RGB keyboards and case fans and RAM sticks are lovely, but they're bound to your computer desk, which I assume also has RGB lighting. Take things to the tabletop for a D&D session, and not only will your accouterments remain one color rather than pulsing through the rainbow, they won't light up at all.
There is finally hope for our non-luminescent tabletops. Pixels dice caught my eye on Twitter today with the video below, which demonstrates their ability not just to light up, but to detect what you've rolled and adjust the light show to the occasion.
Pixels know which way they roll and are completely customizable, letting you control how they light up based on your rolls. More info / sign-up at https://t.co/RdiUcYUdz6 #dice #DnD pic.twitter.com/lTYBeiH7SpJanuary 26, 2020
The dice charge wirelessly in special cases, and can be customized in a phone app via Bluetooth (just iOS right now, but with more apps to come). Despite everything going on inside of them, maker Systemic Games says in an FAQ that the dice are "very close" to being perfectly balanced. An older FAQ stated that early prototypes were not balanced, but were coming along.
Pixels aren't on sale yet, but a Kickstarter campaign is planned for this summer, with the dice expected to ship around six months after it ends. They'll come in all the formats used for D&D and other typical tabletop games, from d20s down to d4s. The estimated price tag is $25 to $30 per die, so a full set won't be cheap.
Pixels aren't the only light-up dice out there, but they're the most advanced ones I've seen, and they don't look like tacky Vegas souvenirs. It helps that they aren't oversized: all that light emitting and Bluetooth connecting tech is stuffed into standard-sized dice.
Their creator, Systemic Games, is a small company based in Rockville, Maryland. If you're familiar with the geography of Maryland as it relates to game development, you won't be surprised to know that the company was founded by a former Bethesda Softworks developer: Jean Simonet, who worked on The Elder Scrolls series (Oblivion and Skyrim), Fallout 3, and Fallout 4. Systemic Games also created Bomb Squad Academy.
Here's another video of a Pixels die in action, which I'm including mainly for the kitten:
Pixels also make pretty good cat toys! 😊 More info / Sign up at https://t.co/z9bWkob7CL #dice #kittens pic.twitter.com/uCRaIB8RIZJanuary 9, 2020
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Tyler grew up in Silicon Valley during the '80s and '90s, playing games like Zork and Arkanoid on early PCs. He was later captivated by Myst, SimCity, Civilization, Command & Conquer, all the shooters they call "boomer shooters" now, and PS1 classic Bushido Blade (that's right: he had Bleem!). Tyler joined PC Gamer in 2011, and today he's focused on the site's news coverage. His hobbies include amateur boxing and adding to his 1,200-plus hours in Rocket League.