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Liar's Dice

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Liar's Dice
Card/Board
Description
Liar's Dice is a game of wits and chutzpah. A bit like poker with less luck and more bluffing, you can play with your friends from anywhere in Whirled, all with a minimally intrusive interface.

Instructions
Game Discussion & Bug Reporting

Other Info

Current version:
Development Team: Maeveen

Game-Liar's Dice.png
Awards
Whirled Flash Game Developer Challenge - honorable mention

Liar's Dice is a game of wits and chutzpah. A bit like poker with less luck and more bluffing, you can play with your friends from anywhere in Whirled, all with a minimally intrusive interface.

Contents

Instructions

Welcome to Liar's Dice! Liar's Dice is a game of wits and chutzpah. It's a little bit like poker, but with a lot more bluffing and a lot less luck. It's also pretty easy to learn. Plus, on Whirled, you don't have to risk any money, real or virtual, to play. You may be familiar with the game already and not even know it. One version of the game was played on the Flying Dutchman in the movie Pirates of the Carribean: Dead Man's Chest.

Before we start, I should note that Liar's Dice is not an action game or a roleplaying game. It is a game played with dice and skill. However, Liar's Dice is an AVRG, meaning it is played in Whirled proper. You can play with your friends in your room, or their room, or anyone's room, all while running around doing whatever you wish with your avatars. In fact, Liar's Dice is designed so that, once you start a game, you can even wander around Whirled and keep playing with your friends! It even has a chat window to let you keep in touch with the other players if you wander off somewhere else.

Quickstart

My name is Maeveen and I created Liar's Dice with art from Dwyn. In this section, I will use pictures to walk you through what you have to know to play. I will only cover one variant of the game and one set of rules, but you will know everything you need to know to play. Afterwards, in other sections, I will cover the other variants, rules, as well as strategies and some history for the game. You can skip those if you'd like, but you should not skip this section. It may seem long, but it's mostly pictures.

First, to join a game, you should find an icon that looks like this.

Game-Liar's Dice-instructions1.png

Make sure there are other people in the room with that symbol over their heads. That means there are other people playing. One good place to look is the homeroom for this game, which can be found by clicking on Play just above these instructions. Do not do that yet.

Once you have found one of these icons, click it to start the game. A couple windows will pop up. At first, you will only be watching the game. Once this round ends, though, you will join the game proper.

This is the main window. All the required elements of the game are here. If any other windows are in front of this one, click on them and drag them out of the way.

Game-Liar's Dice-instructions2.png

There are several elements to this window.

Game-Liar's Dice-instructions3.png

1. This parchment details the variant and rules of the game. What you need to know right now is that if it does NOT say Common Hand and Face Bidding, it is not covered in the Quickstart section. You will have to read later sections.

2. These are your dice. For the purposes of getting started, just note that there are six of them and they make up your "hand". Five dice show threes and one dice shows a two, so your hand consists of 5 3's and 1 2.

3. This parchment shows you the present status of the game. It can show one of three things: Bullet.png "<someone>'s turn." Right now, it show's Maeveen's turn. That means it's my turn. When it shows your name, that means it's your turn. Bullet.png "Beginning new round..." This means you have to wait a little bit before the new round of the game starts. Bullet.png "Waiting for players..." This means that only one player is playing! Liar's Dice requires two or more players. If you see this screen, you should find a different room where people are playing.

4. This shows you the present bid. You also enter new bids here by clicking on the numbers. If it says "0 0's", that means nobody has bid yet.

5. You use these buttons to interact with the game.
The buttons and bid sections are VERY important and we will cover them in more detail now.

First, let's discuss the Help button: Game-Liar's Dice-instructions4.png

If you click this button, it will bring up the in-game help. This is very useful and covers all the sections in these Instructions except the Quickstart. If you forget anything, you should check here.

We will skip the Options button for now.

