kdice (multiplayer Dice Wars)


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kdiceGreat news for those who enjoyed GameDesign's Dice Wars game and thought that it would be even better if it were multiplayer. After building a successful and compelling online multiplayer Texas Hold'em game, gpokr, Ryan Dewsbury of Toronto has been hard at work to bring multiplayer action to this beloved dice-based strategy game (which, coincidentally, he discovered on this site). And I am very pleased to announce that kdice has just launched!!

There are no written instructions, but the game is so simple you can hop right in and play. Each of the seven players has a color and corresponding territory. Stacked on each territory are a number of dice. When your turn comes up, attack another player by clicking one of your territories followed by an adjacent piece of land. The game rolls the dice and the higher number wins. The goal is to take over and continue to occupy as much of the map as you can. At the end of your turn you get a set number of dice added to your stacks (at random) based on the largest number of contiguous territories that you control. The more areas you control, the bigger your dice army, but remember not to spread yourself too thin.

There's no shortage of strategy in kdice, but there's still plenty of room for blind luck. Even if your stack of dice is larger than another you can still lose the roll. Balance your offense and defense well and try to control territories in the safe corners of the map. Just don't play it too safe or you'll find the enemy closing in from all sides with massive towers of dice ready to attack.

Analysis: kdice is essentially everything you would want in an online multiplayer casual game: ease of use, simple gameplay, and strategy tempered by blind luck. The small chat box at the bottom of the screen is usually filled with people shouting strategies or trying to form alliances. It's very easy to lose an hour or more with just one sitting. You just can't stop playing.

The only possible downside to kdice is that a table must have seven players sitting in before a game can begin. You might have to wait a few minutes before playing, but as more and more people get hooked that wait will definitely decrease. Until then, take a deep breath and enter the fray.

Play kdice (multiplayer Dice Wars)

If you're a Web technology geek you may be interested to know that like Ryan's other multiplayer Web game, gpokr, this is an Ajax application that is built using the Google Web Toolkit and integrated with Flash. What's different about kdice is that it uses Jetty (instead of Tomcat) to take advantage of Jetty Continuations. Jetty's lead developer, Greg Wilkins, helped to scale kdice to more simultaneous players. And from what I've seen so far it's handling the load of players very well.

Cheers to slgalt for the heads-up about Ryan's latest multiplayer game.

65 Comments

Sweet I'm the first to post and say I love this game. I think I will enjoy it a lot more now I can play against real people instead of the predictable AI machine that ran it before.

AWESOME!!!!

I play Dicewars every few days STILL, and I've been sorely tempted to make a multiplayer version myself!

I love this game, I'm so glad there's a multiplayer!

AWESOME!!

Whoo, I won one (despite playing second to last, and not knowing which pieces were mine at first)! Congrats to Jaxx, namm, and all the other players. That was REALLY fun.

Cheers to Ryan for an excellent online adaptation of GameDesign's gem. In four games I didn't notice any real problems, except for a player sticking around for about a round after losing his last territory.

I'd like to see some indication of any additional dice you may have stockpiled, which often occurs mid-to-late game. Although it wasn't immediately apparent, it seems you're still able to keep some dice for later if your territories can't hold them.

Hooray! THis is going to suck about 10 months of my life away.

For some reason, the register isn't working for me. Anyone have suggestions?

Can we get an "add to favorites" link?

Hurray! I now can beat my dad since I have nothing else to do since I'm sick.

I like the new site design!

This is close to multiplayer Dice Wars, but not quite; it's missing one vital rule. In kDice, you get one die per occupied territory at the end of each turn. In Dice Wars you get one die per occupied territory in the largest connected segment of occupied territories at the end of every turn. This changes the dynamic greatly.

I think I'll stick to the original for now. I'm glad I'm not the only one who still plays it almost daily!

Nezuji - I have just confirmed with Ryan that the rule set implemented in kdice is the same as in Taro Ito's Dice Wars. Specifically, at the end of every turn you are awarded one die per contiguous territory... in other words if you have four non-connected territories you will get only one die. Also, you max out on 8 per territory and can store up to 32 dice if your territories are full.

Mike - favorites link added. Sorry about the delay.

Cheers, wylie.conlon! =)

BT14 - when you say "the register isn't working for me" what exactly do you mean? If you provide more specifics, perhaps we can help.

First time poster but hey this game is a great game!
A great way to meet fellow gamers, also good for wasting time if you need to.

Great find Jay!

Just wanted to say: Loveryly new layout, jay. And now I'll go back to playing...

Thanks for the game, Jay. K got me after finishing you off. If I were you, I'd consider the level playing field provided by a pseudonym to be more satisfying than the site advertising. :)

Great game. I too still play the original and was looking forward to a multiplayer version. This one seems kinda glitchy right now, though. Don't know if it's from an unexpected amount of traffic, but I kept getting changed to a specific table even though I didn't want to go there. And considering there were a thousand (literally) people watching that game, I'm thinking maybe it happened to others, too. Did this happen to anyone else?

so glad this came out...i always wanted multiplayer dice war very fun

how about a forgotten password link....i don't know if am just putting it in wrong or what but for some reason i can't log in :(

ghostman - I was experiencing a little bit of weirdness, too. But it was also just before the system message appeared saying that all tables would be shut down for a server reset.

