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Game News Gamescom 2015

App meets board game: NXP and Studio Sophisti present NFC-based strategy game at Gamescom

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Dinos vs. Robots is all about conquering land – while also demonstrating the potential for NFC technology in the games industry

At this year’s Gamescom trade fair, NXP Semiconductors N.V. (NASDAQ: NXPI) and the Dutch interactive designers at Studio Sophisti demonstrate how NFC technology can increase the fun factor of gaming with Dino vs. Robots – a game where two players battle it out for territory. The special feature of this new gaming experience is that the game and board are based on a grid made up of 48 sensors. An NFC chip from NXP reads the moves, and then communicates them via Bluetooth Smart to the iPad on which the game is running simultaneously. The demo will be presented at the Gamecity Hamburg stand (Hall 3.2, Stand A020 B021) at Gamescom, taking place this year from August 5 to 9 in Cologne.

Dinos vs. Robots is a turn-based strategy game for two players. The object of the game is to seize as much territory as possible from the opponent. The battle is fought on five lanes, and each side has six different characters and twelve special powers. As soon as a player places a character or a special power on the board, the move is executed simultaneously on the virtual board displayed on the iPad. Basis for this “intelligent” functionality are NFC tags from SMARTRAC. They also include chips from NXP and are integrated in the pawns. The idea of the game is for the players to use the various properties of each figure to conquer squares of territory, in a similar way to chess. The first player to occupy three of the five lanes wins the game.

The game is an example of the current trend in the games industry to combine computer technology with traditional board game elements, which primarily involves the use of sensors and wireless technology. The board in this game, for example, is covered by a dense network of 48 sensors. Using Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, data regarding the players’ moves enters a chip and is then sent to an iPad via Bluetooth – thus merging the virtual and physical reality of the game.

“A huge amount of creative energy is currently being poured into combining digital media and physical objects, and this energy is desperately looking for an outlet,” says Wouter Reeskamp, Creative Director at Studio Sophisti. “The gaming industry is particularly receptive to such new ideas. But to be able to use them effectively, first you need the key technologies that are capable of connecting both worlds – much like NXP’s NFC technology.”

“The gaming industry is one of the first instances in which innovations achieved through combining data and objects can truly be experienced first-hand,” says Tvrtko Barbaric, Head of Gaming at NXP. “It is therefore crucial for us that NXP technology remains at the forefront of these developments and that we continue to work with clever, creative people such as those at Studio Sophisti – people who are able to turn these new technological possibilities into thrilling experiences.”

Eager gamers can try out Dinos vs. Robots and experience these new possibilities for themselves at Gamescom, which runs from August 5 to 9 in Cologne. The game will be on display at the Gamecity Hamburg shared stand in Hall 3.2, Stand A020 B021.

For more information on NFC, visit www.nxp.com/nfc

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