Blockchain May Change How Real-World Tabletop Card Games are Played [Interview]

As blockchain technology hits the gaming industry, most game developers are only exploring subtle integrations. Meanwhile, a Seattle startup is making extensive use of the technology to completely reinvent how tabletop card games are played and distributed.

New Gaming Paradigm

CryptoSlate recently spoke with Seattle studio Cryptogogue about their unique crypto-backed trading card game and radical plan for distributing it. Having noticed that many companies are “trying to map existing paradigms to the blockchain”, Cryptogogue set out to take this concept to the next level and “gamify the blockchain” itself.

The result is Volition, a hybrid concept that combines a traditional printed trading card game with all of the features of crypto-collectibles. The game’s name, Volition, means “an act of making a choice or decision; the power of choosing or determining.”

“There are so many crypto projects out there that help facilitate a better physical to digital transformation,” says Ken Pilcher, “but not many that help bring it full circle and back to something tangible.”

The game is built on top of a new digital-to-physical distribution platform where the game’s content is published and sold to the community of miners running the network. Meanwhile, the game is actually played on a physical tabletop with real-world friends.

When it comes time to play, anyone who owns a card can print it out and use it in a game.

Changing Play and Trade

Thanks to blockchain technology, proof of ownership and authenticity can easily be verified by scanning a code on the card and checking it against the network. Cards may be checked casually by scanning them with an app on your phone, or systematically by judges and organizers during tournaments.

Because a blockchain is the distribution platform, it will be the community of users that keep the game going. Volition will run on an entirely custom blockchain platform with specialized mining nodes and wallets.

Related: How EOS, TRON and Ethereum Have Impacted the Gambling Industry

New game assets are distributed algorithmically through mining packs. Cards are released as virtual booster packs that need to be opened just like real packs. Miners can even configure their systems to mine for specific sets.

Then, these assets can be traded across built-in marketplace nodes. Users can create their own stores on the network to trade and sell cards with no fees using the currency built directly into the platform. Alternatively, cards can still be traded online or even in person, changing the dynamic of digital ownership.

Since game assets are stored digitally, Volition allows for the evolution of player cards; cards can level up, get combined, and unlock powers over time.

Since these assets are tracked on a blockchain, gamers can also see a card’s entire immutable history, including previous ownership. If a card was used by someone famous to win a tournament, then the next owner will have a record without a pen ever touching the card.

Tenacious Games and The Spoils

To understand how the team got to where they are today, we have to look more than a decade into the past.

In 2006, freshly minted gaming startup Tenacious Games released a clever trading card game called The Spoils. The Spoils was well received and quickly developed a dedicated cult following. The game offered a variety of innovations and was known for being the first trading card game to offer a free and open beta.

Victims of bad timing, Tenacious Games entered their series A financing just as the financial crash hit in early 2007. By 2009, struggling from undercapitalization, Tenacious Games sold the rights for The Spoils to Arcane Tinmen—who continued to support the game until it was finally shelved in December of 2016.

The Path to Volition

It was The Spoils that originally brought Cryptogogue’s two key founders together: technologist Patrick Meehan and game designer Ken Pilcher. Meehan was one of Tenacious Games’ original founders.

After selling the rights to The Spoils, Meehan left the hobby gaming scene altogether and returned to his core skill as a software developer working on anything from embedded mobile to virtual reality. Meanwhile, Ken Pilcher worked as a key designer on The Spoils until near the end of its lifespan.

Pilcher has a deep interest in tabletop gaming, with 25 years of experience playing games like Magic: The Gathering, running gaming events, and heavily collecting trading cards. With complementary talents, well-aligned interest, and shared experiences with The Spoils, the duo seemed destined to collaborate on another project.

In early 2017, drawing on their collective knowledge, Meehan and Pilcher began a collaborative exploration of blockchain-centric distribution models.

“Further into understanding the technology,” Meehan says they realized “we really ought to dust off our blockchain game publishing skillset.”

The duo soon became a trio with the addition of Meehan’s former colleague Scott Teal and by early 2018, they decided on a vision and announced to the world their intention to develop Volition. The team has been hard at work ever since.

