At this year’s Gen Con gaming convention in Indianapolis, we had a chance to go hands-on with Playdek’s new mobile in-game technology, which the company hopes will “change the way board games are played in the digital space.” The technology will add a complete social network to the company’s games, including Summoner Wars and Ascension, among others.
Using this tech, players can create their own profiles, track their stats across Playdek’s many titles, communicate with friends and strangers, compete in tournaments and more.
After creating an account, Playdek users can add their friends by usernames, and can chat with those users across games, and across platforms. That is, a Summoner Wars player on iOS could chat with an Ascension player on Android asynchronously. The platform will support group chat, in cases where many friends are all playing Playdek titles, as well as real-time chat with strangers during games.
For a competitive card game like Summoner Wars, the system will provide a hub for tournament tracking, as users can purchase tournament tokens (the price is still being determined) and enter single or double elimination tournaments for 4-32 players. It’s possible these tournaments will grow to support even more users, depending on the reaction from players.
During tournaments, the network will show gamers stats about their competitors. In a card battle game, for instance, users may be able to see the particular decks a user prefers, and their win / loss / forfeit ratios with those decks.
Outside of tournaments, the social network offers multiple customization options to players. In addition to choosing an avatar and entering customizable mottos, players can set their status as offline when they don’t want friends to notice them, can turn off device notifications (for when users play Playdek games on multiple devices), opt out of incoming friend requests and more. The profile screen will also show a user’s overall win, loss and forfeit ratios within all Playdek games (where applicable).
Playdek’s new social features are expected to launch in Summoner Wars no later than this fall. The system will then be integrated into Ascension, before moving into other titles.