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S1E15 | How We Balanced Dice Summoners | Game Design

Decking Awesome Podcast How we balanced dice summoners

Today we are talking about how we balanced Dice Summoners. We are going to discuss the paths we focused on for players, balancing dice and cards and breaking the rules of balance, just for fun.


hello everyone and welcome to the

decking awesome podcast

my name is brian and i’m joined by the

always awesome kira and own

hello hey today we’re going to talk

about how we balance dice summoners the

different paths we

followed to uh focus on the players the

balancing of the dice and cards and

sometimes just throwing the rules of

balance out the window for fun

we have done a podcast previously on

balancing board games but that was more

a general

podcast on it definitely have a listen

to it if you get a chance you can find

all our podcasts online

today we’re going to focus specifically

on dice summoners i think dice summoners

came out really well the balance on it

is great there’s no

definitive path to victory it’s whatever

strategy you choose and playing it well

so tell me how did we balance this with

keeping the variety and keeping it fun

well you know the journey towards

balancing a board game is always pretty

difficult but we tried to start off with

the core concept of

what did people enjoy when they were

playing the game and so that was

trying to see when they played the game

one of the core concepts that they loved

was picking up a whole bunch of dice

rolling them there’s also the concepts

of like summoning cool creatures

like mythic creatures and things that

they might are kind of familiar with

lots of different kind of types of

creatures out there and all sorts of

different types of spells some people

like to

be a magician who you know cast fireball

also people want to have giant dinosaurs

in our army everyone’s different

and so also how that progresses from new

players to

advanced players as they learn more

about the game yes so

i think we picked out the really key

part that people enjoyed

and combined them with the different

stages of the game so

there is the start middle and end of

of the game and we kind of wanted to

keep those three pieces

intact and so that different things

happen at the different stages

and we wanted to make sure that that


people could feel that they’re actually

doing more in the game as the game moves

on and that there’s

something worthwhile happens in each of

those stages so

while it’s always hard to tell exactly

when each of those stages starts and


it’s important for players to feel like

they are progressing so you probably

need to have quite clear

sections in the game and once you’ve

figured out those sections

or at least a basic structure for those

sections it makes it easier to balance

the game

yeah yeah because when you’re playing

the game everyone kind of looks at the

community cards in front of them and

they might have this general idea

as to what they want their final army to

look like when they make their like

attack and

as they progress through the game so

everyone has these grand designs of what

they want

but some people also maybe want a

smaller army and they’ll probably get

there quicker than everybody else

and other people want to get like pretty

much some people want to summon all the

mythic creatures in the game

so it’s all about trying to do that yeah

some people do that but it tends to make

them lose because they spend so much

dice on yeah somebody made the creatures

all the effort going into trying to get

the really big hitters out in the game

yeah it’s really fun though when you

have them all in our army but you know

the opponent is also

has their own scheme and their own plan

and so

it’s all about kind of building that

army building that game

engine to try and capitalize on it and


at the end yeah and in each section you

kind of want to make sure that

there’s cards available to the players

that they can use like as we said

pulling out all your mythic creatures

early as early as possible

it sounds like a great idea but people

who can kind of see the structure of it

know that if you don’t have

enough dice for that if you use all your

dice straight away

without building up a good die space

you’re just gonna

leave yourself without any actions to do

and completely open to

a player’s attack so because of that we

kind of

realized that we need to make sure that

when you’re building up your army you’re

balancing that

you’re building up dice or you’re

getting better hitters

in the short term so that’s how we split

up i think

a lot of the pieces to create the

balance and then

i guess the dice were key to keep in

mind because

while you get a lot of variance on the

dice on what you roll

you actually should be able to do

something with them at all times so

that’s pretty key as well

yeah yeah because when you when you

think of the dice in the game you get

the red and the blue dice

you see some people wanting to go for

like quantity so they wanted

loads of blue dice and they have to kind

of build an army related to that

new players don’t really have to worry

too much about this the game is kind of

structured so that

if you’re just going to pick whatever

you want you’ll still get enough actions

you might

be missing out on some points but it

should be pretty good the only problem

you can get into is

say you summon the chimera trying to

early game you might not be able to

attack with that khmer because it

requires tree sulfur to do it

so those are kind of gutches that uh you

know new players would

feel kind of like annoyed because they

summon this awesome creature and they

