Publisher Templar is working with US company Nukotoys to develop digital trading cards for its Ology brand, beginning with the launch of Monsterology trading cards in the spring. The launch is timed to mark a decade of the Ology brand in 2012.
Templar managing director Amanda Wood said: "We want to explore different media that bring you back to our core business, the creation of books. This initiative will give children an opportunity to explore an alternative world and at the same time, draw them back to the kind of imaginative interplay that they have with the books."
Nukotoys, based in San Francisco, focuses on creating toys and games that it says "merge digital and real world activities". It has created ‘Nukos', or next-generation trading cards, that can be ‘brought to life' in iPad, iPhone and iPod applications.
Nukotoys' Monsterology launch is described as a "tactical, turn-based game" that will work alongside collectible, real-world trading cards. When held up to the player's computer monitor, the trading cards will integrate into the game play, coming to life within the game itself, said the company.
Wood said the trading cards will be used, for example, to introduce an escape route for a player who is trapped by a monster, or to introduce new elements into the game, such as another mythical creature. "The technology connects the real trade cards to the virtual world. The player shows the card to the screen and it is magically imported into the game," she said.
The business model for the Ology game is based on providing the game app for free while players pay for the trading cards that will be distributed through retail outlets. Players can also purchase trading cards as they progress within the game. Nukotoys will develop other Ology world games under license, based on Templar's existing range of books, with Egyptology or Pirateology likely to be the next brands.