Dice+ Is a "Universal Board Game Controller"
Dice+ is an electronic die that communicates with your tablet via bluetooth for a variety of different board games.
How many times have you been playing a board game with your friends and thought: "Man, moving my guy across the board sucks. I wish it would just move by itself." Well, you're in luck, because Game Technologies have just unveiled the Dice+: an electronic die that interacts with your tablet device via bluetooth. Dice+ aims to let players "Enjoy a digital version of board games without losing the pleasure of throwing the dice." It costs $39.99 and is compatible with most iPad and Android tablet devices.
The Dice+ controller is compatible with a variety of "powered board games" you can download from the iTunes store or Google Play.
There appears to be quite a few games on there, ranging from new takes on old classics like Backgammon, to brand-new titles like Dice+ Heroes. It looks like games on the powered board game store can be developed by any developer, not just Game Technologies.
You can check out the official TV ad above, which shows how the Dice+ interacts with a tablet. Game Technologies promises that "You can be sure that DICE+ will properly detect all your rolls," so you don't have to worry about that one guy who always tries to sneakily change the dice roll.
So what do you board game aficionados think of this? It's an interesting little concept, but is it really necessary? Do you think there is a market for this out there? Personally, I like playing "grand" board games like Settlers of Catan and Risk, which are all about having a massive, sprawling board (something that the Dice+ just can't replicate).
A universal die is kind of a neat idea and would be really helpful for D&D, but I would've preferred one that didn't need a smart device to work and just operated on its own.
what happens when it flies off the table at high velocity.
I won't accept any virtual peripheral of a tabletop game that doesn't both involve holographic projections and motorcycles
A nice idea but most of the games I play these days don't involve dice. Now if this thing could do the between-turns busywork of Agricola it would be really useful.
Uh... That's only a six-sided die I see...
Let me know when this special die comes with more than 20 sides... Then, we'll talk about buying a tablet...
(Also, as I was watching that video, all I was thinking about was three post-college students and someone's younger niece having "a gay old time" around the niece's tablet... Oh, how I envy them...)
One idea I had a long time ago when somebody I knew said online RPGs weren't the same because of a lack of dice rolling was a sensor pad. It would interact with a game server (whether local or internet) by reading the bottom of dice and feeding it the opposing side's results (all proper dice count towards the center. 6 v 1, 2 v 5, 3 v 4 for six sided, 20 v 1, 19 v 2, etc.). The program itself could be as simple as merely showing results or as complex as having the Dungeons and Dragons ruleset built in and a dungeonmaster feeding it scenarios.
I doubt it would have sold very well since dice are only a small part of the experience, but considering some of the stupid computer prank items I've seen, I have to believe it probably already exists.
Honestly, I think it's downright asinine.
I can get behind e-books- having an entire library in your hand that weighs as much as a single book, having constant or near-constant access to a book store that's better stocked than most of the ones in the real world- sure, there's a place for that, and an appeal.
Likewise playing virtual "board games" with AI, or with players through the Internet or networks.
But if you're around actual people? Who want to play an actual board game? Take out an actual board game! Real dice cost less than twenty-five cents a piece, Cheapass Games used to sell games for under $4.00, and you never have to worry about a friend's copy of Dominion or Robo Rally running out of power or whether its cord will stretch to a power outlet.
A $40 die? For #$%@'s sake, people.
Skilled players at more complex board games can be hard to find so internet play has a use. Playing local multiplayer on a tablet seems clunky though. Tzolkin plays kinda like Agricola and only requires a wheel turn to do the between-turn stuff so it's kinda an alternative...
While board games on tablets is kinda dorky, electronic dice could be huge for games like axis and allies or such, integrated with electronic score keeping.
Merging technology and board games,could be done well, as long as there's no requirement for data entry.
You know what other dice works with multiple board games? Any other dice.
I like the idea, but $40 for what is presumably nothing more than a bluetooth link and inertial sensor seems a bit steep.
A tablet based D&D board game wouldn't be a bad idea, at all.
I like the concept, let's hope it fares well.