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Subject: FAQ: VivaJava vs. VivaJava Dice rss

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TC Petty III
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VivaJava: The Coffee Game vs. VivaJava: The Coffee Game: The Dice Game


With the VivaJava: The Coffee Game: The Dice Game Kickstarter set to launch on June 21st (Friday), I wanted to answer some questions that might pop up during the campaign in regards to the differences between the original game and it's new, smaller (and rounder) counterpart. Here are some frequently asked questions and a few, short answers that will hopefully allay the fears and strengthen the resolve of curious coffee blending fanatics.


Q: Do I have to own (or even like) VivaJava to understand VivaJava Dice, or vice versa?

A: No. In fact, VivaJava Dice was created with an entirely new system that shares many thematically similar and familiar mechanisms, but can easily be played without any knowledge of the original big brother. For those who enjoy a more traditional experience and require a 2-player version for any game to hit the table, VivaJava Dice is an excellent strategic choice, though not a replacement or rehash of the "changing teams" play-style of the original game. While it retains much of the "feel" of the original, VivaJava Dice is a stand-alone, faster game and not an "add-on" or "expansion." It plays in about a third of the time, is a lighter experience while not casual, and in turn, is a much more portable game.


Q: Is VivaJava Dice an expansion to VivaJava?

A: Again, no. (But, there may possibly be something that pops up during the campaign that will allow the dice to be used in the original VivaJava.)


Q: Will VivaJava Dice have support for up to 8 players like VivaJava?

A: No. VivaJava Dice is a Dice and Coaster game designed specifically for 2-4 players (with solo play available as well). This was a design choice made early in development in order to provide an alternative for those that could not get a larger group together easily. Making the game play fast and tight with 2 players was a MUST. Also, the game scales between player counts extremely easily.


Q: VivaJava has a ton of components. Can I expect the same amount of wood and cardboard inside VivaJava Dice?

A: No. But, you can expect 100% more molded plastic. One of the big considerations for VivaJava Dice was "portability" and ease of set-up. The original game has 90 individual wooden beans, 10 player tokens in 8 colors, and multiple boards. That's wonderful for a 60-90 minute game, but not for a game that plays in about 30 minutes. The dice game replaces these beans and tokens with 15 custom, engraved "coffee dice", a small handful of coasters, and a scoring sheet for each player. This way, you can focus on jumping right into the game and not worry about any bits being knocked around by errant dice.


Q: VivaJava has a "decaffeinated" option for first-time players. Will VivaJava Dice include the same?

A: Yes. VivaJava Dice will include a pre-printed "Lite" Coaster that provides an excellent introduction to the game for gamers and non-gamers alike. Once players become familiar with system, they can easily create their own, customized Coasters with over twenty included ability discs.


Q: VivaJava came in a coffee can. Will VivaJava Dice come in a coffee cup or something?

A: No. VivaJava was NOT packaged in a coffee can and VivaJava Dice will not have some quirky, hard-to-stack, can-shaped packaging. The game will come in a standard-sized "rooster" box (the size of the Compounded box). Also, the game will (with support) include a burlap bag large enough to carry all components in a large pocket or fashionable purse. The Coasters, with beautiful coffee-blend inspired artwork on the backsides, will be suitable for display in a Coaster holder, on a dining room table perhaps.


Q: Is VivaJava Dice just a bland, money-grab sequel with custom dice?

A: No. The game has been in development since August of 2012, and has attended many conventions since then for play-testing and development (including Congress of Gamers, PrezCon, Unpub 3, and Origins). In February of 2013, a beta print and play version was uploaded to the internet and BGG. This was updated again in May to reflect changes made to the game during this period due to player feedback. And changes to gameplay, however minor, will still be on-going until the game is as tight as possible for production. Dice Hate Me Games and I, thank all those who have enjoyed the game and provided criticism and encouragement over the past few months. We are confident that this experiment in open development will help to create the best possible final game to be enjoyed for years and years to come.

This is us, trying our best.


Q: VivaJava Dice looks like a rip-off of King of Tokyo for Euro Coffee drinkers.

A: ...That's not even a question, but I'll still answer. VivaJava Dice uses a "king of the hill" mechanic. If anything, King of Tokyo is a rip-off of Reiner Knizia's game Excape. Which, in turn, was probably a rip-off of another game. So, no, VivaJava Dice is not a rip-off of King of Tokyo, but is a rip-off of a Reiner Knizia game published in the 90's that a handful of people remember. In either case, the game sets itself apart by providing multiple paths to victory and a variable set-up for a different, engine-building experience each play. Also, the game will not end suddenly due to a player rolling "really well." It will be very possible to like all three games for separate reasons!