can’t even attack with it but advanced

players and as they progress through the

game they’ll realize that they can

incorporate this

creature in a different way than other

cards and so they start to see these

small little differences in the cards

and how they can take an effect the

balance of your own army and what you’re

trying to go for

and so those although you know the

chimera and the baphomet they’re all end


big hitters what you decide to do mid

game or early game and the kind of

composition of dice you pick that really


how well your army will function okay so

where we’re talking there about the the

early mid and late stage cards

this this kind of thing led us to more

of a balance of the game so where you

could you could balance it so that no

one is running away with it too early

when you get to kind of mid game and

people are settling into their

their plan their routine you can start

to start to focus

on what your plan is and you know

building up a stronger army

and then you have the late game where

you’re sort of you know you’re finishing

it you’re ending it you’ve got the big

hitters out on the game so

talk to us about balancing like the the

early game cards yeah so those three

stages are very

very kind of important to what we

noticed that players were doing

throughout the game the early game we

noticed that people were trying to build

up their army trying to build up their


that they can make some people just

wanted to get as many dice as possible

that gives them more options for what to

do later on some people wanted to make

sure that the

creatures and spells that they picked

gave them an offensive

advantage when it comes into the mid

game so all those kind of early game

decisions it’s not just about picking a

lot of basic creatures that you’re just

going to eventually sacrifice

it’s about what those creatures and

choices give you

depending on what the opponent does and

then when you look at individual cards

you can then kind of focus on their

intention so the kind of biggest example

especially with early game is the basic

creatures and the spells

a lot of spells require one dice symbol

so things like the attack and the fan


and then all the basic creatures they

all give you one dice

and that kind of allows us to focus

those two

as one group and then compare them to

each other so like the spell cards don’t

give you dice

so we wanted to make them more powerful

so if the player does pick them

they’re not missing out so one player

picks a basic creature one player picks

a spell

card they might be losing on a dice but

they’ll have more options

of doing aggressive things or they might

give themselves more defense

so that they can kind of like skip a

little bit of the mid game because they

can defend against these massive attacks

the other advantage of spell cards is

what we found was

in the early game you might only have a

limited amount of dice

and you can have a lot of dice left over

if you’re not planning carefully

and the idea is that spell cards were a

way for us to fill that gap

so if you have an uneven number of dice

in your early game a lot of the stuff

you need to do

needs an even number of dice bringing

spell cards in

when we originally decided to have them

was like for a use at the start of the

game for a single dice

and maybe you’ve already used your

creature attacks or maybe you’re

building up your army

and you’re about to discard one of the

basic creatures to someone in advanced


you want to be able to do something with

with the with the

leftover dice you have that’s still


especially for people who are really

conservative some people will summon

loads of creatures you know that they

does have loaded ice

and by the statistical probability

they’re going to get the dice that they


always so they’re going to get ten dice

when they know there’s five symbols that

they want

and they’re just going to say that

because they have 10 dice it’s likely

that you’re going to get them

whereas some other people are really

conservative with their dice they’re

going to get enough that they can get

the things they want

maybe they’re going to get like five or

you know but half of them are red

and then what you end up with is those

conservative people

can end up with one dice left over

because they were looking for exactly

the right amount

so i think that and because we knew that

in early game people are summoning basic

creatures we knew that we had that gap

where you could end up with one loan

dice and that the idea was to bring

spell cards into it so people who

found themselves in that situation had

something to do where it wasn’t just

carry over the dice

so early on you had the you had the

balance of spells that will do more

damage but you have the creatures that

give you extra dice and that’s the

offset so do you want to build up your

army get a lot of dice maybe you can’t

do a lot of damage up front

but you know now you have more dice

which gives you more options

or do you want to be able to do a lot of

damage up front

so that’s that was a good early game way

off of spells

and creatures so what about mid game

then when you start moving beyond your

initial setup and

deciding what you’re going to do where

do you where do you start going from


yeah mid game is kind of where the game

opens up and a lot of the community

cards become available to players

and their different strategies that they

want to pick one of the things we notice


some people will tend to kind of

especially new players they’ll go for

big hitters

so they’ll go for like creatures that do

like four damage with one dice that kind

of stuff

it doesn’t create a super balanced army

because you’re expecting good roles