The Challenge button is very important and look like this: Game-Liar's Dice-instructions5.png

This button will only be available if it's your turn and somebody has already bid. If you can see this button, the first decision you have to make is whether to challenge the previous player's bid. Remember the Bid section, labeled with a 4? That shows the present bid. If it says 4 5's, that means somebody thinks there are 4 or more 5's in the game right now. This includes EVERYBODY'S dice, not just the bidding player's dice. So, for example, if I was playing with one other player, Bob and he bid 4 5's, then:

  • If Bob has 3 5's and I have 1 5, the bid succeeds, or "is good".
  • If Bob has 2 5's and I have 1 5, the bid fails.

You should only challenge if you believe the last player's bid will fail. If you challenge and the bid fails and you win. If you challenge and the bid succeeds, you lose. You challenge by pressing this button.

However, if you look back at the picture of the main window, you'll see that the bid in my game is only 1 1's. That's very likely to succeed, so I will not challenge.

Instead, look at the bid button: Game-Liar's Dice-instructions6.png

This is my other choice, besides challenging. Before I press this button, I need to set a new bid. My bid must be HIGHER than the previous bid. One choice is to raise the face value of the bid. This means I could bid 1 2 or 2 2's or 3 3's or 4 6's and they would all be higher bids. Another choice is to keep the face value the same (the face value can never go down during bidding) and raise the quantity instead. So, for example, I could bid 2 1's or 3 1's or 4 1's. You set your bid by clicking on the previous numbers and typing in a new number. Remember, bids are of the form <quantity> <face>'s.

Once you've finished typing in a new bid, the window will look something like this.

Game-Liar's Dice-instructions7.png

I bid 2 6's because my hand has 2 6's. That means I'm sure this is a safe bid. Once I'm ready to go, all I have to do is click on the Bid button and my turn will be over. Make sure to do this fairly quickly because, after 30 seconds, the game will automatically go on to the next player. If this happens, you will not be paid for this round.

There's only one other thing you have to know to play the game.

Game-Liar's Dice-instructions8.png This X is on every window in the game and on most of them, it will close the window.

HOWEVER, the X on the main window will close the entire game. Do NOT press this button unless you want to quit.

Now, if you wish, you can start playing Liar's Dice. The game seems pretty simple, right? Just bid or challenge. However, there are many elements of strategy in guessing if someone else is bluffing. Also, when people bid, it tends to tell you a little bit about what dice they have. Neat, huh?

After you play a game or two, come read the rest of the instructions. There's a lot of really neat stuff, including transparent interfaces and voting.

Variations

In Common Hand games, all the players roll once at the beginning of the game and bids apply to everyone's dice pooled together. So, for example, 8 3's could be a legitimate bid since multiple players could have 8 3's between them.

In Individual Hand games, when it's your turn, you first choose whether to challenge or bid. If you choose to bid, you then receive the previous player's dice and can choose to reroll some, all, or none of them. You must then bid a higher hand than the previous player's bid.

When you first begin your turn in an Individual Hand game, you won't be able to see your dice. The window will look something like this.

Game-Liar's Dice-instructions9.png

First you hit roll (or challenge). Challenge works just like before. If you press Roll, that tells the game that you want to bid. The previous player's dice will appear. You select dice by clicking on them. Selected dice will be highlighted in red, like so:

Game-Liar's Dice-instructions10.png

To roll the selected dice, hit the roll button. Remember, in Individual Hand games, the bids apply to your dice only.

Bidding

In Face Bidding, a bid is higher than the previous bid if the face is higher, e.g. 2 6's is a higher bid than 6 5's. A bid is also higher if the face stays the same, but the quantity is higher, e.g. 4 3's is higher than 3 3's.

In Max Bidding, a bid is higher than the previous bid if the highest value in the new bid is higher than the highest value in the last bid. For example, if the previous bid was 1 5, than 6 1's or 1 6 or 2 6's or 6 2's would all be higher bids.

Changing between bids is covered in the Options section.