One of the greatest things this game has going for it is the man behind it, Ryan. Just as he did with gpokr, he's constantly working on it to squash bugs and improve the overall experience. I'd hang in there and deal with the few glitches you may experience. My guess is they will be gone very soon. =)

By the way, the game was just launched yesterday.

xx13xx - I think the servers may be getting reset right now. Try again in a few minutes.

Thanks, Jay. I completely understand how these things go, especially at the beginning. It seems like it's already better, actually. I'm not having any problems now. Hope to see it continue to grow and flourish.

well sadly, it wont let me register. It tells me "this is not a valid value" for the email field, which I am assuming is because I have a .com.au email addy. If I remove the .au the error goes away.

:(

I also play dice war every now and then, and now multiplayer!!!
the only problem is sometimes it puts me away, but if you reload, and sit in again quickly, you'll lose a turn or 2 only

Yeah the email thing is what got me too, but I used a different one and now, I'm top 20! hehe

Hey Jay, how can we contact Ryan with suggestions?

If you follow the link above on Ryan's name you'll be at his blog where his email address is posted. I'm pretty sure he wouldn't mind you emailing him directly.

Wow, having played Dicewars really pays off in this game.

Won my very first game ever by

attacking absolutely everything that had lower dice than I did, just like you're supposed to do in Dicewars! :)

First of all, id like to say gratz to you Jay, for having such an awesome site. second, id like to say gratz for being in SECOND, yes SECOND place in this game.

oh, and i have a question. does anyone know how long it takes for someone to get on the high score board? i have 207 points and i want to see my name on the list :P

I find it easy to mooch of of better players

by that, i mean getting to be in an alliance with them, and or convincing someone about to kill you to wait until about 4 players left :P

Great game! I'm horrible at strategy games, but this is at least enjoyable enough that I don't mind. I've been wanting to start playing a fun multiplayer game, as well.

Ryan, I love your games, but I think there is an intermittent bug that needs to be mentioned, even if it appears to be unique to me. Your games, both kdice and gpokr, have repeatedly crashed my PC. I am pretty sure your games are the cause, since the symptoms are consistent. I can play for about 20-30 minutes (either game) and then, things start to go awry. First, I notice that the sound disappears. Then everything seems normal until I try and leave the game. At that point, IE (I have tried this on IE6 and IE7) will not close. When I eventually close it via task manager, it says IE cannot be shut down. Then every other application I have open begins to exhibit the same symptoms. Finally, I cannot even shut down my PC, but must instead resort to switching it off at the wall.

No permanent damage is done. Once I reboot (cold), everything is back to normal, but it is extremely annoying and, as much as I love your games, I think I'll have to pass from now on. Please let me know if you find a bug that looks like it may be causing this, because I'd love to come back!

I love that game,I got hooked into it now lol

Just what I wanted! And just when I was becoming sick of constantly beating the computer. :)

Initially I had planed to release this to gpokr players to test things out but Jay has a knack for finding out about these things before anyone else.

Thank you to everyone that came by and dealt with some bugs. You really helped me refine it this weekend even though it cost me lack of food, sleep and even coffee.

Dice wars is truely a great game and now we have the opportunity to make it shine even more. I'm listening to everyone's ideas.

Ryan

hey! anyone know what's that flag thingy that sometimes appear beside my name with the box thingy ur supposed to click?

I'd love to play (as I really enjoy Dice Wars) but I'm finding myself so lagged that it times out over half the time, even when I click my move as soon as its my go. Ryan any chance of getting a slightly higher turn time?

I'm assuming its due to me being on the other side of the World from the server (I'm in New Zealand).

Ryan, nice game. I am addicted. It's now 2a.m. and I am still playing it (oh, did I mention I have to work tomorrow?) If you are looking for suggestion, here's one - the two green colours are really difficult to tell apart. Is it possibe to substitute one of them for another colour? Say black? Thanks, Matty.

one major difference btw this game and dicewars that affects strategy:

In dice wars, the number of dice you get at the end of the turn is controlled by your total number of consecutive territories. In the multiplayer version, it's simply total number of territories. Not knowing this lead me to hazard some gambits I probably wouldn't've attempted had I known.

parabasis - that is incorrect.

kdice is exactly the same as Dice Wars in the number of dice you receive: it's based on the largest number of contiguous territories you control at the end of your turn.

stuts - the surrender flag is for surrendering. If all remaining players tick the box next to the flag to surrender, the game will end and award the players their places based on their territories and dice.

Another excellent jayis find.

I can see my tea breaks taking much longer.