and if those good roles don’t come you

can’t do specific actions

so we find that there’s a couple

different types of player styles one of

them just

expects to get the best if they don’t

get that role then

their whole plan is shot whereas other

players more conservative

they want to get no matter what i roll

i’ll be able to do something with my


i’ll be able to do kind of more attacks

actually a couple of the

mid-game cards that we kind of focus on

were curses those

big strong spell cards like combat sets

and the advanced creatures

yeah so i think the red dice come into

play here a good bit

so in early game you’re probably not

going to have that many red dice to deal

with but a red rice is almost an


to go along with the the advanced point

you’re at in your army

so whether you pick some big hitter or

creatures or maybe you just pick some

advanced creatures that have red dyes on


you start to need those dice so none of

the none of the small

lower level cards or the cards that came

out in the in the start of the game

need the triangle symbol that’s only

available on the red dice

so i think it becomes kind of key then

to the later gameplay if you’ve built up

your army so that it needs red dice

you need to make sure you also get red

dice because you won’t get enough wild

cards on your

on your blue dice to really fulfill all

the things you need

on those late game creatures summoning

advanced creatures

auras they’re all much harder to get if

you don’t have those red dice so

you want to think about your long-term

strategy if you’re going to just stay

with low-level cards and

maybe you want to stay with blue dice

because a lot of the spell cards only

need blue dice and

that could be a strategy that you want

to keep and i guess that’s you want to

focus on

keeping just lots of of low-level

creatures whereas if you want to get


and advanced skills or you want to use a

lot of the advanced creatures that

you’ll need the red dice to do that

so that’s that’s actually a good point

when you throw in spells and or when you

throw in curses and auras

into your mid game now they’re not cards

that are inaccessible for people

in the early game so someone could

sacrifice or could use all three of

their dice

to cast a curse on their opponent but

you know they’ve used all three of their

dice that’s

that’s their entire turn gone so now

maybe they’re leaving themselves very


so the opponent goes all right well you

know you’ve done a bit of damage to me

at the start of my turn but

you haven’t defended yourself at all so

now i’m going to make now i’m going to

punish you for it

so you know well the options for well

the mid game strategy options are there

for your early game

it might not be a great idea to do them

early game so that’s a progression in

the game that you see you know

using three of four dice is very

detrimental but

using three of eight dice not so much so

as you go on in the game you get more

creatures you get more dice

now all of a sudden casting curses

learning auras

maybe it’s a better strategy for you and

then i suppose when you move into the

likes of the mythic creatures the end

game creatures

now you’re going to start using a lot of

them so where did the

the mythic creatures come into endgame

yeah mythic creatures

they are what all players can notice

straight from the go

they look at the powerful creatures

coming out in the middle

and they think to themselves i want that

creature or they might build their whole

kind of army around that if it’s a big

hitter dude does like bafflement who

does like seven damage they want to

kind of create a good army composition

where they can use the two

red dice that batman gives to kind of

integrate into the rest

of their army in case they don’t get

their what they want uh but because

mythic creatures are such powerful


we noticed when we were balancing the

game that they were too strong

and once they were onto the field the


was almost guaranteed to win against

someone who didn’t have a mythic

creature even if they were trying to

learn one themselves

so we put in this kind of ritual aspect

which meant that the

person had to use five sulfur which we

found was a very kind of balancing


which gives the opponent the chance to

notice that the opponent is now

summoning amid the creature

and then they can deal with that fact

because usually in those summers

it’s almost instant to get an advanced

creature you get a curse

the opponent casts a spell it’s all very

instant and reactive

you’re gonna have to guess work on what

the person is doing but with the mythic

creature you know they’re summoning

about the creature next round

and it’s up to you to use that to your

advantage know that they’re about to

kind of use up a whole bunch of their

powerful dice on that

and it’s your time to take the advantage

so some people will someone admit the

creature themselves in that time

other peoples will take the advantage

and attack if the person’s not defending

so yeah i think that that’s really

powerful and i think the end game isn’t

all about the mythic creatures though

i guess mythic creatures are just

probably the only features that are

really gonna

make a substantial difference in end

game a lot of the end game is about

using what you’ve built to defeat your

opponent so it’s that sort of

jumping to claim victory and

finish the game we’re careful about how

long we wanted it to feel i guess there

was a lot more to that

but the key was that one with the

creatures don’t necessarily

have to come out in the end game or they

can help or hinder

the end game was all about making sure

that the game came to a conclusion

that it tied up and that the cards that

