Skip to Content

electronic components on paper

17 replies [Last post]
Anonymous

Hi everyone, I'm new to toy designing. My background is totally from different industry, but I've realised that should try toys after building of few electronic things for my kids. I've developed pretty interesting, extremely reliable, simple ( and very cheap) technology of applying electronic components to the paper, create low price smart paper cards. It is not conductive ink or glue. And I think it could be used for some low price toys ( something like happy meal toys in fast food industry) or board games. I'm wondering if somebody is interested in this or could please tell me in what direction I should move to find a toy manufacturer possibly interested in this.
You could contact me through e-mail: nshr@rogers.com
Thanks,
engineer60

Anonymous
electronic components on paper

That sounds very intriguing. I'd suggest protoyping some games and seeing whether your technology makes them more fun or not. It is frequently the case that adding electricity only makes a game more annoying (please, add no audio, for adults' sake :wink: ). Try to design a game that requires the technology rather than just trying to stuff it in to whatever you can.

Anyway, this should be in the game production forum. . .

Hope that helped a little bit,

- Silverdragon0

hpox
Offline
Joined: 12/31/1969
electronic components on paper

Hi and welcome!

This is very interesting, I'd have to know more about the technology before judging if it could be used in board games but I bet that it could. So what is it exactly? Can you store data on paper and update/modify/increment it? How do you read the data? Is it possible to display the data directly on the paper?

Anonymous
data update and reading

I'm talking about general thing: here is a paper, here is elctronic componenet, like chip or LED ( light), etc. How to apply them on paper and keep connected to each other ? How to get this done in mass production without any exspensive ink, hand labour, fancy space shuttle glue or something like this? My answer is: I can do this, I have done this for different industrial applications and I want to use this technology for toys or games. So, please open your mind, imagine you can do whatever you want. Update data on paper card? No problem. That's what I'm talking about. Any electronic component is applied to paper. Do you need keypad? I can do this for you. Disposal paper keypad which remembers what did you push, even recognises password if you want. You can get this data downloaded to PCI can do this. I can show some indication on card. Single small and tiny lights responding to pads you are touching. I can't display any graphical images on paper.
I'm opened to any suggestions and will be happy to discuss any of them. That's reason why I posted my message here: I don't know anything about games, my knoledge of toy things is very limited as well.

Thanks for replying!. I'm looking forward to talk with people who want to take an advantage of new technology and make something really different.

engineer60

Anonymous
electronic components on paper

Hmm, now that I understand what you have developed . . .

Yes, there are many applications. Your paper could allow for otherwise overly complicated games to be streamlined. If you could store the statistics for a particular unit in a wargame, the strategy would remain but the game would become less tedious. It would also maintain the prized human element as well (that is lacking in completely digitized games). You could also store information in cards. One application of this was in tradeable baseball card game (I believe). It used barcodes that could be scanned to ring up the information players needed (instead of consulting a compendium of player figures).

Another thing that might be neat would be to have game pads. You say that you could have disposable electronic paper. This gives me the idea that you could produce a game like yatzhee on paper and have a "game pad". People could play with a single piece of paper, rather than a boxed game. This might work for connect four, and other favorites that already have name recognition.

There are many, many applications I could think of in the non-gaming world, but, being an engineer, I am sure you are pursuing those already.

Glad to be of a bit more help this time around,
- Silverdragon0

Anonymous
E-Paper

The technology you are describing is called, e-paper. Various companies have been working on developing e-paper for the past four years or more. They anticipate it will be a viable product within three years.

That being said, I COMPLETELY think that this is the direction board games will and must take. Imagine a digital game board that interacts with digital playing cards placed on top of it on designated spots. AND, that variables are stored and modified during gameplay.

Imagine the possibilities! No more would we be limited to two sides on a playing card, and there would be no need for dice or spinner, as they could be incorporated into the gameboard.

If I had the dough, I would've patented this idea three years ago...

phpbbadmin
Offline
Joined: 04/23/2013
Re: E-Paper

DigiLusionist wrote:
The technology you are describing is called, e-paper. Various companies have been working on developing e-paper for the past four years or more. They anticipate it will be a viable product within three years.

That being said, I COMPLETELY think that this is the direction board games will and must take. Imagine a digital game board that interacts with digital playing cards placed on top of it on designated spots. AND, that variables are stored and modified during gameplay.

Imagine the possibilities! No more would we be limited to two sides on a playing card, and there would be no need for dice or spinner, as they could be incorporated into the gameboard.

If I had the dough, I would've patented this idea three years ago...

