Forget Reading the Rulebook, Play Board Games Right Out of the Box! Q and A with Dized App CEO Jouni Jussila

Dized App CEO Jouni Jussila


“No matter how many times you read the rules, you need to play a game once to really understand how the mechanics and interactions in the game really work. If you play Chess for the first time, it’s not about making a powerful first move, which you wouldn’t know what to do with later on anyway.”


What are your top three favorite board games?

Jouni Jussila:  Pandemic Cthulhu, Potion Explosion and Hero Quest.

What prompted the original idea for the Dized app?

The original idea for the app is just from our own problems with rulebooks. We like to play but we don’t like to study how to play. There hasn’t been no one big moment when we got the idea but instead it has been a long path of trial and error. We always wanted to do all sorts of digital content for board games but one of our partners, game designer Eric M. Lang always pushed us towards solving the issue and friction with rulebooks.


Check out the Dized App here on Indiegogo!


How long have you been working on the Dized app?  

From summer of 2013. That’s when me and Tomi were discussing about founding a company that would do digital content for board games. The name Dized was come up with much later. It’s a play on words Digitalized and Dice. We finally decided to go with Dized when we got the domain for $300.

Why are you turning to Indiegogo for the new Dized app and what will the proposed campaign funds cover?

The campaign funds will fully be used on developing Dized. The bigger we can make this campaign the more developers and designers we can employ. Getting enough people to build this would shorten the production time significantly.



How much of your own funding did you raise or put into building Dized before the Indiegogo campaign launch?

We’ve personally invested into the company and also have had two investments rounds. Today the company has 23 shareholders and we’ve raised over two million dollars in funding, most of it in 2017.

What has this Indiegogo campaign taught you about your product that you hadn’t realized before?

There haven’t been any major things we would’ve learned about our product during this campaign. On the other hand there are quite a few things we already knew before going into the campaign, for example since our product has so many aspects it’s challenging to communicate that in a clear way to the audience. We focused on this but the campaign has shown us, that we still need to work on it.


Check out the Indiegogo Campaign for the Dized App Here!


Can you explain with examples how the Dized app would teach someone how to play a popular board game like checkers?

The biggest different to existing methods to learn board games is that Dized gets you into the game quicker. We teach you the rules gradually and this allows the game to start quicker.

Let’s take Chess for example. We would first show you how to set up the game using 3D animated, voiceovered and subtitled steps. Once the game is ready we tell players to choose their colors. We state that the goal of the game is to defeat the opponent’s king and we’re good to go. “White player, you start. On the front line you have eight similar pieces. These are your pawns. Choose any one of them, and move it one square towards your opponent. Done, first turn done! Then black player gets the same instructions and plays their turn. Second turn: White player! Normally your pawns move ahead one step at a time, but when you move a pawn for the first time, you can also move ahead two steps. Now, pick any one your pawns that haven’t moved yet and move them ahead one or two steps. If you want to move the pawn you already moved, only move them one step ahead. And the same goes for the black player. Next turn we would tell how to take down opponents pieces with your pawns. And so on.



The philosophy we’re using with Dized is that when you play a game for the first time it’s important to enjoy the game. Dized gets you into the game quickly and teaches rules in comfortable amounts. No matter how many times you read the rules, you need to play a game once to really understand how the mechanics and interactions in the game really work. If you play Chess for the first time, it’s not about making a powerful first move, which you wouldn’t know what to do with later on anyway. So instead of grabbing your knight straight into battle start moving your pawns. All the rules will be explained eventually, but this way you got to play the whole time and every time a new rule was presented, you got to try it out immediately. It’s simple, and it’s fun.

What is the subscription community access for the Dized app?

Dized will have many community features which will become very useful once the app is launched and a critical mass of customers is reached. People can organize game nights and find players local to them. People can easily share information about games, their board game inventory or a log book of games they’ve played. Maybe I (for example) would really like to play Pandemic but don’t own the game. I would however easily find out on Dized that my friend Matthew, who has shared his board game library with me, has the game. I could just send him a message asking to borrow the game.


Check out the Dized App here on Indiegogo! – Playmore Games Inc. Team (Helsinki, Finland)


In building the app, what challenges surfaced that you weren’t expecting?  How did you work through them?

There has been plenty of challenges for sure but all of them have been expected. The biggest challenge has been that software development takes a lot of time. We’ve always doubled our original estimates for schedules, but we should’ve doubled the doubled ones to get them right. We have gotten a lot better in evaluating how long projects take time.

What is your personal favorite feature of the Dized app?

My personal feature is the interactive tutorial. I don’t like to study but I love playing games. A tool that gets me into the game immediately is exactly what I need!



I’m Jouni, the CEO and co-founder of Playmore Games and Dized. I’ve been an avid gamer for my whole life. I’ve always been developing new game ideas and also tweaking existing games. I’ve done quite a few different things in my life but finally ended working with games when we founded this company. And board games for that matter!





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