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Beacons Cast Spell on Mobile Gaming
For its BattleKasters game app, Artifact Technologies has been installing Bluetooth beacons at fan-based conferences, where an average of 1,000 players have used the technology to cast spells and work their way toward a portal to save the planet.
The company began testing beacons, seeking models that could not only transmit a signal at great distances, but also support shorter transmission ranges. For instance, he explains, as opposed to some retail applications, games would often require that a player be very close to a beacon before receiving a transmission on his or her phone. The firm opted to use beacons from Sensoro—although, Teplitsky adds, the company is hardware-agnostic, so it might employ other beacons for other Mixby-based applications. The company began developing software that would use the beacon location data to create new gaming opportunities, then teamed with Adams to develop a game based on the plots of her books.
When PAX attendees arrived at the conference, they had the option of downloading the free BattleKasters app from the iTunes or Google Play website. Once installed on the player of an iOS or Android smartphone, the app then provided details about various physical locations where participants could play the game by selecting an action (such as casting a spell) available at each site.
According to Brett Cutler, an Artifact game designer, participants have the choice of playing the game competitively by racing others toward the portal, or, more casually, simply experiencing the storyline of the book and game.
During the past year, Artifact Technologies has been piloting the game at various events, by installing the system and providing it to conference organizers at no cost. At each event, the company operates a booth where it can not only advertise the game but also explain how it is used to convention participants.
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