DreadBall Solo?

What with all the different modes of play planned for Deadzone, I’ve been idly wondering if it would be feasible to design a good set of solo rules for DreadBall, and whether they’d even be desirable if it was. Obviously they’d be pretty difficult and require quite a lot of team-specific behaviour. However, I’m not really sure they’d be popular even if they did work. For some reason the real life opponent seems even more important in sports games than battles.

Or is this just me?

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20 Responses to DreadBall Solo?

  1. Jeff says:

    Oh wow, Jake, what a fantastic idea. I haven’t yet invested in Dreadball but if it was to have a set of solo rules then I’m in for sure! I’m a bit of a loner when it comes to gaming (I blame 30 years of competitive contract bridge for that!) so this would suit me down to the ground.

  2. Big Pat says:

    Seems like there would be to many variables to include for this type of game, Short of a programed A.I. necessitating a computer or Smart phone/tablet app.
    At that point you should just slap some graphics on it and sell it as a video game.

  3. jeffbthedm says:

    Sounds like a good idea to me, you can’t always get an opponent when you want to play a game. I don’t think it would be that difficult to replicate a set of behaviours for the different teams as they have all felt very different to each other. It will never be the same as a human opponent but it is certainly something I’d consider using.

  4. Jon Charles says:

    I think solo play would be great but I have to agree that I think it would be difficult to do and still be competitive and varied.

    Funnily enough I’ve been thinking about trying to create a Dreadball “game app” with a friend as a personal project (both of us are computer programmers by trade) and the AI side of things is such a huge headache to figure out 😛

  5. Iñigo says:

    Sería una fantástica idea hay momentos en los que te apetece jugar y no encuentras con quien y poder jugar sólo sería una magnífica opción . Yo estoy pensando hasta en jugar una liga compitiendo con diferentes equipos

  6. Troy Baker says:

    Coincidence! Yesterday afternoon I attempted to play solo Dreadball; the result was a score board that kept resetting back to zero… looks like I can’t outplay myself.

    After my brief test I can’t see how an AI Deck would fix the problem – but if you draft something I’m sure we’d be happy to test it.

    Putting AI aside for a moment; perhaps “Rush scenarios” can be cooked up as solo challenges – similar to the old Chess puzzles that were printed in the back of newspapers. The board is set up as described and the player must play through a single rush to achieve an immediate objective (not necessarily to score a goal). These solo challenges could be published as a volume with scenarios increasing difficulty as pages are turned.

  7. paulstac says:

    I’m loving dreadball but solo wouldn’t appeal at all. For skirmish wargames i can see the appeal of playing a semi-intelligent horde but for fast paced sports anything barring a hideously complex ai would be dull exploit and outwit. Spend all those hours on a more worthy project.

  8. Tokkan says:

    I’d really enjoy a Solo Dreadball experience! It might need an A.I. Deck per team (since Veer-Myn would have drastically different autopilot tactics than, say, Forge Fathers or O&G), but I personally would enjoy it!

  9. Andrew says:

    The appeal for solo rules is tremendous for me, as finding players or players willing to play is sometimes difficult. The difficulty of the rules would not be an issue for me.

  10. killaminis says:

    Yes, Yes and Yes on the solo rules. Never underestimate Solo counterpart of a game. It appeals to the lone gamers, the playtester/game designer types and contributes greatly to the ability of your game to spread through demo’s. After all, tabletop wargaming is not a very popular niche, in order to convince others to play you have to sit around and play a lot of solo matches to feel confident enough to start recruitment. From a solo aspect, it’s always easier to schedule a game with yourself and that’s instrumental on the initial investment into a new game. I’ve mentioned it before, but I really feel that the surge in co-operative games, in part, has been so prevailent because of the ability for people to play solo, or start to play solo and then spread it to others.

  11. WarRaptor says:

    Yes! I’d love to see this!

  12. Torkel says:

    Personally I wouldn’t pay for solo rules for Dreadball. I will get AI cards for Deadzone, but there are a set of important differences between the two that makes solo play more appropriate for the latter.
    1) Deadzone is a shooting game, and blowing up stuff can be fun regardless.
    2) Deadzone has campaigns, scenarios, and a narrative. This gives the solo games purpose.
    3) Deadzone is much easier to balance out for solo play. Giving the AI more men will help balance out the fact that it’s an AI, and it doesn’t even feel wrong.

    I’d also imagine that an AI for Dreadball would be much easier to manipulate.
    However, regardless of how good or bad the AI rules are, I do believe that for some coaches a solo option for Dreadball would be helpful in getting started. Some just like to have a go at it before they buy it or join a league, and don’t want to “bother” others before they know what to do etc. I’ve seen that effect in video games at least.

  13. BrizzleRob says:

    Such an effort would be warmly welcomed by those of us lone gamers, who only manage to squeeze in games occasionally. I can well appreciate how challenging developing a solo game mode would be. Looking forward to hear how you fare!

  14. Michele says:

    I second Troy suggestion of Rush Scenarios, a gret way to hone the skills even without opponents imho.

  15. dungeonjinn says:

    I think the best option would be to create a single team of robots/droids that Dreadball players use for practise in the fluff. These guys can only be played on Solo play and contain a set of specific rules that relate to that play.

    • sideofiron says:

      This may be the easiest way to incorporate solo play. A stock training bot kit would provide a challenge and could be done neatly with whatever AI system works, cards, conditional behaviour…. etc.

      A training session makes absolute sense for a solo game… It is the actual scenario where a team doesn’t have an opponent. Better still, because there is no opponent, a solo game could go on indefinitely… with no need to end if a team gets 7pts.

      Even more, you could include a random objective card each rush… which lists various tasks to complete each rush… Successfully completing tasks earns points, each task you fail loses points.

    • Mike Thorp says:

      That’s the immediate thought I had (or at least the immediate thought after initial skepticism that an AI team could possibly work…). A test droid team would make sense and would presumably be much easier to balance. Give them a couple of alternative modes (fast/slow, aggressive/very aggressive) and it could make for a good and varied challenge.

  16. Tom says:

    Definitely worth a go with solo play, you would have no end of testers! Can’t wait to hear more on this.

  17. cashwiley says:

    I know this is a bit late to the comments, but I’ve yet to find someone local to play the game with. I have one non-gaming friend who might give it a go, but I think he’s just trying to humor me (and I promised free beer).

    Solo options for any game are very important to me, and I no longer back gaming KS unless there is a solo option out of the box. Seems the only minis gaming around here comes from Grannie’s Workplace.

    Please give this one a shot. I would absolutely pay for team solo decks (since I’ve backed DB fully up until now, why not?).

  18. John says:

    I appreciate this post is long gone, but…
    I recently bought Deadzone Contagion, and it occurred to me that you could use the zombies in DBX – a sort of zombie fighting pit. One team, one strike post and a board full of zombies that act more or less the same as the exploding barrels – except they’d be moving instead of static.

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