A day at the Dized office

Behind every great project, there are amazing people, and that’s why we decided to lift the curtain on what goes on at the Playmore Games’ office in downtown Helsinki, Finland.

One of our designers working on the Blood Rage Tutorial

Our company consists of a few loosely defined teams — “Management & HR,” “Marketing,” and “Product & Development.” Since we’re less than 20 people, some roles are in a constant state of flux — for example, people from both Management and Marketing take care of the relationship with publishers, some graphic designers help all teams at once, and pretty much everybody contributes to the organization of events.

The operation we’re running is complex: is part software development, part crowdfunding and associated logistics, part events planning. We have Unity wizards, as well as seasoned 3D modelers and visual designers, industry experts, project managers, copywriters, musicians and game designers. It’s a merry bunch of people trying to look at all the possible angles of the Dized equation and come up with the best possible solutions.

When it comes to the product itself, our ToDo list ranges from bug fixing to features implementation, from QA with testers to voiceover recording, from tools development for third parties to the creation of the content itself.

Testing a Tutorial (and yes, seeing it on a big screen is pretty cool ;)
Unexpected issue: Tutorials teach the game so well that we often need “fresh” testers

The area on which we want to focus in 2018 is tools: as the Rules Tool will allow publishers to add rules and FAQs to Dized quickly, so the Tutorials Tool will allow them to create top-notch Tutorials without having a whole dev team in their backroom.

How we do things now

Currently, we develop all content in-house. It’s a process full of love for the hobby, and each piece of content is almost handcrafted. With the help of the Unity engine (fun fact: Unity has an office just below ours), our devs create the logic for each Tutorial — they study the rules, plan the flow of information, and only then work on graphics, animations, and transitions. Once a first pass is done, we move to testing and bug fixing. It’s a careful process, but a slow one at that. Luckily, we are getting to the point where a lot of steps will be automated, and third parties will be able to submit content on par to what we can do in-house, with a fraction of the effort.

Doing custom graphics for the Blood Rage Tutorial

How we will do things after the tools are ready

To scale things up at a speed that will allow Dized to feature every upcoming game on the market, we are developing easy-to-use tools targeted to publishers and individual designers.

We’re almost ready to open up the first one of them, also known as the Rules Tool: Rules are the section of Dized where you can search for a specific rule, definition, and check the frequently asked questions. What’s best about it is that Rules will always feature the latest updates, saving you from downloading revision upon revision, or surfing a bunch of different forums hoping to find the clarification you need. We expect the average time to get Rules for any specific game up and running to be less than a week of work, depending on the complexity of the game and custom artworks needed. The Rules Tool will open to third parties in May.

Rules for Kingdomino
How the backend of the Rules Tool looks
Adding a category in the Rules Tool

The next tool we’ll focus on is the Tutorials Tool. Similarly to what can be accomplished with the Rules Tool, we want to make Tutorials easy to build and animate, providing also simple ways to add voice, music and sound effects. The Tutorials Tool will then be used internally, replacing a lot of the current handcrafting, and externally, minimizing the effort required for publishers and designers to release a Tutorial along with their games. We believe this to be the key to a library packed with content, and hence our most urgent priority.

More on this in a future blog post — stay tuned!

— -

Want to learn more about Dized? Sign up on this page and make sure you’re the first to discover what’s new — we’re working on a few exciting things! No spam, only good stuff. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

This app makes playing board games easy and fun. Early Access version already available for iOS and Android. http://dized.com