What is Dice Inc.?
Dice Inc is an economic dice battle game with dice auctions, stock markets and dice battles. Players are the CEO of their own company and their goal is to be the first player with $1500. Every turn, players will gain money and shares via dice movement, battle and hex income. The more dice and hexes the players own, the more money they will collect. The catch is, to earn more dice, players need to give shares of their company to other players through a dice auction. When it comes to the income phase (where most of a players money comes from), players will need to pay the different share holders in their company. While everyone is trying to build up their bank account, dice will be battling each other for control of the most valuable hexes and effects that are “floating” around the board. Effects range from bonus cash, bonus shares to cash penalties and even Tax Day so not all effects are good and effects will hurt your share holders.
What we like about it
Like is not a strong enough word. We love this game and are extremely excited to have designed a game we think can make a “welcome to the game world” statement for TGIK Games. We like the blend of mechanics across every players turn. None of the mechanics take over the game and when one mechanic finished, the game flows to the next mechanic simply and logically. We really enjoy the dual auction system Dice Inc. uses. If a player wants a die, they will need to offer shares of their company. If a player wants those shares, they will offer cash. One die auction can have multiple players on both sides of the transaction, so much fun. The battle mechanic for this game is super simple and we really wanted to keep it that way. Sometimes it is too easy to make a battle mechanic filled with adjustments and mods and we really wanted to avoid that. Even though battle is simple, the board turns into a predator vs prey dance. Certain dice can be combined to make powerful units which allows for players to transition from economic mode to attack mode. We love the player interaction being on three different levels. Players participate in auctions, battle and “dance” with each other and buy and sell company stock with one another. Along with player interaction, every player gets to move their company die on everyone else’s turn, so there is no room for downtime when other people are playing. We love that none of the parts in Dice Inc are too complicated to pick up. Each part of the game on its own is simple and straight forward. This makes the game easy to pick up for casual and family gamers, and when all the parts are combined, we feel there is meat on the strategy bone for the more experience gamer. Finally, and most of all, we believe this is a great game to introduce TGIK to the gaming world. Broad appeal, simple and fun mechanics, dice, and tons of player interaction!
What we don’t like about it
Most, if not all, of what we don’t like is due to the early stages of testing. We have yet to figure out the best end game trigger. Right now we sit at first player to $1500, but that feels anti-climactic. When testing the game, it makes sense and it might be the way to go, but I like my end game triggers to be a little more interesting….but for now it is what it is. We don’t know how long a game takes yet….what!!!?? Since we have had to slow play testing and work out the bugs, we have not had a chance to play a full game where every turn flows the way it should. We have had half games that flow wonderfully but not a full game so we don’t know how long game play is. While the game has been great in the 3-4 player setting, we are working on the 2p variant, and the game feels very different with 2 players. We might scrap the idea, we might keep working on it. Finally, the rough prototype we have only supports 4 players right now. We would like it to support more but lack of dice supply and other materials is tripping up prototype expansion plans. Go out and get them you say? Life gets in the way of design more often then I want it to…
What we have left to do
We need to upgrade the rough prototype, whether it be a Game Crafter copy or a better produced hand made copy. We need to get the rules into a rule book format. Right now, the rules fit on two index cards. We need to discuss plans for the artwork. I have ideas of what to do but Aidan and I have yet to talk about where we want to go with art. We need to test and test some more so we can find the base game and figure out the number of player Dice Inc will support.
Since the base game has no theme other than running your own company, there is a lot of room for theme expansion. There are economic mechanics we would like to add in expansion, such as, Mergers and Acquisitions, running multiple companies and board formations.