Board wargames almost always rely on dice rolling for some part of the game. It helps determine combat results/morale/weather or the chance of an event happening.
A lucky series of rolling can change the outcome of a game as can a single bad result. As gamers, we accept that the dice rolling is a major part of the game. Does this mean I need to show them in my computer games?
Many PC games, in some part, rely on some factor of randomness. With every PC wargame, I have played I have assumed that the results of combat have some random factor added. If they didn’t the game would pretty soon get boring if you knew that unit A will always beat unit B.
So what purpose does showing the actual dice results serve (sometimes with a nice animation of the dice actually rolling)? Does it help convince the game player the results are fair, that there is no ‘cheating’ going on when playing against a computer opponent? Maybe it helps slow down the pace of the game as you watch the dice roll across your screen? Does it create tension in the game as you await the animation to stop and reveal your fate?
As you may detect I am not a fan of showing animated, or static, dice in a computer game. But I am not just writing games for me – I am writing them for others to enjoy. The PC version “Heros of Normandie” shows dice, as does Mark Walkers “Lock ’n Load” whereas Unity of Command does not. My next two games are board game conversions with one of them being a solo game with a lot of dice rolling when deciding the enemy actions. Should I reflect the dice throwing element of the games in my conversions?
I am very undecided about this subject. If you have an opinion then let me know.