Dice With Buddies Developer Q&A with Scopely Sr. Product Manager Nick Freilich (Part 1)

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Nick Freilich (pictured above) is the Lead Product Manager on Dice with Buddies and the driving force behind many of the cool new features we’ve added including Achievements and Scratchers.  Nick recently took the time to answer questions coming in from the Dice community, which we’ve posted below.

 This is the first in a series of Dice Q&A’s that we’ll be posting here on our Scopely blog.  Please don’t hesitate to hit us up with any new Dice questions that you might have.

“How do ppl score sooo high in the tournaments???” – Lori Strickler

NF: This is one of the most common questions we get from players, and the short answer is that it’s a combination of luck and skill. The long answer takes a bit of math:

The typical winning score in a tournament is between 500 and 600. In order to score within that range, a player must get between five and seven five-of-a-kinds (“FOAKs”).

If you are playing with the sole goal of getting as many FOAKs as possible, the odds of getting five FOAKs is about 1/100. However, the vast majority of us, including me, do not play with that specific strategy – in part because it’s very risky in head-to-head games and often will cost us specialty rolls like the small and large straights – so our odds of hitting five FOAKs drops dramatically, to about the 1/25,000 level.

Getting seven FOAKs is even more challenging, with people aiming only for FOAKs earning that result about 1/1,000 times, and normal play getting that result about 1/250,000 times.

An additional variable is the use of Bonus Rolls. Most tournament winners use between 4 and 7 Bonus Rolls, and those extra rolls can really help. The good news is that anyone can use that many Bonus Rolls, and they can get them all for free! In addition to the one free Bonus Roll you get each game, you can earn more free Bonus Rolls by completing Daily Achievements, leveling up through completing other Achievements, winning them on Scratchers after you finish a game, asking your Facebook friends for Bonus Rolls through our Bonus Roll aid system, and through tournaments – we award thousands of prizes a day, and for every five friends you beat in the tournament, you get a Bonus Roll!

Since we introduced tournaments over a year ago, we’ve given away more than five million Bonus Rolls to hundreds of thousands of players, with five hundred lucky rollers walking away with grand prizes totaling over one hundred thousand Bonus Rolls. And with one free entry every tournament, there is no reason not to try your luck test your skill, and find out if you’ll be our next grand prize winner. What have you got to lose?

“Achievements are OK but it would be nice to be able to earn Bonus Rolls with Achievements.” – Bettie Fisher

NF: Good news, Bettie – you actually can win Bonus Rolls with Achievements! There are two ways to do so:

1) Complete the Daily Achievement, which we show you on your first turn of the day and is always available to view at the top of the Achievements list.

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2) Complete enough Achievements to advance to the next XP level. For example, when you successfully complete level 5 and make it to level 6, you earn 10 Bonus Rolls!

“Do ppl ever win 200 bonus rolls on scratchers?” – Lynn Greenhalge

NF: Yes! We’ve had almost 700 lucky Dice players win 200 Bonus Rolls since introducing Scratchers in November, with 80 winners already in April.

“Why is the achievement of four of a kind on all top half numbers only worth 15 exp? I’ve played over 8k games and only remember it happening a few times.” – Doug Lang

NF: Thanks for the input, Doug! We reviewed our probability tables and, sure enough, you were right. This achievement is much harder than we had been giving it credit for, even if you are optimizing your play to complete this particular achievement. We have increased the experience points you receive to reflect this fact.

“Why does five of a kind not qualify as a full house?” – Doug Lang

NF: Believe it or not, this is a common question. The official rules of Yatzy, however, define a full house as a three of one number and two of another number, and those numbers must be different.

With our five-of-a-kind bonus, where players earn an extra 50 points for every five-of-a-kind they get, we grant players the bonus plus however many points they would have scored had they played those dice on that spot. So if you play a bonus five-of-a-kind on the full house spot, you get 50 points for the bonus and 0 points for the full house for a total of 50 points.

Other variations of Yatzy treat multiple five-of-a-kinds as jokers, where a second five-of-a-kind played on a full house spot would earn a player 25 points, but that is a very different approach than the one we take.

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