Digital Cards for Traditional Gamers

Since nothing like Volition exists, many gamers are curious what gameplay will look like. While considered a spiritual successor to the gameplay model from The Spoils, Volition will be a distinctly unique game.

The team is creating something even leaner and cleaner than what they did in The Spoils. The team describes gameplay that is “accessible like Hearthstone,” yet more “skill-heavy, like The Spoils and Magic: The Gathering.”

Game designer Pilcher wants to be sure that players never feel stuck traveling down only one path of play. In our interview, Pilcher said:

“In many resource-based games where resources are in the deck, you have issues where if you don’t draw those resources, you can’t really do much until you do. With Volition, players are always able to continue building up a board or draw additional cards if they find themselves lacking specific cards they might need at that time.”

From distribution to play style, Volition is all about building and supporting the community. The official forums already host a modest, yet enthusiastic, core group of fans, many of them carried over from The Spoils. Community members provide ideas and feedback and engage directly with all three team members, and will be the playtesters for the first iterations of the game.

Physical Game Stores in the Digital World

While Cryptogogue intends to replace the gaming industry role of distribution, they are focused heavily on supporting retailers—especially dedicated game stores. Meehan believes that “gamers like to go to game stores; people like to see and touch a product.” Although a tabletop simulator could be made on top of the technology, the team is more focused on the physical, print-on-demand card gaming experience:

“As the world becomes more screens and wifi, I feel like digital experiences will become typical and people will crave face-to-face human contact.”

Retail shops will be offered a number of perks. Stores can have their own inventory that can either be sold using QR codes on a poster or as physical products printed and displayed with the transfer code on the back in a card sleeve. The founders have even thought about distributing a percentage of mined card packs directly to partner game stores.

Volition is just the first of many games to be distributed this way; The network that will distribute Volition will not be limited to a single game. Cryptogogue hopes to build an ecosystem that changes how games are played and distributed, aiming to help indie game developers bring all sorts of collectible card games to market over the network.

Determining the Future

Volition is expected to go live in Q1 of 2019. While the Volition blockchain will have an internal currency, Cryptogogue emphasized that it’s not looking to get listed in exchanges or get involved in the ICO. Instead of pushing their product on gamers, the team considers Volition a “conceptual project” intended to explore the possibilities of card gaming on the blockchain.

Blazing the same trail as Crypto Kitties, Rare Pepe, and MLB, Volition is venturing into uncharted territory. With Volition, the team is looking to determine the future of tabletop card gaming.

Disclaimer: Our writers’ opinions are solely their own and do not reflect the opinion of CryptoSlate. None of the information you read on CryptoSlate should be taken as investment advice, nor does CryptoSlate endorse any project that may be mentioned or linked to in this article. Buying and trading cryptocurrencies should be considered a high-risk activity. Please do your own due diligence before taking any action related to content within this article. Finally, CryptoSlate takes no responsibility should you lose money trading cryptocurrencies.

Did you like this article? Join us.

Get blockchain news and crypto insights.

Join Us on Telegram

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*


Privacy Policy

WideBitcoin.com is committed to safeguarding your privacy. Contact us at if you have any questions or problems regarding the use of your Personal Data and we will gladly assist you.

By using this site or/and our services, you consent to the Processing of your Personal Data as described in this Privacy Policy.

Table of Contents

  1. Definitions used in this Policy
  2. Data protection principles we follow
  3. What rights do you have regarding your Personal Data
  4. What Personal Data we gather about you
  5. How we use your Personal Data
  6. Who else has access to your Personal Data
  7. How we secure your data
  8. Information about cookies
  9. Contact information

Definitions

Personal Data – any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person.
Processing – any operation or set of operations which is performed on Personal Data or on sets of Personal Data.
Data subject – a natural person whose Personal Data is being Processed.
Child – a natural person under 16 years of age.
We/us (either capitalized or not)

Data Protection Principles

We promise to follow the following data protection principles:

  • Processing is lawful, fair, transparent. Our Processing activities have lawful grounds. We always consider your rights before Processing Personal Data. We will provide you information regarding Processing upon request.
  • Processing is limited to the purpose. Our Processing activities fit the purpose for which Personal Data was gathered.
  • Processing is done with minimal data. We only gather and Process the minimal amount of Personal Data required for any purpose.
  • Processing is limited with a time period. We will not store your personal data for longer than needed.
  • We will do our best to ensure the accuracy of data.
  • We will do our best to ensure the integrity and confidentiality of data.