We've had discussions (And entire chats) about this subject before. What we've realized is that it isn't that cut and dry. You need to set a delicate balance between electronics and 'traditional' board in order to bring together the best of both worlds. Otherwise your have a board game with an electronic gimmick (example: Stop Thief or Dark Tower) or a computer game that only emulates a board game (something akin to monopoly on a console game system). There are advantages to both types of game. People enjoy the direct social interaction of the board game, they like the tactile feel of the components, etc. Computers could better handle complex book keeping for the players, and provide a great method for implementing hidden information. Just having technology isn't enough, you must intelligently implement it into a system that takes the best of both worlds while discarding the weaknesses of each.

-Darke

Anonymous
electronic components on paper

You'll get no disagreement on any of those points, Darkehorse. My point is that the technology will be here soon and it will influence the art of boardgame making.

Up til then, there have been limitations to physical real estate. Those limitations are what make the creativity involved in boardgame design an art as well as a science (at least in my view).

Once a playing card with two sides is able to display hundred of images or large amounts of textual content per side, the physical limitations become less onerous.

And, a game board that has multi-use displays and builti-in recordkeeping and randomizing components WILL impact the use and even presence of components.

So, I'm not sure where any disagreement might be. I was just stating my views on the impact of e-paper...

Dralius
Dralius's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/26/2008
electronic components on paper

Quote:
You'll get no disagreement on any of those points, Darkehorse. My point is that the technology will be here soon and it will influence the art of boardgame making.

Without seeing what the technology can actually do it's hard to design a game that uses it. I can come up with all sorts of things that would be cool for a board game to be able to do like keep track of game statistics for example. What do you envision the embedded technology being capable of doing in it's early incarnations?

jwarrend
Offline
Joined: 08/03/2008
electronic components on paper

DigiLusionist wrote:
You'll get no disagreement on any of those points, Darkehorse. My point is that the technology will be here soon and it will influence the art of boardgame making.

No doubt this is true! Sometime in the last few months, "Clue FX" came out, a talking version of Clue. Not sure if it's using this specific technology, but it does look cool!

Quote:

Up til then, there have been limitations to physical real estate. Those limitations are what make the creativity involved in boardgame design an art as well as a science (at least in my view).

Once a playing card with two sides is able to display hundred of images or large amounts of textual content per side, the physical limitations become less onerous.

I agree and disagree with this. I do think that limitations in space force creativity, however, I think equally or more important in the game designer's challenge is trying to come up with a limited set of parameters that players can interact with and to have the players interact with those parameters in different ways. So I don't necessarily think that a playing card that is also an encyclopedia would be terribly useful, as it would overwhelm the user with information in a way that would reduce the ability to make intelligent decisions (because, as we've learned as game designers, restricting the choices is an essential ingredient of a good game).

That said, I can think of a few cool effects of a "smart" board. One thing that would be cool is a board whose graphics can change to reflect changing board situations. For example, rather than "control markers", the territories could change colors to indicate control.

In a game I describe in my journal, players are trotting around the world looking for clues and artifacts, yet the actual search process is abstracted. Yet, if the board could "zoom in" to whatever specific locale you're in, that would also be a cool effect.

Finally, cards that changed info with time would also be cool. So when you first get a card, perhaps its value/effect is X, but after 3 turns, its value/effect becomes Y.

Truly, the possibilities are probably limitless and all sorts of interesting mechanics could emerge from new technologies. But, I think that good game design principles will not change much. Players still need a small set of information to guide their choices so that decisions are manageable. If the computerized aspects of the game just become a number cruncher or a mega-randomizer, than those games will likely be just as bad as their predecessors that relied on lookup tables or dice rolls. A bad game is a bad game, and slapping on some fancy technology won't make a bad game engine good.

Hey, I'm all for it! But my strong expectation is that this technology may be accessible to people with some cash to lay out, but for the rest of us, plain old cards, game boards, and wooden bits will remain "state of the art" for a long time. And that's as it should be. A game is defined by its mechanics, not (primarily) by its implementation. To the extent that the new technology makes new mechanics implementable, great! But good game designs will find their way to the table, fancy gee-whiz technology or not!

-Jeff

Anonymous
electronic components on paper

Correct me if I'm wrong, but he's just talking about attaching electronic components to paper. epaper, is something more along the lines of what was seen in Minority Report, paper that displays digital images through the use of tiny controlled electrical current. And yes, it's still a few years off. And even when it is publicly available, I highly doubt it'll be ready for board game use for a couple years after that.

He's talking about making electronic components cheap enough for use in most board games. Take cardstock. Put an electronic component on that cardstock, You have an electronic component on a card now. If you want he can make a calculator or something with a keypad so cheap that it can be considered disposable. Not paper that can be reused by erasing it's data.

He even said he can't display or change images directly on the card. He's not talking about digital ink, he's talking about simple micro electronics.

Quote:
I can show some indication on card. Single small and tiny lights responding to pads you are touching. I can't display any graphical images on paper.

I thnk it could have uses in some things. A board that remembers where it's peices are for instance. He's talking lights and microchips, not new kinds of paper.