Huge thanks to everyone and hope to see you clicking the big green button on launch day! If you have any more, pressing questions, please ask them below and I'll try to answer them as poorly best as possible.
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Sanders
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Will this game feature any zombies? zombie
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Dice Hate Me
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Sanders wrote:
Will this game feature any zombies? zombie


Spoilers... whistle
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Joel H
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The Coffee-bean Zombies would be a good name for a rock band...
zombie
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Jim Neuschwander
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I will have to take double umbrage with the designer's remarks.

Umbrage the first regards your assertion that Reiner Knizia would rip-off another game. It is known that the good doctor only rips off his own games. Again and again in a never-ending recursive cycle.

Umbrage the second: If this was an attempt to rip-off Excape, it's a complete failure in that you've made a much better game. Yes, it does have that "If your results hold until your next turn, you score points" element. But there is much more to it. Nor is this a yahtzee clone like a lot of the dice games that have come out in recent years.

There is real, crunchy strategy involved here in what you choose to do with your roll. Well-thought-out player interaction. Scales well from 1-4 players. And the modular set-up causes replayability to be off the charts. A very interesting, quick-playing yet thought-provoking game that I hope some will not dismiss as another too-light dice-rolling filler.

Couple all this with the Dice Hate Me Games production, which has been top notch in my experience, and I can't wait for the Kickstarter.

Mr. Petty, I'm sorry I had to break out the umbrage, but it had to be said. Hopefully you can forgive me someday.
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Andrew Garttmeyer
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Good luck TC!
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Sanders
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BTW - anyone interested in knowing how it plays 2 player, may want to check out this review: D-Iced Coffee
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Winterfella wrote:
I will have to take double umbrage with the designer's remarks.

Umbrage the first regards your assertion that Reiner Knizia would rip-off another game. It is known that the good doctor only rips off his own games. Again and again in a never-ending recursive cycle.

Umbrage the second: If this was an attempt to rip-off Excape, it's a complete failure in that you've made a much better game. Yes, it does have that "If your results hold until your next turn, you score points" element. But there is much more to it. Nor is this a yahtzee clone like a lot of the dice games that have come out in recent years.

There is real, crunchy strategy involved here in what you choose to do with your roll. Well-thought-out player interaction. Scales well from 1-4 players. And the modular set-up causes replayability to be off the charts. A very interesting, quick-playing yet thought-provoking game that I hope some will not dismiss as another too-light dice-rolling filler.

Couple all this with the Dice Hate Me Games production, which has been top notch in my experience, and I can't wait for the Kickstarter.

Mr. Petty, I'm sorry I had to break out the umbrage, but it had to be said. Hopefully you can forgive me someday.


Mind if I use a quote from this on the Kickstarter campaign page?

Cheers,
Chris
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Jim Neuschwander
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Absolutely, feel free Chris. That is something I would not take umbrage with.
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Dan Patriss
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Sukka broke out the Umbrage up in here!

Caffeine just got real YO!

Or some other witty remark.

This thing can't hit KS fast enough.

An amazingly fun as all hell game and the re playability with all the variant research powers is AWESOME
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TC Petty III
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Please, Jim, tone down the language. This is a family website.
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Ben Finkel
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Will Vivajava itself be included in a reward tier or as an add-on? If so, will that Kickstarter's goodies be included?
 
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Azeltir wrote:
Will Vivajava itself be included in a reward tier or as an add-on? If so, will that Kickstarter's goodies be included?


Ben,

There will be an "ALL THE CAFFEINE" level that includes everything - Angry Dice, VivaJava Dice, and the original VivaJava which will include the limited Geekspansion. The only thing that won't come with the original VivaJava is the hand-stamped bean bag and hand-painted Brewples. We're officially out of the Brewple business.

This will be a limited tier - only 200 are available.

Cheers,
Chris
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Jack
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How does VivaJava Dice compare to Roll Through the Ages?

I don't see this as a rip off but I see a lot of mechanics that are shared in these two press your luck dice rollers.
 
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Ryan Lorence Syfargo
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ckirkman wrote:
There will be an "ALL THE CAFFEINE" level that includes everything - Angry Dice, VivaJava Dice, and the original VivaJava which will include the limited Geekspansion.

