MIFARE

A new gaming genre – NFC card games 17. May 2017
By Konrad Kunze

It’s not proven how the traditional card game came to the western world. But old playing cards going back until the 14th century have been found. Today there are card games in all variations, genres and designs. They are all different and diverse, but there is still one common ground. They are not digital. smart-TEC, an expert for RFID and NFC technology from Oberhaching, together with IT Sonix, a software development company from Leipzig, set the task of revolutionizing the gaming business.

FusionPlay – Heroes is the first mobile NFC card game. It’s played with physical cards, each containing a Near Field Communication chip. These chips enable communication between the playing cards and a smartphone. As soon as you slide a card under the smartphone, it appears on the screen of the phone. Then the app processes the actions and visualizes the results. The high-tech NFC-playing cards are produced and provided by smart-TEC, using NXP’s MIFARE.

NFC is used to enable the fast-paced gameplay. Reading QR codes via camera would be slow and awkward. With the technology of the FusionPlay Cards, you just slide them under the smartphone, and they appear on the screen immediately. This makes the whole game experience smooth and fluid. Instead of going through the hassle of getting the cards recognized (like with barcodes, etc.), NFC reading is so fast and reliable that it becomes fun to play around with scanning the cards. But that is just one reason why NFC was chosen. The fundamental reason why playing cards were combined with an app via NFC was to get the best of two worlds: Real haptic and social elements of traditional card games, but also the complexity and ease of use of smartphone apps.

The app takes care of storing data, calculating everything, and minding the rules. A big amount of game markers would be needed to symbolize the status effects, buffed attributes, combostack, etc. This would also slow down the gameplay drastically. Additionally, your brain would get fried by doing all the math. By having the app communicating with the cards, you as the player can focus on your strategy and on your opponent.The game was even designed in such a way that you can play it without knowing the rules. The alpha testers learned 90% of the game rules by playing it without even seeing the manual. Only the combo mechanism was something that needed to be mentioned. And there is one more important thing: Unlike other smartphone apps and modern smart items, the ‘FusionPlay – Heroes’ app runs only on your smartphone. It doesn’t want to send your data to a cloud, and it doesn’t want to have access to your current GPS position, your emails, and your whole address book. It also doesn’t require you to create yet another unnecessary account that you neither want nor need.

The game itself is a duel between two players, like a digital homage to beat ’em-up games of the 16-bit era. Each player chooses one of the 4 heroes and uses the heroes’ unique skills to win the battle. The game is fast paced and always motivates to play “just one more round”. All components are pocket sized, so the player can always have them with them.

The kickstarter campaign has already started and we are looking for a positive result. This will be the beginning of a successful launch of the first NFC card game worldwide.

More information about FusionPlay – Heroes:
Kickstarter: https://goo.gl/4alxpo
Email: fusionplay@itsonix.eu
Website: http://www.fusion-play.com/#fusionplaycards
Facebook: http://www.fusion-play.com/#fusionplaycards
Twitter: www.twitter.com/FusionPlayGames