top of page
  • Writer's pictureZhiguo Lai

Dice Canyon

A. Notes from your brainstorming, or whatever process you used to get to your initial idea.

First I use the method from the hopscotch to brainstorm.

1. Technology

1. Play dices in VR which means they will rotate the dice in a virtual space so that it is very impressive.

2. Play a balloon dice in the water so that it is very fun to rotate them in the water.

2. Story

1. Use dices to become armies and use them to attack others.

2. Use the dices to play a game who rolls the bigger number can add a sentence to the story until they both agree to end the story.

3. Use the dices with different weapons and roll the dice to use the weapon to attack others in one sentence.

3. Game Mechanics

1. Keeps rolling dices in a limited time until they got the point they want and they use the point to fight with each other.

2. Rolling a dice and use the point to fight with each other.

3. Rolling many dices and use the point to fight with each other one by one.

4. Rolling a dice and a color can move through on the map, when the game ends, who have the most colorful tiles wins. You cannot enter the other’s color. Game map is ke this:

5. A multiplayer game that two players have to work together to build the dice tower while the small number of the up side can only be under the big number. For example, a dice with 1 have to be under the dice with 2.

6. A game that roll a dice and you have to hold that many dices in the hand and reroll the dice with the hand have dices inside, until the dice escapes from your hand. And calculate the number of dices you have in your hand.

7. Use the dice to play Mahjong.

4. Aesthetics

1. Put dices in different colors’ paint and roll a dice to paint a paper, the dice which has the biggest number can be rolled.


My process is to answer these questions first.

1. Why dice game is a good game?

The controlled randomness which means during those good dice games player can not only expect the result of the dices but also interact with the result of dices which bring them very fun experience to learn the skill of guess and gamble.

2. What is the problem with the game of dices?

During the traditional dice game the player can only control the result of the dice which will be a little boring during the later game. Besides, original dice game are only use the number to play the game and I think the function of dices have not been fully used.

3. How to use the advantage of the dice and avoid the problems to design a game?

First of all, players should generate the result by themselves.

Second, they have some tools to regenerate the result of dices or they can interact with the result.

Third, the rule of game should be very simple just like other dice game.

After that, I will search the game prototype from my brainstorm idea and try to write the rule of them and play them in my mind. Then I get the three ideas below, while during the process I keep thinking using dices as soldiers because of an ancient Chinese proverb ‘sprinkle beans become soldiers’ so that I got the last idea which I think would be pretty fun.

B. Initial set of rules

I have designed three games and I bring them to the first playtest ask for help because each of them has a different gameplay and I want to find the best one.

Game 1: Dice battle

Player: 2 players


1. Every player roll five dice 6

2. Every player choose the order of their five dices

3. Compare the point of dices in the order and calculate the point in a BO5 dice battle

4. During the battle the player who has the bigger number wins

Player experiences: It is a strategy game that player has to figure out how to use the dices they have to defeat the other players. They need to analyze the situation and guess the order the other player will have. It is like the Rock-Paper-Scissors however they do not the enemies’ deck.

Game 2: Dice battle evolution

Player: Above 2 players


1. Every player roll three dice 6 until the time is up or they can get the point they want

2. The time is 30 seconds.

3. If one player gets the same number on two dice 6, he can trade two dices with a dice 12.

4. If one player gets the same number on dice 6 and dice 12, he can trade two dices with a dice 20.

5. After both players stop, calculate the points on all the dice the player has, who has the bigger number who wins.

Player Experiences: It is also a strategy game that player has to keep rolling dice until they get the point they want, however until they get the 18 point whey will all have to decide whether to reroll the dices which are very impressive and I use the upgrade to reward the players who get the same point which is really lucky and I want to use the reward to enhance the experiences. Besides, the trade system will tempt the players to take the risks of rerolling the dice, which is very match the features of the dice game I think.

Game 3: RTS dice battle

Player: Above 2 players


1. Two players roll 3 dice 6 on the table and after that, they can pick a dice and try to throw it to the enemies’ dice, if they touch each other the dice with a bigger number will kill the dice with a smaller number.

2. Also, the player can choose to roll the dice to a safe place to get a higher point.

3. Each player can only hold one dice.

4. The dice fall down from the table will die.

5. Players who kill all the enemies’ dice who wins the game.

Player experience: In this game, players can use the dice as the units to attack others, and it is like a RTS game the number on the dice is the power, and they have to react to other’s operation, so that this game is very intensive. On the other hand because this game is dice based game so that player will having fun to reroll the dice and try to get a soldier with high power which means they are developing their armies while using armies to attack the enemies.