I think epaper would be cool, but even epaper would require the same such electrical components to remember and process data. I think the computerized board game with a digital ink board and digital ink epaper components is at least a decade away still.

Anonymous
nice for a deck of cards...

Seems to me that this idea was described pretty well in Star Wars books, ie the games of Sabaac . You'd have electronic cards (skiffs I beleive they were called), and then all the shuffling or dealing is done on the cards with out physically changing them, the faces of the cards change.

That'd be nice even for just a game of bridge/poker or whatever, to not have to shuffle, and have the cards "change for you".

phpbbadmin
Offline
Joined: 04/23/2013
Re: nice for a deck of cards...

jjacy1 wrote:
Seems to me that this idea was described pretty well in Star Wars books, ie the games of Sabaac . You'd have electronic cards (skiffs I beleive they were called), and then all the shuffling or dealing is done on the cards with out physically changing them, the faces of the cards change.

That'd be nice even for just a game of bridge/poker or whatever, to not have to shuffle, and have the cards "change for you".

That's all well and good, but were talking about science reality, not science fiction. I.E Something that could be really implemented today, not something that was created in the mind of George Lucas.

-Darke

sedjtroll
sedjtroll's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/21/2008
Re: nice for a deck of cards...

Darkehorse wrote:

That's all well and good, but were talking about science reality, not science fiction. I.E Something that could be really implemented today, not something that was created in the mind of George Lucas.

would it be so difficult to have 4 little screens connected to a central computer that displays certain cards on each screen (each player's hand)..? Don't they already have stuff like this for Game Boy Advance? Like the Crystal Chronicals game or whatever where you each plug your GBA into your GameCube and go from there?

- Seth

Deviant
Offline
Joined: 12/31/1969
electronic components on paper

Yes, it could be done, and in fact I think this sort of technology would be even better suited to palm or tablet computers (or even cell phones) connected wirelessly. The only real obstacle is that there would need to be some compelling need to do so. What you would have is a video game, and there are so many ways to go with this besides electronic cards, boards, tiles, dice, etc. These are the tools of the board game designer because they can be used to represent almost any situation, are simple, classical, easily manipulated, relatively inexpensive, and proven to work over and over again. Video games are bound by very different design laws, and need not be constrained to these board game standbys. That's why you don't see more board and card games getting the PC or console treatment. Not to mention that cards and dice are "tactile" items that really need to be felt to be properly appreciated, IMO. Clicking is so impersonal.

stumps
Offline
Joined: 12/31/1969
electronic components on paper

Keep in mind that what was said before...

Quote:
engineer60:I can't display any graphical images on paper.

Simply data transfer and tracking, which is very helpful to games like Battletech, Warhammer, Axis & Allies, possibly Monopoly, and games of design which have higher information upkeep.

Games that have many pieces on a small board, like Axis & Allies, (by small board I mean, as opposed to Warhammer "boards") could use this technology to lessen the amount of game pieces on the game board.
Example: An infantry unit may have a "e-paper" (or the like) counter on it that keeps track of how many infantry units are on that space. This would remove the slightly tedious chips that are already in Axis & Allies. This same unit could also tell you where it is "Stationed".
Why would I care where that piece is at?
First let me point out one thing about counters and markers...
Using "e-paper" like systems, engineer06, like you are talking about, would greatly enhance the ease of tracking any game that requires seperate cardboard trackers, markers, and etc...

Now that example as to Why from above...
-BUMP- "CRAP!!"
Where was this tank?
What about this submarine? Was it on the board? Where? (sure it was :? )
How much money did the U.S. have?
What technology did Russia have?

Note that it would seem for the sanctity of boar game tradition that the technology shouldn't replace any human action, but that it should replace older technologies that have been used as tools for the players use:
eg: trackers, counters, chips, tokens, overuse of pieces, paper for stats, etc...

Information on stats for other such games as the above mentioned have already been discussed so I don't need to further that much.

-stumps

phpbbadmin
Offline
Joined: 04/23/2013
For the sake of clarification

Quote:
Example: An infantry unit may have a "e-paper" (or the like) counter on it that keeps track of how many infantry units are on that space. This would remove the slightly tedious chips that are already in Axis & Allies. This same unit could also tell you where it is "Stationed".

It's best not to use the term e-paper. The reason is there is a technology called e-paper that basically lets you use a piece of paper as a B&W 'screen'; i.e. for displaying text or images. As you reminded, the technology that engineer was refering to can not display images, thus it is not e-paper.

-Darke

stumps
Offline
Joined: 12/31/1969
electronic components on paper

The term "e-paper", as used above in my previous post, was intended to be a quicker referance to engineer's "data paper" as it should perhaps have been refered to.
My apologeze for the mistake and/or confusion.

Syndicate content


forum | by Dr. Radut