Could I ask you about the AR16 Cards? 16 AR: Augmented Reality. Technology for combining virtual data with images of the real world.
Sure. In this game, we call the figures Idols , so we call the cards AR Idol Cards. Six cards are randomly included with the software itself. But there are quite a lot of them, so we’re trying to make them available in a lot of different ways, like including them as special prizes sold with snacks*, handing them out at events, or having them be magazine inserts.
Editor’s note: Snacks with AR Idol Cards are only available in Japan. In the UK, Club Nintendo members can redeem 250 Stars for two Club Nintendo Packs of 6 AR Idol Cards each, while stocks last.
How many are there all together?
More than XXX. I want to keep that number secret, though.
I understand. In any case, it’s a lot. What first made you want to use AR? This game has plenty of volume and content packed in even without AR, so I get the feeling that some people don’t view it as necessary.
When we made Super Smash Bros., there was a way to look at the characters in 3D as trophies, and we made the same kind of thing this time.
Those are the Idols.
Also, when we were thinking about how we wanted to draw out all the features of Nintendo 3DS, we learned about the AR. Then, for a moment, we wondered if we could adapt it to this game.
Only a moment?
Well, I know that doesn’t sound great, but it really was just a moment! We thought that a lot would be possible simply by combining the Idols and AR Cards. But there were technological hurdles to accurate recognition.
After all, there are over XXX.
The AR Card technology included in the Nintendo 3DS system itself isn’t that great at recognising lots of different varieties. That’s because having lots of different types of cards isn’t our priority.
It wouldn’t be possible to recognise this many cards with the same technology. We wanted to include pictures of the various characters. So we have it recognise the card screens at a resolution of about 4 by 4 and read a colorbit, while also showing the picture clearly.
Editor’s note: a “colorbit” is an ID recognition code, much like a barcode, which utilises configurations of colour to encode data, instead of lines.
The pattern at the bottom left-hand side of the card is the colorbit.
Yes. The engineering staff worked really hard on that. But it isn’t enough to just take a picture of the AR Card with the Nintendo 3DS cameras and look at the character in 3D. I wondered if we couldn’t do something new and made it so cards can fight with each other.
What exactly can you do?
To explain simply, the cards have a direction.
There’s an arrow at the bottom.
Yes. If you take two cards and have their arrows face each other, their parameters for things like their attack strength, speed, and their HP will show up at the bottom of the screen. If you press a button, they go at it. They start fighting until a winner is determined.
It’s decided sort of like rock-paper-scissors. What if the same cards fight?
It’s a tie. Fast cards will attack a lot in a short time. , buy they may have low HP or attack strength. They have personality. There is also a rock-paper-scissors element to it too, and it’s sword, shield, magic. Shields are strong against swords but weak against magic . It’s like that, but we’ve adjusted it so the rock-paper-scissors element doesn’t always determine who wins.
So you want friends to get together with their cards and play however they want.
Right. We could have made any kind of complicated card game we wanted, but we didn’t make it complicated on purpose so it would be easy to pick up and play. This makes it easier for players to devise their own rules to play. For example, two friends can face off, each with five cards, and put them out like “Ready...set...”
Then they can compete by seeing who wins the most, and run elimination rounds.
Right. It’s determined up front which Idols are strong against the others, so without any need to connect two Nintendo 3DS systems, two people can play with their own system facing each other.
You can battle your friends or use the cameras on the Nintendo 3DS system to watch the Idols in 3D when you’re alone.
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