C. Written analysis of each of the playtests you conducted (note dates and times and who played – even if it is just you), and the revisions you made.

Playtest 1:

Play Test Game: Dice battle

Date: 02/02/2019

Time: 03:00 PM

Player: Joey Yeo & Chance Lytle

What is the situation: After they roll the dice they all feel bad, because they got many low point dices so that they do not know how to use those dices to win the game. And the process is 2 VS 1, 1 VS 1, 1 VS1, 1 VS 2 and 5 VS 4 so that Joey Yeo wins. The order of Joey is 21115 and the order of Chance is 11124. The first order I think the player is using the 2 to try out the result because she thinks the others will use an order from a small number to a big number. And the truth is that Chance chooses to use the order from a small number to big number to play this game.

What they feel: They both like the feelings about hiding and choosing which is very fun because they think it is fun to trick others and hiding generate the situation about tricking. Besides, they think the choosing process can bring them expectation so that the process would be more fun is waiting for the result. However, they do not like the part about the result because they cannot do anything to change the situation, they feel very bad if they do not get those weapons with a high point to use for the battle.

Revision: Delete the order elements which means a player can choose to use any dices which have not been used before to play this game. And they can make the conclusion about what should they use according to the dices and the orders they saw before.

Playtest 2:

Play Test Game: Dice battle evolution

Date: 02/02/2019

Time: 03:00 PM

Player: Joey Yeo & Chance Lytle

What is the situation: The game is very intensive because they have to choose one point in 15 seconds. During the game, the Chance get the upgrade and he has the point of 15, and he quit. After Joey find the Chance has received the upgrade reward and stop rolling, she feels very nervous because she still cannot get the point she wants which is perfect for her to win the game. So she has to repeat until the time is up. After that, she only has 10 and loses the game.

What they feel: They think they need more time to think about whether they want to seek the chance to upgrade or whether they should reroll for a higher point. Besides, they feel that even though they like the trading part they think they do not feel any trading pressure. They can understand that trading is a reward while they want the more strategic element to choose whether they want to choose. They do not like the part about trading two dices to one dice even though the number would be bigger, because it does not feel it is a reward so directly. Last but not least, it is hard to get the upgrade situation happened because the percentage is 1/18.

Revision: Change the rule of an upgrade, when the grade situation happen they do not need to trade both dices, they can choose one dice to trade. On the other word, whenever upgrade happened they can choose one dice in the situation to upgrade them.

Playtest 3:

Play Test Game: RTS dice battle


Time: 04:00PM

Player: Trace Dressen & Chance Lytle

What is the situation: The game is very intensive, Chance keeps trying to attack while Trace have to try to reroll his poor small number dice so that he can have a 6 to fight back. Which makes the game very busy. And it is hard for them to throw dice on a small table. On the other hand, this game need a big space for them to attack or escape.

What they feel: Even though they like the game play they still think this game is a little chaos, which means it is hard to understand the rules and they do not feel they are controlling the situation as other strategy game does.

Revision: Change the method to move these dices from throw to flip. So that the players can control the game better which is very important to strategy game player. Besides, this method can prevent the player to hold a dice forever so that he will not lose the game. The second change I made is that the player has to begin their game in a different certain area so that the player can figure out the situation at the beginning. Last but not least, I change this game to turn based which is like the traditional strategy game, for example, my favorite strategy game Fire Emblem.

Playtest 4:

Play Test Game: Dice Battle

Date: 02/02/2019

Time: 05:00PM

Player: Akash Avinash Phadtare & Zhiguo Lai

What is the situation: After we get our result, we have to figure out our strategy to win this game. While I find out that it is hard to say there is a clear skill set requirement for this game which means we have to guess the order of the enemies’ dices, however it is very hard to guess the order without the exact number.

What they feel: He feel this game is not so fun because it is hard to use the gameplay to improve his result which is very upset when he dose not get the high numbers which means he has no choice for this gameplay. And he does not feel excited during the battle process after that he give an advice that I should reduce the number of the dices and then fight with the next dice which leads me to think that this method is only a interpretation of calculate the sum of the dices which is not so fun.

Revision: I decide to give up this game prototype because I think this game is nor so fun during I am playing this game. I feel hopeless during the whole game, I do not how should I deal with these numbers and I also find out that it is hard for me to guess other’s formation so that this guess can only be guess without skill.

