DARTSLIVE Home – Behind-the-scenes story of the development and its attractive features
DARTSLIVE Home was created after almost three years of development.
DARTSLIVE Home is a new generation of home-use dartboards developed based on the accumulated expertise of DARTSLIVE Co., Ltd. It is an excellent product that allows you to enjoy the same excitement and fun as playing darts at a darts bar or store, from the comfort of your own home.
It is a joy to be able to practice with the same feeling as playing in a store, especially for those who are thinking of starting to play darts. Even beginners can enjoy darts in a stress-free environment without worrying about being seen! We asked the development staff from DARTSLIVE about three topics to find out what’s special and great about the DARTSLIVE Home!
We first interviewed F, the Product Development Manager, about the attractions hidden in the machine itself, and he also told us a secret story about its development!
──Talking about the popular home dartboard from DARTSLIVE, DARTSLIVE-200S was already a popular model, how did you come to develop the new DARTSLIVE HOME?
Thanks to our customers, the DARTSLIVE-200S was very popular and it was loved by many people. We wanted our DARTSLIVE home-use dartboards to contribute to the “majorization of darts,” and in order to make darts more widely available, we wanted to preserve the performance of the 200S, but offer a dartboard at a lower price. We thought it would be like a “popular edition” (a popular low-priced version of a product). The DARTSLIVE Home is the product with the best balance between performance and price possible.
── Is that the reason why the board has changed from a square to a rounded design?
The square design of the DARTSLIVE-200S was controversial among users, but personally, I prefer simple designs, so I wanted the DARTSLIVE Home to be round (streamline shaped) from the beginning of its development. I had a fantasy of a beautifully chipped round stone down by a river that had been exposed to water currents for many years (laughs).
Although the cost reductions have had an impact as a result, the design change is more for the sake of making the product look good as an interior decoration. The designers thought the same about that too. Since it was about design, the designer’s suggestions were very significant. We wanted the board to be stylish enough that people would want to display it in their rooms as an interior decor, rather than just something that can be displayed in a room without disturbing it.
── What are some of the other areas that you were particular about?
We have made a new bracket compatible with the DARTSLIVE Home. Brackets are mainly used for mounting steel-tip darts boards on walls or special stands, but the DARTSLIVE Home can now be attached directly to a bracket. This will please those who want to practice both soft-tip and steel-tip darts at home. It is easy to attach and detach the dartboard, making it convenient when you want to keep the board tucked away instead of displaying it on the wall as you normally would.
── Finally, if you have any thoughts on how you would like DARTSLIVE Home to be utilized or played in certain situations, please let us know!
In addition to the traditional standard games such as “01” and “CRICKET,” there are also a variety of practice games to improve your skills. We hope you will enjoy them when you are practicing at home or showing off your results at a DARTSLIVE location. Furthermore, DARTSLIVE Home now offers free and unlimited online matches! (LIVE MATCH). I hope you will be able to get into serious games at home without being worried about people watching you play. I hope you’ll spend some quality time playing DARTSLIVE Home, not only during the pandemic, but also during times when it is too hot, cold, snowy or rainy to go outside! I also recommend that you display it in your home as a decorative item because it will look great (laughs).
For the second topic, we chose the latest app for the DARTSLIVE Home board, “DARTSLIVE Hone” App. We asked Ishii, who was involved in the development of the app, and Home P (short for Home Producer) T about the app’s appeal!
── There have been apps for the DARTSLIVE-200S in the past, but what are the unique attractions of the newly released DARTSLIVE Home app?
Ishii: The concept for the app version of DARTSLIVE Home was “the same exciting experience at home as playing on a DARTSLIVE3 in the shop,” so the user interface (UI) of the DARTSLIVE3 machine was used in the app. The biggest attraction is that the game screen, awards and even the feel of the controls are reliably reproduced from the DARTSLIVE3, so you can play in the comfort of your own home with the same feeling as if you were playing at a darts shop or a bar.
DARTSLIVE Home Producer, P: Many people who play both at darts spots and at home suffer from a difference in darts performance depending on the environment, and DARTSLIVE Home app can solve this problem. The UI is the same, so you won’t feel too uncomfortable and you can expect consistent results all the time.
Another attraction is that players who first started playing darts on a DARTSLIVE Home board will be able to play on the DARTSLIVE3 without having to worry about machine operability when they visit a darts spot as the UI is the same.