Data Subject’s rights

The Data Subject has the following rights:

  1. Right to information – meaning you have to right to know whether your Personal Data is being processed; what data is gathered, from where it is obtained and why and by whom it is processed.
  2. Right to access – meaning you have the right to access the data collected from/about you. This includes your right to request and obtain a copy of your Personal Data gathered.
  3. Right to rectification – meaning you have the right to request rectification or erasure of your Personal Data that is inaccurate or incomplete.
  4. Right to erasure – meaning in certain circumstances you can request for your Personal Data to be erased from our records.
  5. Right to restrict processing – meaning where certain conditions apply, you have the right to restrict the Processing of your Personal Data.
  6. Right to object to processing – meaning in certain cases you have the right to object to Processing of your Personal Data, for example in the case of direct marketing.
  7. Right to object to automated Processing – meaning you have the right to object to automated Processing, including profiling; and not to be subject to a decision based solely on automated Processing. This right you can exercise whenever there is an outcome of the profiling that produces legal effects concerning or significantly affecting you.
  8. Right to data portability – you have the right to obtain your Personal Data in a machine-readable format or if it is feasible, as a direct transfer from one Processor to another.
  9. Right to lodge a complaint – in the event that we refuse your request under the Rights of Access, we will provide you with a reason as to why. If you are not satisfied with the way your request has been handled please contact us.
  10. Right for the help of supervisory authority – meaning you have the right for the help of a supervisory authority and the right for other legal remedies such as claiming damages.
  11. Right to withdraw consent – you have the right withdraw any given consent for Processing of your Personal Data.

Data we gather

Information you have provided us with
This might be your e-mail address, name, billing address, home address etc – mainly information that is necessary for delivering you a product/service or to enhance your customer experience with us. We save the information you provide us with in order for you to comment or perform other activities on the website. This information includes, for example, your name and e-mail address.

Information automatically collected about you
This includes information that is automatically stored by cookies and other session tools. For example, your shopping cart information, your IP address, your shopping history (if there is any) etc. This information is used to improve your customer experience. When you use our services or look at the contents of our website, your activities may be logged.

Information from our partners
We gather information from our trusted partners with confirmation that they have legal grounds to share that information with us. This is either information you have provided them directly with or that they have gathered about you on other legal grounds. See the list of our partners here.

Publicly available information
We might gather information about you that is publicly available.

How we use your Personal Data

We use your Personal Data in order to:

  • provide our service to you. This includes for example registering your account; providing you with other products and services that you have requested; providing you with promotional items at your request and communicating with you in relation to those products and services; communicating and interacting with you; and notifying you of changes to any services.
  • enhance your customer experience;
  • fulfil an obligation under law or contract;

We use your Personal Data on legitimate grounds and/or with your Consent.

On the grounds of entering into a contract or fulfilling contractual obligations, we Process your Personal Data for the following purposes:

  • to identify you;
  • to provide you a service or to send/offer you a product;
  • to communicate either for sales or invoicing;

On the ground of legitimate interest, we Process your Personal Data for the following purposes:

  • to send you personalized offers* (from us and/or our carefully selected partners);
  • to administer and analyse our client base (purchasing behaviour and history) in order to improve the quality, variety, and availability of products/ services offered/provided;
  • to conduct questionnaires concerning client satisfaction;

As long as you have not informed us otherwise, we consider offering you products/services that are similar or same to your purchasing history/browsing behaviour to be our legitimate interest.

With your consent we Process your Personal Data for the following purposes:

  • to send you newsletters and campaign offers (from us and/or our carefully selected partners);
  • for other purposes we have asked your consent for;

We Process your Personal Data in order to fulfil obligation rising from law and/or use your Personal Data for options provided by law. We reserve the right to anonymise Personal Data gathered and to use any such data. We will use data outside the scope of this Policy only when it is anonymised. We save your billing information and other information gathered about you for as long as needed for accounting purposes or other obligations deriving from law, but not longer than 1 year.