Playtest 5:

Play Test Game: Dice Battle evolution


Time:05:00 PM

Player: Akash Avinash Phadtare & Zhiguo Lai

What is the situation: During the game, every time I roll a point aroun 14 I will stop and wait for the Ash, even though we played several times he only wins one time. Which makes me feel boring when I am waiting for his result even though I have expectation of defeating him. On his side he has to keep rerolling the dices so that he has to guess what is my point and try to defeat them.

What they feel: He feels that he can understand the gameplay and he likes the nervous emotion because he has to choose the final point for his dices and this emotions bring him a good experience if he wins. However, if he loses the battle he will feel unhappy because he has nothing to do with this randomness which means he can only guess the method to win and he still cannot win until he got a 18.

Revision: I decide to give up this game prototype because this game is not so fun, because the randomness here has nothing to do with the skill set which means the player cannot interact with this randomness. I think a good game which involves the randomness should let players feel that they can do something with the randomness. On the other hand, if the player can get the hint of the guess they may feel better to guess the randomness of enemy.

Playtest 6:

Play Test Game: Turn based dice battle

Date: 02/05/2019

Time: 12:00AM

Player: Lotus Li

What is the situation: During the game Lotus try to use the dice 5 to attack me while I do not have the dice bigger than 5, so I have to keeps choose to reroll. After she uses the 5 to skill my 3 he failed to aim the other dice 4 and her dice falls outside the table so that the situation changed, and I finally get a dice 6 and I use this dice 6 to try to conquer all her dices because she cannot have a dice 6. However, she finally gets a 6 and our 6 kills each other at the same time. So that I use the left 4 to attack her 1 and I won which makes me feel happy because it is hard to shoot her dice with my dice 4 due to the long distance on the table.

What they feel: First, she feels curious about how to control the movement of the dice she flipped. Because if she uses a large power the dice will move very fast so that it is hard to calculate the point, and during this process the dice very rotate and change the number so that she thinks I should not use the previous number while I cannot know what the exact number is when two dices touch each other. Second, she feels the upgrade system is not a good system not only because it is hard to upgrade but also she thinks she does not want to upgrade because the game does not have the development process for her to upgrade, she just wants to attack.

Revision: Due to the possibility of upgrade I add the number of the dices player use from 3 to 5, which I think I totally high the possibility to a very high percentage. After that, I want players to control the dices more easily so that I change the move method from flip to blow which is not so fast so that the situation is very clear to both players. On the other hand, I use the advice Ash gave for other games that when dices are fighting the power of winning dice will reduce the number of losing one which forces the player to think about the strategy instead of just using a 6 to rule the game.

Playtest 7:

Play Test Game: turn based blow dice battle

Date: 02/05/2019

Time: 01:00PM

Player: Mao & Zhiguo Lai

What is the situation: During the war, we try to blow our most powerful dice to each other place and as a defender, I have to roll a dice 6 to make sure I can change the situation. During the game, I feel dizzy when I try my best to blow dices which makes her think this game is very fun. However, the game ends because we use dices with the same number to kill each other.

What they feel: She feels that the upgrade is very difficult not only because the number of soldiers is not enough but also it is hard to blow the dice she want together especially during thinking about how to defend my attack. Besides, even though she gets a dice 12 she can still fail during the dice battle because this is a dice game. Second, she feels very upset when the game ends as a draw.

Revision: The first change I made is to add another gameplay that if the game is draw players can roll a dice 20 to decide who is the winner because I want to make sure this game is will not have the draw situation. I do not draw a game which makes the players feel upset especially when they have learned skills, passed challenges and defeat others.

Playtest 8:

Play Test Game: Turn based blow dice battle

Date: 02/12/2019

Time: 23:00PM

Player: Jiajun Tan & Zhiguo Lai

What is the situation: First Lai has 6 6 4 and Jiajun has 5 3 2, and Jiajun attack first. During the game, I keep failing in using my dice to attack so that the power of my soldiers become less and less. After I use 3 to trade with his 3, I have a 6 left while he only has 1 left. So that he keeps using the wall to reroll the dice and he gets a 3 finally. And the process of rerolling is very funny because the dice will rotate very quickly just like a gyro. However, I have a 4 and blow it to the dice 3 so that I win the game. During the game every time I try to use my dice to attack and I failed makes me and Jiajun all laughed.

What they feel: We feel very happy every times we see others failed. And we feel very intensive during watching the dice rolling like a gyro. I am expecting a small number while he are expecting a big number which is very funny. While we still feel some tricky when we find out we can blow other’s soldiers which make the game more intensive because he try his best to blow all my dices to away from his dices. We feel we do not need to upgrade our army because it is hard and it will reduce the interaction between two players especially this is a PVP game.

