1GAM – April 2015: Vabanque

VabanqueVabanque TitleVabanque Ingame
Vabanque is a traditional dice game. You roll dice and decide if the values get added, subtracted, multiplied or divided trying to maximize the calculated score. In my implementation you play agains an AI.
Find the game and more detailed rules here: http://jireugi.itch.io/vabanque

Where did the inspiration come from?

This month I just had too little time to develop a nice 1GAM entry with an original concept. I had several ideas but none seemed to be small enough for me to do in the available time. Therefore I decided to use some traditional game concept. Initially I thought about implementing ‘Faro‘. But when investigating deeper I found that Faro players only have two strategies that make sense (also see here) – that is if you do not add a lot of extra rules. And extra rules were not exactly what I wanted because not only would they make the game more complicated also I would have to invest more time on implementation which I actually wanted to save. Bottom line: Faro is a stupid game, no wonder people went on to play the uncomparably well designed Poker, never looking back to Faro.
So I ended up with no original concept but a traditional one. I have a very old cardboard box containing many dice, a sand glass and a paper manual for a lot of (mostly traditional) D6 dice games. This is where I found the Vabanque rules. They seemed simple to grasp but still offered a few interesting decisions to the player, so it became my 1GAM choice for April 2015.

What went wrong

  • Even though I did not have to invent the mechanics, I underestimated the effort to implement them. Initially I thought it would take at max. 6 hours. But I ended up with 15 or so. Luckily the 1GAM rules allow for a 96 hours grace period. 😉
  • Once again I build the game on basis of the previous 1GAM entry code (‘Die Dice‘). I should not do this again. As of now the Vabanque code works well on the one hand but on the other hand it has a legion of unused class members and methods that are from the previous 1GAM projects. I left them in because removal would require to ensure checks to see that the code framework still works. That would cost more time than letting them stay in ugly.

What went well

  • The traditional mechanic is robust. Per round actually only 4 tactical decisions are required from the player. Since each of them influences the round outcome each one is interesting. Also a round is played quite quickly, takes ca. 20-30 seconds.
  • For the available implementation time given, the presentation is not too bad – cheap NES style.
  • The AI plays decent even though it´s only made of ca. 10 if statements.
  • And I finally resolved the problem of my custom Indiv engine that hindered Unity3D to produce working web builds. Turned out to be the use of log4net and 2-3 .NET calls that are forbidden by the SecurityManager for web builds, e.g. Assembly.GetName(). Now I can upload my creations to itch.io. Yay!

And on to 1GAM in May…