were available to players at that time

were towards that goal so if it was very

close up to that point

bringing in a mythic creature can push

you just a little bit over the line

so that you defeat your enemy oh yeah

i’d also consider uh auras

to be end game cards as well which kind

of really helped the

player determine or they’re a little bit

different because they don’t require as

many dices mythic creatures but if you

see them and you kind of know the game a

little bit you can create your army

composition based around yours hoping

that you’ll get them in the late game

although that could you know open you up

to weaknesses if you’re kind of focusing


one specific thing your opponent can see

that and then could take advantage of it

this is just one of the things we

noticed during the balancing steps

is that even if you know all of the ways

the dyson is balanced the more you play

the more experience you get

you can then still not fully utilize

that to your advantage so a good example

is someone who starts off and they’re

just so many basic creatures and

advanced creatures

just sort of thinking build up this kind

of army more and more and more and

opponents can see

what the player is doing and can take

that time to maybe learn a spell

early game and then do some quick damage

to a person’s hp

because there’s no defense because it

doesn’t cost that much dice you can take

off almost half the person’s defense

before they’ve built their engine and so

if you’re paying attention to your what

your opponent is doing and

your own plan and you kind of modify it

based on it you can see that these

early game mid game and end game can

kind of change rapidly and you can

change your plan

and build and instead of having to build

your full army with auras

and mythic creatures if you can

potentially win without doing any of


and you can take the kind of advantage

and you know win right in the mid game

you should definitely take it yeah

that’s a good point that they’re

so no matter what strategy you’re taking

you’re giving yourself an

option for victory as long as you’re

keeping an eye on your opponent to make

sure this

you can nip their plan on the bud as

well well that’s if you see them clearly

building up towards these mythic

creatures that are doing big damage

maybe an aura with all of your advanced


it’s going to do just as much harm as

their big guy when they finally get him

out on the board

yeah yeah because you can see if your

players just going for one specific type

of thing whether it’s healing or

defending or attacking

if they don’t have a nice balanced


then they’re requiring like good roles

to be able to stop you from

doing your plans so you can kind of take

advantage of it and you know it’s all

about that looking it’s not just

two-player solitaire this is very much a

kind of

interactive what stage of the game

because different players might be in

different stages you know

one person might be in late game trying

to get that mythic creature trying to

get that aura

another player is just getting more and

more advanced creatures with blue dice

and it’s just saying i don’t need to go

there i can just i can stick in this


i can do medium damage i have enough

spells to use up my dice i can

fight my battle from here yeah yeah i

know when you’re balancing a game

i i know you can balance the game to

within an inch of its life where it

stops being

fun you can have it so that every

strategy works and every strategy has a

good chance of winning but

it’s boring because you’ve over balanced


so what kind of issues or what kind of

difficulties do you face when you’re

trying to balance

enjoyment and a balanced game yeah this

is one of the things we noticed with the

mythic creatures especially which was

that people really enjoyed summoning

mythic creatures and they felt they were

really powerful and they were really

like the crooks of their army

and but when we when we’re doing play

testing we noticed these are

highly imbalanced these were very easy

to get onto the board

and i think it was only like two or

three sulfur that’s a third i can’t


i think it was three yeah yeah and even

that it seems high but

it wasn’t that hard yeah because not

only are creatures really strong and


the high defense height attack but they

also give the best dice and so

we added in that ritual thing our

original decision

what we were thinking of doing was just

reducing the strength of the

creatures whether that means reducing

the strength of the dice

or the attack or the defense doing any

of those kind of ruins the fun

yeah people enjoy having the big hitters

people want the

real damage doers on the board and

having a little bit of a challenge

like they’re not easy to get out on the

board and you kind of feel good about

bringing them out

yeah so when we added that ritual first

of all it was tricky because this

is a special rule kind of and people

find it a little bit tricky

once they understood it they actually

got more enjoyment out of that kind of

challenge of actually getting it onto

the field i survived

baphomet’s out there he’s you’re like

you’re only on six health the other

guy’s on 20

but i still got him out stick up at the

fence and then just attack

another thing that we himmed in hot over

was the rolling the dice so i guess

everyone enjoys rolling dice it’s a lot

of fun guys

and we are definitely totally on board

with that like roll for the galaxy one

of the most enjoyable games

you can potentially roll a ton of dice


and i guess we when we brought that in

we we

allowed players to build up and massive


and roll tons and tons of dice and

the problem was that started to first of

all it

would cost a lot to have an imp like 50

