Fair Dice Roller

I have finished an HTML/javascript version of the fair dice roller. The fair die roller makes a die or dice less random by tweaking the probability of each roll so that the rolls come up in the correct ratios sooner. Check it out here. Or look here for a lot more detail about what this app does.

One of the first board games that we played over and over was Settlers of Catan. We got a lot of enjoyment out of that game, but the more we played it, the more frustrated we got with how random the game could be. We almost always played with the random board, but the initial city spots could vary so much in quality that picking first could be enough to win the game. But even more frustrating than the randomness of the board was the randomness of the dice. It seemed like some games we would roll three sixes for every eight. In others we would have long streaks of fours or tens that could win the game for the player on those tiles.

To solve this problem with a game that we otherwise still enjoyed, we created a fair board builder and fair die roller. The board builder would try to make a board that was balanced for all the players and the fair die roller would try to even out the distribution of rolls within a single game. The first version of this program was in Java and Java Web Start. As Java and especially Java Web Start fell out of favor and I learned C#, I re-wrote the application in C#. The C# app was great, but could be a pain to install at friends houses before a game. At my last job I learned Flash, so I re-wrote the fair die roller and board builder in Flash. Now that Flash is falling out of favor, I have re-written the fair die roller again in javascript.

Like the other re-writes before it, this version has been a learning experience. I have programmed in javascript before, but for this application I decided to learn and use jQuery. jQuery has some great features and there is a lot to like, but I would have to say that this version of the fair die roller has taken me longer to build than any of the others except the original in Java. I am not an expert at HTML or CSS and I spent a lot of time fighting with the layout of the page.

You can check out my latest fair die roller here. You can also compare it to the previous versions in flash, c#, and java.

I’d like to eventually add the fair board builder. But for that I will probably try to learn the HTML5 canvas. We also don’t play Settlers as much as we used to, so that isn’t a very high priority right now.

2 thoughts on “Fair Dice Roller”

Leave a Reply