── Did you encounter any difficulties in recreating the UI of DARTSLIVE3 in the app?
DARTSLIVE Home Producer, P: It was difficult for this app because we had to consider support for a variety of smartphones and tablets. We wanted as many players as possible to enjoy the game, so we had to work hard on how to cover as many devices as possible. Even after the release of the app, as long as elements unique to home-use are required, we have to proceed with development that is completely different from that for a commercial use darts machine, which has been a constant struggle (laughs).
── I think one of the original games for DARTSLIVE Home called “Finish Trainer” (available for DARTSLIVE Premium Members only), is one example of such troubles. Why did you decide to add this game when it is not on a commercial darts machine?
Ishii: Many users told us that they wanted a game to practice 01, and I personally also wanted content that would give me practice in the 01 game myself too (laughs). There used to be a game on DARTSLIVE1 called “Arrange Mania.” It was designed to help players practice the darts check out, and the FINISH TRAINER was inspired by this game. Rather than just focusing on “the practice to check out with fewer darts”, I wanted to create a game to help players practice the skills that can be used in an actual game.
DARTSLIVE Home Producer, P: It is important to be able to practice while having fun, so it was difficult to adjust how to enhance the gameplay. For example, If you finish (check out) in the least number of darts for the number of points in the subject, you can aim for a higher score with the BEST FINISH bonus. Even the competitiveness is enhanced, if the users cannot get practical practice for a real-life matches, then it would be a real downfall. During the development process, we played this game many times through trial and error, so we got pretty good at the check out..
── Speaking of practical practice, hasn’t ROBO RIVAL, the function users can play a game against a robot, has been released?
DARTSLIVE Home Producer, P: Yes. I think the main attraction of ROBO RIVAL is that you can ‘play a match without any hesitation’. When you have just started playing darts, you may feel a bit intimidated by playing other players. We would be delighted if the users could make use of ROBO RIVAL in such cases. If you are playing against a robot, you can easily play, so it is easy to get a feel for the flow and atmosphere of the game, and you will be able to start playing against real players smoothly. It is also important to note that the rating is also reflected when competing against robots. Normally, this does not fluctuate in single-player game play, but when playing the ROBO RIVAL you can feel your progress in a tangible way, which is an attractive part of the ROBO RIVAL function.
── DARTSLIVE Home has LIVE MATCHES where you can easily play an online match against other players. The more you get used to playing ROBO RIVAL, the more fun it will be when playing a LIVE MATCH. It’s great that you can easily play against players from all over the world at any time.
DARTSLIVE Home Producer, P: LIVE MATCH is truly one of the best parts of the DARTSLIVE HOME app. The app is not simply a tool for enjoying online matches. After playing an online match, the users have become friends and interact on social networking sites. This is something unique home darts, such as using matches as an opportunity to connect with others.
── In a way, DARTSLIVE Home is a communication tool to connect darts lovers.
DARTSLIVE Home Producer, P: That’s correct. I myself stream LIVE MACHES on video streaming websites, and I enjoy the unique way of enjoying “darts at home”. It is different from communicating at darts spots, because you can watch the streaming, chat with that players and play against them. For example in a match, you greet each other through the camera image, but there are also a wide variety of interesting ways to communicate, such as body gestures and showing handwritten messages on a piece of paper. If you play against each other often, you can joke around a bit and have a great time at home.
Video streaming of the LIVE MATCHES are available on the YouTube channel DARTSLIVE HOUSE.
── A “PASSCODE MATCH” function has been added to LIVE MATCH to make it easier to play against friends. Will more new functions be added in the future?
DARTSLIVE Home Producer, P: We are considering adding elements such as the “MEDLEY format”, which is often requested by users. We are also looking into funcitons that can be supported by the app, as many people do live and video streaming. We’re also considering a range of other additions, including revamping and expanding existing features, so stay tuned!
── Last but not least, can you tell us what the development staff recommend for the “DARTSLIVE Home 1-month practice menu to improve from begginer level!”
DARTSLIVE Home Producer, T: When you are just starting out, the more you throw, the better you will become, so while you are a beginner, it is all about playing COUNT-UP (aiming for the BULL). It is also fun to try completing the daily MISSIONS available in the DARTSLIVE service, such as winning 701 matches for X times or getting HAT TRICK X times. It is then a good idea to have your rating calculated by playing against the ROBO RIVAL to see how you are improving.