dice in the game

and it would be way too expensive for us

to produce

but also it doesn’t really make for a

balanced game

if one person can just go mild outside

of what we were aiming for

it could make the game last a really

long time so

what we did there was we started to put

kind of a limit on

how many creatures you could have so as

creatures give you dice

that means that there’s a limit on how

many dice you can have at any time so

that also helped with us pushing people

into the end game because there’s a

certain point where

either your the army you’ve built works

or doesn’t work you’ve either built it

well so it works as a dice you’ve got

or you build it terribly and you need to

be defeated so

what we did was limiting those metal

creatures restricted the size of the


it meant that we now had a hard limit on

how many dice somebody needed to use in

the game

so we knew exactly how many dice we

needed to put in the box

but that was a bit where we kind of had


force a limit on something so that it


balance the game and the game didn’t go

crazy so even though we all enjoyed the

rolling the dice

we did have to reign it back so that it

made sense

yeah because you know people really do

like like rolling those dice

totally agree putting that lemon and

also kind of

gave different strategic elements to the

game that we hadn’t kind of really

noticed before

it like it’s kind of annoying if you

have six basic creatures out

and you roll two more mercury that you

can’t get another basic creature

but i think that’s also like a good show


like what else like you know you’re

going to roll more mercury in your game

you need to figure something to do with

this instead of just you know if you

don’t have anywhere for these days to go

then you’re just going to have ways to

dice and so it’s very much up to the

players to

kind of strategically come up with ways

of using them in an effective way to win

so putting those hard limits on the

cards kind of makes

like the objective of the game more

clear and kind of focuses players so

yeah it’s pretty good yeah it’s it’s a

good way of the game the game is quite

balancing in that

is you get to a point where you’ve done

as much as you can with this strategy

so you start summoning all basic

creatures to get as many dice as you can


and yes great early game that works very

well you know you’re rolling six dice

while your opponent might be rolling


and you’re you’re at a great advantage

then numerically anyway

but as the game goes on you know now you

have to start replacing your creatures


you go okay well i’ve built my army what

do i do now so

the game encourages you to evolve your

strategy to changes to diversify so if

you focus on

just one element of the game if you go

i’m just going to go all out attack

you’re not going to win if you go all

out defense you’re not going to win all

out healing you’re not going to win

it forces you to to kind of diversify

between a good mix of healing stealing

attacking defending

you know if you can’t put up a couple of

different strategies

you’re not going to get very far in the

game so if you go you go all out attack

your opponent’s just going to go okay i

defend against half of that and i attack

you back but you have no defense

so it’ll ultimately be your your

downfall same with that person who just

puts up a giant wall of defense and does

no attacking

all the while they’re doing that the

other person is just building and

building and building their army so

by the time they come to face that wall

of defense

in earnest they can now do 30 damage

they wipe out your wall they take off 10

health you put all the effort into

putting the wall back up and the wall

gets knocked down again

yeah yeah it’s definitely a tricky one

because yeah we i think we find a

great balance of the amount of maximum

dice that a player

can have and have fun rolling before

they realize that you know

it’s not it’s not just too boring

because like you know if you keep

summoning mythic creatures and you keep

adding more and more advanced creatures

at some point you’re going to be holding

like that

much too big a pile of dice whereas you

know if you kind of cap it at a certain

point you’re kind of leaving the players

wanting more

if they’re just in there for rolling

dice because people really do love just

picking up a handful of dice and rolling

them you never see as much joy in

someone’s face when they’re playing the

game that’s when they pick up like

12 or 13 of the dice and just drop them

all all at once

uh one of the other issues that we found

out was everyone kind of has their own

strategy and when they see dice owners

the first time they kind of

gravitate to certain styles but we

wanted to kind of focus

on interaction and kind of aggression

and then competing for a win

so originally when we balanced the game

we had like the same amount of attacking

creatures as defending creatures

we had lots of healing and stuff and we

didn’t really have the concept of deck


at that point and we found that the

games can kind of drag on a little bit

if one person is perfectly defending a

person’s perfectly attacking

but we found that we can kind of limit

that and kind of

change it by deciding what kind of cards

are in the community what kind of cards

are available to people

and then if they want to defend they

just know that it’s not going to be

their whole thing they won’t be able to

get just a full

wall of creatures and spells they can

put up with significant defense

but they’re going to have to think about

alternative options as well like how

what kind of aggressive things can they

do what kind of

heavy hitters they can put in so you

have a good balance of