Thanks for adding the note about the surrender flag

EG

Hey, Jay, Have you seen this? -

http://img246.imageshack.us/img246/2732/icjigbg7.png

Look at the bottom. :P

I'm actually the 45th best 0_0

is anybody here having problems to play using firefox? i can't see the board! help

i can't see the board in firefox either...but it's workign in IE

I'm still running Firefox 1.5.0.8 and I've only experienced the missing board issue once. Reloading the window fixed it and doesn't cause an interruption in playing (apart from the few moments it takes to reload).

Lab_brat

I had a problem with registering. Seems .co.uk addresses aren't accepted but a .com one was.

I hate this game... but I love it. It is always a great feeling when you are just about tied with someone, and roll a 18 on 8 dice and they roll a 32, or when someone with 4 dice attack someone with 6 and they win it... but I keep comming back over and over... its sorta masochistic

I officially HATE this game. And I mean _HATE._ In my first two games I was knocked out first. (The second game I went last and had no chance) and my rating dropped to almost 1300! They say you never get a second chance to make a first impression and my first impression of this game is that new players have no chance to win.

I'm colorblind and can't play (really). I wish there was some other way to tell the players apart than just color, maybe shape of dice, or different patterns on pieces...oh well.

The:

Ryan has recently updated the color scheme to make the territories a bit more distinguishable. I'm sure he'd love the feedback as to whether or not it did the trick for you!

how is the score calculated? sometimes i get more points from being 2nd place than in 1st.

ryan, another suggestion is, when a player missed three or more turns because they are away, their terrorities should be awarded to the play who has the most dices surrounding that terrority. you have no idea how sometimes away players can affect your game play.

by the way, thanks for updating the colour scheme.

there are people coming into a game with secret alliance, using foul and offensive language, using inappropriate avatars.........it has become less enjoyable as the game become more popular. what a shame.

i totally agree with you Sam. i won't be playing it again until they have some rules to control those offensive behaviour.

I'm sorry, but this game has become terrible. I've gone into games where 3 people are already in an alliance and by the time we figure it out, we're all dead. Instead of being able to choose your rooms, it should just place you in a random room. There's just too many problems with alliances to make this game fun. The last 3 games I played the strongest player was just teamed by everybody else even though he clearly deserved to win first. Disgusting.

Multiplayer games are would be so fun, if there just werent the other players! ;)

I love this game, but I just cannot find the sign up or register link to get a free account!

Anybody can help??

There is a lot of complaining about the political rise this game has seen.

I see it as part of the point. I have gone through quite a few games where I may have finished last or next to last, but through deal-making, pulled out second or third (and sometimes first!)

The only time I consider it ill play is when friends enter a table and agree upon a truce before the map even begins; not only is this somewhat more unfair to other players, it is often unwise. Luck in distribution can make it infeasible for two players to join forces, even if they were willing.

In my personal experience- and I've played a LOT of tables- pre-game alliances are rather rare because most of the players that would otherwise engage in them, it seems, have realized that it's not as effective as you might hope.

Play to your strengths, and to the strengths of others. Figure out each player's decided destination and get out of the way. Try to make yourself useful to the strongest player, secure second place, and keep in mind that you might have to wrest first from that player if there isn't a formal alliance in place.

If you are the strongest player, you become an immediate target of basically every other player. Avoid attacking more than one player in a turn, since that's a good way of advertising your threat. Find a player which shares a border that you might consider vulnerable to attack (for instance, one with access to a split) and attempt an alliance with them. If you're going to get first anyway, there's no harm in giving them second through cooperation.

Never, ever cut off anyone from someone to attack that isn't you. If you are the only person that another player can attack, they will attack you.

I see this game as much, much more like Cry Wolf than Risk. Dice are feeble armies and can fail you without warning. Political and strategic calculation, however, are significantly more reliable. Take advantage of it.

And don't whine when other people beat you with it. :)

dice wars is the best inline multiplayer game!! except i don't like the people that choose to team up on others i think it's a joke but then again life's a joke!!

Do any of you guys like the new scoring system? I personally have been doing a lot better on it.

i am enjoying the game, but not the e-mails for poker games that i found in my inbox after i signed in. i am rather sick of texas hold 'em.

This game would be great if it weren't for the way it constantly sits me out just before my turn begins, leaving me to bang my head on the wall in frustration as I have to wait for the loooong circle of turns to complete again. (and even then, half the time it repeats its performance and I begin to cry inside.)

Completely unplayable thanks to that, though I presume it's just my connection or something that's playing with the server.

I see the people, but I don't see the dice.

I can't see the board either! I'll give IE a shot but if it's an issue with Firefox that sux coz I won't be able to play it on Linux...

ok I can confirm - it works in IE but NOT in Firefox! oh well, I like Dice Wars but I'm not going to suffer Internet Exploder just for this...

It works fine in Firefox. Check your Flash player.

I can't registrate... there's no login/register place! HELP ME!!!

There are definitely a lot of similar colors... a red and a black/grey in the mix would be nice. Orange, yellow... there could be more variety. Also, larger maps would rock.

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