Passing

You cannot choose to pass your turn in Liar's Dice (though the game can force you to pass if you take more than 30 seconds, and that results in no payout). The point is to force all players to make difficult decisions and to bluff if necessary. Unlike poker, Liar's Dice does not require knowing "when to fold 'em".

Help Window

The Help Window (not shown) takes the form of an open book. If you click on a subject, listed on the left page, it will show the information on the right. Press the X to close.

Chat Window

Game-Liar's Dice-instructions11.png

This window serves two purposes. First, it gives you information about what is happening in the game. For example, it tells you what people bid, when they passed, and who won the last round. It also allows you to chat with the other players. This is not very useful if you're all in the same room, but if you wander off to different rooms it can be very useful. You type messages on the signature line of the parchment (where the X is).

Vote Window

Game-Liar's Dice-instructions12.png

This window will automatically appear if someone requests a vote. At the top of the window, it says: "Kick Target: <name>". That tells you who will be kicked if the vote to kick passes. Right now, it says my name. That means if more than half the players vote to kick, I will be ejected from the game.  :(

The other two vote options specify what game variant and what bidding rules you are voting for. If you press them, they will switch votes. After 10 seconds, the voting screen will disappear and the votes will be counted. The next round will be played with the new variant and rules.

Options Window

The Options window is reached by pressing the Options button on the Main Window.

Game-Liar's Dice-instructions13.png

This window has MANY buttons. "Show Chat" toggles the Chat Window on and off. "Show Dice" toggles whether you will see dice always or only during your turn. "Show Players" toggles the players list, which shows you who is actively playing in this round. "Request Vote" allows you to request a new vote. This will not always work (the game restricts votes to certain time periods), but you can always try again later. However, if you're trying to vote a player out of the game, make sure to request the vote during his or her turn.

The last button is "Transparency Off". This toggles the game interface's transparent mode. When transparent, moving the mouse away makes the main window looks like:

Game-Liar's Dice-instructions14.png

If you move the mouse back, it will become solid again.

Strategy

Strategy in Liar's Dice is a combination of bluffing, bluff detection, and a little probability. In both Common Hand and Individual Hand, every time someone bids they reveal a little about the dice they are holding. For example, a non-bluffing player who bids high on 4's probably has many 4's. If, later in the round, the game comes back to that player and he bids high on another number, you should probably challenge. After all, he can't have both many 4's and many 5's at the same time.

There are many other strategies for bidding, bluffing, and bluff detection. This makes Liar's Dice easy to learn, but very difficult to master.

History

Liar's Dice was first played in South America untold centuries ago. It was introduced to the rest of the world upon the arrival of the Spanish Conquistadors. Since then, it has been played by real pirates, like Black Sam Bellamy and Charles Vane, as well as fictional pirates, like those of Pirates of the Carribean: Dead Man's Chest.

In modern times, the game has been favored by the toughest of the tough, with known players amongst counter- revolutionary fighters in Latin America and Russian soldiers guarding their country's vast border. Liar's Dice inspired the card-game Bull**** and variants of Liar's Dice have been made famous by the ivory tower of Stanford and by the halls of high finance on Wall Street.

Credits

Special thanks to Dwyn for her fabulous artistry, which saved you from an awful black chat window and gave the game's logo attitude. Thanks also go out to Zell, whose Ghosthunters code served as the initial basis for this game, and Aduros, who answered many of my very annoying questions.

Thanks also go out to all the people who helped test early versions of Liar's Dice: Aduros, Anniya, Arivias, Beaver, Blade, Dwyn, Kaylee, Lone Star Lamour, Texas Darlin, The Homie G.

Also, credit to jcbatz, radian, and xtyl33, whose Creative Commons sounds help bring the game to life.

And, of course, thanks to the powers that be at Three Rings for making Whirled.

Known Bugs

This game, along with several other games, causes problems for Whirled's chat. If you find that you can't type in the Whirled chatbox, click on the little silver button next to it. That will clear the problem. If you know how to fix this, please let me know.