the types of cars that are available to

you does this then mean

you know you can you can make other

changes you can go down different routes

what kind of options does that give you

so i guess

we’re able to figure out what sort of

cards played well together

in the game if you look in the rulebook

we have different deck sets that are


and what we did was when we found the

balance of what worked well together

we were able to put together cards that

play against us

so if you want to play kind of an attack

game we knew which cards drove that


but we’re also happy that if you pick

any four cards in the game

across any of the advanced creatures

that they will work together

some of them won’t be you know if you

really want an attack game

obviously you don’t get bringing a lot

of angels because that’s just gonna

cause you to not have any cards you want

to draw but we did know that if you did


a lot of angels with a lot of dinosaurs

they still balance it just brings

forward a different type of game

so having the balance across all the

different sections

and knowing where the basic cards fit

where the advanced cards fit

and where the admitted cards fit you

know how you can combine those things so

it made the game play pretty smooth

and we were happy that no matter what

people decide on for

if they want to make up their own deck

sets that they work pretty well

i like the idea that someone’s listening

to this who hasn’t played dice summoners

and is now just imagining a dinosaur

riding a t-rex into battle

that’s exactly how the game works

yeah yeah pretty much

yeah lots of different styles of cards i

think people can some people gravitate

towards the angels some people gravitate

towards like zombies and stuff we can’t

have everything for everybody yeah

i’m really happy with the type of

creatures that we came up with once you


the balance of a game and you know the

rules so like

like even even talking about the balance

of the game even you know it’s

we we knew the mats involved behind each

advanced creature each

basic creature and kind of the spells

and we knew how they would affect the

kind of the main game but they were

still kind of loose

they had a kind of a vagueness to them

and but at least we knew where the

limits were and so that allows us to

create new cards

that were kind of unknown beforehand so

one of them is kind of like a werewolf

who is kind of a very cool character who

can attack

two different abilities so he has no

defense and that’s kind of very

interesting way of going

you know they can get defense from some

other card so we don’t actually need to

create defense here

and allows us to come up with these cool

new ideas the sacrifice set was one of

those cool new ideas that

we brought in we don’t have it in the

basic set because it’s kind of an extra

set of rules you have to know

but we could because we had an idea of

how much a basic creature was worth

i guess in in the overall balance of the

game having

a spell that you could sacrifice a basic

creature to get an attack or a defense

we were able to figure out what that

cost would be so bringing in new skills

and so

once we had some sort of base that we

could match it to meant that we didn’t

bring in a skill that

totally broke the rules of the game or

imbalanced the game

bringing it in kind of once we followed

the structure that we had in place

and all the different steps we wanted

were able to bring in a spell set

that had a really unique feature and

really unique

elements to it without breaking the

whole game

yeah that’s very cool i know like when

we’re playing

this as well uh and play testing it

those decks that you’re mentioning they


they someone came up kind of naturally

as well so we found that the

we have the balance deck set that’s what

it’s pretty much a starter one

it’s also one that we play all the time

just because it’s very kind of


it doesn’t have all the complex

abilities but it’s

it it gives a good gameplay time

but as we’re playing the deck sets we

realize that the combinations of the


can lead to longer games where most of

the game is done in

end game and then you have the attack

set where you know if you have a very

good mid game and you’ve got some good

dice rolls you can win mid before any of

the admitted creatures are

summoned so all these kind of things

they really help make you

understand get more knowledge of the

game the curses are a great example of a

good card that we learned from

balancing the game because they’re tough

to figure out like if you look at the

achilles mist it does like nine damage

over three rounds

for two salt which is way too powerful

usually that would be like six

damage but this does nine damage i think


play testing and true understanding the

balance of the game if people

expect 3 damage each ground they can

defend against it and it kind of works

its way out

so you can kind of see into making

things more powerful

but if you understand the rules of the

game you can see that they’re not going

to be that powerful

because you know in tree rounds time

both people’s enemies are going to be

stronger anyway

so that nine damage is kind of reduced

yeah anyway

so what about the dice you know there’s

we have

we have blue dice and we have red dice

different faces on both how do you

balance those yeah well when you have


of the whole game and all the different

cards and you begin to see

that if you have a lot of blue dice or

if you have a lot of red dice

that are coming in from different cards

you can see how

balanced does dice are in comparison to

each other so if one person

chooses a style where they only pick

blue dice and they only pick blue

creatures and then one person

