The Dreamland Chronicles – A Digital Card Game For Kids That Actually Gets It

By Mark . April 12, 2014 . 5:00pm

I’m sure many of you remember having Pokemon cards as a kid.  But, I bet not many of you actually played the game. The REAL game. I know I didn’t. I didn’t even know how. Instead, it was much more fun to just look at the pictures, trade with friends, and brag about having a rare card or two. And that’s what The Dreamland Chronicles Digital Trading Card Game is all about.

 

The Dreamland Chronicles is a webcomic and comic book series by artist and writer Scott Christian Sava. The fantasy series features a whole slew of lovable characters, from the brash Alex to Nicodemus the dragon. However, The Dreamland Chronicles world is about to branch out into a new form—a digital trading card game. Scott Hyman, founder and CEO of Protobird Games, is working with Scott Sava to turn his world into game that caters to kids.

 

Recently, I sat down with Scott Hyman to talk about the game and his plans for it. The biggest selling point of The Dreamland Chronicles card game is that it is meant for kids. Sure, there are other card games out there on the App Store or consoles that kids can play, but they just don’t cut it. Why? Because they don’t focus on what’s important to kids—looking at the pictures and trading with their friends.

 

Scott noticed this when he saw how his young son and his neighborhood friends interact with their Pokemon cards. “They argue about characters and how they matter,” said Scott. “My son will sit and stare at the pictures on the cards… One still image meant something to the kids in the neighborhood.”

 

After noticing that, Scott tried to find a digital game that would enrapture his son the same way the physical cards did. This proved harder than he thought. “There’s nothing out there… no trading card games,” Scott said, “The games aren’t about collecting.” Instead, other card games are more about the battling, or some just provide a digital mat. And that’s something that just isn’t interesting to kids.

 

Thus, the project to make The Dreamland Chronicles Digital Trading Card Game was born. Instead of focusing solely on gameplay, the card game puts its emphasis on the artwork and the thrill of swapping cards with buddies. And, indeed, the artwork for the game is incredible. Scott’s goal is to give each individual card equiset CG animation. Taking ideas from games like Talking Tom, he strives to have the characters be interactive in a fun and friendly way.

 

The characters will be able to leap out of their 2D cards and turn into a 3D, moving model. And, just like Talking Tom, kids will be able to swipe or poke or move the models and have it say funny things that go with their personalities. It turns the cards into something much more than just an image, it makes them real. And that’s what kids (and adults… everyone really) want.

 

And when it comes to the other things kids like, trading the cards, well… Scott has that covered, too. There are two ways of getting new or different cards. The first way is by trading them. Players can put which cards they want or which cards they have in a list that is viewable by their friends. Then, their friends can initiate trades based on that information. That way players can go into a trade with a general idea of what the other person wants and has and can base their offers around that.

 

The cool thing about the trading is that it is dynamic. If someone receives a trade request that isn’t exactly what he or she is looking for, then that person can propose a counter-trade. This makes the whole system more versatile and fun—it makes it more like the Pokemon card trading that we all used to indulge in out on the playground.

 

The second way that players can receive cards is, of course, by buying them. Cards will come in reasonably priced packs that each contain somewhere between 8 – 10 at a time. The goal is to also develop a system that would make it easy for parents to reward their children with a pack or two for doing a chore around the house or for their allowance. However, it would be done in a way that wouldn’t drive the parents crazy. Kids will be able to send a request to their parents for a pack of cards. If their parents say yes, the money will be taken from their iTunes account and the kid will get the pack. However, if the parent says no, then the kid won’t be able to virtually bug his or her parents for cards—the request system will shut down after around three requests a week. Perfect for both the parent and the kid.

 

For those people who do actually want to play the game, don’t worry, it’s  really fun. Scott developed a non-digital version of The Dreamland Chronicles card game to check out the gameplay. He had his friend, a winner of several Magic card tournaments, play with some of his Magic buddies. They all loved it. Scott also got all the neighborhood kids together and they all loved it, too. The gameplay is somewhat similar to Magic or Hearthstone, and it is easy enough for a kid to pick up and start playing right away. At the same time, it is fun and entertaining enough for someone like me to pick it up and play it for hours. Basically, it’s a good time.

 

At the end of the interview, I asked Scott about how he will keep kids who play it protected. Internet safety is a huge concern nowadays, and for good reason. Predators and cyber bullies have gotten parents scared to let their children go on the net, but there are plans to deal with that. For starters, parents must approve who goes on their child’s friend list. Whenever a friend request comes in or if a child wants to send a friend request, he or she must get a parent to put in a parental password. This ensures that children won’t accidently become friends with some Internet creep.