Revision: The revision is mainly focusing on two problems, first is what if they blow the other’s dices which will definitely change the situation of the war. The second is that it is hard to upgrade because now the game is only played totally by blowing so that it is not easy for them to reroll the number of the dice. The last problem is how to handle the situation when they blow the dice with 1. For the first problem, I design another token which is very heavy so that it is difficult to blow them away. While the player can still enjoy the game, and the narrative can also match this design because the soldiers will hide until they have to fight with each other during the enemy’s turn. The method to tackle the second problem is trying to cut this part from this game because the blowing part is fun enough and this setting only gives another choice to players and it cannot emphasize the core game mechanism. For the last problem, I designed that the dice 1 will not been killed by the wins. Because if the player will kill their dices which forced the player to do a hurtful decision and I think the hurtful decision is not a good feature that players have to do something they do not want to. On the other hand, I think if the dice stay in 1 which makes the players think they are taking advantage of the system and they will find a way to blow them to the wall so that they can reroll the dice which is very challenging while worth trying.

D. A final set of rules

Game: War of wind. (turn based blow dice game)

Players: above 2


1. Before the game, players have to set the wall in the game like this: The number 1 2 3 stands for the position of the wall.

2. Every player choose a corner on the table and roll 5 dice 6 in their start area after that the power and the position of the soldiers are determined and put a coin under them, like this.

3. Each player rolls a dice 20 to decide who go first. Usually, the player with a bigger number goes first.

4. During the player’s turn, the player can remove the coin and only blow the dice to move and attack, the player has to choose, blow the dice to hit the wall so that the dice get a new number, or use the blow to move the dice.

5. If the wall was hit by 10 times the wall disappear.

6. If the dice touched enemies’ dice, they will fight and which dice has the bigger number the dice wins. For example, you blow a dice 6 to a dice 4, the dice 4 dies and the dice 6 becomes 2.

7. At the end of each turn put the coin back, and begin the other player’s turn.

8. A player who loses all the dices who loses the game.

9. The story of this game is players are two wind gods and they are using their wind to move the sand soldiers and fight. The player can be imagined like this:

And the sand soldiers can be imagined like this:

E. An estimate of what this game would sell for in retail if it were mass produced. Explain what you base this on.

I think the price of the basic version should be 10 dollars and the price of the deluxe version should be 30 dollars. The reason is listed below.

First reason is that players needs the about 10 dices so that they can play this game and if they lose the game they can use the other 4 dices besides with the 10 dices they can play a 5 vs 5 game and the prize to buy 10 small dice 6 is around 5 dollars.

Second part of this game is the wall. We can use cardboard to build the wall which I think would be very cheap.

Third part of this game is the activities in my brain and I want to sell them with the prize of 5 dollars.

This game is very simple and competitive and funny so that I want to earn money by selling them instead of setting a high prize.

The deluxe version will contain the story and will have the token for player to play and we will provide the official to players so that they can enjoy the narrative of this game. I just add the prize of tokens and maps and plastic wall which is easier to change the number of dices during playing games.

F. Anything else you feel is relevant (for example, a probability analysis)

1. First of all, I think humans are looking forward to watching others’ failure so that I design this game, in this game one of the most impressive situations is that you try to blow a dice to kill other’s dice while you couldn’t make it which will make the other laugh.

2. Second, blowing something is very fun because it is very difficult so that the player will devote more effort to fulfill the expectation which is very intensive and the failure would be more fun to others.

3. Give the weak side a method to reverse the situation, while this method should be fair which means the game designers should provide the tool to the players while the leading side can use their skill to tackle this tool, and this behavior will make them feel more satisfied.

4. When using blow to push the dice to the wall so that the dice will rotate very beautifully as a gyro which is very intensive because two players are all focusing on this result and this gameplay extends the process which brings the expectation to players. I think it is the same as the essence of dice game which seizes the destiny(roll a dice) and expects the god’s power(wait for the result).

5. Last but not least, adding skill features to a fun activity would make it a good game which means the player can experience more from the combination of skill and fun. Because if the game has the skill features which means the game has the challenge. So that the game will generate a flow channel by these two elements. And the skill will help the player to know how to win this game so that it will bring them much expectation which will devote the players into the flows of this game.

6 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

1.LinkedList The problem can be divided by three steps: Find the middle elements with two pointers Reverse the right part by using 3 pointers, we can use the fast pointer before to save more space. Me

Nowadays, more and more studios are focusing on F2P mobile game to make more money. However, it may be difficult for them to transform a famous game into a F2P model because they have different design

bottom of page