another person picks like some red

creatures you can see that the person

with the red dice beforehand we had it

so that the red dice had three

wild cards that person gave it gave them

more options

and it became that dice became too

powerful it wasn’t as balanced

between the players strategies and on

the opposite side of that

we had no wild cards on the blue dice

for a while

because we knew what sort of structure

they needed to be

and we were kind of turning back and

forth as to what

the six symbols should be on the blue

dice we knew we didn’t want any of the

sulfur symbols

because that gave too much of an element

of you could do anything with the blue

dice and the whole point of the red dice

was that it was an evolution of the blue


so we played around with it and we tried

it out with having no wild cards

having no wild cards meant that there

was no like

drive to aim for a card so the player’s


enjoyment of getting a wild card when

they roll the blue dice was lost

so we really had to balance that

carefully like you wanted people to go

oh yes i got something i can do anything

with even though

at the start of the game all you can do

with a wild card is either

use the salt or the mercury symbol there

wasn’t anything very fancy you could do

with it

but having it on that gave people a

little more enjoyment and a little more

feel like

they rolled a really good roll so we

kind of had to balance the fact that

according to the mats we had applied a

wild card didn’t really fit on it

but on the red dice then having too many

wild cards even though

mathematically you want the red eyes to

be amazing you have to balance out the

fact that that’s maybe too much

you want people to have wild cards in

the game but not to just get them all

the time so that they

they kind of phase out of it and the

people with the red dice

are just going to win yeah that’s the

same with the

with this kind of balancing and looking

at the different dice as well

it helps us really consolidate and what

those faces should be

i think we’re i’m really happy with how

the dice showed up and then when you

have a red dice and a blue dice uh

depending on

what your army is and where you’re

trying to go for they can both be as

valuable as each other depending on

what you’re trying to go for you’ve got

a lot of spells you’ve got a lot of

creatures that require a lot of mercury

you know this you’re well worth just

getting more blue dice than

only a couple of red dice and it also

leads us to

doing interesting things like the

chimera card

so the chimera creature that one gives

you two blue dice

and a red dice which is different than

any other

creature and that because that’s because

we wanted the creature to be a little

bit weaker

to not give it as many dice because it

does a big 10 attack and we found that

having two blue dice and a red dice

although that’s more dice

it’s not as effective at the end game

people want those red dice if you get

admitted creature but you can use it to

your advantage as well

if you’re not even going to use the cr

the cameras attack you’re only going to

use those blue lights you can use

that kind of disadvantage to your

advantage so you’re summoning the

biggest hitter in the game the guy who

does the most damage and you’re

literally just using him for the dice he

gives you


being happy with the balance of the game

on the whole

really brought in a lot of new game

options so one of the things

that we figured it was possible was

simultaneous gameplay

so i think oh and you’ve been looking

for this in the game for a while you had

been trying to figure out some way to

just make the game

progress faster in some instances

and because we knew the core mechanics

were stable i think that that really

brought a lot to that

to us allowing us to make a simultaneous

game mode

yeah and because we knew it was balanced

we pretty much just

uh chopped off the end game and we made


so that the limits are now four which

which meant that we still had enough

depending on the decks that you pick and

stuff you could still limit the amount

of dice that the person has so that it

makes sense and they can’t go overboard

so that was really interesting because

it’s only because we had

we understood the game and we had to

balance the game down

that you can do those kind of changes

and you don’t have to worry too much

about it because a couple of play tests

get into people’s hands see if they

enjoy it and you don’t have to worry

about like

what would the sacrifice set do in that

kind of situation or

there’s like a small sub rule here if

all the balance is done already and

the specific use case scenarios balance

themselves out

then everything’s going to work so those

curses they still work

in a very small amount of dice in that

simultaneous gameplay

simultaneous plays is the quick play

variant rules that we have on our


and you can definitely check them out if

you haven’t heard of them and you have

dice owners definitely check them out

yeah you can download a pdf with it with

their rule set on them and we found that


we did get a lot of kids under 14

playing the game

and sometimes they can get a little

frustrated because it goes take so long

and quick play definitely it doesn’t

have the strategic value of the lung


but it keeps them active and interactive

so if you’re playing with a kid or

if i think that’s where our core market

for for

that shorter game is and i know some we

now send out

the rules which annie purchases recently

but we didn’t actually have those rules

when we started out because

we didn’t see the market for it and we

didn’t really understand the full

balance of the game until we got to

until we got really comfortable with