Cheers,
Chris


Wait, what's angry dice?
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fargy wrote:
ckirkman wrote:
There will be an "ALL THE CAFFEINE" level that includes everything - Angry Dice, VivaJava Dice, and the original VivaJava which will include the limited Geekspansion.

Cheers,
Chris


Wait, what's angry dice?


You'll see.
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Ryan Lorence Syfargo
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ckirkman wrote:
You'll see.


Ohhhhh..... i'm excited already!
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TC Petty III
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Loopsy wrote:
How does VivaJava Dice compare to Roll Through the Ages?

I don't see this as a rip off but I see a lot of mechanics that are shared in these two press your luck dice rollers.

Another good comparison. I'd say both games are about the same gameplay weight, but have a completely different feel. I recently played Saint Malo, which is another dice game with the roll a bunch of dice, see what you get, mechanic (Ra: The Dice Game as well). I don't know if "roll a bunch of dice, see what you get" is really a good definition of a mechanic, but I think all these games share that similar feature, so it can be difficult to classify them individually.

I'll answer quick here, but if you get a chance to watch the Kickstarter video, the gameplay section will almost immediately show the differences.

In Roll Through The Ages, players have to collect sets of goods, assign workers to build stuff for points, feed their dice, and also avoid the dreaded SKULLs. Goods are then returned to purchase special abilities. Both games share a sort of "engine-building" aspect. Also, the "press-your-luck" aspect of the RttA is achieved by Rolling the dice for a possibly better result or Famine. I like the game, but it does have two issues: it's a solitaire game that you play with other people (very minimal interaction), and in turn this causes runaway leader problems.

In VivaJava Dice, players can make and score coffee blends or trade in dice results for Research points to unlock abilities. Giving players the option to score points (Blend) OR build up their engine (Research), requires player interaction to function. The "press-your-luck" aspect deals with calculated risk, not active die-rolling. Will another player create a better blend than your four-of-a-kind in Brown by your next turn? If you think so, you can break it apart and Research. If not, keep it and take the risk for the larger payout. Scoring points puts the pressure on other players.

Also, each game the five available Research abilities assigned to the 1-5 pips will change. Instead of simply researching "re-rolling," will you research other dice manipulation abilities allowing you to "add a pip" or "flip" your die to the opposite face? Or will you focus on abilities that are negative or "gift" points to other players in order to score larger points when those ability tracks are completed? Also, as opposed to Roll Through The Ages, you gain abilities along the way, but when you reach the end of each ability track, you score points and then lose that ability. So, there's another extra element of tactical timing. And many times you actually get to do stuff when it isn't your "turn."
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Dan Patriss
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TC if you ever put a feed you workers mechanic in a VJ game I will beat you.... For 90 mins of course
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Sanders
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Does the game include coffee or coffee flavored dice?:

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Sanders wrote:
Does the game include coffee or coffee flavored dice?:



Haha, I only wish. False advertising, I know.
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Clyde W
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Are the dice cubes made out of sugar?
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Sanders
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Any chance for a vivajava coffee tumbler that can also function as a dice cup as well as a coffee cup?
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Ben Finkel
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I'm not entirely sure I understand breaking apart blends. Is it just a way to mitigate the potential loss of someone else trumping yours? You're rolling less than 5 dice, so it seems that your only likely option is to do research unless someone donates Flavor dice to you - is that right?

Also, if you have a scored Rainbow blend, to you continue your turn as if you had no scored blends (rolling and activating as normal)?
 
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Azeltir wrote:
I'm not entirely sure I understand breaking apart blends. Is it just a way to mitigate the potential loss of someone else trumping yours? You're rolling less than 5 dice, so it seems that your only likely option is to do research unless someone donates Flavor dice to you - is that right?


The idea is that it is harder to turn around and make a Feature Blend again. Also, its a risk - do I want to hold on to it for a couple for victory points or do I want to roll 3 dice instead of 2 next turn in hopes to get a better score on research (or a research ability I want).

Quote:

Also, if you have a scored Rainbow blend, to you continue your turn as if you had no scored blends (rolling and activating as normal)?


Yes, you roll 5 dice after scoring a rainbow blend and take your turn like normal. That is the benefit of a Rainbow Blend - you get less PP (victory points) for it, but you can still roll.

However, you turn ends if you are creating the rainbow blend that turn. Also, do not forget if you make a Feature Blend and already own a Rainbow Blend- you will lose the Rainbow Blend.
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