We might process your Personal Data for additional purposes that are not mentioned here, but are compatible with the original purpose for which the data was gathered. To do this, we will ensure that:

  • the link between purposes, context and nature of Personal Data is suitable for further Processing;
  • the further Processing would not harm your interests and
  • there would be appropriate safeguard for Processing.

We will inform you of any further Processing and purposes.

Who else can access your Personal Data

We do not share your Personal Data with strangers. Personal Data about you is in some cases provided to our trusted partners in order to either make providing the service to you possible or to enhance your customer experience. We share your data with:

Our processing partners:

  • facebook.com
  • google.com
  • bing.com
  • twitter.com
  • pinterest.com

Our business partners:

  • facebook.com
  • google.com
  • bing.com
  • twitter.com
  • pinterest.com

Connected third parties:

  • facebook.com
  • google.com
  • bing.com
  • twitter.com
  • pinterest.com

We only work with Processing partners who are able to ensure adequate level of protection to your Personal Data. We disclose your Personal Data to third parties or public officials when we are legally obliged to do so. We might disclose your Personal Data to third parties if you have consented to it or if there are other legal grounds for it.

How we secure your data

We do our best to keep your Personal Data safe. We use safe protocols for communication and transferring data (such as HTTPS). We use anonymising and pseudonymising where suitable. We monitor our systems for possible vulnerabilities and attacks.

Even though we try our best we can not guarantee the security of information. However, we promise to notify suitable authorities of data breaches. We will also notify you if there is a threat to your rights or interests. We will do everything we reasonably can to prevent security breaches and to assist authorities should any breaches occur.

If you have an account with us, note that you have to keep your username and password secret.

Children

We do not intend to collect or knowingly collect information from children. We do not target children with our services.

Cookies and other technologies we use

We use cookies and/or similar technologies to analyse customer behaviour, administer the website, track users’ movements, and to collect information about users. This is done in order to personalize and enhance your experience with us.

A cookie is a tiny text file stored on your computer. Cookies store information that is used to help make sites work. Only we can access the cookies created by our website. You can control your cookies at the browser level. Choosing to disable cookies may hinder your use of certain functions.

We use cookies for the following purposes:

  • Necessary cookies – these cookies are required for you to be able to use some important features on our website, such as logging in. These cookies don’t collect any personal information.
  • Functionality cookies – these cookies provide functionality that makes using our service more convenient and makes providing more personalised features possible. For example, they might remember your name and e-mail in comment forms so you don’t have to re-enter this information next time when commenting.
  • Analytics cookies – these cookies are used to track the use and performance of our website and services
  • Advertising cookies – these cookies are used to deliver advertisements that are relevant to you and to your interests. In addition, they are used to limit the number of times you see an advertisement. They are usually placed to the website by advertising networks with the website operator’s permission. These cookies remember that you have visited a website and this information is shared with other organisations such as advertisers. Often targeting or advertising cookies will be linked to site functionality provided by the other organisation.

You can remove cookies stored in your computer via your browser settings. Alternatively, you can control some 3rd party cookies by using a privacy enhancement platform such as optout.aboutads.info or youronlinechoices.com. For more information about cookies, visit allaboutcookies.org.

We use Google Analytics to measure traffic on our website. Google has their own Privacy Policy which you can review here. If you’d like to opt out of tracking by Google Analytics, visit the Google Analytics opt-out page.

Read more about cookies on our Cookie Policy

Contact Information

email: [email protected]

Changes to this Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to make change to this Privacy Policy.

You can configure your Internet browser, by changing its options, to stop accepting cookies completely or to prompt you before accepting a cookie from the website you visit. If you do not accept cookies, however, you may not be able to use all portions of the WideBitcoin Websites or all functionality of the Services.

Please note that disabling these technologies may interfere with the performance and features of the Services.

You may also disable cookies on the WideBitcoin Sites by modifying your settings here:

Visitor comments may be checked through an automated spam detection service.

Last Update: May 25, 2018