01 September 2017
Interactive step-by-step guide includes a rule lookup tool, group stat tracking and way to search for local players
An ambitious new app hopes to bring board game rulebooks into the 21st century – by doing away with the need for the rulebooks themselves.
Dized is the latest project from Playmore Games, the Finnish studio behind Race to the North Pole.
The idea behind the app is simple: teach players as they play. The iOS and Android companion will feature a library of interactive tutorials that guide players from setting up a game to playing but, unlike a rulebook, the instructions are designed to be followed as players perform the steps themselves – meaning they can hypothetically jump straight into a game and learn as they go.
Rules can be adjusted based on how many players are in the group and any expansions or different scenarios available for each game. Among the first titles confirmed to be headed to Dized are 7 Wonders, Carcassonne, Blood Rage, Scythe, Kingdomino and Queendomino, Bang!, and Ice Cool.
While the initial tutorial will be a general introduction to the game, Dized will also include a rule lookup tool, which turns the FAQs and finer details about a game into a browsable database that can be searched to resolve any debates about a specific rule. According to Playmore, publishers will be able to update and expand the database based on feedback from players – which means no more arguments over house rules.
As well as the game tutorials, Playmore has plans to integrate community features into Dized, including a way to track the personal stats of a particular group of players, such as wins and losses – something that will likely go down well among those who use BoardGameGeek to record their gaming history.
There’ll also be a way to search for local gamers, including the ability to filter nearby players based on the games they’re playing, and schedule gaming meet-ups using a calendar that tracks each player’s availability.
These extra features will be part of a premium subscription service offered on top of the main free-to-use app.
The free app will include the tutorials, setup guides and rule lookup tool, but you’ll need to pay $5 (£4) a month to unlock access to the community services, digital expansions, other player utilities – timers, score trackers, dice rollers and randomisers are all suggested – and custom skins for the user interface.
There’s even the hint that Dized will eventually include a Netflix-like recommendation service, which will track games owned and suggest new games based on your existing collection.
Dized is currently running an IndieGoGo campaign to fund its launch in August 2018. The lowest tier includes a three-month subscription for $5, with more expensive offerings running up to an eye-watering 60-month (that’s five years!) commitment for $250 (£193).
Playmore has raised just under $28,000 of its $50,000 goal at the time of writing, meaning there’s still a way yet before the app's lofty ambitions become a reality.