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Rolling the bones

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johnhattan

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Well Shelly and I finally upgraded our cheesy old cellphones for a shiny new pair of PocketPC-based phones. It basically looks like those new iPaq things, only it's also a phone. I bought 'em because they'll run Flash 6, and it'd be cool to get some of my games running on 'em. Shelly demanded that they run Brain Bones. And since Brain Bones looks like it was born to be played on a PocketPC (it's even the right shape for the window), I couldn't much refuse.

Anyway, the scoring of Brain Bones is based on an old solitaire dice game in A Gamut of Games by Sid Sackson (with a couple of modified rules to accomodate computers). Although after looking at the score table, it appears that the scoring is flawed. Looking at the existing game screenshot, the scoring is as follows (first number is the die roll, the second is the score value):

2 = 50
3 = 45
4 = 35
5 = 25
6 = 15
7 = 10
8 = 15
9 = 25
10 = 35
11 = 45
12 = 50

While this does look okay, it's got problems. For example, if you roll two dice, you're twice as likely to roll a 3 (1/18) as a 2 (1/36), although a 2 doesn't score twice as much. Checking back with the book, the scoring was as follows:

2 = 100
3 = 70
4 = 60
5 = 50
6 = 40
7 = 30
8 = 40
9 = 50
10 = 60
11 = 70
12 = 100

Which is just as flawed. The following scoreboard follows the distribution of two dice exactly:

2 = 60
3 = 30
4 = 20
5 = 15
6 = 12
7 = 10
8 = 12
9 = 15
10 = 20
11 = 30
12 = 60

How a master game designer like Sackson would get the scoring wrong hasn't quite hit me yet. I got the scoring wrong too, but I never considered myself in his league :)

Anyway, if there's something I'm missing, feel free to lemme know.
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