watching other people playing and

now pretty happy that that that provides

an alternative

if you want something a little more fast

paced without the

the longer end game and the longer

strategic value

yeah which brings up a good point of

multiplayer and die summer as well

so like you know a lot of people have

asked for like three player or four

player dice summoners

and although the balancing of 1v1 allows

us to know what the kind of rules is in


kind of scenarios having multiple

players fighting a competitive gain

adds a whole different set of challenges

to the balance

and the rules there’s some pretty good

cool ideas it’s usually going to be like

2v2 or 2v1 instead of free-for-all

we’ve we’ve talked about the

free-for-all rules and stuff and we can

never figure

out and fighting someone to your left


the problem is king making without

forcing people

not to choose who to attack it just

seems a little bit like bullying happens

and maybe that’s just because we don’t

pay that many competitive games


so we would play a lot of two-player

competitive games

but when you get up to a tree or four

player you want to just be careful about


king making and everyone bullying

somebody it’s tricky because not just

bullying but if you’re playing

in a free-for-all game with three

players who do you attack

yeah because if you’re if you’re if it’s

your first goal when you’ve just


like this kind of werewolf you can only


you have to pick someone you know and

you’re just gonna you’re just gonna

annoy them

and that’s that’s queer king making

becomes a hindrance

for those of you who don’t know king

making is basically where you’re not

going to win but you decide who does win

so say the three of us are playing and

i’ve been

knocked down i’ve only got two health i

know i’m not going to survive past this

round no matter how much defense i put

up i can just dedicate all of the dice

i’ve rolled to attacking one of the

other players

so i basically choose who’s going to win

the game

which isn’t always as fun you know you

can play a very good game and then if

both players turn on you all of a sudden

you know it doesn’t matter how good a

game you’ve played you’re two against

one and

you’re not going to win so balancing a

game like that becomes

quite tricky and quite difficult and

hard to do

in a fair way yeah yeah so that’s why

games like 2v1 or 2v2

they can make sense they can be kind of

with the simultaneous rules we’re still

kind of working at the

doing a lot of play testing on dice

owners on that kind of area but

yeah we have a quick play variant which

is very fun and so if you do have three


just play true games a quick play


or you can make up your own rules as

well the game is balanced enough anyway

if you make up your own rules and they

work really well send us an email

so is there anything else you’d talk

about with regards

balance and dice summoners you know on

our journey through like balancing die


we do find that getting the knowledge of


cards individual cards and then the

overall scope of the game

it kind of always leads to like new

ideas and new choices and then

kind of a laser focus as to what the

problems are and

you know you might have a game where

you’re not really sure what the balance

is and you’re kind of working on cool

new cards

you might have to come up with like new

ideas if you know the balance of a game

and you can see the gaps in your game

like new cards and new abilities and new

mechanics and stuff that just fit in

because you’re like

okay well you know i’ve got this healer

and this defender what if i had a guy


you know stole health or if i had what

if i had a guy who just did

attacks and like two different attacks

like new mechanics

and new solutions they just kind of fit

into place

when you make this kind of graph of your

whole game it’s always going to be worth


balancing a game okay i suppose for

anyone listening who hasn’t managed to

get themselves a copy of dice summoners

yet it is available on our website

at if you want to give it

a try before

you purchase this we have the game up on

boardgame arena at the moment

thanks to onakira who’ve put in stellar

work over the last uh

couple of months getting the game up and

running so board game arena is a

platform where you can play board games

for free there’s a premium tier but you

should be able to play dice summers

without premium tier

obviously it’s a really good platform we

really enjoy playing especially

true covert it has been a real lifesaver

on getting to still play

board games with our friends the

advantage of the platform is

things like the rules that we have

they’re all inbuilt into the program

so you don’t have to remember that you

get an opportunity

to use defense against the curse the

game will put in all those rules

automatically so it’s actually quite an

easy way to play a game

and it can be a little bit easier than

on tabletopian software

you have to remember the rules though

they are really good platforms as well

so i think owen has put in a

particularly large effort on this

he got it up online for alpha and beta

testing so

we’re really really pleased with how it

came out and it’s definitely true to the


so try it out on there i think it’s

yeah yeah just just google board game

marina and then search for dyson version

you should find it

there’s a whole bunch of free games to

play on board game arena they can

definitely check out we got loads uh you

probably will find us on there as well

if you don’t have a game but yeah yeah

it’s really fun all right guys i think

that pretty much wraps it up on how we

balance dice summoners if you’ve enjoyed


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