at best. I found this thread looking for alternate rulesets for ths very reason.
My thoughts/ideas on how to fix...
1. Add another Die which would allow you to interact with another player... Maybe steal or destroy another payers "banked" brains, or perhaps "wound" another player, making him/her start their next turn with 1 shotgun blast, or giving the rolling player a one time use bullet proof vest, etc... While the non-rolling player is still in a passive mode, it would still make them more emotionally vested into the roll.
The key would be in balancing the new die (stealing too many brains would end the game too soon). also, determining how to play the die is critical... would the new die be a persistent 4th die which is used every roll? Or just a die randomly picked like all the others? If the former, then balance is even more key, you can't have the active player stealing too many brains.. If the latter, I guess you could remove it from play automatically after one roll.
2. The other thing I thought odd, was the rule that every player gets an equal number of turns. So, if I roll first, and the 2nd player gets to 13 brains first, I automatically lose. This rule eliminates the last players incentive to go for any more than 13 brains. So, even if he has zero shotgun blasts, as soon as he gets 13 brains, he ends his turn. Seems kinda anti-climactic to me. It seems to me, this rule also removes the most exciting part of the game, which is the last ditch, go for broke run to "catch-up" to the leader. I think a better way to end would be that every player gets one more turn after a player reaches 13 our more brains.
The Warhammer 40k mechanics are interesting, from a tactile perspective.
One player rolls to attack, rolling a whole bunch of dice. Some of those dice result in "hits". He removes all the dice that did not hit, and then picks up each "hit" and rolls them agaisnt the enemy toughness. Some don't succeed, and he removes those, and the rest remain on the board as "hits".
Then the enemy may roll for his armor save. Here's the interesting part. He reaches across the table and picks up those same dice rolled as "hits" and rolls them. He removes any that resulted in a successful armor save.
The number of dice left are the number of hits that were actually inflicted through all that mess.
If a dice game used a similiar mechanic, where different people used the same pool of dice to augment the results of the first roller, things can at least feel a lot more interactive.
Seriously, we just usually talk, joke and drink while we wait, but it also usually doesn't take us two minutes to roll the dice.