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I am looking for a library or framework for creating software versions Roll and Move board games -- games where the basic play centers around players rolling a dice and advancing a pawn along a path.

I'm not interested as much in graphics, rendering methods, and so forth. I'm more interested in a system for defining these kinds of games, their rules, and managing game states. Ideally I'd like to see something like an XML file I could create that defines the game, and an interpreter that could load it up and run the given game.

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The closest thing I can find is something called VASSAL. It doesn't seem to be as easy as setting up XML files for the game to work properly, but if you want a board game framework that supports multi-player, there you go.

Now your question is pretty interesting. Although to meet your specifications exactly, you might have to Roll your own. And I don't know if XML will be the correct tool for the job. For defining complex rules, either the interpreter will have to be overly complex and specific to work with all the variations of rules you could do in a board game, or you would have to define the rules in some kind of scripting language.

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+1 for word-pun. :) – Per Fagrell Dec 20 '10 at 15:01

For something like this I'd just Excel. The problem with a general solution is that rules are one of the most unique elements in a game so creating a framework that let you plug in rules is kind of hard.

Most of them break down to basic math and boolean state changes which Excel handles well.

So do what you can with standard cell math, and then when needed throw in a little VBasic to make buttons for rolling dice and so on.

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I don't see how you can use excel in a game that you plan to distribute. – AttackingHobo Dec 20 '10 at 17:24
I was assuming he was working on just planning the development. It's easy to mock up the game in Excel and see if it's worth playing. Then you can build it visually in whatever software you want or on paper if that's your final goal. – wkerslake Dec 20 '10 at 18:12

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