Will You Be a BattleKaster at Denver Comic Con?

If you happen to be attending Denver Comic Con this weekend, you will find an entirely new way to use your iPhone: as a member of your inventory as you undertake a quest.

BattleKasters (free), represents a new mobile game experience based on Alane Adams’s Norse mythology-inspired Legends of Orkney book series. This weekend you can join fellow iOS enthusiasts on a quest through Denver Comic Con with live gameplay. And if you just want to connect with Alane or hear about the app experience, there will also be book signings and a panel discussion on Saturday morning at 11:45 a.m

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The panel, BattleKasting: Denver Comic Con as Game Board, will include the first public demonstration and backstory of BattleKasters, a game developed by Artifact Technologies.  New art for the game, created by celebrated fantasy artist Dave Dorman (Star Wars, Shadowrun, Wasted Lands), will be shared at the panel.

Convention attendees interested in being the first to play BattleKasters should look for the BattleKasters booth (DD 19 and 20 in the E.D.G.E. area). Game winners will receive a free hardback copy of The Red Sun, the first book in the Legends of Orkney series, and posters of Dorman’s art that shown during the panel. Dorman, and  fellow BattleKasters illustrator Jonathan Stroh will be on-hand to sign art. Alane Adams will be available to sell and sign advance copies of The Red Sun.

BattleKasters represents a new form of engagement, built on Artifact Technologies Mixby platform. This beacon-driven experience allows freeform exploration of the convention space. Players who download the game are challenged to a race against time to cast the spells that will close a portal between realms—called the stonefire—to prevent dangerous dark magic from seeping into the Earth realm. When a phone detects a beacon, the game server recognizes the position of the player, where they have been, and what they have already done, and offers them some magical encounter that will further their quest, or perhaps set them back.

The game uses card collecting, a common vehicle for real-world, fantasy game play (yes, I get the oxymoronic implications of that very accurate phrase). The game is being rolled out in Denver, and will be available at many other fan venues over the next several months, including at San Diego Comic-Con in early July.

Rather than wandering through the same booths one more time, BattleKasters offers Con attendees a new experience, a way to play through what they have already wandered through.

The implications for other experiences aren’t lost on the Artifact team, which has already deployed a proof of concept at the Pacific Science Center in Seattle. Denver Comic Con offers attendees a way to be the first to experience a new future where the iPhone or iPad act not only as guides, game platforms, or media repositories, but a game partners that bridge the ever more tenuous gap between fantasy and reality.

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Daniel W. Rasmus is the Founder and Principal Analyst at Serious Insights. Rasmus is the author of Listening to the Future and Management by Design. Rasmus teaches at Bellevue College where he teaches Social Media and Personal Branding. He is also the Chief Knowledge Officer with the Virtual World Society.