Game of Chance (Assumption Breaking Game Design)

While brainstorming ideas for a game, I realized that there was an assumption that I was making about dice in general. I assumed that the outcome of a die-roll was random, that players had no control over the die itself, and the act of influencing the result of a die was cheating.

I decided to turn every one of those assumptions on their head and design a game based off of that, a game where the player could take control of the die.

I scripted a controller for a 6 sided die, giving players the ability to add rotational force to move the die, sort of like Monkey Ball. Unlike Monkey Ball, however, I didn’t want players to be able to roll forever, so I tweaked the weight and forces of the die to make it just agile enough to roll, but also cumbersome to punish mistakes.

Now that I had these mechanics, I wondered what sort of setting or narrative they implied. The phrase “control your fate” sounded very fitting, so I built a world around that.

“You were so average, so mundane, So Boring before you died. 
Morally apathetic, Consciously uninteresting.

I have the good, the bad, the morally ambiguous, the spiritually dubious, 
the strong man, the weak bully, the Worm… 
but then there’s YOU.

You’re in Limbo right now because I can’t figure out if you deserve 
to live in heaven or burn in hell for you Boringness.

So, how about it? 
Give me one last laugh. Let me see you claw and scrape for something 
for once in your life. Today you decide for me whether you go 
to Heaven or Hell.”

You’ve just died, and you were so boring that God is having a hard time deciding where to categorize you.

There is a board game that’s being played that you directly influence with your rolls. Each tile has a moment from your life that was either heavenly or hellish (no matter how mediocre or insignificant) and it’s up to you to land on the right spots to show God your good or bad side.

The bright white obstacles below the board game is what you navigate through when you throw the die. The further you get through the board game, the harder the terrain gets to navigate. With more time, I would have liked to dig into the design of the board game and the terrain to make more interesting difficulty spikes.

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