 

And when it comes to bullying, there’s an answer for that, too. If a trade is initiated that is extremely unfair to one party, a moderator steps in and cancels the trade. If Jimmy the bully down the street is trying to force Tommy to give him a great card for a less than adequate one, then the trade is immediately shot down. Scott hinted that the moderator would then alert the parents of Jimmy, just to make sure that he won’t be bullying again or to at least make sure he knows why the trade can’t happen. It’s a great idea, and I think it will effectively deal with eliminating peer pressure from the trading system of The Dreamland Chronicles.

 

Currently, The Dreamland Chronicles is in need of funding on Kickstarter. While it is well on it’s goal to turning the game into a reality, it can’t hurt to just take a look at it here. Oh, and make sure to check out Scott Sava’s book series here!

 

The Dreamland Chronicles Digital Trading Card Game will be available for tablets, PC, and maybe consoles.


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  • Chogokin

    Collecting digital cards sounds about as appealing as collecting steam games.

  • Kornelious

    Wow, that sound exhilarating -_-
    On a side note, does anyone else notice the new way the siliconera pages look?

    • GH56734

      You bet.
      I thought it was because the site detected my connection as if it were a iow-bandwidth mobile one. It loads fast though, that’s for sure.

      The visuals for this game are awful though. And the very concept of card-based games isn’t really my cup of tea.

    • Pdugna

      It’s the mobile theme bugged

      • Macros

        It’s nice to know Siliconera has a mobile them. I kinda wish it kicked in when i was checking the site from my cell phone. But i don’t really fancy it on my desktop :S . Oh well, it’ll be hopefully fixed soon anyway. Good to know i’m not the only one with that problem atm.

  • Suicunesol

    What happens when the Dreamland Chronicles shuts down in 5-10 years? Will I be able to print out my cards and keep them in a box?

    That’s the whole problem with these online games that are completely dependent on external servers. One can spend dozens or even hundreds of dollars over a period of time, building up a collection that could easily go poof.

    • GH56734

      That’s the “future” that keeps getting promoted: games as a service.
      You own nothing. The “game” is a device to fill the producer’s bank account with money, while you get temporary enjoyment that won’t last, and that requires a constant connection for whatever reason. Scratch that. Enjoyment is too much apparently for the F2P model. Instead, you keep paying to buy a “hope of enjoyment”. And pay. And pay, since there’s little enough hope (and flashy graphics, and the occasional free offers) to keep you going.
      It won’t click up with most people (actually, screw anyone who plays our games. And screw those who pay too: we insultingly call them whales and we exploit their weaknesses in the same way gambling addiction inducing devices do, with the difference that the probability of winning in a casino which is 0.0001% now becomes an absolute zero)

      Have you heard what the new Mobage PR said about the very concept of traditional games (which come with their full content once you purchase them, how blasphemous!) tricks and deceptions that needs to die while his free-to-play model was the ideal?

      By the way.. that Tales of Phantasia iOS pot that’s beridden with impossible controls, removed save points and a de facto requirement for IAP purshases, that requires an internet connection to boot? It’s getting shut down this May to become a bulky useless file on your phone. Congratulations to anyone dumb enough to invest in IAPs and actually support this model and anyone who didn’t learn from the days of the Satellaview.

  • NTaiyokun

    If this is for kids, why is the dragon in that position?

  • Pedro Furtado

    We were very different kids, man

  • http://blackstar2661.deviantart.com/ SilverSpades

    Off topic but, why am I seeing the mobile home page even though I’m on the computer?

    • Micrll

      Something borked on their webserver, I am getting the same thing on my desktop.

      • Senka

        It seems like all day they’ve been rotating tests of other layouts. I was catching up on articles up to 2 weeks old, and at first just the pages past the front page were locked to mobile format, and now the front page is stuck there too. Also, an older article I kept up changed from locked mobile layout to iPad layout when I refreshed it (curious if it would change).

  • Senka

    It always did tick me off, even at 10 years old, that no one actually wanted to play the Pokemon TCG. It didn’t make sense to me because I was deep into video games even then. At least I had the Pokemon TCG game for Game Boy Color, which I got into quite seriously.

    • Suicunesol

      Yeah, me too. More than once I tried to teach friends who liked Pokemon to play the TCG with me. They just lost interest too quickly, having little patience to learn the rules of the game.

      I’ll be honest though–I didn’t find the Pokemon TCG very exciting. Games moved slowly in RL as you fiddled with damage counters. Rarely I would go “Let’s play again!” after I finished one game.

      • Senka

        Yeah, even back then I remember thinking it may not be very fun to play in real life. It seemed like something that only worked well electronically.

  • Earthjolly

    whats with the mobile look?

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