For the third topic we asked the member in charge of Product Development F, App Planner Ishi, and DARTSLIVE Home Producer P, about the future and other ways to further enjoy the DARTSLIVE Home.
── Are you planning any exclusive “DARTSLIVE Home” events?
DARTSLIVE Home Producer, P: We would like to make efforts to plan something that matches the home-use environment. We are also considering online rankings, and would like to provide a format that everyone can enjoy.
F: As a user, I would like to see a regional competition-type event. It would be interesting to determine which region’s users are stronger based on the results of online DARTSLIVE Home matches.
Ishii: Sounds interesting. Since we are in an online environment, it would be ideal to have an event that we can get absorbed in while expanding our circle of communication with other users, rather than just having fun between individuals.
DARTSLIVE Home Producer, T: Yes, I agree. Our direction is to create contents not only for events but also for community and communication in the future. Instead of just playing the game, multiple people play darts while conversing with each other to lift each other’s spirits. That kind of communication in the community is the original appeal of darts. We would like to build up our content so that it can be sublimated into something that can be played by all DARTSLIVE users, not just those who play at home.
──Will the linkage between “DARTSLIVE Home” and “DARTSLIVE3” will be further strengthened?
DARTSLIVE Home Producer, P: Currently, “DARTSLIVE Miles” can be exchanged for digital contents such as AWARD MOVIES and LIVE EFFECTS, and “MISSIONS” to earn miles are the things that can be enjoyed in conjunction with the program, but we are currently creating more functions and mechanisms to enjoy for both DARTSLIVE3 and DARTSLIVE HOME users.
Ishii: We are also considering adding the ability to customize DARTSLIVE THEMES and AWARD MOVIES, which we have received many requests for, in a future update.
── By the way, regarding the digital contents can be redeemed at the Mile Store, recently there was the “Sonic 30th Anniversary” collaboration campaign. I wonder if there are plans for future collaborations?
DARTSLIVE Home Producer, P: I can’t say too much, but we do plan to have a collaborate digital contents at the Mile Store in the future. We also plan to further expand the DARTSLIVE Miles system itself, and we are considering increasing the number of things that can be redeemed, as well as elements that can be used in a completely different way. We’re thinking of ways to update the function to make everyone more enthusiastic about collecting miles, so stay tuned!
── If more things can be done with the DARTSLIVE Home, I think that more users will enjoy playing darts at home. What points should we be aware of when doing so (playing darts at home), and what manners are unique to home darts?
F: It’s so much fun that you lose track of when to stop playing. I understand the enthusiasm, but please mind your manners, such as do not shout in the middle of the night and do not swear when you lose an online match.
Ishii: A LIVE MATCH is a game that is not possible without an opponent, so I would like to ask you to stop any behavior that lacks respect for your opponents. It is also not acceptable to stir up the opponent, quit the match when you are about to lose, or set an icon image that is offensive to public order and morals.
DARTSLIVE Home Producer, P: Darts is also a sport, so it starts and ends with greetings. Please remember to respect your opponent. I think that turning on the camera will make it easier for users to communicate with each other and create a more enjoyable environment (there is also a privacy issue, so turning off the camera is no problem at all!).
── Last but not least, I’d like to know what you all think makes darts so attractive!
Ishii: Darts is a sport that can be played in a small space, so it is easy to start and feel that you are improving. The darts community is very active, so it’s a great way to make friends with a common interest quickly. I also think that the good thing about the environment surrounding darts is that when you go to a darts spot, you have the opportunity to play against the players you admire, and you are closer to professional players than in other sports.
DARTSLIVE Home Producer, P: The “darts community” is a major attraction which is also what started our service. The sight of people meeting each other for the first time and instantly becoming friends is hard to find in other cultures. It may sound personal, but this community is also so addictive that once you experience it, it is hard to get out of it (laughs).
F: It is not a sport that requires physical strength, so darts can be enjoyed by men and women of all ages. It is a sport that is very deep and full of fun, whether you are seriously competing or having fun with your friends, and I hope that as many people as possible will get to know and enjoy it through playing on the DARTSLIVE Home.
DARTSLIVE Home, a new high-performance home dartboard. We can’t stop talking about how great it is!
For more information about the DARTSLIVE Home board, visit the official website.