DICE Baseball

DICE Baseball is a baseball game that uses dice for a quick and accurate replay.  george nebesnik is very clear to say this game is NOT a variant of Statis Pro while it may have many similarities to the game.  DICE Baseball does incorporate many game engine aspects that statis pro had and a number of “upgrades” to the old game including L/R splits.

current seasons available: seasons available: 1871, 1911, 1919, 1922, 1941, 1956, 1960, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1975, 1977, 1980, 1984, 1987, 1988, 1990, 1998, 2008, 2009.  Click HERE to order.

a special thank you to george nebesnik, creator of DICE Baseball, who recently took some time to answer several questions and follow up questions that i had for him.

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StatisProBaseball: could you tell us a little bit about yourself?

George: I currently live in upstate NY.  Around the Albany/Binghamton/Oneonta/Cooperstown area.  I am married and have three kids.  Growing up I was a huge fan of all board games really.  I also loved sports, so when I accidentally stumbled upon a sports board game called “Statis Pro Baseball” it was all over.  That’s what really got me hooked on sports table top games.  I then ordered their basketball, football, and boxing games, and loved them all.

SPB: do you create DICE Baseball and your other games (many, many) as a full time job — is this your profession? i’m assuming it is a side job.

George: It is my side job.  I do have a full time job where I work 40 hours a week.  But I still hope one day, it will be my full time job.

SPB: how long have you been playing table top sport games?

George: I started playing them in 1988, so that would be 22 years.

SPB: what was your first game?

George: Statis Pro Baseball with the 1987 Season Set.

SPB: what is your favorite sport game (and why)?

George: I am assuming you mean table top sport game.  Definitely baseball.  I think baseball translates to the table top better than any other sport.

SPB: what made you start re-creating Statis Pro?

George: I wouldn’t exactly say I re-created it.  I used to do player cards every year from about 1990 through 2003.  I would take index cards and cut them to the statis pro size and actually create season sets just using pen and paper.  Then from about 2003 and on I didn’t really do much with Statis Pro or any other game really.  The time away made me miss it and in 2006 I started to acquire as many statis pro seasons from 1980 on that I could.

It made me want to play the game again.  I then had the idea that I would create my own website and start creating season sets with splits for statis pro.  I created the 2007 and the 1973 season sets, but it wasn’t enough.  I wanted more than just creating season sets for someone elses game.  So that gave me an idea.  I wanted to re-release statis pro baseball.  Not just baseball but the entire statis pro line of baseball, basketball, football, hockey, and boxing.  I did some pretty heavy research into obtaining the rights.  My plan was to release the game just like it was.  The same exact box and box art, the game components, everything identical to the 80s versions.  My research kept coming to dead-ends so I contacted Jim Barnes directly.  According to him, Wizards of the Coast, and Hasbro they all say they own the rights to the game.  Since I didn’t have the money to hire a lawyer to actually investigate the matter, I moved on.

That was when I really had the idea to create DICE Baseball.  When I was a kid, me and a buddy of mine created a simple 6 x 6 grid where the red numbers 1-6 were on the top and the white die numbers were down the side.  So if you rolled a red 6 and a white 1 you would for over 6 and down 1.  It wasn’t player specific or even based on formulas.  I still have that grid as well.  We called it DICE Baseball.

When I started out I wanted that type of game only using 10-sided dice and formula and player specific.  After coming up with a ton of different ideas, DICE Baseball started to take shape.  Most people confuse my game with a variation or hybrid of Statis Pro, it really isn’t.  Statis Pro was without a doubt my inspiration and I obviously took some of the things that were trademarks of statis pro and kind of made them my own.  I definitely wanted to create a game similar to statis pro in playability, but there were alot of things I also created that weren’t anything like statis pro.

SPB: how long have you been modifying it? and how long does it take to create a season?

George: DICE Baseball will be 3 in January.  DICE Baseball released in January of 2008.  It takes about an hour per team.  A retro season of 16 teams would take about 16 hours.  A modern season would take about 30 hours.

SPB: what things would you like to see improve in the game (i’m referring to things other than sales)?

George: Pitcher fatigue is a big one for me.  My system is based strictly on batters faced.  I have tried to come up with an accurate system using some other form but it just hasn’t worked.  I am still hopeful one of these days something will just click.  I hope you don’t consider this sales, but I would love to see the DICE Baseball Players getting more active in posting replays or projects.  I think a really good replay where alot of people follow along is good for any game.  Of course I would love to improve my shipped game components.  I do believe I offer a high quality product but I would still like to get better.  As I learn more and more about this business and I try new things I am slowly improving a little bit here and there.

SPB: do you get a chance to actually play the game? if so, do you do replays or participate in a league?

George: I do play the game.  It’s funny you ask that question because, and this is a true story.  DICE Baseball in thought actually happened probably about 10 years ago.  I made some notes played with some ideas and after a couple of weeks, put it away and went back to playing my statis pro.  When I decided a decade later to give it another chance I had one thing and one thing in mind only.  If I couldn’t make myself want to play it more than statis pro I would forget the idea forever.  It was a struggle.  It probably took me close to two years before I finally did I say I would rather play DICE Baseball.  And to this day, I have not played one game of statis pro since I have released DICE Baseball, to answer your question.

I do make time to play my game and I love to do replays.  I have about 3 of them going on right now with DICE Baseball.

SPB: we’re all fortunate that Jim Barnes has turned the game over to the public allowing several, including you, to keep the game alive. have you ever had the chance to talk to Jim? Ii you did, what would you like to tell or ask him?

George: I have talked to Jim a few times in emails.  I pretty much asked him everything I ever wanted to.

SPB: what do you see in the future for Statis Pro Baseball and more specifically DICE Baseball?

George: When it comes to Statis Pro, it needs someone or some company to acquire the rights to the game and re-release it.  We have seen that work, and even recently.  Alot of people out there do alot with the game, but nothing would be better for the game than a re-release.  There is no doubt in my mind that Statis Pro today could very very easily be as popular as any of the big boys today.  Statis Pro can sell itself.  You will have people buying statis pro for all different reasons.  As for DICE Baseball I would love to see in the future a kind of separation from Statis Pro.

My game will forever be linked with statis pro.  That was something I knew going in.  My board is very similar to the statis pro board and my Control Factor is very similar to the PB system.  But one day I do hope that most people would recognize that DICE Baseball and Statis Pro are as different as APBA and Strat.  What I do see for the future is a wide variety of season sets.  I will have 1871 through present day available.  I will also do ATG sets, decade sets, whatever customers want.

SPB: what sets your game apart from some of the others on the market? why should they buy DICE Baseball?

George: I think the biggest thing that sets my game apart from the others are my prices.  I don’t think a company out there today can beat my prices for both the email versions and the printed set. I think the best reasons to give DICE Baseball a try, simple, it’s fun, it’s fast, it’s accurate, it’s always improving, and I am here to do whatever it takes to make you happy.

SPB: what’s your favorite baseball team?

George: San Diego Padres

SPB: what’s your favorite baseball season?

George: The 1987 season

SPB: last question and maybe the most difficult: how would you describe yourself in four words or less without using the word “jello”?

George: motivated, focused, desire, willingness

SPB: george is a maker of many sport games (baseball, football, racing, bowling, boxing, etc).  i’ve tried DICE Boxing and love the game.  he’s always made time for the many questions i’ve had and have seen his patient customer service many times on the forums.  if you decide to try DICE Ball or any other of george’s games, i’m sure you’ll be happy with the service.

Posted 08/06/2010 by rick

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